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How to get into bollywood

How to get into bollywood

If you’re determined of being in the movie you’re watching, don’t give up on your cinematic dreams. While there’s no guaranteed method for making it big in Bollywood, talent, persistence, connections, and a very thick skin usually pay off.

“Have patience and believe in yourself. If you are talented and true to your work, you will get that big break,” says actor Rajat Barmecha, who made his Bollywood debut with the 2010 sleeper hit Udaan. He joins a panel of outsiders-turned-Bollywood successes who share their advice about getting your name rolling in the credits – whether it’s as an actor, director, choreographer, dancer, or in any one of those critical behind-the-scenes jobs. Ignore the naysayers. When 22-year-old Rajat Barmecha signed on for Udaan, he had only a few modelling assignments under his belt. He had no filmi background, no ‘godfather’ in the industry, no training, no manager, and his first audition for the role was not a success. While everybody agrees there’s no formula to get into Bollywood, you would think it would be hard to do without at least one of the above. But Barmecha did, and is now a successful and critically acclaimed actor.

Others have blazed their own trails as well. Vishal Bhardwaj composed music before he became a Bollywood director with Makdee; Kunal Kohli was a film critic pre-Mujhse Dosti Karoge, and Madhur Bhandarkar worked in a video library… and that’s just a small range of the jobs people did before becoming directors.

Learn from auditions and meet the right people: It’s easy learning even if you haven’t got your big breakthrough as an actor. “There is no shortcut to success, but do as many auditions as you can – they were my biggest learning process,” Barmecha says.

Barmecha also believes that acting or other film schools aren’t necessarily the right way to get into the business, but it’s much more important to network and make the right connections. Beyond that, his advice is to work hard, stay focused, not get jealous of others’ success, and to stay grounded.

Training is good… Film school is obviously not a requirement to becoming a director, but it’s the one recommendation director Prakash Jha makes. “Get some formal training,” he says, suggesting institutes such as Film and Television Institute of India or Whistling Woods. The training doesn’t have to be in directing. Any film-related field – editing, cinematography, critiquing – that gives you an introduction and some practical instruction will do.

But experience is better: Training on the job is what will actually teach you the nitty-gritty of being a director. To become the man calling the shots, the most valuable learning role is that of an assistant director. It’s the job that forms the basis of most of Bollywood’s current crop of successful directors – because it gave them hands-on experience in the craft.

Explore the options: Being an actor or director might be the big Bollywood aspiration, but a movie requires any number of crew members – editors, storywriters, lyricists, cinematographers, set designers, costume designers, sound recorder – jobs with a higher rate of success in breaching Bollywood’s barriers.

One of the most desirable jobs in Indian movies is, obviously, dance and choreography. To get a break as a dancer, choreographer Ganesh Hegde advises circulating a demo of your work. Put together a demo tape with different sequences that showcase the breadth of your talent. If you want to be a choreographer, first assist a good Bollywood choreographer. “It’s the only way to understand camera angles and stage sets,” says Hegde.

Perfect your craft and be open to everything: To get a break as a dancer, Hegde says you should send around a demo tape to bag an audition. Once you are picked to be part of a troupe, you will spend at least three months training learning that choreographer’s style. “Being a dancer is simple,” says Hegde. “Stay updated with all the different forms of dancing – right now it’s western – be the best at your job, stay disciplined about weight, look, grooming, and you’ll come to the front row.”

Perfecting your skills is crucial, because you have to be good at what you do. “Bollywood is a lot of hard work,” says set designer Sugandha Leekha, who bagged her first job in set design over a conversation with friends. “It’s not glamorous, it’s crazy. To be part of it you have to be really passionate about what you do. You can’t have set notions about what you will do and what is beneath you – you have to be open to anything and everything.”

How to get into bollywood

Nearly fifty years ago, a fresh-faced young actor named Amitabh Bachchan traveled to Mumbai, the so-called "City of Dreams," to find work.

Since then, he has starred in more than 200 films and is now considered by many the "undisputed Godfather of Bollywood."

