Preetisheel Singh featured among the top 5 makeup and prosthetic designers in the world

National Award-winning makeup, hair and prosthetic look designer Preetisheel Singh has recently been featured by international website USA Newshour among the top best 5 makeup and prosthetic designers in the world, along with Hollywood stalwarts such as Kazu Hiro, Christian Tinsley, Jordu Schell and Neill Gorton. What’s more! She is the only woman featured in this top list of world-famous makeup and prosthetic designers.

Kazu Hiro is a contemporary hyperrealist sculptor living and working in Los Angeles. He has crafted the silicone model of Brad Pitt’s head used to artificially age him via CGI for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and also created the Winston Churchill prosthetics on actor Gary Oldman for Darkest Hour.

American makeup artist Christien Tinsley has worked on movies such as The Passion of the Christ, American Horror Story, the Indian film Paa, Westworld and Santa Clarita Diet.

Jordu Schell is an American sculptor and concept artist who has worked on movies such as Predator 2, Edward Scissorhands, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, 300, Hellboy, Men in Black, The Mist, Alien: Resurrection, The X-Files Movie and Batman Returns. He was instrumental in the design of the Na’vi and other creatures in James Cameron’s movie Avatar.

Neill Gorton is an English special effects artist, visual effects specialist and makeup artist specialised in animatronics and prosthetics. He is known for his work on films like Saving Private Ryan, Children of Men and the series Doctor Who.

The site discusses Preetisheel’s successes stating she “has a big list of accomplishments to her credit.” It points out that “viewers and film critics alike are awestruck with the results of her work, with Preetisheel Singh emerging as the undisputed No.1 makeup, hair and prosthetic look designer in the Indian film industry.”

For the record, Preetisheel has designed looks for a number of top artists in Bollywood’s box-office successes such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Chhichhore, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Bala and Housefull 4. Her other credits include movies such as Andhadhun, Thackeray, Shivaay, Haider, Hawaizaada, Rangoon, Brothers, Talwar, Finding Fanny, Parched, Mom, Romeo Akbar Walter (RAW), Malaal, Pati Patni Aur Woh, Raat Akeli Hai, Panga, Ujda Chaman, House Next Door, Bigil, Boomerang and 24.

She received the National Film Award for Best Makeup for the historical epic Nanak Shah Fakir based on the life of prophet Guru Nanak; the founder of Sikhism.

Her look design for Ranveer Singh as the intimidating pre-Mughal era emperor Alauddin Khilji in Padmaavat was a rage. She also received widespread critical acclaim for designing the look for Nawazuddin Siddiqui for the biopic Thackeray based on Balasaheb Thackeray.

Along with her work partner-husband Mark D’souza, Preetisheel has set up India’s first makeup and prosthetic lab called Da Makeup Lab in Mumbai. The talented lady is now preparing to launch the Preetisheel School of Character Design.

Newbie Anisha Victor shares this trait with megastar Amitabh Bachchan

Vivacious Anisha Victor was shooting for the outdoor schedule of the Goldie Behl-directed web series REJCTX for Zee5 some time ago. The timing of the shift was early morning and not many had reached the sets yet. And Anisha discovered a waterfall. What? Yes, waterfall.

Brought up with discipline with her dad being in the Army, Anisha is quite a stickler for time and mostly reaches her shoots a few minutes before time. In fact, the whole unit of REJCTX knows about her trait, something she can be said to share with another film personality, megastar Amitabh Bachchan.

The unit was shooting at a university campus in Bangkok at the Assumption University of Thailand. Out of habit, that morning too, Anisha landed up on the sets a few minutes early. She spotted a few ADs (assistant directors) from the local crew and some Thai production crew in preparation for the shoot. And since she’d finished with hair, makeup, costume and rehearsing her lines, she decided to wander and explore the place a bit.

Moving around the huge university campus, she discovered a little lake with fish and even a beautiful quaint waterfall. “It looked like a waterfall out of a fairytale. We were shooting there from a few days and the production crew had even done a recce of the place, but no one from the unit knew about the waterfall around the campus. When I told them about it, everyone was pleasantly surprised,” she says and smiles with childlike enthusiasm.

Known for reaching the sets early, director Goldie Behl even brought up Anisha’s trait of being a stickler for time with the CEO of Zee 5 when the cast was attending an event. “I was thrilled with the praise,” she beams.

