When I was asked to appear as a Dhol player in the opening scenes of the film All In Good Time, I didn’t really know what to expect. I had to arrange to take two days off work and thought I would just play to escort the bride and groom into their reception and the cameraman would film me. However it was a lot more then what I expected.
The shooting for the scene I was in took me to the exotic location of Southall, not far from the famous Southall Broadway and right around the corner from where Glassy Junction used to be. I had to be at the venue and registered for 7.30am, which meant I had to leave home just after 6am just in case there was any traffic. Some of you may have had the pleasure of driving on the A406.
When I arrived, I quickly came to realise the magnitude of the project as there hundreds of people dressed up like they were going to a wedding. Once we were all accounted for, the hall was set up for the scene. We were all called in and placed at specific locations of the venue and were briefed on what we had to do.
My first scene involved playing the dhol after the official marriage ceremony. The idea was for everyone to start cheering and clapping and for me to start playing dhol. In the actual film the scene of me playing the dhol lasted about a minute, however in reality the filming took the entire day involving several takes.
The second scene involved me playing dhol on the dance floor while the father of the groom, ‘Eeshwar’ played by Harish Patel started off the dancing. Again, the setting for the scene and the placement and direction of each person involved in the scene was predetermined. We had to go for several takes throughout the day. Some of the takes incorporated different camera angles, whilst others involved me playing dhol. Certain parts of the take focused on conversations that the film viewers needed to hear and therefore I was required to mime playing the dhol, while the other extras on the dance floor were miming their own parts.
Although this may sound quite simple and straightforward, it was a long day, very tiring and it made me realise how much hard work was involved to make a film. Having been in this situation, I now understand the challenges actors and actresses face and how hard they actually have to work. Despite it being a full, fun packed, hard and tiring two days I would do it all again. It was a great experience.
If you haven’t already seen the film, make sure to check it out. Having seen the film myself, I thought it was well worth a watch… and it’s not because I starred in the opening scenes. This movie gives you a stereotypical view of what Asians face when they get married, especially when living with extended family. It’s funny and a good watch.