Many years ago when I started writing Paani, my main focus was that the film should bring home the consequences of what could happen in a world that was running out of water. It was a call for action. To warn us of the consequences of continuing to treat the resources of our planet callously.
Over the years as the film and it’s characters evolved, I was writing either myself or with David Farr, but always in some kind of personal limbo not knowing whether it would work or not in the end. In the end would all these years of searching for the story inside myself make any sense ?
Two days ago we did a ‘read through’ of Paani with 16 wonderful actors in London enacting each of the characters, much like a radio play. . By the end of the ‘read through’ the emotional journey of the characters had almost every one in tears or at least feeling very moved.
We also had a long discussion on the script and the keywords that people used were :
A modern day Blade Runner with a purpose and a heart
Cuts across cultures and appeals to a universal audience
All this makes me feel that at least the long long journey to get the script right has been worth it. At now I can move forward with confidence. Now to make the film !!! And that too is a very long and hard journey.
The read through was organized by Hubbards Casting. ?I have worked with John and Ros Hubbard before as casting directors on Four Feathers so it was great to be working with them again.
A read through is like doing a radio play on your script. It gives you a sense of the characters, the pace and the movement of the narrative. Professional actors of great quality will often come to the read through, for the experience, for the joy, or just looking to be in the loop. But I am always surprised at how seriously they will take these ‘read throughs’.
My thanks to all the actors that gave their day, their emotions, and their commitment to make such a wonderful read through,