Mera Bharat Mahaan: John Abraham on double duty

Updated: Apr 22, 2020, 08:15 IST | Upala KBR | Mumbai

Days after their collaboration Mera Bharat Mahaan dropped online, filmmaker Milap Zaveri discusses how John Abraham turned director to shoot the video at his Bandra residence amid the lockdown.

John Abraham in the video
John Abraham in the video

Known for his larger-than-life image on screen, John Abraham lauded the real-life heroes — the police and healthcare workers — as he released the motivational poem, Mera bharat mahaan, over the weekend. Penning the verses came easy to director Milap Zaveri, but the filmmaker admits that shooting the video amid the lockdown was an uphill task. He credits Abraham's unbridled enthusiasm for seeing their passion project through.

"I sent the poem to John and asked if he would like to recite it. He called immediately and said he was on board," recounts Zaveri. A two-day shoot followed, as Abraham doubled up as an actor and director, filming the video at his Bandra residence. "I told him we should run with a simple close-up shot [as he recites the poem]. John shot his portions on his phone, and it was a one-take video," exclaims the filmmaker, evidently impressed with his leading man's directorial skills.

As the actor mouths the lines, 'Mandir aur masjid hai bandh, khuli ration ki dukaan hai. Hausla hai phir bhi dilon mein, kyunki mera bharat mahaan hai', the two-minute-plus video focuses on iconic venues across the country that wear a deserted look in the current scenario. "John elevated the video with his inputs. It was he who suggested that the footage of the city should be intercut with shots of me writing the poem. He also came up with the idea of shooting his portions in black-and-white," adds the director.

Milap Zaveri
Milap Zaveri

It took them 10 days to develop the video as the team, including the editor, music director and sound mixer, worked out of their respective homes. "I sent the footage to my editors, Maahir Zaveri and Manik Sagar, who worked online and gave it shape."

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