Each shot planned to the last detail, says Cargo director Arati Kadav

Updated: Oct 08, 2019, 07:58 IST | Mohar Basu

As Vikrant's Cargo is set for festival premiere in Mumbai, the director Arati Kadav reveals how she shot sci-fi at 'one-millionth the budget of Gravity'!

Vikrant Massey
Vikrant Massey

By the very nature of their subjects, sci-fi films are often mounted on a big budget. However, the budgetary constraint did not deter director Arati Kadav from imagining Cargo, a sci-fi black comedy — featuring Vikrant Massey and Shweta Tripathi — built on an unlikely premise. "It is the story of a spaceship that comes close to Earth every morning and waits for dead people. The spaceship doubles up as an immigration office for the dead," she explains.

Cargo  fill Still
The spaceship designed for the film

While producer Anurag Kashyap and executive producer Vikramaditya Motwane saw promise in the spaceship designed for the film story, the challenge was to shoot the movie on the limited budget — "one millionth of Gravity," as Kadav puts it — they had. The first step was to develop a comprehensive storyboard. "Each shot was planned to the last detail. We also came up with solutions to make this world authentic in terms of techniques to show zero gravity. For the design of the spaceship, we took inspiration from the bio-mechanism of jelly fish," she says, adding that they faced logistical issues while shooting inside the mock spaceship. "Because it was relatively lightweight, it would shake when the crew walked around. So we recreated a part of the spaceship on ground for steady camerawork."

Gravity
A still from Gravity

Kadav beams that the film being chosen for the MAMI Spotlight section is a validation of her belief. "The idea was to take references from reality and movies, but make something ground up in a way that resonated with us culturally."

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