Are you a crazy movie maniac, catch the first show of every new release, and are glued on to the latest celebrity gossip? Why not visit B-town itself and get up-close and personal with the stars themselves? Dheera Majumder tells you what to expect.
“Lights! Camera! Action! We’re at the Big ND Studios, where the renowned film Jodha Akbar was shot. Let’s hurry up. We have our dance instructors waiting to teach you some typical Bollywood dance steps, followed by an acting class.”
This is just a glimpse of what you can expect at a Bollywood tour that are primarily for a day. Mumbai is called the city of dreams and dreams come true in Bollywood, the film capital of India. This is where dreams are woven into reels, which are then sold to the dreamy-eyed movie buff across the world. And every person, mesmerised by this reverie, wants to live it, even if it is for a moment. Another way of living it large is to take a Bollywood tour, packaged to give you a complete dose of suspense, action, dance and drama.
These Bollywood tours essentially begin with a visit to the Film City, which is the heart of the film industry in Mumbai. Here, tourists get to see live shooting for a Hindi movie or a popular daily soap. The question is: which star will you be lucky enough to witness. If luck is in your favour, you may even get a glimpse of Bollywood biggies like Amitabh Bachchan, Aishwarya Rai or Shahrukh Khan!
On a good day, you may also be fortunate to interact with them on the sidelines of their shoots. Vikram Makandar from Vikram Productions, who extended his Bollywood background to offer such tours, says, “Sometimes stars willingly want to interact with the visitors. This helps them to get a firsthand knowledge on the audience’s response to their films or television serials. In that case, the tourists turn out to be really lucky.”
But what if someone insists on attending a shoot of their favourite star? Manoj Gursahani, Director of Bollywood Tourism, says, “We make it clear to every client beforehand that our primary purpose is to ensure they witness a live shoot. We cannot guarantee a meeting.”
After interacting with the stars on sets, the group heads for a city tour seeing the residences of popular Bollywood actors. Get a view of Big B’s Prateeksha and King Khan’s palatial bunglow by the sea. You can even request to see the residence of your favourite star and the tour manager will try to fulfil your desire.
Today, Bollywood tourism has become a niche that many tour operators like Bollywood Tours and Special Holidays offer. This has ensured that these tours are not restricted to visiting the sets and watching actors on field; it has expanded to a plethora of offerings for the benefit of the tourist.
Rajnikant’s Robot wouldn’t have been as famous had it not been for those extraordinary action sequences. Several other Bollywood actors’ claim to fame has been the action flicks they’ve done. Discover how action sequences are directed in a typical Hindi film recreated for you by a famous stuntman from B- town.
This has been by far the most popular segments of the trip. No Bollywood potboiler is complete without the naach-gaana. Groove to some desi dance moves on popular Bollywood numbers with the help of dance instructors. You can also ask for a recorded copy of your item number as a memoir! Munni badnam hui, anyone?
Last but not the least, Bollywood films have their own acting styles. Create your own script and act it out in front of the camera. Get some quick tips on acting from your instructors. Companies like Bollywood Tourism also offer sessions on make-up and in collaboration with Bharat & Dorris. While at it, also learn trendy ways to drape a saree.
After experiencing the various facets of film-making, if you still crave to learn about post-production like editing and sound-mixing, the tour operators will arrange for a brief session that will cover all technical aspects.
Band Baaja Baraat
For those couples who are looking to tie the knot, you do not need to go to Vegas for an elaborate theme wedding. Add some bling and show to your special day and make it even more memorable for you and for people to talk about with a filmy wedding. Tour company Bollywood Tourism will help you plan your wedding on a Bollywood set with the zing and noise, colour and drama typical of a Bollywood wedding.