"Boss, are you zooming in now?" asked Lakhan.
Lakhan never knew to shut up. He could come up with the stupidest questions and wanted to know everything. I was busy getting ready to zoom in the camera for the Hero's introduction. This is the most significant part of my job and the better I cover it, the more I earn. There comes the Hero. Damn! Even I look better on mirror (hey...really I mean it). He is dark (not dusky), has a cat like moustache, and inspite of the entire heavy make up, he looks despicable enough to puke. What the heck? If your dad is a rich producer, you could even make a donkey to be a Hero.
The Hero's entry is accompanied with heavy music. A curse and irreplaceable custom in our clichéd society. The Hero smiles looking at the camera. That is a signal that I should focus it on the face of the broom...sorry...groom. He walks majestically towards camera surrounded by stupid looking extras and I pray against hope that I should be alive after this shot. I wish I had an akela crane atleast to take one extravagant shot, but since this is a low budget movie, I have to stick to my allowed resources.
Next follows the Heroine. I will tell you something out of experience. Heroine's are far better...but their moms..god help us....they are damn bitchy. Just before a shot, they come and begin with "Thambi". Being a cameraman you automatically qualify to become the Brother of the Heroine.
"Just see that she comes nice" she instructs.
Well...what do I look like? Mandrake the Magician? You can only shoot what is available. If the Heroine manages to look like Vadivukarasi or Tuntun inspite of the heavy make up, what am I supposed to do? Truly speaking, sometimes the extras accompanying the Heroine look wonderful and gorgeous. But hey….if I cover them and the producers and Directors find it out…I would be thrown out of business.
Brushing all this aside, I concentrate on the combination shots of the Hero and Heroine which are not much dialogue oriented. That’s when I get a doubt.
"Lakhan. Is this a love story?"
Lakhan looked at me as if I had discovered plutonium.
"You never read the script before the shooting Boss. How did you find it out?"
Lakhan thinks that the rest of the world is as stupid as him. It was actually quite obvious. And that too with my experience, all I need is some signs. Basically Love stories are easy to imagine and conceive, moderately complex to execute and the most difficult ones to release. You get a hint of it once you get to see the producer's reaction. THEY HATE THEM!! They just look as if they have seen some ghost eating Hyderabadi Biriyaani.
The worse things to see in my profession are when a script changes its path drastically. What was a planned Love story suddenly changes course into an action movie or a serious weepy drama to dry your tear glands. The public remains mixed in its opinion as well. While some enjoy it, the rest despise it. Well..as long as I am paid, I care a damn about it.
As the day ends, Lakhan and I pack our belongings.
"Lakhan...get our bata from the producer."
"Boss. Do we need to always talk in the filmi lingo even after the marriage is over? Cant we talk like normal camera men who cover a marriage function?"
I feel like hitting him hard. It is my dream to become a cinema camera man...and I will become one soon.
After all...isn’t life all about chasing and fulfilling our dreams?????
P.S: Advance Happy New Year wishes to everyone.