For the uninitiated, Anisha Victor made a striking debut in Viacom Motion Pictures’ horror thriller The House Next Door, playing the character of a possessed girl to critical acclaim. Currently, she is being talked about for her lead role as a teenybopper in REJCTX.

Vekeana Dhillon’s audio series makes her ‘uncovidable’

A new motto for the continuing COVID-19 crisis has emerged, given the intention-filled title of Uncovidable; an English fiction audio series created and written by screenwriter Vekeana Dhillon for Amazon’s Audible. The 21-episode series is an audacious and embarrassingly comic take of the sassy writer’s lockdown experience in Mumbai as her character undulates between hopeful and critical, as she contemplates her world at large.

“I’ve had to fictionalize it up a bit, but it’s more cringingly true than not,” quips Vekeana. The series is performed by Mahira Kakkar, the star of Mira Nair’s BBC One’s miniseries A Suitable Boy, which recently released on Netflix in India.

Describing her motivation for Uncovidable, Vekeana remarks, “If it wasn’t for this series to document my lockdown, what else would I tell my grandchildren in the future when they interview me for their school reports. ‘In the Great Lockdown of 2020, what did you do, Grandma?’ — ‘Uh, well… I did your Grandpa and took down every season of every web series on my watchlist’.”

Vekeana Dhillon (1)

And what is the story behind the unusual name — Uncovidable? “It’s a word I made up to help me describe my intent through this process. To be uncovidable is to retain the strongest sense of your mental and physical health during this crisis, while cultivating the most tolerant, kindest and generous version of yourself. I had wanted to call the series How to Live the Lockdown like a Hot Chick — but that was woefully inaccurate.”

WFH with her family made Uncovidable a productive run for Vekeana. Her lockdown buddies, husband Puneet Sira and brother Vikram Dhillon have reluctantly provided fodder for her to exploit. Sira and Dhillon are co-founders of a growing content studio, The Foundry for which Vekeana is creating original IP series for OTT platforms and feature films.

Uncovidable is available exclusively on Audible for free and has been released worldwide including India, USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Australia and Japan.

Beauty meets grunge under dark clouds

It was about to pour, but that didn’t stop her from her photoshoot on a faraway farm besides abandoned old cars.

Actress Anisha Victor had decided to do some casual pictures in a pink and white polka-dot dress that day — she even painted her toenails pink. But nature had other plans. As soon as she reached the outskirts of the farm, the weather began to change.

Anisha Victor farm pic 4

Dark clouds hovered and her photographer wondered how he would save his camera if it rained heavily. But since Anisha was all ready for the shoot, the photographer decided to take the chance too.

Anisha Victor farm pic 5

Anisha posed in the backdrop of the grunge look of old abandoned cars as the subdued natural light just turned out to be perfect. The mood was relaxed and the results cool… with Anisha donning a dreamy look which kinda went perfect with the location and weather. Check out the pics for yourself.

For the uninitiated, Anisha Victor made a striking debut in Viacom Motion Pictures’ horror thriller The House Next Door, playing the character of a possessed girl to critical acclaim. Currently, she is being talked about for her lead role as a teenybopper in the Goldie Behl-directed web series REJCTX on Zee5.

Preetisheel Singh transforms Nagarjuna into a grandfather

A still of Nagarjuna from the Bigg Boss Telugu promo. (Image courtesy - Internet) Inset - Look designer Preetisheel Singh.

Makeup and prosthetic wiz Preetisheel Shingh who has earlier curated transformational looks for movies such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Chhichhore, 102 Not Out, Mulk, Thackeray, Bala and Housefull 4, has designed a unique grandfather look for Southern superstar Nagarjuna for the promo of Telugu Bigg Boss.

The new promo video of Bigg Boss 4 Telugu released by Star Maa shows the show’s host Nagarjuna in the getup of an old man. Replete with a mischievous charm, Nagarjuna’s look has increased the expectations among fans.

Just in the way Bigg Boss cameras catch everything 24×7, the promo shows Nagarjuna doing his bit with a telescope, looking closely at something. The clip is followed by Bigg Boss Telugu’s new theme music and a coming soon card. It is reported that the contestants will be in quarantine for 14 days before entering the Bigg Boss House. A COVID-19 test will be performed on them to ensure everyone else’s safety.

