Thursday, March 08, 2007

Lights, camera, attraction

What was that big balloon that lit up the city's sky recently? S. R. ASHOK KUMAR on the making of the latest Rajni starrer, "Sivaji: The Boss"

STYLE KING From "Sivaji: The Boss"
The orange orb of the sun sinks into the horizon. As darkness descends, the sky around the ICF Grounds in the city suddenly lights up. A golden glow emanates from a huge air balloon. Passers-by are astounded by the size of the balloon and its blaze, but can't really get a peek at the happenings inside the grounds. Not even journos.
As it is usually with Shanker, Kollywood's director with a Midas touch, the making of his latest film, "Sivaji: The Boss," is also a closely guarded secret. According to industry sources, the inflated balloon lighting system has been brought from France, especially for the shooting of the Rajni-starrer. The balloon is said to have come from Airstar Space Lighting, the company that illuminates major international showbiz dos such as the Cannes Film Festival.
Kollywood's first
These balloons that can be hoisted up in the air are said to be a powerful lighting source for large areas. They were used during the making of "Titanic." In India, the first film that used Airstar's innovation was "Rang De Basanti." "Sivaji" is Kollywood's first. The inflated balloons can light up areas up to four hectares. The light is glare free and homogenous. Besides, one can look directly at it without being dazzled by its intensity, say unit sources. These balloons that allow a seamless progress of work from day to night, have been brought to the city by Harish Samtani of Stereo Vision.
A fight sequence and a song, featuring Rajni, are said to have been canned post-twilight, using light from these shadow-free billowing systems.
Well, for those who came in late, these flutter-causing balloons are just one of the highlights of "Sivaji." It is Rajni's first film with director Shanker. The number `nine' too makes news with "Sivaji." While it's the superstar's ninth film for AVM Productions (the first was "Murattukkalai" in 1980 followed by a string of hits), "Sivaji" is Shanker's ninth film ever since he made his debut with "Gentleman" in 1993. (This film is produced by Saravanan and his son M. S. Guhan.)
And what else? "Mazhai" fame Shreya co-stars with Rajni for the first time, while Nayantara, who was the superstar's love interest in the record-breaking hit "Chandramukhi," features in a special dance number shot in Pune. Actor Suman plays the menacing villain in the film, whose crew have zipped across continents for the shooting â€" from Ramoji Rao Film City in Hyderabad and Binny Mills and AVM Studios in Chennai to picturesque locales in Spain and the U.S.
With music wiz A. R. Rahman's score, National award-winning K. V. Anand's velvety visuals, Sujatha's punch lines, Prabhu Deva, Raju Sundaram and Raghava Lawrence's choreography, Shanker's style and Rajni's `ishtyle,' "Sivaji" looks set to become the real boss at the box office.
Balloon bytes

  • Came from France
  • Can illuminate up to four hectares
  • Homogenous and glare-free light
  • Convenient for outdoors at night
    Soutce : The Hindu

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