india has a huge movie industry and actually produces more movies than any other country on the planet, with the center of this industry being mumbai aka bombay aka bollywood. at any given moment, there are a ton of different movies and tv shows being filmed here on the outskirts of town. we had read in our guide that often times companies will want foreigners to be extras in their films, so when the guy at the hotel asked us if we wanted to take part in a bollywood production, we instantly said yes!
we were picked up at the hotel by jackie, a casting agent and we drove for about an hour and a half to this random house in the middle of nowhere. we hadn’t gotten any details whatsoever as to what they’d be shooting, what our parts would be, and how this would all go down, so when we got there we were quite confused. in the beginning, they just told us to hang out and do nothing. we sat around, and after about 2 or 3 hours, were really started to wonder why they had us here as we still hadn’t done *anything*!
it was pretty cool just being there though! we got to watch how they filmed stuff, and it was pretty interesting to see just how long it took to shoot every tiny minute bit of the show. they’d yell out “silence!!! roll tape!!! rolling!!! ACTION!!!” and then record like literally 20 seconds of video… the actress saying hello and looking a bit distraught… and then “cut!!!”. that’s it!!! later, we also got to watch them simulate a storm scene, complete w/ lightning and fake rain… it was really cool! after sitting around for a while, we got the lowdown on the show… it was a show called “moon rising over my country” and was about an indian family living in london. it’s apparently one of the more popular shows here, airs weekly, and stars one of the most popular tv actresses in india (or so we were told, who knows!). the scene we would be in was the wedding of two characters in the show. there would be a large fancy wedding celebration, and seeing as the show takes place in london, they wanted to have a couple of british looking people hanging out in the background at the ceremony.
wardrobe adjustments backstage
after waiting forever,the assistant director came up to us and told us to change into our costumes. huh?! we were as surprised that we needed costumes as he was that we didnt have costumes. we were then rushed to a back room where people frantically tried to find something for us to wear. i still cant figure out why we needed to be wearing indian looking clothes, if we were supposed to be from *london*, but whatever. eventually we got changed, and then were soon ushered to the place where they were shooting.
caryn, with the agent jackie and his friend (who ended up wearing caryn’s backpack and jacket for most of the night)
there was a huge bonfire set up for the wedding ceremony, a couple of drummers, dancers, and everyone was wearing fancy costumes. it was all quiet elaborate. 10 seconds later, the director yells “action” and everyone starts doing their thing…. but no one had told us what we needed to do!!! we stood there in horror, feeling completely ridiculous and confused. then someone motioned to us that we should be running around the fire!! doh!! so we did that, but then were told that they actually didnt want us running around the fire.. we need to just stand still and look like we’re enjoying ourselves. so confusing. well, this went on for a long time as they recorded a ton of short takes of different parts of the wedding ceremony. our parts were so minor… heh, actually we often wondered if the cameras would even get us at all.. who knows.
all in all, it was pretty crazy, and really really cool. everyone gets 15 minutes of fame i guess, and even though ours was more like a few seconds, it was still really exciting to take part in it all! i guess this episode airs two mondays from now, and will be shown all over india, and to people who have the indian channel starplus worldwide!