The Times of India A Day in the Life of Chennai advertisement won the historic first Cannes Golden Lion for a film from India. It was produced by Good Morning films (www.goodmorningfilms.com)
The main crew that set out to shoot this film was not unlike a task force from the UN. UP-ite, Bengali, Punjabi, Parsi, Malayalee, Hyderabadi, Englishman from Australia and Germany and of course Tamilians of Chennai all comprised the backgrounds of the chief technicians of this film.
Jason West (of Rock on fame) was entrusted with shooting the Times Of India film and the music was produced by Vijay Anthony and sung by the renowned female folk singer Chinnaponnu.
The location used was Kasimedu - Chennais Dharavi, Dongri and Kamatipura all rolled into one. Surprisingly this underbelly of Chennai proved to be not only the most exciting but also the most cooperative and accommodating for our shoot.
The cutouts from the ad ranged from 12 to 50 feet! With the monstrous size of 50 feet also came the nightmarish logistics that were minor issues compared to the fact that all cut outs (except those of the ruling party) were banned from being put up in the city of Chennai! Some swift maneuvering so in some cases, we had to just had to sneak in, get our shots and get out without disrupting normal activity and attract unwanted attention!
The official permission letter for shooting on the various public locations across Chennai reached us only on Day 2 of the shoot and that too with allotted time slots which were the complete opposite of what was requested in the shooting plan submitted to the cops!
Brilliant maneuvering by the production team and some kamikaze shooting techniques adapted by director Bob and DOP Jason resulted in some of the memorable shots and moments of the film.