Venkat Bharadwaj, whose film "Kempirve" had won in the Best Screenplay category at the Karnataka State Film Award in 2017, has gone ahead and shot a full-length feature film during the lockdown.
Titled "The Painter", the Kannada film was shot in 10 days, across five different locations in Chennai, Tumkur, Bangalore, Kankapura and Hebbal. The shooting was done separately in location, and then the filmed footage was put together on the editing table to create the entire movie.
Work on the script began in early April, and shooting the film wasn't simple. Owing to lockdown, no one could travel. Sourcing equipment was a problem, too. The director and his crew had to make do with available lights, ropes, bamboo sticks and wires. The script and dialogue had to be shared with artistes and technicians who shot from their respective locations.
''The story evolves with the current situation of lockdown, and how people act on various issues -- selfishness, extortion, and exploitation. There is murder, crime, and thrilling content in this movie. I don't want to reveal the entire story. People should enjoy the thrilling content after the release of this feature film. The shooting style being cinematic, there could be no compromise on quality and technicality of production,'' said Venkat Bharadwaj.
The director explains that transferring raw footage filmed at one particular location to another, using home Internet data, was a big challenge. "On an average, around 70 GB data was being transferred daily between sources," he pointed out, explaining that due to the heavy footage quality, it was an uphill task transferring filmed data online.
He added: ''Around 17 technicians and artistes have worked for this project, including makeup man, light boy, costume and art people. The shooting was fun as everyone was involved in all aspects. To give an example, when there were five artistes shooting for a scene, and all were supposed to be in the frame, four of them would take position while the last person rolled the camera and sound and then walked into the frame. Then the scene was shot. It was a great challenge and equally fun executing this project.''
The one hour and 30-minute film is due to release in the end of May.
"The Painter" is presented by A Lab 19 Innovation in association with Amrutha Film Centre and Shekar Jayaram