As I was waiting for the MNIK shoot in Healdsburg and listening to chatter around me, a few things came up that are worth recording.
1. A lady showed up – turns out she was the former mayor of the city and she said about a year ago someone reported that some Indians were driving around her house! Later they showed up at her house, told her they really liked her house and would like to use it for their film. They took interior pictures and recreated a set in Mumbai for the film. Then they came to Healdsburg to shoot the exterior shots.
2. Another lady was there and told us her friend leads the Choir. First they wanted children in the choir, she gathered children then she was told that they would prefer teenagers. A song was picked and she told the MNIK folks to make sure they get permission to use it. Later they called her and said how about Amazing Grace. She said – no, the kids practiced that other one, so make sure you have permission. They kids were too far away to hear what they were singing, there were some strings but no real orchestra or any background music. They were dressed formally and it all looked quite professional.
3. Some people asked the name of the film, the name of the “famous” (is he really like the Brad Pitt of India? – that is what the local newspaper had reported) lead man, and the name of the film. When I told them, a gentleman found it strange that a guy named Khan was acting in a film named Khan! He had to be told that Khans were like Smiths and Joneses in India! I was actually quite surprised at how little American people know of the world that is not American.
4. Some of the extras came and chatted with those of us on the other side of the tape – the regulars thought the film looked interesting and the actors were doing a good job.
5. Karan Johar seemed mostly at the monitor and all the shoot nitty gritty was being handled by some AD.
6. They brought in the most enormous white balloons – turned out these were lights and the semi-opaque white was to diffuse the light – the balloons were helium filled I think because they would rise or could be lowered by cables.
7. The policeman on duty loved the Indian food and Chai that they were told they could have!!!!