Hathapayi is India’s first original Mixed Martial arts movie made by 10 non-filmi people from different top professions.
All of them are Black belts, united with a common goal of redeeming the dignity of Martial Arts on the silver screen.
Unable to finance a commercial release, We held a single day single show release on Valentines day at liberty theatre that saw phenomenal audience resulting in a mob frenzy of over 4000 cine-goers requiring intervention of Azad Nagar Police station.
The movie is available for release by financers, investors or gamblers who believe that one card or a roll of a die can turn the tables
Hathapayi was made by a team of 10 members, under the Rao Couple, Indiaís foremost combat authority. The Rao couple have pioneered the modernization of Close Quarter Battle training for the Indian armed forces & have trained 15000 commandos from every elite special force in India. Major Rao was conferred with the rare Presidents Rank Award along with MS Dhoni and Abhinav Bindra.
Fed up of the unrealistic action choreography on the silver screen worldwide, the Rao couple wanted to pioneer reality action and to educate the public. Raos hand picked 10 Black Belts who were highly successful professionals from different walks of life (Doctors, CEO, Engineers, Chartered Accountants, Corporate Executives) who agreed to keep their jobs aside for 2 months & to work without remuneration towards making of Indias first Mixed Martial Arts movie.
Knowing nothing about film making the team started studying everything from scratch. The movie was named Hathapay or The Brawl
A STORY was scripted by India’s war epic Mahabharata where the leading lady would be tormented. Many of the DIALOGUES were written during the shoot. The LEGAL paperwork, contracts and copyright issues were handled indigenously. An inexpensive handheld full HD CAMERA was finalized to do away with trolleys, jimmy jibs and tracks allowing the cameraman to assume various postures and angles. Our own combat academies, farmhouses and residences were selected as LOCATIONs with preference to vivid colors. The shooting was done using broad daylight to do away with artificial LIGHTING.
Live AUDIO was used to do away with cumbersome process of DUBBING and hence silent locations were selected where the sounds of nature like the chirping of crickets and the whooshing of the wind could be clearly perceived. The debut Direction by major Rao was effortless since professional martial artists were playing combatants. Dr. Seemaís hobby of playing MUSIC on keyboard was fused with bathroom singers form the group to produce the sound track. LYRICS were penned impromptu using fighter lingo and slang and SOUND RECORDING was done in a large quiet bathroom. The item number was recrafted from video clippings of Dr. Seemaís birthday and the item song was synced to the previously shot dance sequences. Sound tracks were based on different Genres of music like rock and roll, salsa, country & rock ballad.
The POST PRODUCTION was done by the team members themselves using Windows OS and non-traditional software. The Rao Couple personally edited over 4 hours of footage to concise it into under 2 hours. Color corrections were done using visual sensing on a laptop and the audio equalization was done manually by using the ears. Unlike most commercial movies, the audio was consistent in every scene. The DI was done on the laptop within a day. The VFX also was done using the skills of a actor team member. An entire song was cartoonized as a radical innovation. Our friends from overseas offered TECHNICAL HELP in VFX, Music & Action coordination.
The ACTION CHOREOGRAPHY featured the Blackbelt actors going all out and hitting each other full contact. The sequences were shot in a single take, single camera & no cuts. Editing was not used to make up for the lack of combat capabilities. Unconventional audio sound effects were used to depict the punch and the kicks.
The entire BUDGET was under a lac including purchase of camera, costumes, softwares & keyboard. The script, the title, the music were processed for COPYRIGHT protection. The CENSOR certificate was obtained within a week without any agent. A TEST RELEASE was then done by booking Liberty cinema for a single show with 1200 seating capacity. TRAILERS were made by our team within a day. We were straddled with the problem of no funds for marketing. A novel method of DOOR TO DOOR marketing was used by holding women empowerment workshops at various colleges to showcase the movie. The result was unbelievable. More than 5000 spectators turned up for the show resulting in Mob frenzy outside Liberty theater. Police had to be called to dispense the agitated crowd who couldnít procure the tickets. TIME DURATION for the movie was about 6 months that included 2 weeks to procure the hardware and resources. Followed by 4 weeks to complete the shoot. However, it took about 4 months to do the post production by the novice team. Additional 6 months for correction, selection, training and grooming were required.
Today Hathapayi is testimony to the efforts of a 12 member team from unrelated fields who believe that they could change the future of action choreography by doing the impossible task of making a COMMERCIAL MOVIE. We managed to get a U certificate from the censor board to enable it to be viewed by a larger audience including kids.
Today Hathapayi stands as an unreleased independent movie due to lack of industry know-how, networking & lack of funds by team members. The movie is futuristic in concept and can be released anytime. It has won the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Festival Jury award for 2015. The Raos are happy with the phenomenal success of their single show preview and believe that sometime, someday in the future Hathapayi will be released and will cross the 100 Crore mark. We are open to team up with anyone who wishes to invest in the venture. We are looking for that one man who will see the potential of a small investment raking millions & make a revolution in fight movie making.
Prospective financers may view the movie on a private channel at Vimeo. For password, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Ready for Release – Investors & Financiers Welcome Hathapayi – Enter the MMA, was test released at the 1200 seater Liberty Cinema to measure commercial viability. Despite the ICC World Cup and PM Modi’s visit, the entire theatre was thronged by crowds trying to get a seat. Even after the management declared a HouseFull, the crowd refused to disperse attempting to barge in to watch the film. Police arrived on site to maintain peace and ensure the crowds were dispersed without issue. The audience was multi-faceted with youth, families and couples of all ages eager to watch the film.
Dr. Seema MBA, Md, PhD is India’s first & only Woman Commando trainer. She is a specialist in Close Quarter battle training. Seema was also the first woman to be appointed approved Resource by Govt of India, Home Ministry. She has trained Indian Army, Special forces, Paracommandos, Marine commandos, Air force Garuds, Black cats NSG, Commando wing, Paramilitary & Police forces of 16 States for 20 years without compensation as selfless service to Nation. She has authored the first Encyclopedia of Close Quarter battle training in the world found in Libraries of FBI, INTERPOL & SWAT all over the world. She is married to Honorary Major Deepak Rao, Indian Pioneer of modern Close Quarter Battle training, the 3rd Indian to receive Presidents Rank Award with Dhoni & Bindra in Nov 2011. Seema is receipient of World Peace Award, US Presidents Volunteer Service Award, 3 Army Chief Citations, Home Ministers Citation, 1000 felicitations from Indian govt. Seema Rao has diverse RECREATIONS, She is a Deep Sea diver, a Combat Shooting Instructor, a 6th Deg Blackbelt, & one of 5 female Instructors in the world on Bruce Lees martial art – Jeet Kune Do, a Medalist Mountaineer. She was also a finalist for Mrs India World beauty paegent a few years ago. Dr. Seema Rao, was featured as woman of substance by India Today, Society, Savvy, Femina, New Woman, National newspapers and TV media.