can come in handy in the future. “Bejoy Nambiar’s upcoming David, for instance, has a few scenes where cars bang into each other and topple over. In such cases, one can build a metal cage inside the car’s body, the way rally drivers do. This helps protect stunt performers and also retains the shape of the vehicles. These are then fixed in a garage,” explains Gulab.
Most car suppliers, therefore, have their own garages. Mehboob Khan recounts that for Chaalis Chaurasi, where the police van was in itself an important character, director Hriday Shetty had a set of specifications. “The van belonged to the police and was rented only for the shoot,” he says. Khan’s team brought it to the garage, modified it to include a platform in accordance to the shoot requirement and fixed a stand for a camera. Later, he repaired it to look the same as before.
The job of car suppliers and mechanics is doubled in most cases because most action directors prefer to have an identical back-up vehicle. “After the major sequences, it is, in fact, the back-up vehicle that comes back to the garage whereas the original is disposed off,” says action director Allan Amin, who had, at hand, nine Mini Coopers as opposed to just three that were shown in Abbas-Mustan’s Players early this year.
It is, therefore, crucial for car suppliers that they maintain a strong network of garage owners and car enthusiasts. This comes in handy when a film belongs to a particular period or has special requirements. “For Anand Rai’s Ranjhana, the scene needed to show a rally car speeding down a hillock, destroying huts along the way. Our supplier had to use his network to source two rally cars of the same make that the owners would be willing to part with,” recounts Gulab, adding, “It took some convincing and some reworking on them, but it was worth it.”