MissMalini: OMG Vishal Punjabi your film blew us all away! In fact I watch the trailer whenever I want to fall in love again :) Please tell us how you came to make this real life love story and what inspired you to make it into a film?
Vishal Punjabi: I’ve known Devrath for a while now… He was an assistant director in a Bollywood film called Honeymoon Travels and I was doing Visual Effects back then for the film and he was always that funny guy that could make people laugh when they needed to… But to me, he was just that… The cool AD… I never thought of his family or his love life and all that… And then years later, he came in to my studio and told me he was getting married and he’d seen my wedding film (the one that started it all) and wanted one just like that… And then he spoke about his bride, Kanika, and his eyes sparkled!
I could see instantly that this boy was smitten by her and when I met her I could see why! She lets him be just the way he is and is so full of life! Their family and friends opened up to me and didn’t shy away. I am so used to filming commercials, with actors, and sets, and scripts and storyboards and the scary looking ‘Kitanoo!’ but here there were real people, with real emotions! It’s magical really when it all comes together!
MM: Typically movies are expected to have a plot, drama, comic relief etc how do you make a movie out of real life events where you can’t control what happens?
VP: There is always an amazing story when it comes to love so that takes care of the plot. In a wedding, especially our indian ones, emotions run high and that takes care of drama, and whenever you find a bar, you’ll have comic relief! Sometimes I really think I was born to do this cause every time I point my camera, I capture something I couldn’t have see coming! I myself get goosebumps, cry and laugh with them! The magic is seen only cause I don’t make them act or stand in a way I want them to. They’re not actors! Everything is real. Music plays such an important role in film making, and to make this real, I compose music exclusively for the film. That way, the music never gets dated!
MM: Everyone is dying to know. When and where can we watch HeartBeats?
VP: The festival cut is being finalized but sadly it can’t be released to the world until it finishes the rounds. The other thing is that these films are pretty personal so it’s up to the newlyweds. The best way to watch Heartbeats is to get married and call us to film your very own :)
MM: What do you charge for something like this? I know a lot of brides are reading this with their fingers crossed!
VP: No two weddings are the same so it’s impossible to try and package these films! Some have weddings in the backyards of their homes, some in hotels and some are like a Filmfare Award with a concert thrown in! Obviously, the cost of shooting each one varies vastly! I have cameras that can fly and swim and dance around with everyone but I guess we could look at it like a Bollywood film! The bigger the budget, the bigger the bang… but sometimes, that low budget, simple, sweet story can be better than the Diwali Blockbuster! I can’t do too many of these either, since I craft each film with all my love, myself… I don’t do more than 10 a year :)
MM: What’s next? You’ve set the bar high! Are you going to make movies a big part of your life now?
VP: Oh yes… I was born to make films… It’s all I know how to do… This year I’m doing some wonderful weddings all over the world (from Barbados to Bali) and then I start principal shooting of my first ever Hindi film! And guess what? It’s a based on a wedding :D
MM: And now a few FB & Twitter Qs!
VP: A wedding film is like the wedding itself! It’s so hard to put a cost to! You could get married in 5,00,000, or 5,00,00,000! It’s exactly the same with the films! Each film is costed for individually based on the kind of wedding you have! The Wedding Filmer makes movies. We’d rather stick to what we’re good at! However we’ve worked with a bunch of really talented wedding photographers during our shoots and would be happy to recommend them to you. It’s really important to choose your photographer well since you’ll be sharing your most important day with them instead of us… You guys should get each other!
Deepti Kaul Facebook Q: What was his idea behind “filmising” the already very filmy Indian wedding?
VP: The Idea was to create a memory of the days love was promised… And to present that memory in a way that would make you watch it over and over and over again. We don’t realise this but when we get married, everything is such a blur once it’s over! Now if you can relive those moments in a way you’d want to remember them, how magical is that?
True Story here: “I wake up every morning and after my morning cup of chai, I watch my wedding film, all one hour of it, before I begin my day!” – as told by a bride who has been shot by The Wedding Filmer!
Want to hear another true story Vishal? I don’t even know these people and I watch this wedding film nearly everyday too :) xoxo