Bollywood fans making life hell for film crew
In the latest incident, Cuba Mall was a bottleneck of people and movie crew today (see pictures at right of security guards trying to move people on), with security staff struggling to keep narrow walkways open as dozens milled around for a close look and to take photos.
“It’s a nightmare,” said one crew member. “This is what we’ve tried to avoid the whole way.
“Everywhere we have gone we’ve had people, photos, placards, banners – the full rig.”
She said she did not know how it got out into the Indian community: “But everyone seems to know where we are, every day.
“We had to hire extra security to stop them coming on set – running onto set. It’s cost us more money.”
However, the fans are undeterred.
“Who do they think they are trying to push us around,” said one mother, who with her daughter was ordered away from the Whitireia Journalism School building doorway by a security guard.
“We’ve never seen a film being taken before. We’re not moving anywhere.”
A passerby commented on the security being a bit “over the top”.
The security staff would not let anyone stay for long watching the shoot.
“Which part of ‘you have to keep the footpath clear’ don’t you understand?” one was heard yelling at onlookers.
Another confronted a fan: “You’ve had long enough. Move on.”
People were told if they were “in shot” they would have to move away from the public footpath.
At one point, everyone in the crowd was told to be quiet because filming was about to start.
Journalism school head Jim Tucker – who went out with a camera to assist with his students’ shoot – found himself being pushed away by one security guard.
“I was on the footpath, not in their roped-off area, and I pointed out that anyone can take a photo in a public place,” he says. “So the guard started waving his hands in front of my camera to obstruct any shots.”
Players, a remake of the movie The Italian Job, has had other challenges, including bad weather and cultural differences, according to one source involved with the shoot.
He says Wellington winds have been a challenge for the Indian film crew who are not used to gusts blowing their equipment around.
Another crewman has been sunburnt: “A lot of the Indians are peeling because they didn’t put their sunblock on.
“India is hotter than New Zealand, but they had not taken into account that New Zealand’s ozone layer has depleted.
“So we’ve sorted that out. A lot of them wear white muslin over their faces because the sun is so strong.”
The set is also fraught with cultural differences, he said.
“Obviously, they are from Mumbai and we are from New Zealand, so I don’t need to elaborate surely on what the cultural differences are. They should be glaringly obvious – they’re Indian – we‘re Kiwis.
“There is 1.2 billion of them and there’s 4 million of us. We value life, safety, rules, regulations…”
Directing the film are the famous Indian A-list directors, the Burmawallas, who are distinguished by their all-white outfits.