The places where moments reside

जैसा की मुझसे कहा गया है : The reality of shoots

It was quite a longtime maybe say a decade or more back when I had just entered college. One of my relatives was working with a music company which also had a studio and so when I came to delhi in my vacations, he offered me and my cousins a chance to witness a shoot. It was a TV shoot. It would give us an insight into what goes on behind the scenes in reality.

So the next day we went to the studio. One subordinate of my relative took us to the studio. Studio ?? it was a very big space, very big empty space hall. The closest I can think of it would be an aircraft hangar. Really big with various wires and cables strewn across the floor. Moving forward we noticed a set erected some distance away. It was circular in shape. Some dance show of DD National- धिना धिन धा.

The seating place for the audience were the seating stands made of wood. The ones you see idol sellers and cracker shops put up around diwali, just more strong to take up the weights of the people sitting there. Now you must be wondering whenever you read the news about the stands crashing down. We took our place there. There were 2 anchors going on and the round had 3 girls as participants. The enthusiasm and response from the audience was so dull that a production girl with a clipboard in hand came up and said to us , “ सर कुछ enthusiasm दिखाइये , please clap”. One person who was sitting in the audience said, “ जी enthusiasm तो participants का होता है . ” Not arguing further she went away although every now and then she used to gesture to clap and all. Not doing.

Just then one participant slipped and fell and the shooting was halted for the time she got together again. The anchors were encouraging her to try up once again. After she was done, the judge who was some lady officer from U.P. said to the next participant, “ जैसा की मुझसे कहा गया है की आपको इस गाने पर डांस करना है ”, then came the voice of the director saying… Cuttt. मैडम आपको यह नहीं कहना है की जैसा मुझसे कहा गया है. The judge started again, this time leaving the line जैसा की मुझसे .. 

The girl danced to the song. Then I realized that participants had given their choice of songs beforehand and the judges had to act as if they were random songs and they were prepared for every song. Mind you that it was a revelation for me 12 years back when there was no reality tv of any way. Glancing up I noticed labourers sitting on the supporting poles which held the whole set together. Bare rods were visible above the frame of the camera. The director was as usual sitting on the crane with the camera.

After the shoot got over of a particular schedule there was a break and I saw a little girl sitting in the front row (we were at the back on the top row) asking her mother “ Mummy मैं अब अपने performance के लिए कपड़े बदल लूँ ?? ". It was another surprise for me. Maybe it was the earliest instance of me seeing what was a paid audience. Newspaper supplements years later came out with an article on people who sat as audience for money. I don’t know whether there was any paid audience in the one I attended or not but there was surely participants who filled up that role.. so that makes it a different composition to the audience you would see in any program - very few would be genuine audience (like us who want to watch), the rest would be participants in the same show (for different episodes) and the paid audience. 

We sneaked off in the break thinking of all we had witnessed in just 30 minutes- the set , the people working behind the scenes(literally) to make things happen – to create a smoke effect someting was burned in a तसला and kept it there so as to make smoke reach the stage, participants completing their performances in 1-2 takes, support staff making sure everything went ok, people from production dept. making sure the audience behaving just like the natural way they wanted them to, judges making verbal mistakes. There is a lot which goes behind the scenes to produce one episode of say 30 takes double time actually to make it happen so when somebody complains of working 16-18 hours in a day in the tv industry, its true. This was probably the first and the last shoot I attended. Now there is no craze for another one. You wont know about the inside happenings until you witness them yourselves.

Although me and my cousins still laugh on , “ जैसा की मुझसे कहा
गया है "...
जैसा की मुझसे कहा गया है : The reality of shoots जैसा की मुझसे कहा गया है : The reality of shoots Reviewed by Shwetabh on 12:38:00 PM Rating: 5

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