Friday, April 29, 2005

Mira Nair and her Monsoon Wedding

I suffered through a faulty copy of Monsoon Wedding -- it would constantly go into self-destruct mode at minute marker: 1:03 or thereabouts. Probably from overuse.

Happened to me twice, actually! First time I was taking in the film as a totality, second time I was listening to Mira Nair's wonderful commentary. Doh!

Yet I still managed to glean a few golden morsels from the watch, pained as t'was.

Drumroll please...

Nair's the sort of person I'd like to invite for coffee one of these fine days. As a director, her ability to draw richly from a vast store of literary expertise to simply is staggering. I was riveted to my DVD player (a definite must see activity) waiting for her next delectable intellectualism to cascade from her lips -- if only my expression could have been recorded for posterity.

But that's not my point.

Here it is. The challenges Monsoon crew faced on the shoot were legendary. Nair told of a situation where nearly 300 minutes (!!!) of raw footage were damaged by the x-ray machines on the return to New York as the key crew returned from their New Delhi shoot. This was a huge problem because they'd only been scheduled for 30 days, plus on a limited low budget.

Nair had to return to Delhi 6 MONTHS LATER with a scaled-down crew and some of the actors to reshoot several scenes, yet it this ended up working in their favour for the following reasons:

** they already had a near-assembled film, and laying everything out in the editing process, they realized they desperately required more punch in spots (they wouldn't have known it if they didn't lose the footage they were depending on).

** they realized they had too much footage that made the overall look and feel more "low budget" than she initially wanted, and so on the redo Nair and screenwriter Sabrina Dhawan rewrote scenes to avoid this.

A challenge became a blessing.

Therein lies the lesson for future leaders -- can you scramble and not dwell on the negatives?

A good leader knows that life is precisely so --> one moment in the doldrums, next laughing uncontrollably. All with the full realization that dwelling on the bad results in many missed opportunities.

And yes, I'm going to get myself a decent working copy so I can watch it again! You should see it too.


At 2:44 am, Blogger SJ Nair said...

Mira nair is a great personality and it is not so easy to find some one like her. Look my blog on her and nair community. and can post some comments there.That blog deals from nair caste to nair products and Meera nair to navya nair every thing on nairs including the history and relevance of this warrior
S J Nair


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