Preetisheel’s work will next be showcased in upcoming movies like Yash Raj Films’ Bunty Aur Babli 2, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi, the Kangana Ranaut-starrer Dhaakad, Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays, and Southern movies such as South style icon Allu Arjun’s starrer Pushpa, South superstar Vikram’s starrer Cobra and yet another Southern superstar Thalapathy Vijay’s starrer Master.

Preetisheel Singh rocks 2020

Preetisheel Singh - Pic 39While 2020 has been a trying year for some, it is turning out to be one of the most wonderful years for National Award-winning make-up, hair and prosthetic look designer Preetisheel Singh.

After having five successes (Housefull 4, Chhichhore, Bala, Thackeray, Pati Patni Aur Woh) last year, Preetisheel began 2020 with yet another success in Panga and followed it up with Raat Akeli Hai.

Preetisheel Singh - Collage 4

Lined up for this year and next are releases like Yash Raj Films’ Bunty Aur Babli 2, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi, the Kangana Ranaut-starrer Dhaakad, Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays, and Southern movies such as South style icon Allu Arjun’s starrer Pushpa, South superstar Vikram’s starrer Cobra and yet another Southern superstar Thalapathy Vijay’s starrer Master.

Spending quality time with her parents and husband Mark Dsouza in her hometown Pathankot during the lockdown, the makeover wiz has continued to design looks for family weddings, and experimented with new prosthetic projects in this time.

Preetisheel Singh - Collage 5

But the real bundle of joy in her life may take a month or two to arrive. Preetisheel just revealed on Facebook that she is pregnant and expecting in a few weeks. We wish the gal a rocking future ahead.

For the record, Preetisheel is known for her transformational work in many other Bollywood movies such as Bajirao Mastani, 102 Not Out Mulk and Andhadhun. She also owns and operates India’s premier outfit Da Makeup Lab along with her partner Mark D’souza.

Preetisheel Singh admires Radhika Apte’s sincerity

Makeup and prosthetic look designer Preetisheel Singh is all praise for the versatile Radhika Apte. Handling her look for Honey Trehan’s directorial debut Raat Akeli Hai, Preetisheel quips, “Radhika has remarkable patience and sincerity. Moreover she is a wonderful person. So warm and down-to-earth.”

Preetisheel Singh working on Radhika Apte's look for Raat Akeli Hai. Pic 2.
Preetisheel Singh working on Radhika Apte’s look for Raat Akeli Hai. Pic 2.

“During the shoot, she put complete faith in my work, which made me feel comfortable and even more responsible,” adds Preetisheel who has earlier curated the looks for superhits such as Bajirao Mastani, Padmaavat, Chhichhore, Bala, 102 Not Out and Housefull 4.

Preetisheel Singh working on Radhika Apte's look for Raat Akeli Hai. Pic 1.

Set to release on Netflix on July 31, Raat Akeli Hai stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte in the lead and is a mystery crime drama about a dead politician’s dysfunctional family. It is one of the many top-of-the-line films to be released on the web after the Coronavirus pandemic crisis.

Preetisheel Singh - Closeup 1

Talking about the movie’s director, Preetisheel says, “I’ve earlier worked with Honey on Nanak Shah Fakir and he’s totally dedicated and focused on what he does. So I’m very happy and excited to be part of his directorial debut.”

Known for her transformational work in Bollywood, Preetisheel is a National Award winner who also owns and operates India’s premier outfit Da Makeup Lab along with her partner Mark D’souza.

Mark D'souza and Preetisheel Singh, partners at Da Makeup Lab
Mark D’souza and Preetisheel Singh, partners at Da Makeup Lab

After Raat Akeli Hai, she is looking forward to many more projects including Yash Raj Films’ Bunty Aur Babli 2, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Gangubai Kathiawadi, the Kangana Ranaut-starrer Dhaakad, Bhansali Productions’ Tuesdays and Fridays, South style icon Allu Arjun’s starrer Pushpa, South superstar Vikram’s starrer Cobra and yet another Southern superstar Thalapathy Vijay’s starrer Master.

