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Shooting for dummies

entertainment Updated: Apr 12, 2010 13:21 IST
Miss K
Miss K
Hindustan Times
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Miss K is what in cinema world they call the ‘starlet’. This is her weekly diary

There’s the significant first, the special second, the timely third, the fabulous fourth and so on. But, I’ve now learnt that losing count is what it’s all about. What happens if I’m lucky enough is that I’ll eventually lose count of the shoots I’ve done and the awards I’ve won! I wonder if I’m going to have a ‘filmography’ someday…wow!As of now I’m still in the counting category… Meri pehli-pehli picture, mera pehla shot.

Luckily this isn’t my first shoot. I’ve shot for a lot of stuff before this thanks to which, I’m totally in my element on set and well versed with etiquette on shoots. A couple of things that comprise shoot etiquette for actors are:

*Don’t try to call the shots! There is only one director. Trust the director. Don’t ask him if the shot was ok once he has okayed it. Some directors get irritated with over-enthusiastic actors who keep coming up to them for reassurance. An actor must be a blank canvas that portrays the director’s vision.

*If you’re a starlet like me and have your mum come on set to watch the shoot, don’t ask for her approval after every shot.I repeat. There is only one director.

*Don’t tell you’re co-actor how to enact a particular scene.There is only one director.

*Even though you’re in front of the camera, you are not the center of the universe. Be nice to everyone on set. Right from the producer to the guy who’s holding the fan. Also try remembering people’s names. Do not yell “makeup” and “spot” for assistance. You might think its cool, but it’s really old-skool.

*Be nice but not too nice. Don’t get trampled over.If there’s something you are uncomfortable doing, don’t do it. Have a mind of your own but don’t be a diva!

*Everyone on a set usually has a fragile ego so ‘handle with care’. Don’t interfere too much with the make up artist or hair stylist. They know what they’re doing and for all you know, they’ve been around much longer than you have!

*Always carry food. Once the camera starts rolling you never know when you will get your next meal. Carry extra to offer people around you. Remember that thing about being nice?

*Many actors (the method actor types) believe in sitting quietly, cooped up in a corner and disassociating with people for the entire duration of the shoot, including lunch breaks. Follow your style but don’t overdo it. Take it easy buddy.

*Believe in what you’re doing. Even if it’s a silly dance, give it all you’ve got (Caution: don’t overact while attempting that) You’re there because someone has believed in you, so now it’s about believing it yourself.

*Be spontaneous on ‘action’ and lose yourself to the scene. Don’t stick your tongue out if you make a mistake.

*Don’t abruptly break out of a scene before you hear ‘cut!’ At most times the camera is still rolling.

Midnight madness
Now for an update on my shoot. The going is great. It took me a few days to adjust to the new vicious sleep-cycle. On day one, pack up was at 4:30 am and I hit the sack at 5 am. On the second day, things we wrapped up at 3 am and on the third and fourth day it didn’t matter.I had lost count!Losing count is what life’s all about.