Let me introduce you to some of my fantastic crew, who are making this whole wild experience a pleasure...even though it's long hours and often difficult times…
India Line Producer - Aravind
This is my life-line and my rock after only 2 weeks - Aravind has 10 years of experience in the film business and most importantly 10 years of personal relationships here in Hyderabad. He is very well respected in the Indian film community…It's a marvel to watch him in action, zooming around on his motor bike to locations and being the calm but firm leader of our crew. You can ask him a question and he pulls out his cell and has the answer in about 20 seconds every time…and believe me these are often very HARD questions to answer….He's got this awesome Zen thing going on and all here on the set adore Aravind….
Director of Photography - Derth Adams
Derth is the other American on the crew and my roommate as well. He as done features as well as a lot of documentary style tv shows using HD, including Fear Factor, Project Greenlight and my FAVORITE, Project Runway.(You know I am pumping him for behind the scenes details!) He really understands light for HD and with this Viper camera we are using, he is giving our film a great look. (Collateral, Zodiac and Miami Vice were are features shot using the Viper.) He's also a Northwest boy - Born and raise in Spokane Washington.
PM's Prabaka and Srinivas
Production Managers - We've got two - Here are Prabakar and Srinivas hard at work. They act as our location managers, vehicle coordinators, translators when necessary and have found us some great locations. Prabakar is also a very "stylish" guy. His fabulous Indian cotton shirts are legendary on our set…
Our Hardworking AD's
Sachin, Jagdesh and the lovely Deepti have the difficult job of keeping this production moving every day - They also double up and do continuity and work with the actors on lines, so they are running, running, running, every second!
Deepti gave me a great lesson on the history of Indian film one day…some of which you can find here at this Wikepdia page India Film and for a more in-depth look at the Telegu film industry which is based in Hyderabad try here. Tollywood
Calm Cool and Collected...Our Gaffer
This handsome fellow is Sundeep, our Gaffer. Sundeep was brought up in the film business. His father is Tollywood cinematographer/producer, S. Gopal Reedy and both father and son are very well know in the southern India film world. Sundeep gives us a lot of insight on the "India ways" of filmmaking and getting things done here. I don't think we could make this movie without him. Sundeep is also a DP and in the past year was in Washington D.C. shooting a movie.
The Amazing Production Coordinator
Here's our Sashi, Production Coordinator extraordinaire and another guy we couldn't live without. 24/7 Sashi eats/sleeps and I am sure dreams about "The Family Picture." He has already taken me on some great Hyderabad adventures. The first week I got here, I really needed a new pillow and Sashi escorted me one night into the local shopping district. Watching him negotiate down the price of a simple pillow was quite impressive. Sashi is another film fanatic and he is planning to go to UCLA for film next March…(I have a feeling he could teach a class there after this experience!)
Costume Designer Huma
Huma is our beautiful young costume designer - She is a teacher at the local fashion design school in Hyderabad and she is creating miracles because we have a very limited costume budget…Huma travels all over the city and has special vendors she sees to get the best prices…She's promised to take me shopping soon! - She has a staff of three working under her, including a tailor - who has offered to sew me up anything I want…I guess that's very common here - many woman will go pick out beautiful fabrics and have them "stiched" as they call it, because it's much less expensive then buying clothes in stores…I can't wait to get my India shop on with Huma...
I'll fill you in on more crew members as I get their pictures…(Some of them are very shy) But now it's off to bed - another early day tomorrow. I have been averaging 5-6 hours of sleep a night - but that's okay - that "Oh my god we've got to make our day" feeling is what is keeping me going on little sleep. Hope you are all well in America. I'm a little homesick today, but It usually goes away quickly...and missing Richie makes me a little sad today too... (please take care of him, you New Yorkers! ) xoxo Shan