REJCTX does a Baazigar. Kills off Kiara. And then…

Zee 5’s runaway hit web series REJCTX directed by Goldie Behl has been coming up with quite a few unexpected twists and turns. In its second season, the show brought another startling spin, when it did a Baazigar on its leading character Kiara played by Anisha Victor of The House Next Door fame.

Anisha Victor (2)

In a bizarre turn of events, Kiara gets thrown off from the top of a building just like how Shah Rukh Khan had once thrown off Shilpa Shetty from a terrace in the scene from his superhit movie Baazigar. The difference being that Kiara’s scene has yet another shock and awe twist which surprises the viewers. But let’s not give you that spoiler here and ruin your watch. 😉

Anisha Victor (3)

Not to forget to mention that the versatile Anisha plays up all the drama with great spunk. Like her mind-blowing performance in the Viacom Motion Pictures’ horror film The House Next Door, she proves that she is an actress to reckon with.

Anisha Victor in REJCTX. Pic 2.
Anisha Victor in REJCTX

Just recently she was in news for making it to the digital cover of Filmfare where she gave a regal pose along with her REJCTX co-star Masi Wali, doing away with the feisty adventurous image she carries as Kiara in the series.


Simple master tips for creative writing

As appeared on Reputation Today

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Simple master tips for creative writing

  •  Prep well

The first and foremost thing about writing is to chill. Just keep one thing at the back of your mind — research your facts well beforehand. Take a deep breath, smile, relax your thoughts. Think you can do it, smile a bit, feel good and then begin writing. Take no stress at all. Because if something goes wrong in your copy, you can always correct or rewrite it.

  • Keep no hard-and-fast rules

No rules. Length, spin, words… everything’s your choice. And you can always reflect upon all that later. Do not let the technicalities come in the way of your creative thoughts before you begin.

  •  Let it flow

When you write, just write… let the words flow. Don’t think whether they will fit, whether they are good or bad. Just write them. At the cost of repetition, let me say, remember to just go with the flow. You can put it all in order later when you revise.

There is this interesting dialogue from this Sean Connery movie Finding Forrester (2000) which corroborates this… It goes: 

Jamal Wallace: “What are you doing?”

William Forrester: “I’m writing. Like you’ll be, when you start punching those keys. Is there a problem?”

Wallace: “No. I’m just thinking.”

Forrester: “No. No thinking. That comes later. You write your first draft with your heart. And you rewrite with your head. The first key to writing is… to write. Not to think.”

  • Thorough revision

Once you are done with your first draft — revise, revise, revise, revise… and when you have revised extremely well enough… then revise once more. And viola, you should have a good piece of writing with you.

Last but not the least, don’t be scared to be creative in your writing style. Don’t be afraid to break norms. After all, writing is all about being ‘creative’. You know what! Thoughts are things. They materialise. Manifest. Just like your thoughts create you, your thoughts create your writings. Rock on.

Half of Bollywood will be OUT OF WORK even after lockdown ends: Experts

As appeared on Business Upturn

Original Article Link:

Half of Bollywood will be OUT OF WORK even after lockdown ends: Experts

Bollywood is in dire straits. After the Corona Crisis Lockdown, the entire industry is sitting at home and out of work. But what is most worrying now, is that experts predict that the situation is not going to go back to normal again. The new normal is going to witness around half of the film industry staying out of work. Business Upturn spoke to industry experts.

Read this exclusive article to know more and how to keep your personal brand alive and afloat in this time of impending financial crisis.

The lockdown has struck the most destructive and devastating blow to the entertainment industry. It has crippled the lives of thousands of daily wage workers, upcoming and existing talents, including actors, dancers, make-up artists, costume teams, technicians etc.

Bollywood going downhill

“Many would have already changed their professions and got into small time odd-jobs to somehow survive this phase with whatever they can earn here and there. The film industry has lost its way. Half of our industry’s workers will still be running helter-skelter for jobs and many of them will have to diversify into other fields and keep their participation in films to minimal,” says trade analyst Rajeev Chaudhari.

Amit Behl, senior joint secretary of Cine & TV Artists Association (CINTAA) echoes the sentiment. “Yes, half of Bollywood would definitely be out of work even if the lockdown ends. This is primarily because of specific reasons. One, because of the clash in directives between the State Government and the Central Government.”