Bollywood — a portmanteau created from Bombay (as Mumbai was formerly called) and Hollywood — is the nickname for the Hindi film industry centered around the city.

It contributes nearly half of the total box office revenue in India, according to a 2016 Deloitte report, and has picked up a sizable international audience over the years. One of Bollywood's recent films, "Dangal," has raked in nearly $300 million at the box office, with a majority of it coming from outside India. That is an Indian film industry record.

Much as is the case in Los Angeles, breaking into Bollywood is not easy. But that doesn't stop thousands of aspiring actors from all over India from turning up in Mumbai every year to try to make it on the big screen. Mumbai has a population of at least 18 million, according to 2011 census data, making it one of the more densely populated cities in the world.

"There's so much happening here, there are so many opportunities for people that live in smaller towns," Bachchan told CNBC's "Trailblazers" about Mumbai. "It's been said that if you come to this city, you won't spend a night without a meal or you won't be hungry … there's always something to do, some job to do where you can survive."

Bachchan was born in the city of Allahabad in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. He completed his college education in Delhi, and spent seven years working in Kolkata before making his trek to Mumbai. It was by chance that at the same time that Bachchan was about to arrive in Mumbai, a film producer was looking to cast new faces for a project.

"I was coming in search of joining the movies, but had actually made some initial ground," Bachchan said. "Because there was the producer of the first film that I did, who was looking for fresh faces."

Bachchan's brother, at that time living in the city, was the one who first learned about the producer. Bachchan said his brother "pushed my photograph to the gentleman, and he seemed to want to meet me. And so I was arriving for that, and fortunately the day I arrived I got the job, my first job."

'Going from door to door'

Bachchan made his film debut in 1969 as a voice narrator in the award-winning film "Bhuvan Shome," the story of an uncompromising widower working for the Indian Railways. He also got his first acting gig that same year in the film "Saat Hindustani," where he played a poet named Anwar Ali, from the state of Bihar, who joins up with other protagonists to spread Indian nationalist sentiments in Portuguese-occupied Goa.

Beyond the quick success of landing his first paid gig, Bachchan said it was back to "going from door to door and looking for a job" that was fundamental in building his expansive career. According to him, being persistent is important in breaking down the doors of the film industry. For him, it was routine to "get up in the morning and go and visit studios" in order to "try and sell your face to them."

Bachchan spent the next few years making about a dozen films before he landed his breakout role. In 1973, he starred as police inspector Vijay Khanna in the film "Zanjeer," where his brooding lead character is an honest cop in a crooked town.

“A film producer claimed he had a part for me,” said the actress

How to get into bollywood

Actress Malhaar Rathod trains during a kickboxing session at a gym in Mumbai. (Image courtesy: AFP)

Highlights

  • Malhaar has featured in global skincare brands
  • “Waiting to hear back about roles gave me sleepless night,” she said
  • “You can’t have too many expectations,” she added

It took a minute for Malhaar Rathod, then an aspiring teenage actress, to realise what the 65-year-old Indian film producer was asking her to do – and to make the decision to walk away. “He claimed he had a part for me and then asked me to lift my top. I got so scared, I didn’t know what to do at first,” Malhaar Rathod, now an up-and-coming television star, told AFP in Mumbai.

Her experience with what is euphemistically known as Bollywood’s “casting couch” culture underlines the challenges facing anyone seeking to break into India’s massive, insiders-only film industry, where the #MeToo movement has secured few wins.

After #MeToo triggered the downfall of top Hollywood powerbrokers like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey, many women in Bollywood spoke up about their experience of sexual harassment, breaking a long-established culture of silence.

The Indian industry has largely looked the other way however and many of the alleged perpetrators have been able to revive their careers after lying low for a few months.

Movie-mad India is the world’s largest producer of films, with around 1,800 releases a year in multiple languages, easily dwarfing Hollywood’s output — but forging a career in the nepotistic industry can be a challenge.

Unlike the children of celebrities who are groomed for stardom and tailor-made debuts, outsiders have to fend off lecherous men and contend with a gruelling routine of auditions and rejections.

