Bollywood in Edinburgh

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.

The entrance to New College - looking a bit different from normal.

The director, Pankaj Kapoor's, chair.

This guy was not impressed that I took his picture.

New College is now the Royal Academy of Dance

The courtyard now has a flower market and a fountain.

Detail of the sign - they did a really good job of making it blend in and look authentic.

John Knox watching over it all!

And Action!

Extras standing around and waiting.

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.

Shaheed is the one eating the banana...I don't think he liked me taking his picture.

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.

About Rebecca

Hi! After five years in Europe, I'm adjusting to life back in the US. I use this blog to record my adventures, post photos, organize recipes, and post about things that interest me.
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22 Responses to Bollywood in Edinburgh

  1. Great insider shots 🙂 I spoke with the woman who supplies the horses in King Stables Road and she said there was a lot of waiting about as the director was waiting for some sunshine before he shot! He might still be waiting…………….

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  3. S. says:

    WOW! thanks for sharing your experience. I am a huge huge fan of Sonam (wish you got some pics of her…but still wonderful to read). Btw Pankaj is actually Shahid’s father. Sonam is the daughter of Anil Kapoor (who played the host of who wants to be a millonaire in Slumdog Millonaire).

    Thanks again =)

    • S. says:

      and if you don’t mind, can you describe what Sonam was wearing? thank you!

    • Rebecca says:

      Thanks for the comment and correction. I wish I was able to get a picture of Sonam too but she was too surrounded! I have made the correction in the entry – and thanks for stopping by!

      • Bettina says:

        Hello Rebecca, thank you for the shots and the info. I am a huge fan of Shahid and have watched all his movies so far…I work in Madrid but travel to India often. I was considering the crazy idea of flying over to Edinburgh to watch the production of Mausam…I would appreciate it very much if you would know a way to find out how long more they will be filming in Edinburgh and where? I have to buy the airplane ticket and look for a hotel but I am worried they might be gone by the time I get there…Do you know if afterwards they will continue filming in London? Thank you so much for your help! It is crazy I know…Bettina

  4. Edinfan says:

    Actually, Shahid is Pankaj’s son. Sonam Kapoor is the daughter of the famous ’80s and ’90s Bollywood actor, Anil Kapoor. 🙂 Thank you for the exclusives.

    • Rebecca says:

      Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate you helping me get the characters sorted – it was confusing. I think I have the correct information up there now. Thanks again.

  5. Magdalena says:

    Great, great post! Thanks a million for sharing, much appreciated 🙂

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  7. Tas says:

    Just a correction: Sonam is NOT Pankaj’s daughter. The actor – Shahid is his son, but Sonam is the daughter of Anil Kapoor who was the gameshow host in Slumdog

  8. asmita says:

    pics r nice.but a mistake is there in d article.sonam kapoor is not d daughter of pankaj kapur, rather shahid kapur is pankj kapur’s son.

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  10. crazyie says:

    Correction…. shahid is the son of the director ^_^

  11. Huma says:

    Shahid is actually punkajs son…

  12. NANA says:

    Thanks Rebecca ,thanks toooooo much , I can see lots of correction,I think you will never forget that matter again hhhhh, take care .

  13. melwf77 says:

    Thanks for these great pics and story!!

  14. POP says:

    Wow Becca, all the balihoo about this post makes one think that these pictures could be sold for ‘big rupees’ to the National Inquirers, NY Posts, Radaronlines and TMZ’s of INDIA!!! And as far as all the relations having a role in the film why don’t you suggest they call it “Family Affair”
    And after all the differing comments on who begat who I just hope when they roll the post film credits they will set us all straight!

    Your friends at the Paparazzi

    I knew you had ulterior motives when you picked up that nice camera.

  15. RM says:

    Hey Rebecca thanks a lot for the pics. I am a huge fan of Shahid & pankaj Kapoor. Shahid is a great dancer & actor. I am sure they wouldn’t like you taking pics of all these but if i would have been there i would have done the same thing. Thanks a lot for the pics it just looks Awesome.

    The quality of your pictures is just awesome. again thanks a ton for pics.

    Lucky you got to see shahid and the shooting. Good luck and god bless you.

  16. Shona says:

    wow the pics are fab..Shahid & Sonam both r my favs n I think it will b one of bollywood’s biggest hits :D. Thnks Rebecca for posting it but actuallt Actor Shahid Kapoor is son of director Pankaj Kapoor.Sonam is daughter of veteran actor Anil Kapoor (of Slumdog millionaire fame) =)

  17. neha says:

    Very Good

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