“Plus, considering the hazards of COVID-19, there is a clear directive that actors above 65 and children below 10 will not be allowed to work till the time new norms come into place. Going by this rule, a lot of senior actors as well as child artistes will definitely be out of work, primarily when it comes to television. There have been huge budget cuts by the broadcasters and those budget cuts have been passed on to producers. So eventually it will go down to the cast and crew and the daily wage workers,” explains Behl.

Senior journalist Latha Srinivasan remarks, “The lockdown and its restrictions for more than 90 days has caused significant financial losses to producers, production houses, distributors and exhibitors. As a result, once the lockdown is lifted, it won’t be possible even for top actors in Bollywood to get back to work as businesses have to be realigned post examining the financial aspects and how best they can minimise further losses.”

Prepare for the worst

News of resumption of film and TV serial shootings has come out, but many technicians and actors are upset with the severe guidelines that have been issued along with insurance for all unit members etc. These additional costs of meeting the conditions of these guidelines are going to be challenging for the producers. Even if mainstream shootings will revive, there will be restrictions on crowd scenes, intimate scenes etc. with compromise in creativity and logistics.

Director Vivek Sharma who made the famous film Bhoothnath starring Amitabh Bachchan and featuring Shah Rukh Khan opines, “Thanks to film mafia, half of Bollywood was always out of work and post lockdown it will be the same. Television and web series’ actors will be in demand as these platforms need content to run their channels.” He feels that shoots will begin normally after September 2020 and that slowly people will get back in business.

To survive this lockdown and the fear its brought with it, Sharma suggests a lot of online interactions including workshops. “It’s a good time for people to learn and prepare for a time which will bring more and more changes and possibilities,” he says.

But Amit Behl is concerned about many other things than how one can make the most of this dismal phase. He worries about the fact that there is a “drastic cut in the crew members of the film shoots, which is about 30-35 percent slash in the number of people on the sets. That means a lot of people are going to be out of work. A lot of roles of junior artistes and actors are also going to face the axe because Indian daily soaps survive on family drama and a lot of wedding scenes, festival sequences and song and dance sequences, which will now have to be drastically cut or omitted altogether. There will obviously be no crowd involvement and no audience in any talk shows, game shows, reality shows and these kind of competition-based shows. Also, a lot of technical crew is going to be cut down, and all this is surely going to affect Bollywood as well as the television industry.”

Drawing our attention again to the state of affairs, Behl says, “The focus is now going to be about who all is essentially required on the sets and by the broadcaster. Those departments which can’t be avoided in shoots… those are the people who will get work for now. Of course, everyone is very hopeful that this crisis does not last beyond the end of 2020, but because of the dialogues I have had in the last three months with about 60 trade unions in 83 countries, I can say that the budget cuts and crew member cuts in other parts of the world are even more brutal than they are in India.”

Having said that, Behl points out that a lot of western countries have better technical finesse, so they can manage with the cuts. But we are a very manpower-heavy entertainment industry, so it’s going to hit us even harder and affect a lot more people than anywhere else in the world.

“But we can’t blame broadcasters for having heavily slashed their budgets. Because advertising revenue is down, the broadcasters don’t have much of an option. Its only the FMCG (Fast-Moving Consumer Goods) companies who are advertising right now and its slightly inhumane for companies to begin advertising products related to COVID… whether it’s for a cure or for a PPE Kit (Personal Protective Equipment Kit) or for sanitizers. So we are in hard times and just hoping for the skies to clear,” he adds.

Improve communication and PR skills

Amith Prabhu, founding Dean at School of Communications and Reputation (SCoRe) is more concerned about how to utilize this time in self-improvement and education. Like many other he is of the opinion that this is the time to hone your communication and PR skills.

He asks industry people to explore opportunities to create low-cost yet high-quality cinema. He feels this is also a time to reset lifestyles and suggests five things actors can do. Here are the pointers he puts forth:

1) First offer a free and then a paid masterclass to fans on social media.

2) Create a low-cost short movie series shot from home or from places where crowds can be avoided.

3) Learn something new with multiple courses available online.

4) Support a non-profit organisation by being a temporary brand ambassador with no cost to that organisation.

5) Write a monthly column on the advantages of communication in the world of TV and cinema.

Fees to drop heavily

Rajeev Chaudhari wants to bring people’s attention to box-office collections. “Now with this humongous loss in our industry, the prices that a regular TV serial used to fetch from a channel will come down drastically to less than 50% and a feature film cannot perceive box-office business in hundreds of crores anymore. Gone are those days.”

