In the event you thought that being round heavy filming gear was the primary supply of threat on a movie set, suppose once more. The traumatic flip of occasions on the set of Kamal Haasan’s upcoming movie Indian 2 at EVP Movie Metropolis in Poonamallee final week — which resulted in three misplaced lives — is simply an indicator of the final lack of protected working circumstances in Tamil cinema.
The reason being cavalier attitudes, business sources allege. Discuss to any stuntmen related to Tamil cinema, and you might be prone to hear phrases like veeram (braveness) and thunichal (bravado) thrown at you. What such attitudes have led to is a working atmosphere the place folks, for worry of being regarded down upon or not being supplied a possibility for not being “manly enough”, endanger their lives to an extent that may be deemed silly.
Dancing with dying
An up-and-coming actor in Tamil movies tells this author that he was “extremely fortunate” to not have suffered concussion, after being hit within the head as a result of a human error that might have been prevented totally.
“I’m playing the antagonist in this film, and so in a fight sequence, the hero picks up a stool nearby and hits me on the head. Upon impact, the stool is supposed to break into pieces but the art director screwed it up. He left an actual stool instead and I was stuck in the back of my head hard. I felt numb and I just sat down clutching my head. Luckily, I did not suffer concussion or other injuries but the back of my head was swollen for a few days,” says the actor, bemoaning the truth that filmmakers seldom supply stunt doubles for newcomers and actors struggling to make a mark in movies.
Mainstream Tamil actors and character artistes have remarked that the tradition in Tamil movies is that manufacturing models seldom prioritise life and limbs over work and the product. Actor Vishal, who suffered an damage filming a stunt sequence for his final movie, Motion, thinks it’s “necessary to take risks” for whistle-worthy moments on display screen. Actually, he marketed the movie by stating in just a few interviews that he suffered over “100 injuries” making it. Actor Vishnu Vishal, who suffered a career-threatening damage whereas taking pictures the upcoming movie Kaadan, has beforehand gone on document to doc his “miraculous recovery”. Even actor Ajith was within the information not too long ago for struggling a motorbike accident on the units of his upcoming Valimai.
Within the West, actors like Tom Cruise and Jackie Chan, famed for executing their very own stunts and injuring themselves many instances over within the course of, are thought-about outliers. Right here, outliers are all we’ve.
Such practices are alienating to overseas movie crews, after they collaborate with Tamil filmmakers. Says Jaguar Thangam, stunt grasp and present president of Movie and Tv Producer’s Guild of South India, that whereas working actor Rajinikanth’s English language movie, Bloodstone (1988), American stuntmen refused to dive off the cliff in Hogenakkal waterfalls. “They flat out refused. They said they would not jump because it was life-threateningly risky. But our fighters jumped. Rajini sir knows this story.” Why do the stuntmen really feel compelled to take dangers? “It is to show our veeram,” he says, and provides: “besides, our boys won’t say no.”
Passing the buck
One other subject delivered to the fore by the Indian 2 tragedy is the dearth of curiosity amongst movie producers to insure their movies. The few who do, solely agree to take action if the premiums they pay go away a minimal impression on the manufacturing funds. The compensation packages doled out by such insurance coverage insurance policies, within the case of fatality, and after being subjected to a protracted drawn-out course of, supply little worth to the households of the sufferer. Compensation packages supplied by movie producers submit tragic incidents additionally paper over the truth that it takes away the choice of a authorized recourse away from the victims’ households.
Producer T Siva of Amma Creations, who’s a member of the advert hoc committee which manages affairs on the Tamil Movie Producers Council, says that it’s the accountability of the respective craft unions to insure members and guarantee their office security. “As a producer, our responsibility ends with the provision of equipment. It is the technician who should ask for safety equipment if he needs it,” he says.
Thangam provides that Movie Staff Federation of South India (FEFSI), the umbrella physique that represents all movie technicians within the South movie business neither gives to take life insurance coverage insurance policies in its members’ names, as an ordinary union or co-operative society apply, nor does it foyer with the Producers Council or the Producer’s Guild to mandate inserting staff’ compensation packages into the contracts technicians signal with a manufacturing firm.
With extra business stakeholders dedicated to passing the buck by opting in charge the inefficiency on the a part of Indian 2 manufacturing unit for working an industrial crane with an “under-qualified operator”, as a causative issue within the tragedy, than opening up avenues to debate constructively the methods and means to enhance the protection of movie technicians and contractual workers, it will seem that protected working atmosphere in Tamil cinema is a goal that’s miles away.