When i start out for a shoot or a reccee, the mood is upbeat. Add rain or the onset of monsoon - the promise of a good time to be had. I have tired of Mumbai locations as far as advertising films are concerned. Barring a Dabur in Mukesh Mills, I have shot most commercials out of Mumbai in the past few years.
Had the opportunity to shoot a small Cibaca relaunch film in Pune. I was lucky to have my favorite team in place.
My Favorite Crew
To begin with, Ravi Yadav, the DOP.
He was free from his myriad assignments after RACE, and tagged along happily. It's such a pleasure to work with this simple, unfussy, speedy craftsman who understands the brief in a jiffy.
His team works like invisible silent men; one hardly hears a shout or a bad word from any of them. Efficiency to the hilt.
It has been nearly a decade that i have worked with him, and not once has the man put me down.
He always has a kind word for the assistant directors, a joke or two for the art direction team, and great rapport with the production.
Secondly, my support system of the last 3 years, Dilip More, the Art Director.
Not many people know that Dilip has constructed the set for the goa fest two years in succession. Neither do they know that Dilip has been consistently working with Tarsem on his India shoots.
People do know that he is the only art director in Mumbai who treats his assistants like friends...Check out his chief Mahesh Salgaoncar and his idiosyncrasies. All photos by Dilip himself.
Dilip and Mahesh are from JJ school of arts.
Mahesh also has a striking resemblance to Dilip Acharya, my Production Manager.
To clinch the team was my best assistant director to date, Divya Rao.
Here is an example of art direction team's spirited dare devilry.
This was Divya's fourth film with us, and Ms. Dependability was all over the place, with her beaming persona.
The film was not difficult. But the approach I had taken was a bit labored. I was doing a Colgate film for the first time. The sensitive-sensible creative Sneha Nihalani had crafted a charming film for the brand. However, the pan-india-small-town-but-not-rural-not-down-market look, feel, and tone was a grey area for everyone. There were concerns galore whether the client will buy in to the look-'why don't you just shoot it in mumbai', etc. fears and apprehensions.
I wanted the client to get a feel of the India outside of Mumbai - our sensitivities have got smudged by the Film-Industry-recreations-of-India-within-Mumbai. The real India is out there, a few hundred kilometers away.
Coincidences Cibaca is lal-red, and on the day of the shoot, the entire art direction team accidentally wore red.
A musical Discovery
The films chief Harish Mishra, suggested a new music director, Ajit Varman. I met the man and was floored. I was sitting across this great composer who has given music to vijeta, saransh, and a load of other films. His compositions are being copied to date, and the man is wonderfully brimming with new music.
In less than 2 months, i have done four TVCs with this great man.
Took a while for the client to buy in to his indigenous clutter breaking tune. So we rerecorded with another music director duo. Finally, the client saw reason.
By then they offered me yet another colgate film.
For this one i had the perfect location fit in kolhapur.
Kolhapur is a fun place. You get to stay in a palace, see varied sights and people that enrich your senses.