Namastey East Bay:
The local Indian filmmaking community has Bollywood dreams. The goal is not as far-fetched as it might once have seemed.
I’m excited about the feature because the Express is the only one of several local magazines I’ve been pitching stories about Indian cinema to lately that bit. It’s been perplexing to me a little, because as I may write about later, for a whole bunch of reasons I think that N Cal is so ready to read more about Indian cinema. And I’m so ready to write more!
It was great working with the Express- the editors were responsive and sensitive to some of the preferences I expressed (ie: avoiding the word “Bollywood” in my narrative, though you’ll notice many of the people I quote use it. Hey – chacun à son goût!), and I felt we worked together well to craft an interesting piece. They originally proposed an article title that included the word “Bollywood,” and we compromised for the “Namastey” title and “Bollywood” in the “deck.” I love the wink in “Namastey East Bay” – not only does it rhyme, but it’s a nod to 2007’s “Namastey London,” which is one of the films I’ll be looking at in more depth in my next book, which is just in its embryo stages.
Working with a paper for the first time I can get a little anxious about the relationship with the editor. I was once commissioned for a cover story interview (for a magazine that doesn’t exist anymore) where the editor changed both my quotes AND those of my interviewee to create a story angle she wanted (she was convinced my interviewee was in a secret relationship with the director of a film about her, and wanted that to be the drama of the interview). It tried my abilities to be diplomatic to keep what I thought was the integrity of the piece. And I chose not to work with them again.