Indian TV Soaps: Looking beyond the shores!

By HT

Mumbai, April 29 -- Indian television serials are usually characterised by palatial sets with lavish decor. But once in a while, the audiences get to see outdoor scenes, shot within the country or in some foreign locale. With cut-throat competition among channels, they attempt to outdo each other through such ventures.

Budget is the most important requisite for such projects and since TV channels have higher budgets these days, they can afford to shell out some extra amount to shoot on foreign shores.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali's TV show Saraswatichandra launched with an impressive skyline of Dubai. Even a major portion of the recently launched show, Sanskaar, was shot in cities like New York and New Jersey. Not to forget, the team of the popular TV show, Bade Achhe Lagte Hain, also ventured foreign lands, when Ram and Priya Kapoor were honeymooning in Australia and when the couple met in Dubai after the show took a five year leap.

Ekta Kapoor was perhaps the first to take the cast of her much adored endeavour, Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, to Switzerland and later Kahaani Ghar Ghar Kii to Australia. Diya Aur Baati Hum's Singapore sojourn was perhaps the most interesting one, as the story shifted to the country for a cooking competition. In Kaisa Yeh Ishq Hai, Singapore will be used to depict the diversity between the two countries and the people.

A location is essentially a ploy to give audiences a change, but the ulterior motive is to gain better TRPs. Foreign locales might be shown for a considerable number of episodes, but the actual shoot on foreign lands doesn't last for long. Generally, the cast retreats to their Indian studios within a week or so, and the editors continue to fuse the new scenes shot at the studio with the stock shots from the foreign country.

While the usual budget per episode ranges from R6 to R10 lakh, foreign ventures double the costs. This is why actors end up shooting for longer hours for such episodes than the usual domestic shoots. Though the trend is refreshing for the viewers, it's taxing for the cast at the same time.

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