Thursday, 21 May 2015

Meet The Romi

Meet the Romi was such a fun project to shoot. It was literally a script that came out of nothing.

When I was young and lived in India, our locality was such that their was always a quarrel or two in the week on the crossroads near our house. My elder sister who had a great sense of humour used to enjoy watching those fights and if there was no fight in the street for 2-3 days, she would comment that she was missing the "shows".

One day I was thinking about that and the line came to my mind "Where I come from that's called entertainment!" And after that the script just wrote itself!

Casting for it was very funny as well. All my team members were of the opinion that I should do the role of Romi myself since I am, evidently, Indian. But I wanted the character to be a student, in early 20's to fit the story. Plus, I can't "do" an Indian accent to save my life. Yes, I know, I find it hilarious too, but after all these years in England my accent is a very bastardized mix of 50% English and 50% Indian accents.

We held auditions for this film and Ken was the first one to read for the part of Romi. His Indian accent was great and we just cast him there and then. We made the right choice! He was great as Romi.

The casting for the role of Natalie was also quite hilarious. We held the auditions in Central London in a public building with the camera and mic setup around a set of tables. There were 5 of us in the audition panel. There was a public performance going on nearby and there were a lot of people milling around. For the scene where Romi walks in on Natalie in the shower I wanted to see if the actress could scream convincingly. So, in my naivete, I asked the first actress to audition to give us a sample of her scream.


She gave us a sample alright! When my ears stopped ringing I realized that all the people around us were still staring at us! Goes without saying that I didn't ask any of the subsequent actresses to scream. I had learnt my lesson!

If you watch the film you will see that the height difference between the actors playing Jack (Dave Frost) and Natalie (Claire Austin) is ludicrous. But they were both such good actors that we wanted to cast them rather than look for someone  more height compatible. I must say they worked out great!

Well, here is the link to the video, I hope you watch it and let us know how you like it. We have improved in our filmmaking since then but those old projects are still quite dear to us.