Shooting in Japan was a schedule full of surprises for the cast and crew of Youngistaan. Key portions of the film were shot in the country, since Jackky Bhagnani’s character Abhimanyu Kaul and Kayoze Irani’s character of a game developer are shown to be initially working in Japan and life comes to a full circle when Jackky goes back to Japan as the Prime Minister of India to deliver a speech.
Director Syed Ahmad Afzal confessed that although shooting was great fun, the process of getting permissions sorted was a tough task. “We did some recce and locked the required locations, which included the historic Kyoto International Conference Centre (KICC), where the United Nations General Assembly took place. But since the country is extremely disciplined, we were told that the shooting permissions had to be taken two months in advance. We kept trying our best to convince the officials and finally, they gave us the nod,” stated Afzal adding that it was producer Vashu Bhagnani who took a lot of efforts to see that the unit got the desired location and continued shooting smoothly.
Filming a crucial sequence at KICC was a big honour for the team. Although the United Nations does not allow films to be shot there, producer Bhagnani considers himself lucky to have got this opportunity. “The conference centre is usually booked years in advance, but due to God’s grace, we got the necessary permissions in just two days. While the charges to get this venue were extremely nominal, it was a big thing for the entire team. It is not everyday that you see such an important structure in a Bollywood film,” stated Vashu Bhagnani.
Breaking the barrier
Language barrier was a major problem that the team battled with in Japan, since no one in the cast or crew understood Japanese. “Imagine asking for water and not getting it! We used to go without water for hours while working. We ultimately realised that we had to say H2O instead of water. That’s when things got normal,” stated Jackky, who added that hiring a translator wasn’t a valid option either, since most of their time was spent in getting the crew in place and completing the location permission formalities. “As the crew taken from India was very small, we hired local workers for departments like lighting, background and prop assistance among others,” mentioned Afzal.
Produced by MSM Motion Pictures and Puja Films,