He feels that the film industry’s corporate status has crashed and its premium value has diminished. “Now with reduction in film and TV unit members, along with reduction in the number of films being made, work opportunities will be very less and fees in all the departments will drop heavily.”

Chaudhari points out that in view of above cuts, due to new guidelines and deep recession, even if the lockdown opens up, it will not be able to accommodate all workers and creative labourers with jobs.

Beware of depression, suicides, fear

“The Corona Crisis has taken a huge toll on the financial and mental health of the industry’s labourers and creative members, leading to depression and suicides. This severe catastrophic state has never been seen before in our entertainment industry,” he adds.

Latha Srinivasan feels, “Given the government regulations to be followed for shoots, one needs to see how many people are comfortable working in such an environment. Some actors may not want to shoot till they are 100% sure their health is not at risk and it’s anybody’s guess as to when the environment will be COVID-free, if at all.”

“Yes, it’s true. Barring three or four of them, most Bollywood celebrities are not even stepping out, so to come for work is not going to happen,” says Viral Bhayani, the most popular Bollywood freelance photographer on Instagram.

“Everyone is waiting for a cure and Mumbai the epicenter of Bollywood still remains at a huge risk. If the shoots begin and something unforeseen happens then it is all going to go in vain. I know it has badly affected everyone financially but we will have to be more patient,” he remarks.

Surprisingly, Bhayani admits to a stark reality for many in the industry by giving an example of his own case. “Just like many who depend on outdoor work in their business, for me too, the photography business has unfortunately been destroyed at the moment. I’ve faced the probability of shutting down completely. But I also know for a fact that once the cure is out, we are gonna rock again. Things will be back to normal. Somehow I feel it is going to happen soon,” says Bhayani, hoping against hope.

He remarks that right now we all have to survive on our past incomes till things get normal. “Some of the shoots have begun but they are all happening outside of Mumbai and there too, most unit members are extremely scared. So even after the lockdown ends, many will still be left with little work or no work at all.”

Bhayani also brings us to another aspect of this issue, saying that the commitment and sentiment right now is so low that no filmmaker will take a risk to make a film unless there is cooperation from the Government and technicians charge fairly as per the current situation.

Larger-than-life cinema could return

But veteran freelance journalist Rajiv Vijayakar disagrees with many such notions. “I do not think we can quantify how much of the industry will be out of work after the lockdown. I am looking at it in another way.”

“The days of niche movies pandering to the ‘intelligentsia’ and pseudo-intellectuals — the so-called ‘multiplex cinema audience’ — are numbered. With a plethora of such films as well as inferior commercial movies hitting OTT directly, it is clear that such products will make a small but secure profit, which, sadly, will keep cinematic excesses like Ghoomketu and Bhonsle coming. But the pan-Indian movies will thrive, as these alone will get returns commensurate with the investments, as in the past.”

“The range of such movies, obviously, extends from Andhadhun  to Sooryavanshi and the South kind of spectacles,” he adds. Vijayakar feels that all this will slowly, but surely, culminate in Hindi films reemerging as the mass-medium of entertainment which it was once upon a time, and which it should be. Accordingly, only the stars, filmmakers and composers who believe in such larger-than-life cinema will thrive.

Pandemic shall pass, but competition won’t

Casting director Ahana Mohammed says, one should simply accept the challenge the COVID-19 pandemic crisis has thrown on us and make it favorable. “Those who do not have Godfathers in the industry to provide big breaks, can start learning ways to sharpen their skills.”

“The best way to survive is to get yourself moving, even if it means virtually. Get connected to people, share your thoughts and emotions, be wise and utilize this time by learning ways to master your craft,” she adds.

She makes another point, saying that one needs to up his/her ante by getting professional help in this crucial time. “Get an agent on board, who can understand your talent. Follow this up with good PR activity, which is necessary to put actors — especially freshers — high up amongst the cutthroat competition. Remember, the pandemic shall pass, but competition won’t,” concludes Mohammed.

Star prices will normalize, nepotism will decrease

Veteran journalist Jyothi Venkatesh makes a very interesting observation on the same lines. “After the lockdown, only the fittest will survive in Bollywood whether it is actors or journalists or PR persons. The field will be automatically filtered and the best in their professions will continue. Star prices will normalize and nepotism will decrease, though not eliminated.”

