From Film Student to Filmed Student

The twelve of us seem to attract a lot of attention from the locals. Everybody stares. Because this happens so often it is best to embrace it. When it happens to me I either stare right back at them until they feel awkward and look away, or I smile and wave. The attention is something to get used to. That is part of what made the music video shoot tough. They took a dozen film kids who are used to being behind the scenes and stuck them on stage. It’s kind of unnerving having to perform in front of a crew.

Once that shoot was over and we moved onto our documentary project I figured we could go back to the roles we were most comfortable with. That is not the case. I was in line for the veg lunch today at Whistling Woods today when the student behind me decided to introduce himself. This is not unusual. Indians are very polite and will start us a conversation with you without being provoked to do so. I was expecting the ol’ “how do you like India?” again. Instead after he introduced himself he calls over a couple of his friends and asks if they can make a documentary on out Bombay experience on the 12 of us. I heard later on that this is a class assignment they got. The only problem with this is that we have been in India for what seems like forever. We are used to the heat and the poverty and the rickshaws. They missed the culture shock shots they could have gotten a while ago. I am just as bad an actor as I am a dancer, so I won’t be doing any dramatizations of our first few days here.

I’m not complaining about this at all. I just do not like being on camera. Worst case situation we’ll have a behind-the-scenes feature of our documentaries and a couple of people on hand to help us translate.

Onto our documentary. Ours is on the street dogs of Bombay. Today marked our second day of shooting. So far we have gotten some pretty interesting shots. For example today we saw a couple of monkeys, a handful of goats, five cows, over twenty chickens/chicks, some roosters, and around 100 dogs. We have done so much, but there is always more to do.


4 thoughts on “From Film Student to Filmed Student

  1. Your project sounds so interesting! You have always been very good with animals and my heart is touched by your project. Remember that rabies is real as you go about filming though! (Rabies shots are a series of injections, not just one shot, and are life saving and not negotiable.) Be gracious to the attention although you don’t like being a center of anyone’s attention! You have had the opportunity to travel and see people. The Newhouse students are a literal window to the rest of the world for many people there who have not had the opportunities! You are not trying to be “a big sensation” but they are excited about “your generation.” (The Who). PS I feel for you about having to be in front of the camera. Go with the flow to the best of your ability; when in front the camera, embrace your role to the fullest that you can. ( a little take on the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.”) I am very proud of you and what you are doing. ❤


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