Shooting in exotic foreign locales is not new for Bollywood, but here comes a spy thriller that is spread over as many as six countries and also shoots with the local cast and crew to get the flavour right at each location.
Director Prashant Chadha's Azaan is being shot in Poland, the Czech Republic, Morocco, Germany, Thailand and India in a 70-day schedule. He is planning to wrap up shooting in foreign locales by March-end.
'The technical crew, except for the cameraman, is hired from the city we are shooting. The process of shooting was not that tedious because we spent a lot of time in pre-production. Shooting in five-six countries is not an easy job but because our preparation is so strong that we are able to wrap our shooting in stipulated time and in a given budget,' Chadha said in a telephonic conversation from Hong Kong.
To accomplish his plans, the director didn't mind shooting in the freezing cold of Poland and the seething heat of Morocco one after the other.
'Poland was zero degree Centigrade and after 20 days we were at Morocco where the temperature was 30 degrees C. We had to do it because it's our job and we have to take the pain for it,' said the director whose Himesh Reshammiya-Hansika Motwani-starrer 'Aap Kaa Surror' came out in 2007.
If his 'Aap Kaa Surroor' was a musical romance, Chadha is charting a completely new terrain with Azaan. It took him more than three years to start this project.
'I travelled one year after Aap Kaa Surroor. When I took this project, I took a year to write the script and while writing the script I was doing the recce for the film. Pre-production was happening pretty much simultaneously,' he said.
Though the prime cast of the film has Indian actors Sachiin Joshi, Aarya Babbar, Dilip Tahil, Sachin Khedekar and Aly Khan, Chadha also roped in locals from each region he shoots in to add international flavour to his film.
'We did casting from each country we shot in. That makes the plot more authentic. It would have looked very off if we would have used Indians in those regions because there is almost no Indian in a place like Poland. Casting local people from Morocco or Germany adds flavour to these kinds of films,' he said.
Azaan is the story of an informant who has to go undercover beyond enemy lines and help find enough information to be able to save his brother and the nation from destruction through biological warfare.
'It's about a conspiracy that's been hatched in another country. The conspiracy is unveiled through the eyes of Azaan Khan. This takes him to these five countries,' said Chadha. 'It's a very human story of one guy who travels in search of his brother.'
The director has also roped in Candice Boucher, international model and Playboy cover girl, because he found her fit to play a Moroccon girl.
'Candice Boucher stays in New York and is playing a Moroccon girl. Actually, I know Candice for over four years,' he said.
The director is planning to release Azaan in June end.