Cinema remained the first love of all, the actors and the filmmakers and whenever opportunity beckoned they were willing to put everything on hold for it. Directors worked on projects for two years until they were thoroughly prepared to brave the storm without interruptions and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Jodha Akbar and Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Devdas is a proof of that. Our filmmakers shot period films without fuss and frills and also had the cash registers ringing.
The better our films became the more aware our audience became about the craft. The technicians were valued and honoured and expressed art with passion on television and in print. The multi media made us aware of behind the scene experts and we yearned to know more about their genius be it costume designer Anju Modi of Ram Leela, Bajirao Mastani or Sujeet Sawant and Sriram Iyengar, art designers of Bajirao Mastani who worked tirelessly for days at stretch for that specific shade of duppatta or the picturesque 18th century set called Mastani Mahal in Bajirao’s Shanivar Wada.
Hollywood makes a big fuss over shooting period films and bombard the internet with logistics and statistics, in India we make magnificent films with minimum budgets and never talk about how 4500 wooden planks went into shaping the Aaina Mahal or the 1000 people standing as crowd in Prakash Jha’s Jai Gangajal. We never talk about the number of daily workers every day on the sets.
We have completed over a century and this is the best time in India to make films. Every year we have new writers, new dialects, new song writers and new filmmakers presenting their vision and changing the sound and image of India and this is necessary because India and Indians are evolving every day and this must be reflected in our cinema.
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