Off Screen MADNESS of a TV Show !!! (Backstage- Part 1)

Hello guys. Today, I’d like to share some off-screen madness which actually is a very important part of any TV show. Believe you me; it’s a lot of work, still, it’s crazy FUN! Aur ek baat hamesha yaad rakhna... Chaahe kuch bhi ho jaaye, TV shows mein galti sirf aur sirf “Creatives” ki he hoti hai. Been there, done that! It’s an unsaid FACT! 😛


For any TV show, one needs an ‘idea’. Be it good or bad, an idea is an idea. It can change the scenario of TV, can change mindset of people or can also irritate them and compel them to switch onto another channel. When concept meeting takes place; ideation team digs out most ‘uncommon’ ideas and showcase them. Or, they find the most ‘common’ ideas and try dealing with them ‘differently’. When ideation meetings are on, it’s a great sight to watch out for. I’ve observed, some people being busy on their Blackberry Messenger updating ‘how bored I am!’ or ‘this meeting is going on since ages!’ or ‘what a brilliant idea was that!’ etc. Some others are scratching their head saying ‘we need a proper hook to weave the story’. Someone keeps on passing humorous comments which make everyone LOL! Someone might give a sub-plot to the actual story and make it some another weird story. While this madness is going on, the Producer is on some other spree only and says, (Just an example) ‘I do not like this, or I like this, or give me something NEW and FRESH. Kab tak I’ll make only love story, love-hate story, family drama, or kitchen politics? Aaj kal Youngistan pe bade acche shows ban rahe hai. Why don’t we all make some show on Youth?’ And everyone goes silent for some time. Meeting gets dispersed. And next meeting takes place with Youthful discussion or some other random idea. LOL! Fun na?

Writer’s Wit:

Once the ideation team has decided upon some idea and finalized it, further process follows. Story, Screenplay and Dialogues constitute the writing part of the show. All these 3 have to be crisp and solid to interest the viewer. Writers do churn out their brains in meeting; and think of ‘out-of-the-box’ scenes to bring a smile on people’s face. It’s the writer’s wit and lines which we see actors performing in front of the camera. An actor cannot become a character, unless writer clarifies peculiar characteristics of the character and gives them proper nuances. Writers think of all those books and plays and movies which they have watched and picks out small and big characteristics and allocates to different characters. Or they make characters being inspired from ‘real’ life and adding ‘tinge’ to it. Once characters are finalized, story and screenplay follows.  And on other side, casting team starts their work too!

Casting Christ:

You must be thinking why have I written ‘Christ’? Well, if a show gets the best cast (which is very difficult but not impossible), producers actually Thank God for it! Because, to broadcast a well churned out idea, one needs a blend of awesome actors. 100s of people audition for one show and only ‘a few’ of them are lucky and talented enough to get selected. They get a chance to showcase their talent. Just one chance, either to MAKE it BIG or try harder! Once, the casting is locked, show ka ‘Om Shree Ganeshay Namah’ hota hai. Shubh din dekhkar muhrat shoot and then the actual shoot starts !! BANG !! Bring it on!

Cameraman’s Roll:

The best part which I admire about the shoot is, whenever the shoot starts, before that we all Thank God, say our prayers and daily first shot is of Lord Ganesha. Then, the first scene is discussed between the Director, Cameraman and Creatives (sometimes). Director will define the shot and the block; cameraman will do his lighting accordingly! Oh man! Some cameramen take hours to finish up the lighting! And some finish it up very quickly. At times, just to play the prank, cameraman says, roll and actor starts performing. After director says cut, cameraman says “arrey roll he nahi hua tha”. Hahahaha! (I’ve done this once too! Just for FUN sake!)

