Biriyani climax fight caught in stuntmen row
Looks like the last few days have been stressful for the unit of Studio Green’s Karthi-Hansika starrer Biriyani, directed by Venkat Prabhu. After finishing a stint for Rajesh’s All in All Azhaghu Raja, hero Karthi flew to Hyderabad for the climax fight scenes of Biriyani, but instead of shooting over a 14-day schedule as planned the unit returned within three days to Chennai and had to resume the shoot here.
Now CE has learnt that the unit apparently ran into problems posed by the stunt union of Andhra Pradesh. The union’s rules state that for Tamil films shot in AP 30 per cent of the stuntmen should be from AP. The union has, however, been clamouring for the past year to change this to a 50:50 ratio. In addition, the AP stunt union reportedly does not welcome stunt masters from TN working on Tamil films in AP. Some time back, at the shoot of another film, they demanded that TN stunt masters should register themselves with the AP stunt union if they wanted to shoot there. But, as a unit member claims, these proposed new rules had not yet been implemented categorically.
Keeping this in mind the Biriyani unit planned a month in advance to shoot the climax fights and other scenes in Hyderabad from April 2 onwards. But according to sources in the unit, Venkat Prabhu’s team were in for a rude shock in Hyderabad. The AP stunt union suddenly implemented the new rules, meaning 50 per cent of stuntmen from AP would have to be used instead of the old 30. And Selva, the stunt master from TN for Biriyani, could not shoot there. The Biriyani unit couldn’t carry out the proposed stunt sequences unless they adhered to the new rules, about which they reportedly had received no prior notice. However, since `40 lakh had been paid in advance for an important fight sequence on a train, a compromise was reached and the unit was allowed to shoot for three days, after which they returned to Chennai. Apparently the production house has incurred additional expenditure since new sets had to be hurriedly created in Chennai at the AVM studios, the Binny Mills and the OMR. All the artistes required for the shooting have been flown to Chennai. The sudden changes may now affect the fight sequences of other Tamil films that are being shot in AP, notable among them being Ajith’s next film directed by Siruthai Siva, with Tamannaah as heroine. Ironically, alongside the reel life fights being canned, a real life silent struggle has been parallelly going on for the unit of Biriyani!