Danced to ‘Naatu Naatu’? Right here’s how this Oscar-winning tune was filmed


A nonetheless from ‘Naatu Naatu’; Ramji Natarajan

Cherished making reels of ‘Naatu Naatu’ from Rajamouli’s RRR? Cherished the hook steps by Jr NTR and Ram Charan and the way in which this peppy quantity was shot?

The tune that all the world celebrated this yr – ‘Naatu Naatu’ – was really filmed on the Mariinskyi Palace, the official residence of the President of Ukraine, when the pandemic held the world in its grip, with international locations imposing lockdowns and journey restrictions.

Director SS Rajamouli, composer Keeravani and choreographer Prem Rakshit is likely to be the lads related to this superhit monitor, however its filming wouldn’t have been attainable with out ‘Location’ Ramji Natarajan. A widely known location advisor to the movie trade, Chennai-based Ramji – with over 30 years of expertise – was the particular person entrusted with the duty of discovering a great location to shoot this now-iconic tune.

“This was the second time Rajamouli was attempting to create India exterior India,” recalled Ramji, throughout a latest lecture organised by the Chennai Worldwide Centre on the Madras College of Economics, “We had earlier recreated the Himalayas at Bulgaria for Baahubali. And now, for RRR, we needed to re-create a British ball taking place within the Delhi of the 1920s elsewhere!”

Ramji Natarajan with director SS Rajamouli

Ramji Natarajan with director SS Rajamouli
| Picture Credit score:
Particular Association

It wasn’t simple, as a result of the makers not solely wished a location that would slot in with the price range, but additionally one to which they may journey to throughout the peak of the pandemic. “We couldn’t movie in England, as a result of it was closed for journey. We needed to find a typical nation to movie this tune, and zeroed in on Ukraine.” Fortunately, the RRR forged had US visas, and the principles then permitted journey by means of Frankfurt. Recalled Ramji, “The Bombay airport was so eerie; there was only one flight taking off.”

The group needed to take eight COVID-19 exams at numerous levels throughout their journey. They’d scouted for 3 areas however the one Rajamouli gave a go-ahead for occurred to be the Mariinskyi Palace, the official residence of the President of Ukraine. “Fortunately, throughout my earlier travels to Kiev, I occurred to be acquainted with its Mayor, Vitali Klitschko, who is definitely a former heavyweight boxing champion. He promised to assist us, and fortunately, there have been no official visits to President Zelenskyy throughout that window of 15 days that we needed to shoot.”

Although permissions have been finished, Rajamouli was nonetheless not happy, and handed over a wish-list to Ramji. He wished 100 skilled dancers, which Ramji organised by means of the Kyiv Ballet. “He additionally wished 100 Indian extras to behave as automobile drivers and bearers, which was going to be a problem to organise. Then, I all of the sudden remembered that I had met a couple of Indians on the airport, who have been really medical college students from Tamil Nadu, and referred to as considered one of them.”

Rajinikanth and Ramji on the sets of ‘Enthiran’

Rajinikanth and Ramji on the units of ‘Enthiran’
| Picture Credit score:
Particular Association

In a couple of hours, 300 Indians confirmed up, desirous to star in Rajamouli’s function. “Being a stickler for element, he (Rajamouli) additionally wished 20 classic vehicles, a grand piano weighing greater than a ton and a 50-piece orchestra, for which we roped in members of the Kyiv Philharmonic. “All of them turned up of their coattails and tuxedos and appeared grand,” remembers Ramji.

Issues fell in place shortly for ‘Naatu Naatu’, which had greater than 500 folks on the units, and one other 500 for back-up, together with manufacturing and catering. “Rajamouli himself commented that he wouldn’t have gotten this degree of perfection even when he had shot this for a month in India. Clearly, whereas filming, we had no concept that it will go on to fetch world acclaim and win an Oscar,” says Ramji, who has additionally labored intently with administrators Shankar (Rajinikanth’s Enthiran and Vikram’s I), Atlee (Vijay’s Mersal), Rohit Shetty, amongst others, and can also be one of many pioneers in taking movie crews to Switzerland for shoots. “I’ve 17 passport books and have travelled to over 140 international locations in the midst of my work. My expertise is my greatest asset.”

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