Thursday, September 14, 2006

From the sets of Qatra Qatra Jeene Do

It was an amazing experience to say the least. To act in the film Qatra Qatra Jeene Do. The first shot was at Film City. The shot was supposed to be a 'dream sequence' in the film. My co-actor was Abeer Goswami who quit his corporate career to pursue his dreams of being an actor. Abeer is a regular in the TV serials. Good luck to you Abeer - more power to people who chase their dreams.

Films is all about precision. There is a Costume Coordinator whose job is to ensure that the clothes follow the chronological continuity in the film. So if the shot is about the character coming in to the office in the morning, the shirt should look appropriately crisp and ironed. If the
shot shows the character wearing the same shirt in the evening it should be creased and "fatigued". Hmmm...

I was very impressed with Irrfan's no nonsense approach to acting. When he comes to the set, he knows the lines for the entire shot. I would see him getting into elaborate discussions with Kaushik about the character and what was the key aspect of the character a particular scene was supposed to convey while the shot was being composed. All what one heard about temperamental movie stars certainly did not apply to Irrfan (why does he spell his name with RR?). Must be some numerologist's suggestion. Film folks are superstitious to say the least.

Kaushik has been agonizing over the title of the film. For a long time the title was "Buddhi" (the word for brain in Hindi) . Then someone put a spanner in the wheel by saying when written in English it could be mistaken as the word meaning old woman. So the suggestion was to change the spelling to "Budhdhi " or even "Budhhi Mera Naam" or "Mera Naam Budhhi". Someone suggested a one word title
"Sunoh" (meaning Listen). Another suggestion was "Laxman Rekha". That sounded too much like the name of a popular brand of pest repellants. Naah. So finally the name that appeared least controversial and "numerologically appropriate" was Qatra Qatra Jeene Do. That's Barun-da (Barun Mukherjee who had done the photography for the film Baghbaan. He gets a special lunch box from home with all kinds of Bengali delicacies packed in. I sampled some so I know.

After shooting the scenes one has to go back to the sound studio to dub the lines so that the soundtrack
is "clean" and does not have the sounds of the location where it was shot. Shobana (Full name Shobana Chandrakumaran Pillai) - a veteran of 150 films in five languages, was also dubbing her lines the day I had time booked at the studio. She plays the lead in this film and she was in the studio trying to read Hindi dialogues of the film written in Roman script. That is tough work. To be able to hear the track that has been recorded on the set and to lip sync the same dialogue while keeping the emotion consistent with the film's story and say the words within the same duration as they appear in the film is a challenge. Then for someone who does not speak the language it becomes a bigger hurdle. If I had to dub in Malayalam (or Tamil/ Telugu/ Kannada for that matter) I would have failed miserably for sure.


sahil said...

abhijeetji, tussi bollywood pahuch gaye, bataya nahi. bst of luk.

sahil said...

wud b great to see ur histronics. irrfan had always been my fav, since his zee tv days. but october is here, where is the movie?