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I am working on a short film for the Railway Children charity, promoting their educational program. But I am in Bombay, the capital of Bollywood……………. Bollywood – bling, dancing girls, dancing boys, dancing girls and boys, dancing girls and girls, dancing boys and boys, dancing boys pretending to be dancing girls dancing with dancing boys and so on; over acted fights, different outfits per second,  more camp than Christmas.  Bollywood is barking. It is a fabulous extravaganza, filmed in every exotic location possible, the Pyramids, Great Wall of China, Beckton. Constructed around a lame script, they generally contain one of the 10 or so lead actors that seem to exist India. These actors are everywhere, associating and selling their souls to any product that will have ’em. You cannot move more than 20 yards without seeing one of their smug faces brandished from some billboard or poster, or blurting out from a television ad. They act, sing and dance, they are gods. India would crumble to nothingness if they all died – of course it would be a horrific plane crash over the Grand Canyon, caused by a fight over the lead lady…..god imagine the wreckage Prada, Guccci and Armani, more snakeskin than snake in a fiery desert Bollywood ball.


With the films dance sequences comes the cursory music that becomes synonymous to the  film. They exist in a symbiotic relationship, film and music, music and film. Every self respecting mobile phone user will have to have it set as their ringtone until the next box office hit comes about. If you do not hear it blaring out of the TV, car radio or filling a shopping Mall at least 50 times a day, then it has failed. If you do not have a catchy tune to your film then you are doomed, reduced to the archives of Bollywood history, never to see the daylight again. Get it right though and everyone gets rich. With over a billion people in India Bollywood is big business.


But there is not only Bollywood to fill this market – there is Tollywood, films made in Tamil Nadu, Collywood, Calcutta, Dollywood, films made by Dolly Parton. To have an ‘ollywood is to have your own style within a genre, use your own language and promote the stars you want to promote.


Working in the edit suite I have to resist the temptation and urge to use various of these ‘ollywood influences.  Child rights, abuse and trauma doesn’t quite seem to fit the genre, surely I can get a dance sequence in someplace.


“Sing is King”


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