Nicola Pecorini, the Director of Photography of the much talked about Shahrukh Khan's Ra.One in an interview to an Italian site talked about his exprience working in Bollywood and the difference between Bollywood and Hollywood.I have added excerpts from the interview. It makes for an interesting reading.
Do you think there are many differences between the Bollywood and Hollywood productions?
First, I shall list the similarities: in both cases the final product is a film. The organization of production, forms of financing, roles, both in pre-production and in production are very different. On the other hand, the Indian society is deeply different from the West and this is reflected in cinema. In my case, moreover, the situation was unique. Red Chillies is truly a world apart, with its great king, King Khan, and dynamics similar to those who imagine they were in vogue in feudal times, the court, the favorites and palace conspiracies. On second thought even Italy has some of these features ... One thing that immediately catches the eye is the incredible freedom and power the actors have, only the ones screaming, of course. In Hollywood, even Brad Pitt or Johnny Depp cannot afford a tantrum.
How was it working with Anubhav Sinha?
All in all I felt good, although the role of director in a film like is very different from what is usually understood. Eventually the person who decided everything was Shah Rukh. Anubhav had no other alternative bit to agree. As I said you can not contradict the King, it sometimes becomes very difficult to protect him from himself.
As for the look we agreed on certain parameters of video games for the final sequences (Level1, Level 2 and Climax, as we called them in production), the rest has been an ongoing dialogue with Sabu and Markus Ciryl Wookey, the two designers. Sabu is fantastic, full of ideas, resources and irony
How was the experience working with the cast. Shah Rukh Khan ,Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Rampal?
Shah Rukh is sufficiently sharp. I could not understand his determination to be late every day, even 4.5, 6 hours! I became crazy! He certainly a formidable professional (once he arrives on the set) and an even more formidable businessman. The inventiveness and depth of promoting Ra.One was incredible. SRK is not just a man, but is an industry.
Kareena is inscrutable, always seems to be on another planet. When you strike the clapper back into itself and then go away immediately when you call the "cut". Arjun is very nice and in my opinion a good one.