So it happened ... my first taste of stardom! The Raghu Dixit Project shot a music video for the song 'Hey Bhagwan' at the Mehboob Studios in Bombay.
It was the first time for me and it was a super experience!
The band had a full on beauty treatment session which included some facials and haircuts for some of us and some slick styling to look like the 'stars' that should be in a music video! well ... sometimes you just gotta do it!
So anyway ... after the beauty treatment, we head to Mumbai with our instruments and spirits soaring but only this time .. we don't play to a crowd! We stayed at our manager Vijay Nair's house from where we left quite early in the morning to the massive Mehboob Studios! This is an old building which has one section burnt down which formed the setting for the band shots of the video.
The concept of the video is a story about how Raghu comes to Mumbai with his music and then in a series of incidents that happen which involve him, he gives everything he has to people around him and is left with only music! and the whole narrative is interspersed with shots of the band playing live in the burnt studio. Well I guess I am terrible at narrating the story but the video does look quite cool and you should watch out for Raghu being pulled up 15ft in the air at the end by a crane!
So with the story out of the way ... we begin the day with a photo shoot in the morning. These are photos that will be given out for publicity and for the record inlay etc. That was nice fun too with the photographer Ajay (?) kneeling and crouching and standing on chairs and lying flat on the ground etc to get various angles for the photographs while we were supposed to be serious or moderately laughing or just a little smile to a full scream to a variety of face expressions and arrangements for the shoot!
Once the photo shoot was done, it was time for us to go back to the dressing rooms and get our make up on! well .. atleast they were nice enough to not make us look horrendous! and the make up artist Xavier was a super chap who asked us what we wanted etc... and knowing my expertise with these things, I said 'Absolutely nothing!' but I believe that doesn't count as a valid answer ... the director had asked for a bronzed look and that is what we got!
The entire production crew loved the idea that Raghu and I wore Dhotis on stage and ordered that the entire band does the same! and so it was ... this meant that Anirban, Ranjan and Sandeep wore dhotis with the band for the first time and it was quite a cool look at the end of it! And so we waited while the set below was being set up.
The movie industry in Bombay works like a charm! there are so many things ... small and big that need to be there to make one video shoot happen and its quite amazing how it is all managed and how people just are there at the right moment with the right thing!! full credit goes to the production crew and Only Much Louder, our managers and especially Sameera and Neeca for pulling off with quite a bit of panache what I thought could have been a perfect recipe for disaster! And to Bobby and Vijay for everything that they did!
So anyway ... the band shots involved us playing the song 'Hey Bhagwan' in what was a live setup and it was replicated to perfection. I guess it helps that the director of the video Shiraz is a musician himself and that meant that there were no loopholes where we were playing guitars that were not connected to anything and there was some magical sound happening! I've made fun of so many videos myself where these guys are playing their guitars that are not connected to anything and I've always sworn to never do that if I was part of a video! and this time ... we made sure we had top of the line gear lined up and everything plugged in and ready to go for the video itself!
The shooting of the video was a blast! we played that song about 10 times or more in total and each time a different angle for the camera to take, but we were absolute stars! the energy in the video was unbelievable and each of us playing and enjoying it to our very best! jumping and moving around on the hot muddy ground which had loads of pebbles and nails etc ... the remains of a burnt studio! But none of it bothered us! ... every single one of those performances was a take in one and I think we made the job a lot easier for the production team than they expected it!
Lunch was just super and and we got a small glimpse of stardom with people pulling up chairs for us and having our make up artist come and dab off the sweat and apply some patches on make up which had run! and food being served on time, people running up and giving us water and juice between takes!! it was a total experience like none other and none of us were ready for it! We were doing our own lugging and carrying equipment around and going and fetching stuff that we wanted etc like we always do but it was quite a shock for the crew I guess! they were just used to stars who were actual 'stars' and not our kind :)
When we went down in the end to thank each member of the crew, the light guys and the sound guys and the food guys and everyone who was there! they were just so happy and the glee on their faces is definitely one of the things we will take back from this shoot! We even asked them for their opinion of the song and they apparently loved it! and are also waiting to see it become a hit! Raghu and I took down every single person's name in a book to feature them in our credits for the video!
The video itself will be out sometime in January and only time will tell what will happen after that ... but for now ... this is something that I won't forget for a long long time :)
You can see the rest of the pics here