Time is flying! I cannot believe that it’s nearly the middle of June – Scotty and I have been busy busy busy but not having lots of exciting adventures. We’re just busy with work, work, and more work. Things here in Edinburgh are in a bit of flux as we’re losing quite a few people from our group of friends. It’s hard to believe that some of our friends are finishing up their studies and returning home. These past three years have really flown by and now we’ve been trying to soak up time with these friends.
To update you on a few interesting things – Bollywood came to Edinburgh and New College became the Royal Academy of Dance. That’s right – scenes from a Bollywood film were being shot in the New College courtyard over the weekend. I was really hoping for a song and dance routine ’cause how fantastic would it be to see one of those over-the-top Bollywood musical scenes being shot? There wasn’t anything quite that exciting but Scotty, Amanda and I decided to check it out. The handlers were not allowing anyone to take photos, so we took full advantage of Scotty’s student key card and were able to get some behind-the-scenes shots.
It was really fun to watch all of the hurrying, scurrying, and fussing. They shot the simplest scenes over and over and over again. And I think that what I learned was that there really isn’t much action. Mostly lost of standing around. Some shouting by a frustrated director and lots of shouting at the crowds by vigilant handlers. We saw the main actors, Shahid Kapoor and Sonam Kapoor along with the director Pankaj Kapoor. Apparently Shahid is Pankaj’s son. And Sonam is the daughter of the guy who played the host of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” in “Slumdog Millionaire”. There were some other familial relationships that I wasn’t quite able to figure out. Here’s the picture I was able to snap of Shahid, apparently a HUGE Bollywood star.
I didn’t get a picture of Sonam but we saw her getting her hair done and makeup touched up between takes of a very simple scene. The shot that they were shooting basically involved her walking through the gate into New College. For something that simple they had to do multiple takes (like 10), retouch her hair and makeup between each one, provide a fur wrap for her because she was cold. There was a crowd of people constantly buzzing around her, touching her, brushing her, primping her. It was pretty ridiculous. But it was a lot of fun to see all of this taking place. If any of my future children want to be actors I’m going to make sure they have to hang out on a shoot like this for several hours – or maybe a day or two. If, after all of that, he still wants to go into this line of work, alright but I do think he should be warned about the monotony of it all. Thanks to Scotty’s relationship with Robert, the holder of the keys at New College, we were able to walk right through the sets and see everything up close and personal. The flowers alone cost £8-10,000 and were just left outside the College afterwards. It’s pretty amazing to think about the investment that takes place when you decided to set parts of a film in a foreign country – the air travel, on sight production costs, all the people involved. Makes you wonder if it would just be easier to build a set. Of course, I don’t know anything about all of that but I was glad that they decided to film over here and that I got to see it. For those of you who are interested, the film is called Mausam and will be released some time next year.