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my bit part in bollywood

after reading in lonely planet india about the possibility of working for a day as a bollywood extra when visiting mumbai (center of the bollywood film production industry), i thought nothing of it and turned to the next page in my book.

however, when i was wandering around near my mumbai guesthouse with my new friends alex and allyson (fellow travellers from great britain who happened to be staying at the same guesthouse as myself), i thought, "why not?" so when we were "recruited" (ie. cattle call to get extras!) by a scout on the street we signed up to be extras in a film, the upcoming "Shaka Laka Boom Boom" (i swear that this is a legitimate bollywood film!). this meant a day of hanging around a set with the occasional bollywood star (like Celina Jaitley) heading out of their trailer to film a few scenes, lots of local mumbai extras, and a few other backpackers who'd been roped into being extras as well.

it was overall a great day -- while the set was VERY different from the ones that i'd seen in hollywood (i recall less stray dogs on the Warner lot), the interior of the sound stage was quite professional (despite a very weathered-looking exterior surrounded by scrap wood), and i can only hope that the end product will look good. we worked long hours -- the claim that "you'll be out of there by 8:30pm" quickly turned to 10:30pm, we had to take a public train to/from the studio, the lunch and dinner were barely ok, but hey, anything for fame, right?

so when Shaka Laka Boom Boom hits the theatres in 2007, keep your eyes open for me in a nightclub scene as one of the lead actresses strides past me, or reclining on a sofa at a nightclub/restaurant directly behind Bobby Deol. 15 seconds of bollywood fame! (if i don't end up on the cutting-room floor)

and my going rate for work as an extra in bollywood? 600 rupees per day, or about US $12. not my standard going rate, but definitely not a standard job either.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on September 30, 2006 11:41 PM.

The previous post in this blog was welcome to mumbai (bombay), india.

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