We arrived at 3 o’clock and practiced our steps one last time. Outside the rehearsal room window we could see the various props and accessories being carried into the set. Many of the students wanted to help the crew, however, they informed us that in India, equipment setup and breakdown had to be handled by the technicians from the companies that own the cameras. Not understanding the full scale of the film many of us were disappointed.
As we traveled to the basement for costume and makeup the scale became more apparent. Five technicians and three tailors waited to intercept us. There are many differences and similarities between indian and american hair and makeup departments. The first thing I noticed was that the majority of the talent dressing staff was male. Of all the staff only one hair stylist was female. The second thing I noticed was how much of an assembly line the process was. At first, everyone was to be given the same look, however after much coaxing, they began to consider our wants and needs for our appearance. For example, they originally planned to use lighter makeup tones on Whitney and Kady’s faces. After a bit of coaxing, they agreed to us less makeup than originally intended. In my case, they wanted to straighten my hair. Having this done at home occasionally, I didn’t mind, however, as expected they haphazardly began pulling away with a tiny flat iron. Eventually, they got it together.
When we got to the set, it was a filmmakers dream. All the things you would commonly associate with a hollywood movie set were there. Huge lights, bulky cameras, dozens of crew members and a fearless director were all creating that cinematic atmosphere. The environment made us want to work hard. At that point even if you had 0 dancing abilities, you felt like Shahrukh Khan and you wanted to move like him too.
In my initial blog post, I talked about the impact of bring a DSLR would have on my photos. This was a prime example. With the expensive lighting makeup and vastness of the set, capturing the sure detail and beauty of the environment would have been lost using a point and shoot.