Silky Smooth Shoot:

Haha !!!! Kaash aise shoot hota…!! Jab tak koi problem nahi hoti din mein, shoot adhoora hota hai. Shoot doesn’t complete without some problem! Daily on-set, you’ll find people trying to solve some or the other issue or a fight. Kabhi actors ki dates ko lekar problem, kabhi writers ke likhe hue lines ki problem, kabhi costume stylist ki fitting ki problem toh kabhi production requirements ki problem. Kuch na kuch utpatang sa roz hota hai. If it doesn’t happen then, it’s not a TV serial set! On a TV show set, you’ll find some people constantly talking on their phones (they are generally creatives or executive producers). Spot boys running here and there to deliver some or the other things to actors/directors and other people. Some people resting on their respective place wherever they are seated. Mic dada will give mics to all the actors. Sound dada will check the sound and say ‘ok’. Finally actors will come, Director will set the block and cameraman will do his lighting. Kabhi galti se day ke scene mein night ki lighting ho jaati hai toh hungama ho jaata hai! Aur galti kiski.?? Creatives ki..!!! Wonder how ??? Creatives are asked “tum set par karte kyaa ho? Dekha nahi cameraman galat lighting kar raha hai. Brief nahi dee thi kyaa..??” And creatives are speechless. Because the scene was actually discussed as well as it’s always mentioned in the script whether it’s a day scene or night! How can you blame a creative if the director or the cameraman has not read the script properly? But, aisa he hota hai. After this issue is solved, actors do rehearse before their takes. Then, Light…Roll camera… and… ACTION! #phew such a task na?

Creative’s Call:

As one scene gets over, preparation for the next starts. Ab bhai ismein bhi toh ‘locha’ hai.. Shopping ka scene hai aur shopping bags he nahi hai. Market place ka setup bhi thik nahi hai. Junior actors enough numbers mein nahi hai.. Problem ek ho toh bataye! This is like crazy! And in the end it’s the creative’s call! He/She will say fine, shift the scene to some other interior location like a hotel corridor or something; depending on the content of the scene and link of the screenplay. You can’t just change the location out of the blue! Creatives visualize and do come up with logical and illogical solutions. LOL! That’s what they are paid for!  

Well, that’s it for now. Rest shall be posted soon. If you have liked the above stuff and LOL-ed, please do comment and then wait for my next post which will include second part of the “Off Screen Madness of a TV Show”

— Direct dil se from one of the Creatives 😉

4 thoughts on “Off Screen MADNESS of a TV Show !!! (Backstage- Part 1)

  1. I guess now we know the reason for the haywire tracks.. jo all of sudden badal jaate hai :p .. i know to shoot a 4-5 minutes ka scene, it takes a whole lotta pain by the creatives and techs to get things in place.. upar se face the pricey tantrums of our so called TV celebs 😀 , we audience take no time in blaming CV’s for slow tracks.. but never wonder there are so many interference’s by actors, producers, directors.. and aakhir mein karne kuch jaate hai aur hota kuch aur hai 😀 and there could be issues as mentioned here.

    All said and done.. this eventaully binds the ppl working on a show together .. KyuK aaj kal to shows 2-3 saalon tak chalte hai..

    Pun intended .. CV’s are the only and only characters alive on this planet who have the power to bring the person back from the death. else ek Character ko atleast 2-3 baar maar dena :p

    At the end Cheers to CV’s and the tech teams to keep us entertained all this while. Keep up the good work..

    Aaakhir TV Serial/Soap sirf 3 cheej se chalti hai Entertainment, Entertainment & Entertainment.. Need i say more.:)

    • very true. Viewers see only what is served not what’s behind, and posts like this will help them connect better with a show as they might sometime just overlook small mistakes and boring storyline thinking about what a creative writer is going through 😀 LOL again!

  2. Hahaha…very interesting post.Gives us the hidden picture of the live of a creative.Mann!! they go through so much in a day…lolzzz..
    Even as audience we blame for a bad episode to the creatives, not knowing that they are not the only ones making a show 😛
    Looking forward for the 2nd part of this article 🙂

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