Debutant director shoots entire film on Thai isle

September 10th, 2008 - 9:19 am ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Sep 10 (IANS) Many Bollywood filmmakers head to idyllic islands to shoot song sequences, but debutant director Yugander V.V. chose to shoot an entire feature film on a small island in Thailand. He says the tiny place had all the elements he needed for his movie “The Goodbye Trip”.The film, which doesn’t boast of top actors, was shot in Kokai Island nearby Karbi town - a 12-14-hour drive from Bangkok.

“The island has a radius of one kilometre and anyone can walk from one end to the other in just 15 minutes,” Yugander, who worked as an assistant to Shyam Benegal and Mahesh Mathai for “Hari Bhari” and “Bhopal Express” respectively, told IANS.

“In spite of being small, it had all the elements, including a hill, which was required for our shoot. Besides, the look of the island which changed every day, according to the tides and weather, gave us variation in shots,” he said.

The director said the main reason for choosing Kokai was that it doesn’t have palm trees.

The two-hour film was shot with 21 actors and Yugander says shooting on the tiny island was difficult but exciting as well.

“We had an experience of a lifetime while shooting the film there. At the same time it was very difficult as we had to take our heavy equipment, with a crew of 55 members, on boats for 40 minutes every day. No electricity and absence of any life also made things difficult for us,” said Yugander, who wrapped up the entire shoot in 30 days.

The story revolves around a group of 21 college friends who go for a picnic after completing their graduation - meant to be their final get-together. It is about their aspirations, emotions and feelings.

Most of the 21 actors are newcomers except Karan Sharma, Neha Sharma, Aushima Shawney and Dilnaz Irani who have worked in a few films.

“I did not need a star as my story doesn’t demand it. It’s the story of 21 youngsters and each character is important. So if I had taken a star then I wouldn’t have been able to do justice to him because all the characters have equally important roles. And I cannot have 21 stars,” Yugander said.

“Besides, my story is about young people and I wanted to cast actors who are actually young. I didn’t want to cast 40-year-old people as youths in the film. All the actors in the film actually fall in the age group of 17-26,” he added.

The director is happy with the final product.

“The film has shaped up well and I am happy. Though it has no big stars, but talks are on with various big companies for its release,” he said.

Before venturing into films, Yugander, an electronics engineer, has worked on 60 independent projects including various ad films, television promos and music videos.

Yugander said that he has financed “The Goodbye Trip” through individual sources and so there was no creative interference from any producer.

“The success of this project would mark the rise of individual producers and directors who tend to make a project solely on creative instincts and originality,” he said.

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