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The lesson “Project Tiger” is written by Satyajith Ray, who was an Indian filmmaker, fiction writer, publisher, illustrator, calligrapher, music composer and film critic as well. The lesson describes that how Satyajith wished to make a movie with a trained tiger. Shooting a movie with a tiger was not an easy task for him as he had to deal with a lot of problems in his film “Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne”. To shoot a scene showing the encounter of a tiger with the heroes ,Goopy and Bagha, Satyajith got a trained tiger with its trainer, Mr. Thorat from the Bharat Circus Company.
The unsuccessful shoot
They decided to shoot the scene in a bamboo grove in a village called Notun Gram, and Mr. Thorat and his team reached there with two tigers. There they found a suitable bamboo grove to shoot the first meeting between Goopy , Bagha and the tiger. Thorat came to the location with the tiger. There were some 25 people after taking took permission to watch the shooting. When the cover of the cage was removed, people saw two well-fed and strong tigers. Thorat said that he brought two because if one failed, the other could be used for the shot.
They put a tiger-skin collar around the tiger’s neck and tied one end of a thin- but-strong wire to this collar and the other end to an iron rod fixed to the ground. Mr. Thorat opened the cage and called out to the tiger, who ferociously jumped out of the cage and charged at the audience.
The trainer Mr. Thorat could not bring it under his control, but it calmed down after a while. They took the required shots, but later found that the camera had failed to work, and the shots were too dark.
The final shoot
They had to reshoot the scenes again in a village called Boral, near Calcutta. The lorry once again came with Thorat, the tiger, the steel wire, the special collar and the rod. The whole village came to see the shooting. The villagers were warned to keep themselves at least 70 feet away from the scene of shooting.
The shooting began and Thorat opened the door of the cage. The tiger came out with a loud roar, and charged straight at the villagers. The crowd, some 150 people, melted away as if by magic. After that the tiger calmed down like an obedient child and walked over to the spot that was chosen, paced about as it was required to do, and then went back to its trainer. Ray and his men took all the required shots. This time the camera also worked well, and all the shots were perfect.