“A lot of money will be saved and things will eventually turn for the better. Though with social distancing, it will be tough to show romance, content should improve. The biggest beneficiaries will be the OTTs.”

“In this scenario, only those who know their work and worth will be able to flourish and the rest will perish,” he adds. Venkatesh also points out that a change will be evident among film exhibitors. “The multiplexes will realise that they are here not to fleece the industry by charging producers and distributors rentals for trailers and standees, or milk the patrons with steep prices for samosas and Pepsi and also for drinking water.”

Need for brand control

New-age film journalist and blogger Diganta Guha says, “It seems quite incredulous that the bigwigs might not have any silver screen releases this year. Time is running out and they would have to be through with their pending projects. Crores are at stake and nobody wants to incur humongous losses just for the sake of delays.”

He adds that apart from the lockdown, actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s untimely demise has been a jolt from the blue. “At this point of time, we need strong personalities as a lot of worms are getting out of the can and Bollywood may take a drastic fall if this does not stop. What is probably needs right away is some PR control to avoid the tsunami of controversies destroying its reputation.”

Guha analyses, “A great PR like Dale Bhagwagar could be the ideal person to guide actors and actresses through this period. Over the years, this guy has been legendary, handling media publicity for so many stars such as Hrithik Roshan, Shilpa Shetty and Priyanka Chopra. He is best suited for helping new actors and actresses maneuver their way through PR during such a crisis situation. Otherwise, a lot of celebrities might simply fade away into oblivion by the time all this chaos ends.”

Rajeev Chaudhari echoes Guha’s views.”A seasoned publicist like Dale Bhagwagar can suggest new PR ways to help actors survive this period. Because, in such a time, an out-of-sight actor and actress, will now be out of the industry.”

He evaluates that “With this deep recession and fierce cut-throat competition, there will be scuffling struggle by industry workers and professionals to be visible to the employers of the film and TV industry. I think now is the need for a good Bollywood publicist who can salvage good talent.”

PR or perish

But Chaudhari cautions that “Bollywood publicists too will have to find new ways to ensure that their PR clients are actively present in the radar of the casting directors and filmmakers, by generating articles, features, interviews, news, healthy gossip and Press Releases which suit the situation. The market has become acutely competitive and an actor or a professional can’t afford to skip the help of PR services now.”

He adds that every professional should seek effective PR help to make his or her presence felt in these challenging times. “Actors will have to be doubly aggressive in their approach and struggle to acquire work from production houses. With good active PR support, actors and actresses can keep registering their names their faces in the public even when they are not working. Their constant presence on the best Bollywood websites as well as social media and other PR mediums, could ensure celebs and upcoming artistes a place in the minds of casting directors and filmmakers.”

True! Fact is that the situation is what it is and film actors and technicians can’t help it, but focus on their PR at the moment. The only thing in their hands right now is to survive this crisis by staying afloat and continuing to be in the news. Otherwise, by the time the Corona Crisis ends, a new lot of actors and actresses will be ready to take over all the roles and new-age platforms setting their mark. Those you will have kept themselves in the news, might have some chance of survival. Many will perish.

Jo dikhta hai woh bikta hai

In the world we live in, there’s this umbilical cord between fame and credibility. Here, visibility equals credibility. You cannot be credible unless you’re visible. And that’s where the PR professionals and PR teams come in the picture. many in the industry believe that staying put in the news through PR is the best way to tide over this crisis. After all, the dictum ‘Jo dikhta hai woh bikta hai’ has always worked in Bollywood.

Maybe it’s for this reason that we are now seeing an influx of Bollywood’s upcoming stars, flock to PR guys to keep them in news during the lockdown. Actresses and actors are desperately trying to strengthen their brand and image so that they would be the ones to get work by the time this whole downturn ends.

Earlier, we have reported how Bollywood’s PR legend Dale Bhagwagar has been getting a huge amount of PR offers suddenly during lockdown. The top Bollywood publicist has signed seven new PR clients during the lockdown and shows no signs of slowing down.

