A scene from a film being shot in the state capital, Bhopal.
A scene from a film being shot in the state capital, Bhopal.

BHOPAL: As things are returning to normal after lockdown relaxations, so is shooting of movies and web series in Madhya Pradesh. After unlocking of activities in the state, shooting of more than half a dozen projects has been completed.

Kher’s ‘The Last Show’

First to start shooting with unlock was the Anupam Kher starrer, ‘The Last Show’, in Bhopal. The 22-day schedule of shooting was from September 25 to October15. The line producer of the film said that about Rs 3 crore was spent in Bhopal, giving employment to more than 50 people.

Vijay Raaz’s ‘Sherni’

The second prominent unit that started shooting in MP was Vijay Raaz’s ‘Sherni’, starring Vidya Balan, which continued for a month in the forests of Balaghat. The project engaged more than 200 local people. The film’s producers had an estimated budget of Rs 8 crore for shooting in MP.

Akshay Kumar’s ‘Chhori’

Akshay Kumar and Vikram Mehrotra’s company did shooting for a horror film, ‘Chhori’, in Pipariya, in Hoshangabad district, for 25 days and in Bhopal for 6 days.

Director of Zeal Z Entertainment Services Pvt Ltd Syed Zaid Ali, who acts as line producer for shooting units in MP, said that all film units took extra precautions in view of Covid-19 and had a reduced number of crew members. Not only movies, but several web series and TV series, too, are being shot in various locations of MP, bringing revenue and generating employment for people of the state.

Subhash Kapoor’s ‘Maharani’

Shooting for the web series, ‘Maharani’, by Subhash Kapoor was done for about one month, where about 100 people were employed. Shooting for ‘Kota Factory’ and ‘Gullak Season-2’ is in progress. A TV serial for Sony TV, ‘Ek Duje ke Liye’, is also being shot in and around Bhopal, generating employment for more than 150 local people.

Local talent replacing Mumbai crew

As shooting of movies and serials has increased in MP over the past decade, it has prepared locals to replace shooting crew from Mumbai. “Earlier, units used to bring their spot boys along with them, but, now, most units have stopped bringing spot boys from Mumbai and are engaging experienced locals,” said Syed Zulfikar Ali, who had been instrumental in bringing a lot of shooting units to Bhopal.

When Prakash Jha came here to shoot his first film, he had brought the security staff from Mumbai. Since then, security agencies in Bhopal have grown and, now, most film crews use local security agencies. Moreover, lots of locals have been working diligently in the art department, lights, costume and even in make-up units. The film units earlier used to bring their own caterers from Mumbai for the crew members, but now caterers from Bhopal have started satiating their taste buds.

Projects in New Year

  • Shooting of movie ‘Dhakad’, starring Kangana Ranaut, is scheduled to start on January 7

  • It will be shot in Bhopal, Pachmarhi and near the Sarni power plant

  • It is a big budget film with 62 days’ schedule in MP

  • An untitled film of Ayushman Khurana will start shooting from mid-March

  • Prakash Jha will be shooting for his film, ‘Dharm Yudh’, in Bhopal, Hoshangabad and Sehore

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