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Break 3

So my roommate has gone home for the night and I’m all by myself in the hotel room. Chocolates, Chris Martin and a little souvenir from Goa are all that are keeping me company. I’m surprised that we’re almost done with March and it’s going to be all over, at least for me, by April 11.

I wish I could share more about the shoot and the movie. But it’s all hush hush for a while. Can just say that at times it’s really tough but usually it’s like a masterclass in filmmaking; a completely different approach from what I expected or have seen till now.

It’s not all peaches and cream though.

Anyway, I’m calling it a night. Mr Martin’s soothing voice is acting like a side effect-free Ambien.

Goodnight.

Mansi

The Yedi AD

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Break 2

These little breaks between shoots give me time, not just to sleep and meet people outside the job but also to assess everything. Without any bias or prejudice, I know what we’re doing on set everyday is game-changing. I have to say, our lead actors are just beyond inspiring. Their level of concentration and commitment is extremely humbling. I wish I could name names but I don’t think I’m allowed. Once the movie comes out you’ll know what I mean. The way they internalize their words and gestures it’s, wow. Their work, it’s unquestionable.

I cannot wait to get to a stage where someone will say that about me.

It took forever but I think I’ve found a comfort level at work, a voice too. I hope this confidence or whatever this thing is lasts for a while.

Mansi

The Yedi AD

Day something.

I’m not sure what day it is but i do realise i have a lot of catching up to do. Haven’t been able to blog since the second schedule started, not that many people read this but it’s just a question of diligence.

plus it’s a little tough to blog about the film without giving away things i cannot. so it’s a tricky thing. But here’s what i can say, Meenal’s art Rafey Sir’s framing and Rajat’s eye, it’s a really freaking remarkable combination. Every frame looks like a goddamn painting to me and just wow. I don’t know how much i can reveal about the cast but i have immense respect for so many of them. They understand their craft ever so well and just nail it every single time. Very inspiring.

I also must mention the attack of the monkeys. Shooting in Old Delhi would have been incomplete without it. Suddenly the terrace was taken over by our cousins and if we locked the doors they were smart enough to enter from the vents. that was straight out of a crazy Sci Fi movie.

anyway no more monkeying around. I will go now and get ready for a 2pm to 2am shift.

Mansi
The Yedi AD

Day 41 – Last of the Auditions

On my way to the hotel, I came across a sea of namaazis. The entire stretch from from the Metro station to our hotel was blocked for vehicles. So I had to put my feet to work and somehow walked past this. This is the benefit of being ahead of time – you can stop and take pictures at your leisure. And as you can see here, i do that often. What a wonderful sight. Rather inconvenient but wonderful nonetheless.

Our last audition for Ajju’s Father was at 5. That’s all we could pull out from our hats. Now it’s up to Rajat to pick and choose. I don’t even know what to write about anymore. My mind’s been taken over by ‘Incredibly Loud and Extremely Close’. What a movie. Such a pleasure to watch. Given that movies and stories are subjective, one could debate the resolution endlessly. But what in my opinion is not up for debate is that it was a splendid movie. Shot to the max, the cast acted the hell out of every scene and what flawless direction. I need to go buy the book and find the final draft.

So surprised that it went under everyone’s radar all this time. The most disheartening thing has to be that, discounting myself, there were maybe 15 other people in the whole of DT audi 7. So, please catch while you still can. It is clearly not going to last long.

This was today’s very satisfactory Ankhon Dekhi. Kal dekhte hain kya hota hain.

Mansi

The Yedi AD

Day 38 – Parents

Been working to ensure that our Ajju isn’t an orphan in the film. Found some good actors who could probably fit the bill. Shout-out to our Delhi actors for helping me out with numbers and recommendations. @meenal_ is coming to Delhi tomorrow and work at the main location will begin. Location recce includes a trip to Manali. Not for me. But I am wondering if that’s a proper job, suitable for me to pursue as a career option.

Marcus, my professor at Harvard SSP emailed last night to congratulate me and wish me luck for a big interview that’s lined up soon. He’s so very gracious. Just getting a vote of approval from someone like him is such a confidence booster. I have to say, even Munish and Melvin have been so very encouraging. They have far more faith in me than I do in myself. My father’s already convinced it’s a done deal and planning what I should do before the big move. “Holiday”, he suggests, “3 months in Europe”. Do i love him or what. The exact opposite of Amrish Puri in DDLJ. I can totally see him saying, “Life’s too short, Mickey. Jaa! Jee Le Apni Zindagi.” (Go, live your life). Although all my money’s on the odds that he hasn’t even seen the film.

Anyway, now I’ll get back to finding a mother for Ajju. And then we continue with the Oscar Weekend. Till now I’ve caught Bridesmaids, Tree of Life, Moneyball, Carnage, The Artist (in that order), and tonight I watch The Iron Lady. Meryl is my hero. If i ever met her in person, I know i’d turn into Raj From TBBT.

I don’t know how i missed Tinker Tailor, Albert Nobbs and I can’t find anyone to go watch My Week with Marilyn with me. But The Help I consciously passed on. I got swept away by the vehement and unanimous reviews of my African-American friends who trashed it for being yet another film where “a nice white lady comes in to solve every n****’s problems”. I think i’ve missed out on a great performance by Viola Davis and I am a fan of Bryce Dallas as well as Amy Adams. So maybe i’ll stop being narrow minded and watch it as just a movie.

That’s Day 38 in Yedi Ad’s life. Tomorrow will start very early to catch the Oscars from the red carpet itself. I tweet incessantly on such occasions. So if you’re into that, great. Otherwise you might want to unfollow me or you’ll wake up to a TL that’s been hijacked by my tweets. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Mansi

The Yedi AD

Day 37 – Neigh!

More animal actors, more approvals. This time, a horse. A mare, rather.

It really is a small world because of all the places in Delhi we went to Friendicoes to get approvals. These are the same people who got my first paycheck from Ankhon Dekhi as a donation. They got the money because they’re uncompromising in their work. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the approvals. One of the reasons being that they charge a mini-bomb for doing the inspection and signing on the dotted line. Fair enough. But for now, we have to hold our horses and try again somewhere else.

By the way, the eyes are hunting for more actors. Specifically: Males, 50-ish, Delhi-based.

So if someone’s reading this and has an Uncle/Father/Neighbour who would be interested in auditioning for us, the email address is: ankhondekhithefilm@gmail.com.

Hope we hear from you.

Mansi

The Yedi AD

Day 36 – The Dating Game.

Shockingly no one gave any grief about the schedule. Kudos to the Bombay guys for making such a clean, thought-through schedule. Everyone has time. Everyone is eager.

I feel like I’m tempting fate by celebrating early. Seems too easy to be true. Half expecting someone to call and throw a wrench in things. Let’s see.

(3 hours later)

Hurrah! There we go. Our first wrench-thrower. And a Mjölnir-sized wrench too. Coldplay, save me.

Mansi

The Yedi AD