Lives Less Ordinary
The Bengaluru film shooting mishap has raised several questions on the safety of filming of stunts in Indian cinema. Industry insiders and outsiders unequivocally feel that it was no accident but deliberate overlooking of safety measures. If the SOP (standard operating procedure) on safety while shooting were followed, two lives could have been saved, a noted stunt choreographer told Narada News on condition of anonymity. ‘I do not know why Ravivarma Master, the stunt director of the film Masti Gudi agreed to play those high risk stunts, without even arranging a motor boat to take the actors back from the waters’. The junior actors were not wearing life vests as the scene continuity demanded them to perform with bare chest. Duniya Vijay, the lead actor of the movie managed to swim back to safety only because he had put on life gear. Many feel it as part of the long existing discrimination towards the junior actors.
‘Every life is valuable and hence security measures should be equal for everybody, says veteran stunt director Thiagarajan. ‘Every junior artist, who are part of the scene, irrespective of their roles should have given the same safety cover. I do not think Heroes get special consideration but I have little details of the Bengaluru mishap. It is learned that the rescue boat failed to reach the scene when the duo met with the accident. I can’t blame the stunt master at this juncture for lack of adequate security measures. I never showed partiality against any actor when stunt scenes are shot under my direction, says the veteran of over two thousand movies in various Indian languages.
Another stunt choreographer of the south Indian film industry, Mafia Sasi also feels that the mishap should have been avoided. ‘Even if the actors performing the stunt in water are good swimmers, I usually arrange boats in all the four sides. I am now shooting a Malayalam movie in Goa in which Vijay Babu plays the lead. We had a scene of a car plunging into a river with a ‘stunt double’ actor inside it. Four boats were arranged in the four directions to take him back, claims Sasi. Accidents are part and parcel of the stunt shoot but it can be reduced to minimum with the sophisticated security measures available now’, says Mafia Sasi who is also an actor.