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Khushboo Sharma

IWB Blogger

Padmini Nandakumar Shares How An Assistant Director Is Like A Project Manager

  • IWB Post
  •  May 4, 2018

“My first job was as a light boy in Kerala,” shares Padmini Nandakumar. Immensely passionate about theatre and the performing arts, Padmini made a shift from Chennai to Mumbai to pursue her dreams.

32-year-old Padmini has worked for ten years in the film industry including Bollywood and even International films. “In the last ten years, I’ve worked as a camera assistant, written scripts, done production,” recalls Padmini.

Currently, Padmini has been serving as the assistant director in none other than a Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra production. Talking about her move to Mumbai, Padmini shares that it would be more convenient for her to get a break in Bollywood in comparison to the Tamil film industry. “As a city, too, I felt Mumbai was easier for me to be in,” she adds.

Talking about the number of women behind the camera she says that there are indeed a lot of women in the industry today who are working behind the camera. “I worked on Anurag Kashyap’s Bombay Velvet and it was almost a fully female crew,” she shares. She also tells that same is the case with the Tamil film industry.

She reveals an amazing fact: “I have to say that unlike other industries, there is no pay gap when it comes to my job. Women ADs are paid the same as the men.”

Talking about her role as a first assistant director she shares that her role is akin to that of a project manager. She has to work on almost all aspects of the film right from breaking the script to figuring out the requirements for the shoot.

She shares a funny anecdote from the film sets: “Once, I was working in a film which had to with religion. We had a cow and a pig on the set. We took a lunch break and when I came back, there was no cow. We searched for it and finally called the guy who owns it. He said that the cow had come home. It took us 2-3 hours to get the cow back on the set…it refused to get into the tempo.”

Funny as it might sound it brings out the level of hard work that the post of an assistant director asks for.

H/T: The News Minute

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