1 April, 2011
The most memorable day of my life, hands down. Never have I felt this much under pressure before, never have I felt this relieved before, never have I felt this contented before, never have I felt this loved before.
I think the best way to write about this day is to simply write down all the events from morning till night. That way I can save every bit of it in the world wide web for ever to come.
The team makes a final attempt at getting a DVD to work. The computers says that it will take about 1.5 hours to get the work done, so I go off to take a nap.
I wake up and realize that the DVD is ready. We check it on the DVD player and it seems to be working reasonably well. The audio and the video seems to be OK without any issues like lag, balancing etc.
Since the post production team simply couldn't bear to go through the whole movie one more time and since we anyway thought it would be a better idea for a more neutral person to watch it, we get the hubby to go through the video while the rest of us take rest.
Hubby announces that the DVD is working.
My parents and uncle arrive from India to participate in Mausams premiere.
My mom shows me a gift from someone in India. This friend (who is already a very special individual as written here before) has sent a plaque with my picture and "good luck" wishes engraved on it. I am overwhelmed. Who goes through that kind of trouble?
I leave for office to prepare for an important presentation that was to take place at 12 noon.
I start getting "good luck" messages from a lot of friends, family members and even Mausams cast and crew. I feel very much supported.
I am notified that the work presentation is cancelled because the guys who I was supposed to present to can't make itl. This is actually good news because this now meant that I can join the test screening at Arts House starting at 11:30AM. But I still had a meeting to attend, so I went down to Spinelli's since it was one of those meetings "over coffee".
As I was waiting for the other person to join the meeting, a perfect stranger (but from my company) walks up and introduces herself to me. She wishes me good luck for the premiere and tells me that she will be coming with a bunch of friends on April 3rd to watch. It was very much unexpected and brings a smile.
After my meeting, I reach Arts House for the test screening. My tech team joins me.
The test screening goes off very well for a while and the team starts to relax. We crack jokes and actually enjoy ourselves. Then the DVD gets stuck.
After a couple of attempts at making the DVD work, we take the backup DVD and do another run.
The biggest screw up pops up. An entire track seems to have gotten added on to original audio track by mistake, which now makes all the DVDs pretty much unusable. Everyone feels crushed. There was nothing to be done other than to go back home and do the DVD burning process. Again. The tech team leaves for that, while I continue with the test screening to ensure there are no further screw ups present.
The hubby joins me at the Arts House and I break down like I have never broken down before. It was like the world fell apart. I felt helpless, confused and absolutely horrified at the state of affairs. The breakdown lasts for exactly 2 minutes after which I sober up and tell God that he better have a good enough reason for all this mess. By now I have also cribbed on Facebook which has resulted in a flurry of messages pouring in and they do their bit in comforting me. My tech team informs me that they have reached home, have figured out the error and are now burning the DVD again which will take about 2 hours and 15 minutes.
I see the message from a cast member about a stpry on Mausams being published in full glory in a leading Malayalam newspaper. It was certainly great news amongst everything else that seemed to be going wrong.
The test screening of the main DVD and the backup DVD (or what were initially meant to be the main DVD and the backup DVD) progresses since there was nothing much else to do anyway as I wait for the tech team to return. The hubby leaves to figure out some logistics. I sip on the orange juice that the hubby had forced me to drink and pace up and down the screening theatre thinking of what I must say in my vote of thanks post the screening.
As I pace up and down, I reach a particular spot within the screening theatre. At the same time the DVD that's being screened comes to the same point where the audio screw up had taken place. I stop in my tracks because I realize that the particular track which should not have been there, is exceptionally loud at the point where I was standing. After a moment, I rush to the other end of the theatre and I realize that the track is coming only from the speaker close to my initial position. I rush to the control room and play around with the dials and I realize that by completely muting one channel, that track can be muted while maintaining every other sound in the movie.
The hubby is back and I say, "Go sit in one of those audience chairs and pay attention." I play the spot again. But this time he doesn't hear the extra track. We had cracked it. We can play the tested DVD with just this manual adjustment during the screening. It is less riskier than playing a completely non-tested DVD that is currently being burned at home. I call up my tech team and tell them the news.
I am back home to eat and then get ready for the Premiere.
We are back at the Arts House for the Premiere. My parents, in-laws and uncle have also come. Many of my cast members and other crew members have also arrived. Everyone tells me (in a very nice and polite way) that I look like crap, thanks to my horrendous black eye patches. The lovely ladies offer me eye liner, foundation, etc. but I am too distracted for anything. I delegate ticketing, ushering, collection of cash etc. to a friend. I pace up and down refusing to take pictures and videos which was pretty unfair to my poor editor who was following me with the camera. My mind was only praying for a no-glitch run of the DVD. The audience start trickling in.
The Deputy High Commissioner arrives. Some media persons arrive. I give a very garbled interview which made no sense surely because the interviewer finally asked me, "Huh, what?" and then I said "Why don't you just watch the film? You will understand what I mean." Most of the audience arrive too. Everyone wishes me luck. I only half hear them and give some mono-syllable answers when asked something.
I chase everyone inside. It is time to start.
Everyone is seated. The hubby and I sit in the back row, in the corner seats since we have to do the manual handling of the sound when that wrong spot comes again in the middle of the movie.
My publicity manager gives a very good introductory note.
The first public screening of Mausams begins.
The hubby and I steal away to the control room. I manage the audio channels as the spot comes up. It passes on without an issue. We go back to our seats. My music composer, who was sitting in the seat right in front of me extends his hand to shake mine. We did it, we managed the screening without any issue.
The first public screening of Mausams ends. The audience is very appreciative. As the end credits rolled up and audience applauded, I take in the applause with a feeling like never before.
I give a vote of thanks to the wonderful cast and crew who made this happen. The crowd cheers again. I see beaming faces all around. The cast, crew, my family, the hubby, the audience. I feel like it's my moment of glory. I am relieved, contented, happy and every other synonym of happy.
The vote of thanks end. People come up and say they loved the film. I see a few teary eyes here and there. One person with whom I have worked several times before tells me "I have never complimented you before, but this time I must." People who have always simply stuck to shaking hands can't stop hugging me. I get hugged like I have never gotten hugged before. I feel loved, encouraged, and of course, on top of the world. I have a brief dialogue with God in my head, "OK fine... that mess up was worth this reaction."
After a few photo sessions and all, the Mausams cast and crew make their way to Boat Quay for a post premiere dinner. We have a great time.
We walk to Clarke Quay. The initial idea was go clubbing but everyone is dead tired. I have a horrible headache and I feel like a part of me is literally draining out of me. But we end up at a Cafe and have a drink over some general Mausams-related chit chat.
We are back at home. I go through the guest book everyone had filled in at the premiere. They have been very kind and I can't stop smiling. I chat with the editor who is spending his last night with us. Tomorrow he will be off.
I hit the bed but am unable to sleep. Am extremely fatigued but excited. I replay the scenes of the day over and over in my head. And after some time, I drift off to the deepest sleep ever.
Mausams, thus, draws to a close.
And thus, we complete 500th day of this blog (a sheer coincidence).
500 more to go.