It has become a common practice in Telugu films to go abroad for at least one song shoot. And interestingly, most of the songs feature foreigners dancing along with the lead pair!
Many filmmakers feel that it is easy to shoot a song abroad rather than on a domestic studio set, especially since the foreign extras dance like professionals and completely match their footwork to the beats of the song.
“They aren’t specially trained. When we go abroad, there are co-ordinators in every country and we just contact them to get these men and women,” says producer Dil Raju, who recently returned from one such trip. Incidentally, his film MCA: Middle Class Abbayi has two songs shot in Europe. “There is no need to train them. The choreographer just teaches them how to dance and they follow the steps,” he says about the foreign dancers.
On why filmmakers prefer to go abroad for the songs, Dil Raju says, “Having foreign dancers in the song gives a fresh look to the film.”
Also, the beautiful locations and the people provide a good visual feast for the audience.” Adds producer Anil Sunkara, “If we want to shoot the same song in Hyderabad, we have to erect a big set and hire extra artistes. The cost is almost similar.” Interestingly, each person who participates in the dances can get an amount of $200 a day.
“The cost is almost similar to what we would pay here. But here, we have to put in a lot of extra efforts like erecting a special set for which you need manpower. Also, more people are usually hired for the top actors who take a few extra days, whereas for a small actor, only a few people are hired and a song can be completed in two to three days. Big actors are almost always accompanied by extra team members. When you go abroad, however, you travel with a limited team and can thus complete the songs on time,” explains Dil Raju, adding that the foreign artistes are paid directly by the coordinators.
“We prefer to shoot a few songs in foreign locales as it offers the audience a visual treat. Also, in most places abroad, you can shoot the song in peace as there aren’t many people around, whereas in India, you can’t shoot a song in an outdoor location because too many people come to see the shoot and cause a lot of disturbance,” says director Sukumar....