Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The first day of any film shoot is the most terrifying experience ever

Jalsa , Mumbai          Sept 12 ,  2011             Mon 10:00 PM
The first day of any film shoot is the most terrifying experience ever ..!! And i wonder if there are other colleagues of mine that face similar sentiment .. I am certain there are many !! Its such a peculiar feel .. I mean even though this is the 6th film with RGV, its never as though there is some comfort in that .. its always .. a fresh character, a new environment from the story point of view, a new set of assistants and crew .. fresh and new colleagues … and just no satisfaction in whatever is being done .. and by the end of the day, you come home destroyed with the thought of a most futile effort at the sets ..
So I have just sent an sms to my director friend … no … not to say that I do not wish to work in the project because I am not getting it right, but to tell him how we could possibly improve or redo or some such thing to ease off this horrid feel of incompetence …. so I actually did that and while I was writing this he has replied and … well … I shall have to wait for the film to release to be able to share or disclose what exactly he had to say .. but … this I must say .. that there is a new kind of technology that RGV is using in this film and its revolutionary …
There are no lights or cutters or filters or screens of reflectors … and … hold … there is no traditional camera either… yaaa .. its just natural lights whatever is available and … no DOP .. thats Director of Photography. Its just a bunch of guys holding digital 5D cameras, which really are normal still photography cameras, and they are being maneuvered randomly from different positions and angles by six or seven youngsters, moving about in as normal a manner as possible, without coming i the way of the artists as they perform… its .. what can I say .. a most unique methodology ..
I have always felt that … and this I can say for myself only .. whenever I have rehearsed in the solitary confines of my room or van, the results have been far far better than when the camera starts to roll.
Here .. today, in front of all these new cameras, the feel is as though you are not working for a camera per se, but almost in real time with a real situation .. I mean the feel is just unimaginable !! This is fascinating and some of the instant results that one gets to see in these situations is just incredible !!
So .. it is quite possible that a sense that prevails in normal shooting conditions, because it does not prevail here, is why I may be feeling despondent .. So, my director just tells me … And I have no answer for it but to believe him and move on .. !!!
But … and sorry to keep getting back to the shoot .. the feeling of this experience is quite quite remarkable. No typical instructions on set, no commands of ‘lights, start sound, camera, clap, action’ .. nothing. You just keep doing what you have to do, even while rehearsing and the cameras, almost unseen are recording all and in a couple of days shall be edited and put up before us to reckon whether what we did was just or not …
A new film a new character a new environment and … a new technology !!! I am blessed to have the opportunity to be alive and working when I can be at the other end of an invention, a trend that shall hopefully bring about a change in the way we work or have been working till date …
I fear I was too apprehensive when I started, but feel much the better now and indeed more hopeful than just lamenting the fact that I have gone horribly wrong …
Okkaaayyyy … so this is a new film and one in which I am doing a friendly appearance for some days and that shall be it … More on this as we proceed but suffice to say that todays first day was full of apprehension, but different …
The shoot was conducted in a studio, which must have been a part of an Industrial Estate, tucked away behind commercial structures and most unlike regular floors in a studio complex. It is a structure bang opposite what was once Mohan Studios, a most remarkable location where we spent most of our early years with Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Prakash Mehra on films like Anand, Parvana, Guddi, Chupke Chupke, Abhiman, NamakHaram, Mili, Alaap, Jurmana, Bemisal, Kalia, Muquaddar ka Sikander and gosh just an endless list of fantastic times with some of the most accomplished directors of our time. The great Bimal Roy shot most of his films at Mohan Studios … !!!
What a location … lost today to the concrete commercialisation of the city. It has now grown huge skyscrapers on and about it and has buried in its deep basements the dynamic artistry of great film makers and technicians and artists. What an end to such talented creativity ..!! The scourge of most artists and their genius the world over .. from time immemorial .. !!!
Good Night !
Amitabh Bachchan

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