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Monday, 3 May 2010

How to make a Bollywood movie

Opening scene of my Bollyflick!
I don't just like making crafty stuff. I also like to dabble in a spot of home movie making too. And here's my latest escapade. A bollywood blockbuster with a special message! (You'll need to watch it in full by following the link to see what I'm talking about!)

After viewing, you may be so hooked, that you're wondering how you too can become Sharmila Tagore and Rajesh Khanna in your own home movie?

Well here's the essential Need to Know for how to make your own DIY Bollywood masala film:


It's all about the white stuff
Breathtaking surroundings, stunning architecture, picturesque palaces, fabulous forts, magnificent mansions, all these wonderful places enhance the dreamy escapist elements that help make a Bolly flick into a superhit. But there's one place that has traditionally been a staple location for Bollywood - the snowy backdrops of the Swiss Alps.

Switzerland is a popular holiday destinations with Indians because of this very fact; thousands of Bollywood movies have been shot there. Regardless of the storyline,dream sequence songs just seem to work well in the snow, you'll often find couples one minute in the noisy streets of Delhi and the next minute, serenading each other on a mountain top.

On a recent visit to the the Swiss Alps I encountered tour groups of Indians keen to go to the very spot their fave Hindi film songs were shot. And at the bottom of the slopes, I discovered the perfect post tour refreshments to make them feel at home:

Masala tea and samosas are the just the thing to warm you up after prancing around in the snow!
Of course these days who needs to go to Switzerland when global warming is resulting in freezing cold winters across the globe i.e. London where today it hailstoned despite being May.....

A few months ago when the Capital was covered in snow I found my own replica Switzerland in the guise of Greenwich Park.


Transform into a Bollywood babe with big hair and lashings of eyeliner
From the earliest heroines like Nargis who ruled the screens in the 1950s through to more classic divas like Rekha to recent babes like Bipasha Basu, Bollywood beauties all have these things in common - beauty, style, grace, charm, an ability to dance, seduce, be dutiful and appeal to the hearts of millions with her overall loveliness. How did I manage this transformation? With a retro wig and layers of MAC make up!


Velvet jackets and vintage clobber are a must for the main man

What makes the ultimate Bollywood hero?
Big pecs are a good start as the man in question will need to battle with villains, impress the leading lady with his dance moves (topless scenes are common) and be the most romantic man in the world, knowing how to organise candlelit meals in secluded spots is a compulsory skill. If the delicious John Abraham is too busy body building to hire, than you can cast a fine Englishman in the lead instead as long as he's prepared to lip sync accordingly.


Graphics in the vein of Batman, the 1960s TV series, are a welcomed addition

So now you have your Jodi - the leading couple, they need a chance to dance - it's how they seal the deal of falling in love. You don't need to be too coordinated but your facial expressions do need to evoke some passion. Dance alone and together and of course if you can run hand in hand, across a field and convince the audience you are more than just acting, you may receive a Filmfare nomination.


Guns are not always necessary!
Shootouts, confrontations, fight scenes, thugs being beaten up people who leap out of their wheelchairs, grab the yobs by their ankles and fling them across the room; when it comes to action in Bollywood, they are the most creative scenes in film history. Hypnotic and well choreographed, in some films, like last year's Wanted there are over 100 different ways in which a goon can be defeated.

But action doesn't just mean violence, stunt work can be less intensive - all that matters is that you do it yourself!


pyaar, ishq....whatever you call it,lurve is always a sub plot if not main plot!

Karan Johar is the king of emotion when it comes to Bollywood, known for his heart tugging tear jerkers, such as Kal Ho Naa Ho (my fave film), Khabi Kushi Khabie Gham and the recent My Name is Khan, a viewer is set to embark on an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish when they watch one of his masterpieces.
But my film is all about the 'L' world so pyaar, ishq..whatever you wanna call it, runs through the whole film.


If it gets you moving on the dancefloor than it's a winner. The appeal of a soundtrack is as important as the plot. If the tracks don't cut it with the fans, your film may flop. My film uses the delightful and sweet 'Hum Aur Tun' from 1970's action romance Daag, which my mini movie is based on.


Extras? If you can't get 'em, make 'em!

Think carefully about your props, product placement is fine, in Jaan-e-Man, there were numerous references to a malt drink called Bournvita, I was so hooked that I tracked some down in India and bought it back to the UK - a much more energising version of Chocolate Horlicks - sweeter and more addictive!

Have lots of wannabe star extras loitering around, if you can't find anyone then making them is fine too!

Finally you need a video camera and someone who can edit it all together to create the final cut. Today YouTube.....tomorrow Film City.....a girl can but dream.....


  1. J'adore, you'll have to cast me in your next bolly filmamking, you just have to.

  2. Brilliant!! I love the snow cats. Looks like lots of fun.

  3. This was so totally enjoyable to watch and to read on how you went about making it happen.

    Congrates on your upcoming wedding.