Wrap Blog – Part 1
Freedom!!! A temporary Empire (our film cast and crew) loosens its grip over the land upon which we have descended for more than half a month and returns normal life and freedom from film making conformity to the people of the local village, Narangpur, where we have been staying and filming much of our projects. At the same time, India celebrates its own independence, gained 65 years ago.
We wrapped the last shot and last scene of our project and immediately the air was filled with that familiar feeling of helplessness. A sudden withdrawal of the madness of film shoots leaves the atmosphere with a piercing emptiness. Almost like the gripping silence after deafeningly loud music is switched off. Countless individuals who have been running around non-stop for weeks, trying to ensure the vision becomes a reality suddenly have to apply the brakes to both feet and brain.
There is that twitchyness throughout the body of continued momentum with no substantial channel for output. Like a continuing whirlpool in a glass of stirred water. Everyone is overjoyed at the relief from duties, but as the human brain craves information and activity, there is a look of uncertainty on faces. Is this it? Have we really finished? Is there really nothing else to do? Yes! It’s a wrap!! Whoops, applause and cheers all round as the reality flows through the tired limbs of all involved.
So working in Punjab has both positive and negative implications and experiences, but so does being alive! It’s not the first time I’ve worked here, but each experience is different, and it’s safe to say that this has been like no other, and I’m sure future instances will again be completely different.
We had equipment problems which suppliers refused to acknowledge, vanity vans that fell into fields, constant (but also welcomed) rain, burning sunshine and heat, cast and crew uncertainties and plenty more besides. But patience is often a rewarding virtue and evidence of this is that we managed to get all our work complete!
Here’s an initial publicity poster from the ‘Panj Koha Te’ video. But before that, I’ve been asked what ‘Panj Koha Te’ even means. ‘Panj’ is the Punjabi word for the number Five. A ‘Koh’ is an old Indian unit of measurement, deriving from the word ‘Kos‘ One Koh or Kos is agreed to be around 2.25 miles. The word ‘Te’ means upon or at. So Panj Koha Te translates as ‘Upon Five Kohs’ or interpreted as ’10 miles away’. The main catch line of the song is “Panj koha te pind si, sadde dilbar jaani da” or “Five Kohs away, lay the village of my beloved”. I hope that helps explain somewhat!
Part Two of the Wrap Blog will reflect deeper on the filming experience, with some more exclusive images. Keep tuned!