Pradeep (who is part of my inside sales team), who had earlier directed a short movie titled “Let’s meet for breakup’ on YouTube, has asked me to perform a small but crucial role of an IAS officer in his next movie (which is of little longer duration) attempt. I told him Telugu industry is not yet ready to see me on the big screen, and advised him not to such a bold risk. He continued to insist that I will do good, though I knew that I will be miserable in front of the camera. I told my kids about his request, they did a real life ROFL and unequivocally said “It’s end of good times in movie Industry” and threatened to stop seeing movies. However, Radhika like an ideal desi wife, felt happy and said “Cool”.
I have called Pradeep again on Friday night and said, “Do, have a Plan B”, he continued to say, “Don’t worry, you will do good”. He gave me a script which had few dozen lines. I have read the script (which is in written in pure Telugu) few times, and my mind blanked out, within few minutes of reading them, when I tried to remember what I have read. He also asked me to see “Athadu” movie and watch mannerisms of Prakash Raj who plays similar role of IAS officer. Coincidentally, I watched this movie about few dozen times in last 5 years, and I know the character well. I have played the movie on Friday night on our big screen, and felt Prakash portrayal was quite easy, forgetting the fact that Prakash is an awesome natural actor and winner of national awards.
Cigniti volunteered to have the CEO office and a conference room to shoot for the few minutes of footage slotted for the last Sunday. Shoot started on Sunday at 10:30AM. My first dialogue was “Rakesh, Please come in” (yeah, yeah, it was not written in Telugu). It took dozen attempts for me to remember the dialogue and get it right. Thanks to the digital world, there was no loss of film. At that moment, my respect for movie actors has skyrocketed and told Pradeep, “I wont be able to mouth any dialogue which is of length more than 4 words”. He changed the dynamics of the script on the fly, and transferred long dialogues to another character. Thankfully, other folks Vinod, Ashwin, etc were quite natural in their act, and they did quite well.
Coincidently movie shoot happened in the board room where I have delivered several hundred presentations in last 5 years. However, being in front of a camera, and saying just one line, “Welcome to Narcotics Control Bureau” took quite a few attempts to make it almost right. I have attended many film shoots, and know the effort that is required to make a film. This experience did give me a reboot on what it takes to make a movie.
In summary, I did realise that it requires good amount of time and effort, to get into skin of the character. Doing parallel tasking of daily activities, and participating in a shoot is not a great idea :-).
I had asked Sumant (who is part of my solutions team) to shoot few clips of the movie shoot as my souvenir (using S7 Edge), as I wasn’t sure if anyone would dare to ask me again to feature in their movie.
Here is the blooper video, and few pics from the shoot.
Portrait shots by the movie crew