We have a scoop about Galla Ashok’s debut film Hero, which was in news for its premise recently. Apparently an action episode of the film was shot on a famous vintage train at the Wadi Rum Valley in Jordan. And what’s more, it is reportedly the first Indian film to be shot on a vintage train. Director Sriram Adittya says he had wanted to shoot the episode on a vintage train ever since he envisioned the action sequence while penning the script.
“We were looking for a vintage-like train and searched several countries, before we finally found what we wanted in Jordon. Surprisingly, the train was exactly as I had imagined,” shares the director.
Apparently, the team went to Jordan during March, when the second wave of the pandemic was at its peak, and shot a cowboy action episode there.
Having identified the train, the unit focussed on getting the required shooting permissions. From Dubai, the crew went to Amman and from there drove four hours to Wadi Rum Valley.
The vintage train, which dates back over 100 years, is now being used for tourism purposes, and the makers were lucky to get permission to shoot during a pandemic. The 32-member team had to undergo Covid-19 tests at various places, and this and the exhaustive paperwork required were time-consuming, says the director, but feels it was all worth the effort.
“We shot a high-octane cowboy action episode for three days near the train at the Wadi Rum Valley. In fact, Ashok also shot on the moving train without a body double,” the director says. “This is a unique cowboy action episode. The fact that the train is a heritage one with a unique look makes the episode even more worthwhile,” he explains, adding, “We were shooting a cowboy episode after several years, and the crew was naturally excited.”
Although Wadi Rum is a tourist hotspot, due to the pandemic the visitor footfalls were on the lower side. But adjusting to the weather was difficult for the crew.
“Since it is a valley surrounded by sandstone and granite, we thought it would be hot and humid, but much to our surprise, it was freezing,” says Sriram.
“One of the challenges was getting used to temperature fluctuations. Most of the time it was chilly — even two degrees — so all crew members had to wear three layers of protective clothes. While it was cold till the afternoon, it got very hot during the evenings,” Sriram shares, adding that on the last day of the shoot there was a sandstorm too. “We couldn’t shoot in the desert storm and there was a delay of one hour,” he says. “The episode will be one of the highlights of the film,” reveals the director, who was full of praise for Ashok for his dedication.