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Jaaved Jaaferi discusses shooting without a green screen in his new documentary, 20 Years of Jajantaram Mamantaram.


In 2003, Jaaved Jaaferi starred in the fantasy action comedy Jajantaram Mamantaram, a genre that was primarily associated with Hollywood superhero movies. Based on Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, the film revolves around Aditya who saves the tiny locals on a magical island from an evil giant called Jhamunda (Joy Fernandes).

Recently, in an interview with a leading news portal, Jaaved Jaaferi remarked on the shooting of the film.

He said that the entire film was very heavy on VFX and he had to shoot the entire thing in front of the blue screen. Back then, there were no green screens so the film was shot entirely on the blue screen. He mentioned that the difficult part of the shoot was that there were no people and for the cue, he had to speak his dialogues by looking at little matchsticks or wooden pieces.

He further explained the process and said, “If the film shows a dwarf sitting on my shoulder, I was talking to the matchstick placed on my shoulder. The only time I had an actor in front of me was during the climax, where I fought with Jhamunda. That’s because we both were of the same size.”

According to Jaaved, the film provided him with a lot of opportunities to grow as an actor because reacting without any movement or emotion was quite difficult. Aside from these challenges, he also seriously hurt himself during filming a sequence.

He shared that it was not during the iconic climax fight with Jhamunda but the injury occurred when he slipped off a box that he was standing on. He recounted that he tore his knees meniscus and that it took a lot of time to recover.

He further talked about his reaction to hearing the film’s script and stated that he was always fascinated by the idea of giving a desi twist to Gulliver’s Travels’ characters.

Recalling the time when Jajantaram Mamantaram was released, Jaaved said, “I remember theatre owners were on strike for around three weeks and because of that, we lost out on a lot of business. The film could have done much better otherwise.”

“But it still ended up becoming one of the most-watched children’s movies on TV later. Even today, when I stop at signals, kids who come to ask for money, recognise me as Aditya and excitedly shout ‘Areee Jhamunda…aree Aditya’. This is happening after 20 years so it definitely feels good,” he concluded.

Jajantaram Mamantaram is still one of the most popular films among children and is still considered iconic among millennials.