Stay relevant, stay connected

Talking about PR strategies, Latha Srinivasan says, “Many actors might still want to stay relevant and connected to the audience at this time given that they may not be able to shoot or their films may not be releasing. One of the key things celebs should do is use their social media platforms to amplify the good work being done by people, start a fundraiser and talk about health and safety. They should also use their social media to uplift the morale of people. For instance, they can shoot fitness videos or showcase their other talents which people are not aware of.” But she warns that all top Bollywood celebs need to be careful to not put out posts that showcase them as the privileged lot, as this will backfire on them and bring up the topic of nepotism again.

Vivek Sharma is also of the opinion that celebrities should improve and improvise on their PR at this time. “The world is suffering. Not only from the Coronavirus Crisis, but also from depression. There is a lot of fear. During such a time if we film industry people make positive motivational videos, short films and vlogs, we can be a pillar of strength for many people. We can give hope and share hope, umeed, jazbaat aur saath.”

Viral Bhayani brings new insight to this. He points out that celebs do a lot of things for the sake of earnings. And it would be difficult for them to monetise most of the stuff they put on the web. “For Bollywood celebs to make money online is difficult as even if they make short films for YouTube, it takes a lot of time to monetise them.”

He says that workout videos of filmstars are often trending but after a point of time the actors need to balance them out with more different hobby ideas like cooking, singing, family videos, pet videos, Instagram Live appearances and even participation on debate shows online. He suggests that filmstars can also do their own photo shoots and show their fans different looks, fashion trends, gym looks and glamour looks.

Whatever be the case, we pray that our favourite entertainment industry comes out of the terrible situation it’s found itself in. We have our fingers crossed for all those who have lost work and hope they would be able to recover the lost time, stay afloat in news and bounce back when their time returns.

Nepotism-free Anisha Victor lands on the digital cover of Filmfare


Spunky stunner Anisha Victor who has been making waves as the hot-hot Kiara in Zee 5’s hit web series REJCTX directed by Goldie Behl, has landed the digital cover of Filmfare.

Looking dainty in a regal pose and having her REJCTX co-star Masi Wali giving her stellar company, Anisha seems to have done away with that feisty adventurous image she carries as Kiara in the series.

The cover has her looking all elegant which also made Filmfare post THIS on their Instagram: “Millennial love for the millennial generation! We introduce you to India’s hottest sweethearts – KiAarav, the leading pair Aarav Sharma (@MasiWali) & Kiara Tiwari (@AnishaVictor) of @zee5premium musical thriller #REJCTX2 (@rejctx.zee5) make a mark on the digital cover of #Filmfare. #ZEE5 Directed by @GoldieBehl #REJCTX.”

Anisha Victor - sari

Not belonging to any film family, Anisha’s father is actually a Colonel in the Army and has lived all over India, including Delhi, Dehradun, Allahabad, Siliguri, Jodhpur, Jammu and Gangtok, before shifting base to Mumbai.

Anisha Victor - sari 2

Anisha first impressed Bollywood when she played the possessed gal in Viacom Motion Pictures’ horror film The House Next Door. The film got her a lot of critical acclaim and made good business at the box-office. And she’s rocking in REJCTX now, with all that promise she holds. Yes, yes!  We’re watching and tracking this new kid on the block.

Preetisheel Singh feeds animals in Pathankot

Preetisheel Singh - Pic 38

Not many are aware that Bollywood’s No1 hair, makeup and prosthetic look designer Preetisheel Singh is crazy about pets and animals.

“Leave her in a zoo and she can forget me for a full day,” jokes her work partner and husband Mark Dsouza. Together, they run the premier studio Da Makeup lab in Versova, Mumbai, which has curated the looks for the topmost stars and films such as Padmaavat, Chhichhore, Bala, 102 Not Out, Thackeray and Housefull 4.

Put up at her hometown Pathankot during the Coronavirus lockdown, Preetisheel’s day begins with feeding cows and then stray dogs around her colony. Once in a while, even horses from a farm nearby.

Preetisheel Singh - Animal care 11“The lockdown has dealt a blow to all of us. But we humans are blessed with enhanced thinking and can find myriad ways of survival. But that is not the case with many animals. They don’t have the same luxury and depend on humans for food,” says Preetisheel.

“So just as we take care of our kin, it’s important to spare a thought, some love and food for their well-being too,” she adds. Her compassion is very touching indeed.