Phantom proves that Kabir Khan is the best action movie director we have. When asked about the challenges of shooting the action sequences in Phantom, he says,
“The film is has been shot all over the world right from Beirut, Canada, Chicago, Punjab and Kashmir.”
Beirut Action Sequence: While shooting in Beirut, director Kabir Khan was aware that shooting in these strife-torn locations would be a sensitive matter. The shooting was on a huge refugee camp created on the Syria- Lebanon border which was about half-an-hour’s drive from Lebanon which happens to be a Shia Muslim area. There were about 400 locals dressed as rebel soldiers and a movement of about 25 trucks and jeeps for the sequence. Being a massive set-up it attracted a lot of attention. They used real guns for this entire action sequence. The entire action sequence looked so real, that the army thought a real rebellious movement was going on.
Punjab sequence: The filmmakers created Pakistan in Malerkotla in Punjab. A entire Pakistani marketplace was created in Punjab, which they dressed it up with posters and flags etc. The entire action sequence was shot in the middle narrow busy and crowded lanes. This sequence had a lot of intensive car chases and crashes scenes, which does required a lot of perfection and at most care while shooting them. They had to go through a lot of permissions including the street shops as there were a lot of movement and security issues during the shot. Eventually everything went well and it turned out to be great schedule where everything ended up as it was planned.
Canada Sequence: As the director Kabir Khan had always maintained that he prefers real locations instead of relying on CGI (computer-generated imagery) because the actual backdrop adds more depth to his story. The entire crew flew down to Canada. There they did a high end real car chase sequences. It was an exciting schedule which involved cutting the edge sequence under the expert Action Director Garry who has directed a lot of movies before.
Kashmir sequence: Phantom was shot in north Kashmir ski resort of Gulmarg and later also shot in the south Kashmir’s Pahalgam hill station. They shot a huge blast sequence in the snows and the most difficult part was of the entire schedule was it was planned in the peak of winters when the entire valley was covered under a 10ft blanket of snow all around.
Logistically, shooting here was very difficult as everyday all the equipment’s had to be carried up and bought down at the end of the day but the enthusiasm and hard work of the locals was heart-warming.