By Subhash K Jha
MUMBAI: For the theme song in Viacom 18’s Bombay Talkies which features stars, old and new, living and deceased, and footage from vintage classic films,choreographer Vaibhavi Merchant had to seek and obtain as many as 80 NOCs (no objection certificates) from producers whose clippings have been used for the number.
Apparently, Vaibhavi had to convince each producer to part with the footage required for the song.
That she could actually pull off this feat amazes Vaibhavi. “Believe me, it wasn’t easy. For the footage used in the song from films in the black-and-white and the coloured era, we had go from door-to-door asking producers and their surviving kin for consent. There were 80 permissions to be had. Most of the producers I approached were sweet. They understood the importance of what was being done. Having gotten permission to use footage was not the toughest part. Harder still was the fact that the song required so many visual special-effects.”
Vibhavi has lost quite a few kilos doing the number. “It has been two months of non-stop work for this song with practically no sleep. I am looking like a hag. I’ve to hit the gym. But first I must catch up on some sleep.I’ve forgotten what my bed looks like.”
Shahrukh Khan’s production company Red Chillies managed to do the needful in record time.
Says Vaibhavi, “ Around 3,500 frames, 19 singers, a 100 dancers, a 100 members of the crew, 20 extremely supportive stars. And of course the 80 NOCs from kind producers. That’s what we got together for this song. I think I should just retire after this.”
But no .Vaibhavi is planning to direct her first film soon. Contrary to rumours it won’t star her best friend Rani Mukherjee.
Reacting angrily to these rumours, Vaibhavi says, “I just don’t get it. I think I belong to another era. Something seems terribly in the way people make assumptions these days. I will make the film I want to and the way I want with the actors who suit my script.Rumours about Rani being in my film are false.The cast will be decided once the script is ready.”
At the moment Vaibhavi would now have to concentrate on choreographing for Dhoom 3. “That’s a huge responsibility.Once that’s done in August I will think of my own film.”