‘Dream come true’

“It’s very difficult to crack Bollywood if you don’t have connections. No-one is going to offer you a launch, you have to do small parts and work your way up,” actor Paras Tthukral told AFP.

“I have done all kinds of jobs to survive. Worked in a call center, in corporate gifting, marketing, you name it,” Paras Tthukral, who moved to Mumbai in 2008 and has since appeared in two TV shows and a couple of films, added.

“An alternative career would have been easier for sure. but being an actor is a dream come true.” Malhaar Rathod is one of the lucky ones. After her early brush with the casting couch, she is now a familiar face to Indian viewers, appearing in advertisements for global skincare brands including Garnier and Dove.

The sole breadwinner for a family of five including two younger sisters, she has managed to make inroads into television with a part in the hit show Hostages on India’s Disney-owned streaming platform Hotstar.

The 25-year-old is hoping to see that success translate to the silver screen, following in the footsteps of film stars such as Preity Zinta and Deepika Padukone who began their Bollywood career with advertisements.

But she is keenly aware that it could all disappear in a flash. “Waiting to hear back about roles has given me sleepless nights,” she said, adding that she has recently turned to prayer and meditation in a bid to calm her mind.

“You can’t have too many expectations, otherwise you will be perpetually disappointed.” For every success story, there are tens of thousands of aspiring actors who fail to make it into the big leagues.

Even so, more and more people are joining their ranks, lining up for auditions in Mumbai’s northern suburbs where Bollywood’s major studios are based.

Thrill of acting

Casting director Girish Hule told AFP the number of actors vying for roles in the adverts he handles has more than doubled since 2014. “I have even come across doctors and engineers who quit stable jobs because they wanted to act,” he said.

“Years go by waiting for the big break. People go back home or take up other jobs in the industry, working as stylists or assistant directors or in casting.

“In some cases, people spend five years, appearing at around 500 auditions and never get an acting job.”

The glitz and glamour notwithstanding, finding success in Bollywood comes with plenty of challenges – from battling sexual harassment to spending months out of work. “In the beginning, I was too scared to even tell my mom when someone misbehaved, because I thought my family would stop me from pursuing acting,” Rathod said.

“I am so glad #MeToo happened here – before that, it was just going on and no-one was talking about it,” she said, referring to sexual harassment in the industry.

For Tthukral, who is well-versed in the ups and downs of the business, the risks are secondary to the thrill of acting, which he compares to a drug. “My parents don’t understand how I live – they just want me to settle down and run their business. Part of me wants that too, it would be an easier life,” said the 34-year-old, who moved back to his hometown of New Delhi this summer. But then he added, “I will return when I have made some money.”

“I will be somebody. I don’t know when the break will come but it will come.”

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Do you want to be an actor? Its not easy to get directly into Bollywood. You will have to prepare yourself. There are very less chances that you will get into Bollywood in just one audition. Today, I will be sharing how you can prepare yourself to become an actor in Bollywood.

Acting Classes

Start with join acting classes. You can also gp for theatres. Acting classes will give youe exposure and help you know your abilities in the field. You will learn to express and present yourself. There are various good acting classes and schools available all over India. And if you financially strong, you can also go broad for the same. The classes might be a bit costly but they are very helpful.

Dance Classses

If you want to get into Bollywood, it is very important you have a flexible body and that you can dance. We all know the importance of dance in Hindi films. Dancing can be a plus point in many of your auditions.

Modelling

Many of the successful actors in Bollywood have a modelling experience. It will introduce you to advertisements and albums. It is a good way to become camera friendly, know your strengths and weeknesses infront of the camera. I beleive, modelling is like grooming yourself. You are mentored and taught all the time.

Interviews and Auditions

Never skip interviews and auditions. Whenever you get a change for it you should take it. It will heklp you gain confidence and improve presentation.

Work on your Body and Looks

Be it modelling or acting, you will always have to look after your body and looks and by loooks we mean your skin. You will have to be fit and fresh all the time. It is important that you eat healthy, sleep on time and stay happy.

Network

Try to make networks. Networking is very imortant to survive in Bollywood.

So these were some tips which can prepare you for bollywood.

