Building the Ships | Making of Thugs Of Hindostan | Chapter 1 | Amitabh Bachchan | Aamir Khan


I started working
on this film in 2014. The joy behind the film was to try
and do this fantasy adventure. And the new thing in
it was action on the ships. It all sounded very grand
when I was hearing the sequences. I was always apprehensive. You know how are they
going to pull this thing off? So I kept asking them. I thought if we could bring the
ship portion organically in the film… …then we can show the audience
something new. With its share of challenges. But if we could pull this off,
it’ll be a lot of fun. There’s a lot of work in this film
on the ship. And to be honest,
I was concerned about that. Because it’s not something
we’ve been doing in India, in films. No one has ever shot
with the whole two life-size ships. So that was the biggest challenge,
like how we’re going to crack it. Let’s spend some time on that. As long as you know there’s
going to be some big ship. We consulted people who have been
working on films which have done ships. We’ve consulted people
who have been shipbuilders. We consulted engineers. We consulted everybody possible, who had a ship related to their name
in some way or the other. We did multiple recces.
We did all kind of research to do that. But also at some point, we thought that
the water element is something… …if we have it live, it’ll help us. At some point can you tell me what
the number is filling up that tank? The question was where to build
this tank? How to build it? How to fill it up with water? And in that, we realized there are
very few places in the world… …which have existing infrastructure
for something like this. And Malta was one of them. When we went there and we saw the
facility, and we saw the people… …and they had done this before. That’s when we sighed a sigh of relief. Yes, it can be done. Building the boats
was a challenge in itself. It was a big feat. We knew that we had
very little time. There’s a village in Malta and their
main profession is building ships. The carpentry team came from there.
It was still a challenge. Main deck, the forecastle deck in the
front. The steering deck at the back. The poop deck on top of the steering deck.
The lower deck below the main deck. We had to build it all. The wood would be burned first. Then it would be sanded to give it
that roughness from olden times. And then we’d clad that wood. Every piece of those
wooden pieces circular… …almost like a pulley
those are handmade. After that came the aging process…
the painter’s job. We had to lift the 105 ft ship,
and pull it on the side. There was nearly a kilometer distance
from where we made the ship… …and where you had to put it. So the process of building the ship
from the design to the final execution… …it was a process which lasted
longer than a year. There were teams… …production designing teams
from India and from Malta… …and they worked
in great synchronicity. Actually, you could say like Aamir Khan
and Amitabh Bachchan are the film’s stars… …the two ships in this film
are also the stars. But when you see the ship of that period
in actual size, with sails and everything… …it’s really massive. It’s a different
experience altogether. First, we think that one challenge
is done. We’ve got Malta. Next challenge is we’ve built
the ship. And now suddenly somebody asks…
Hang on, we’ll wait tomorrow morning. Once the tank is full, we’ll know
whether the ship is floating or not. Just casually I asked somebody,
“What is the weight”? And they said, “It’s 200,000 ton of ship”.
It’s a serious number. Imagine, two boats of that magnitude. Tons and tons of material. You’re filling the tank, bit by bit. And then all of a sudden
it starts moving. That is an experience, no matter
how much your experience is… …it’s always a treat. Yeah, it’s an outstanding
moment for all of us. The first ship is floating now. The boat will remain
as a memorial for Thugs. I was quite fascinated to know that
they actually built two huge ships… …which could actually sail the sea
if you wanted them to. So there were actual real ships
that they built. It was just amazing to see these
massive ships constructed. I love the ships. I think the production design… …and the people in Malta who’ve
built this have done a fantastic job. They’re there for you to see. I hope
the audience likes it as much as I do.

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