LIGHTS, CAMERA, PARKOUR
Chetan Ramsai d’Souza is the co-founder of a parkour ensemble called Chaos Faktory. This month, he marks the release of the third film to feature some of his work, Operation Alamelamma
Chetan Ramsai d’Souza’s talent hits the silver screen again
Q. How did you break into films? A.
After earning a black belt in karate, I came across a YouTube video about parkour in 2007. We then began putting up videos of our own work. After one of our own films, Wrong Moves, got 1,900,000 views, I got a call from Kannada film director Pawan Kumar, in 2015, asking that we choreograph a few stunt scenes for the film U-turn.
Q. What’s the difference between choreographing a stunt and performing a move yourself?
A stunt scene in a film usually does not have a long running sequence. On the other hand, while performing parkour, one aims to allow the body to move freely over obstacles, buildings and objects.
Q. Have you brought new thinking to the stunt business?
When I took up stunt choreography, I made sure to present aspects like a storyboard of the stunt. I also pre-visualised and at times pre-shot the sequences. This is unheard of in Indian cinema. My current goal is to help revolutionise the stunt and fight choreography industry.
Q. Have you gotten any grief for commercialising the sport? A.
Yes, there are some parkour athletes who disagree with my decision to showcase the sport or do some flips and moves in mainstream cinema and commercials. I don’t understand why anyone should be bothered by the fact that I am using my talents and skills to make money and also to popularise the sport among masses.