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Bollywood and cricket are two such fields that have always gone hand in hand. Be it cricketers falling for our pretty BTown actresses or filmmakers making biopics on our cricketers, on every step these two fields come together. Well, imagine if cricketers star in a Bollywood movie with your favourite actors? Wouldn’t it be exciting? If reports are to be believed then West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo is now super interested to commence his Bollywood venture and recently in an interview with Hindustan Times he has opened up about the same.

Talking to the entertainment portal, Dwayne Bravo revealed that his next goal is to get into Bollywood. In the interview, he said “If the opportunity comes, then why not? I will never say no to an acting job. I enjoy doing different things. It is a challenge for me. When it comes to the entertainment side of things, I really look forward to it as it is what I enjoy,” Bravo then added, “Also, I know, it has an impact on other people’s lives, that’s why I am always up for it”.

Revealing the actual reason why Dwayne wants to get into Bollywood, he said, “I want to bridge the gap between my country. There are so many artistes in my country (Trinidad). They will love the opportunity to come and work here. I see myself as a vessel to try and bridge the gap between two countries that have a similar culture.”

Dwayne Bravo further said that his all-time favourite is Shah Rukh Khan and he definitely wants to work with him one day. The next name that he took was of Ranveer Singh. Talking about him Dwayne said, “I am a big fan of his. I remember, a few years back, he was supposed to perform at IPL, and he was doing rehearsals for it. When he saw me, he stopped his rehearsals just to come and say hi to me, and even did the Champion dance,” the cricketer added.

With scathing accusations about nepotism to ill treatment, Bollywood has been under intense scrutiny since actor Sushant Singh Rajput's alleged death by suicide in June.

  • News18.com
  • Last Updated: November 04, 2020, 08:21 IST
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Sayani Gupta and Avinash Tiwary, who have made a name for themselves in the film industry without a godfather, believe that the relentless attacks on the reputation of Bollywood in the last few months have made it even more difficult for aspiring artistes having no film background or connections, to convince their families to let them pursue a career in showbiz.

With scathing accusations about nepotism and favouritism to ill-treatment of outsiders and the drug nexus, Bollywood has been under intense scrutiny since actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s alleged death by suicide in June.

At a panel discussion at the India Film Project, Sayani and Avinash spoke at length about how they have been processing everything and why they feel that this would only reinforce the stereotypical image of the film industry.

“I come from Bihar, from a conventional family. Even now, the perception of the Hindi film industry isn’t great. It was not that people didn’t know that these things happen, everyone thought this is what Bollywood is. I wouldn’t deny that somewhere I also was aware of the fact that it’s probably not the ideal space for someone who comes from Bihar, whose parents want to see him as an IAS officer,” said Avinash, who made an incredible acting debut with Laila Majnu in 2018.

How to get into bollywood

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How to get into bollywood

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“It’s hurtful, you start taking it personally because you know it has got nothing to do with any of this. It’s like, even after all these years you only get to hear this place isn’t right, isn’t good while you are living your life, doing what you can, creating your own space, big, small or limited,” added Avinash.

Sayani, whose show Four More Shots Please has been nominated at the International Emmy Awards 2020 in Best Comedy Series category, said what has happened in the last few months is “unfortunate”.

“The last few months have made it even more difficult for kids to come from a middle-class background, work in Mumbai and have a respectable space for themselves,” the actress said, before adding that the young talents will have to fight back and work even harder to make their parents believe that one can have a dignified life even as an artiste.

Shrishti Negi is a Senior Correspondent at News18.com. She reports on the Hindi film industry, with a focus on gender and analyses films through a soc . Read More

While Aamir Khan's daughter Ira doesn't harbour a dream to become an actor like her father, she directed a play called Medea, in which cricketer Yuvraj Singh's wife Hazel Keech played the lead role.

How to get into bollywood

Aamir Khan's daughter Ira Khan is a budding filmmaker. (Photo: Ira Khan/ Instagram)

Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan’s daughter Ira Khan keeps away from the limelight but is quite candid when it comes to interactions with her followers on social media. Recently, Ira hosted an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Instagram where she responded to a few questions that her followers asked her. While many of these questions were related to mental health issues, one person asked her whether she intends to join Bollywood like her father.

