Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 12 November 2019

15 exclusive behind-the-scenes photos from the set of 'Saaho' in Abu Dhabi

Action director Kenny Bates has shared images from the UAE shoot, where the climax chase scene was filmed

Our reviewer called Saaho a "breathtaking blockbuster" that's all about action.

Thus, action director Kenny Bates was a key part of the crew, with a lot of the big action scenes shot over 45 days in Abu Dhabi.

The Hollywood-to-Bollywood stunt expert, who worked on Armageddon and Pearl Harbour, has shared exclusive photos with The National, showing how some of the scenes were filmed.

"Between June 2016 to May 2019, there were around 300 days of shooting of the main unit, so we prepped accordingly ... but in the end we crossed every bridge as we came to it, and had to solve each problem in real time in order to get the shots."

He told us that Saaho's main star, Prabhas, was "very focused and extremely committed and helpful in every way" throughout the film's long incubation period.

On shooting in Abu Dhabi, Bates said he was most proud of how people worked so well together. "Bringing an international crew to a foreign country was a huge challenge, you have to understand that 80 per cent of the crew was Indian, another 15 per cent was our mobile Hollywood team with A-list international action team members, and there was also a crew from the UAE that helped to make it all happen.

"That is what we are most proud of, how the teams worked together. We were not given the liberty of a $200 million (Dh734 million) budget, so we had to make do with what we had and trust in the smooth co-operation and efficiency of the Saaho crew."

As Prabhas told us last year, the need for multiple takes was even greater than usual on Saaho, as the movie was shooting concurrently in three languages – Telugu, Tamil and Hindi, meaning that even a perfect scene would require at least three takes, one in each language.

“It was very hard shooting a trilingual film,” Prabhas, who has previously mostly shot Telugu films, admitted. “Not just for the actors, but for the technicians and directors too. You get that moment and it’s like ‘Yes, good, OK, that’s a wrap.’ Then it’s ‘right – now do it in Hindi.’ It was a big challenge.”

Updated: September 1, 2019 05:26 PM

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