Sunday, December 9, 2007

my first taste of films

A friend told me that she needed another guy to come work on a beach music video for the day. It paid 1000 Rs (22 USD) and it mainly involves sitting around. I quickly agreed because I also know that they can pay up to 5000 Rs a day for extras in a Bollywood movie. I wanted to see if I could do this a few times a month to pick up extra money.

Conclusion: I could do this as long as I had a long book and a 6 month old baby.
Unfortunately, I only had a short book (Choke by Chuck Palahniuk) and the baby for an hour.

I rode my stolen (more like kinda stolen) scooter over to Anjuna at 6:30 AM to meet my ride. They needed 8 boys and 8 girls for today's shoot and almost all of them came from France and Russia. I didn't know anyone beside my friend and nobody spoke in my language any way. So I used my time to plot stealing the baby from the French woman in charge of getting the Westerns. After a long wait, we finally left for the beach about half an hour north. I got in a good nap which I needed for the grueling (heavy sarcasm) day ahead.

We got breakfast and several of the locals complimented me on eating with my hands and knowing two phrases in Marathri, the native language of Bombay and surrounding state. Then we waited. In fact, most of the day consisted of waiting. Generally, a hundred people worked on setting up shots, performing and moving equipment while another fifty people just sat there and oogled the girls (in India, staring is the national pastime - Mark Anthony). The girls actually had a hard day of dancing in the water, walking along the water, sitting by the water and swooning over the singer. Each shot took at least a dozen takes and the singer obviously had all his talent in his throat because the rest of his body could never do what the choreographer wanted.
I only had once scene right before lunch. We danced in the water with the girls for one take although this mostly involved us splashing the girls. Then we danced in the water while the girls ran to us from the beach. They only did one take of each and I think they just did it to justify paying us for the day. They had little interest in a bunch of unattractive white guys with tattoos and mullets. Go figure.
I mostly sat and read my book, took care of the little French baby, swam in the water and got checked out by the high school age backup dancers (not proud, somewhat amused). Unfortunately, I finished my book around 3 and spent the rest of the day wandering aimlessly. I hate being at the beach without a book. At the end of the day, I saw a whole bunch of people playing games farther down the beach. Indians love games and I love playing games with Indians. They always get excited when people want to join and everybody wants to shake your hand. These games got really funny because this turned out to be a law firm out for a family beach day. I couldn't stop laughing as everybody would argue over the rules, the rulings and anything else that they could disagree on.
I took my final two hour nap on the beach and woke up after dark to a stunning wedding scene. They wrapped up shooting, I got my 1000 Rs cash and a ride back into town. I treated myself to a nice meal at a restaurant that plays movies while you eat. I've already seen a bunch there including Man on Fire (denzel washington movie with great cinematography although ruined by last scene, i think i said this already), Meet the Fockers, and a few others. Tonight I watched Million Dollar Baby. I liked it (two great voices: Clint Eastwood and Morgan Freeman) but didn't see it as Best Picture material.
Unfortunately, the delicious momos (nepalese/tibetan food: pieces of meat wrapped in dough) or the chicken hot and sour soup turned out to be a giant GI punch. I spent a few tough hours with one end or the other in the toilet and intense gut pains that came every ten minutes for a few seconds at a time. On the other hand, I got through almost three hundred pages of Memoirs of a Geisha which I had "borrowed" from the restaurant that night. There might be a karma lesson here but I won't think about it too closely.


Lotz said...

That baby looks genuinely concerned for his or her well-being.

Ned said...

I'm wondering if the baby maybe just had a bad attempted nursing experience...seeing that shiny object, being drawn to the nip, then intense disappointment. Yep, I think that baby's look goes well beyond concern.

Alaina said...

I'm a little concerned about what you are feeding the baby!