Responding to this particular query, Ira wrote, “I’m not getting into movies.” Unlike her father, Ira is not interested in acting but has a keen interest in becoming a director. Ira Khan has made her directorial debut in theatre. She helmed a play called Medea, in which Yuvraj Singh’s wife Hazel Keech played the lead role.

How to get into bollywood

Screenshot of Ira Khan’s AMA answers on Instagram.

Ira’s brother, Aamir’s elder son Junaid Khan, is all set to make his feature film debut with Yash Raj Films’ Maharaja for which the shoot is going on. Maharaja’s story is reportedly based on the infamous 1862 Maharaja Libel Case. Apart from Junaid Khan, the film will star Shalini Pandey, Sharvari Wagh and Jaideep Ahlawat in pivotal roles.

Ira has always been vocal about mental health awareness on her social media platforms. She has particularly been open about her mental health journey and had also shared how she’s been battling depression for a few years now. “Don’t share your personal things publicly unless you’ve thought long and hard about it. I know this sounds strange coming from me considering I’ve done a lot recently but that’s why I wanted to talk about it. Not that this is any sort of benchmark but just to let you guys know, I thought about it for a year before I decided to make my Instagram account public and then I thought about it for two years before I decided to talk about my mental health and my issues on social media and publicly and then it took me another year to do it. I had to make sure I was in the right mind space. Also, it depends on what kind of person you are,” Khan had shared recently.

Meanwhile, Aamir Khan is busy with the post production of his upcoming release, Laal Singh Chaddha. The film also stars Kareena Kapoor Khan, Mona Singh and Naga Chaitanya in pivotal roles. The film is scheduled to release on April 14, 2022.

Mumbai, July 30 Actor Gurmeet Choudhary says his journey on the small screen helped him explore a career .

How to get into bollywood

Gurmeet Choudhary feels TV success helped him get into Bollywood

Mumbai, July 30 Actor Gurmeet Choudhary says his journey on the small screen helped him explore a career in Bollywood.

Gurmeet became a household name after playing Lord Ram in the 2008 TV show “Ramayan”. He is glad that the show still has a special place in the hearts of the audience.

“‘Ramayan’ is a very special show for us as it was the first time the audience watched me and Debina together. It is after this show that we both became real-life Ram and Sita. The love and appreciation we received from the fans for the show was tremendous,” Gurmeet said, who is married to Debina Bonnerjee, who played Sita in the show.

“If this show hadn’t been made, my Bollywood journey wouldn’t have started. The show’s immense appreciation helped me get into Bollywood. It’s been more than eight years since the show began and we are still receiving so much gratitude from our fans. This lockdown helped in getting the audience to watch us all over again and they made it number one. We are really humbled by such amazing response and would like to thank everyone who loved it,” he added about “Ramayan”, which airs on Dangal channel.

Gurmeet currently has a project titled “The Wife”, a supernatural thriller which is expected to release by end of this year.

what movies, actors/singers/dancers, directors, and or production companies should I look out for?

edit: I guess I wasn't very clear. I would like to get into watching Bollywood movies, not acting in them and know nothing more than some awesome youtube clips. wow, I should have read this over more before posting. sorry for misunderstandings.

their only redeeming factor is this guy's action movies

Well, sometimes you have movies with gems like this:

I liked the music, sounded like the music from Speed.

Depends on what kind of movies you like really, most Bollywood movies are cheesy and there's hardly any thinking man movies.

Some fun action movies are Dhoom and it's sequel, Main Hoon Na, Race, and Don.

Good typical drama/romance movies are Kal Ho Na Ho, and I can't really think of any others at the moment.

As for movies that aren't so bad, you could check out Rang De Basanti and Kaminey.

These are all movies within the past 7 years or so, so it should be easy to find them online or wherever. Personally, I'd just stick to the action movies, Hollywood hasn't made them like that since the 80's. Everything else you could find a better version of in Hollywood.