We sat down with our extremely hardworking producers to talk about what was involved with making Jadoo. Here’s what they had to say:
How did Jadoo as a movie begin?
Nikki Parrot: My friend was listening to a radio play on New Years day and she said listen to this it’s so funny and it was Jadoo. I didin’t know anything about it and didn’t know who Amit was at the time. I just kept thinking about it and thinking what a great radio play. It took me about 6 months to find Amit via a friend and I said I’d like to meet up with you and perhaps we could turn Jadoo into some type of drama. We went to a local restaurant in white chapel where we use to have an office and it went on from there.
What was it about the script that made you want to be a part of Jadoo?
Richard Holmes: I worked with Amit [director] on Resistance. I love comedies and I liked the authenticity of the script, in that Amit was brought up above a restaurant on the Belgrave road and it just felt like he knew what he was talking about. It’s a comedy based in reality. It’s a perfect combination for me.
As a producer what difficulties did you have bringing the script to life?
Amanda Faber: The main challenge was to initially raise the funding. One of the other producers had got the script developed with EM media and that was ready. But raising the rest of the funding presented its own challenge. We’ve managed to get around that and have moved forward. The next challenge was putting together the cast that we wanted. We did have a few hitches with getting visas and bringing people over from India and that sort of thing. Other than that it’s been pretty much plain sailing since then because we’ve had such a tremendous reaction from people locally in Leicester. They’ve really helped us to make a tremendous film.
How does this film represent everyday life?
Isabelle Georgeaux: Nothing in in this film is foreign to any of us. And, in fact, from children to older people – we’ve screened it to children from about age eight – everybody related to it in more than one way. Obviously the relationship with food – whether you love or hate food, you can still have a strong relationship with food. The family dynamic; the fighting and reconciling, and the jokes, and the brother-sister relationship, which I think is also very important; the daughter loving her father and her uncle, but them not talking to each other. All of these are very familiar feelings, I think, to pretty much anyone.
What did you enjoy the most about the script?
NP: Probably all the moments that I enjoyed in the radio play. The humour the wit, the characters, the way that Amit writes characters. He’s very good at making you feel like you know them, like they live next door to you. I liked the way that he drew on his experiences from working in a restaurant. It gave it an authenticity. It’s also about food, which is a universal thing and that’s what’s great about the film. It makes you want to eat curry when you watch it, which I think is a really good thing to come away with. Another thing I loved about the script was the pathos of it, one minute you are laughing and then it kind of hits you that you’re quite sad about it. That’s a joy for me.
How important was it that we filmed Jadoo in Leicester?
RH: The more I’m here, the more vital I think it is that we filmed it in Leicester because not only is it a story completely and utterly focused on one place, Belgrave Road, but walking down the Belgrave Road we couldn’t have re-created that anywhere else. Not the true kind of authenticity of the Golden Mile where every fourth shop is a jewelry shop, the others are restaurants or sari shops. That would have been a very difficult atmosphere to re-create anywhere.
What was it like seeing the Holi Festival scene come to life?
AF: Lots of people just came along to the park to take part in the film, but there were also people passing by who joined in. There was a tremendous feeling of spontaneity and it was absolutely wonderful. Everyone really got into the spirit. At the end everyone didn’t stop dancing, they just carried on for the rest of the afternoon joining us on the streets and it was the most wonderful, joyous occasion. It just looked fantastic.
What have been the highlights?
IG: There are two actually. It’s getting the bear-hugs from Harish Patel, who is our main actor, and is just a wonderful character. He came from Mumbai, and we’re glad every day of the shoot that he agreed to jump on a plane and join us. He lit up the film with his personality; he lit up the set with is personality, and he made all of us feel like we were eight years old and wanted to be hugged all day! That was one highlight; the second highlight was definitely the shoot on the day we reconstituted the Holi Festival, because I think we brought two hundred people from Leicester that day as extras, and they really had fun! They danced, and then we threw the powder, the coloured powder. I did it, I was there, and it was a lot of fun and it was quite special, and again – luckily – thanks to Roger and his crew in particular, I think it looks really beautiful on the final cut.
Why should people go and see Jadoo?
RH: It’s a great fun movie, but with a heart and a fundamental truth about families. There were stories that were constantly picked up on the Belgrave Road about families who have done very much what Amit has written in the script. But I think all of us come from families with the mad crazy uncle or the cousin you don’t speak to anymore for reason no-one quite remembers the details of. I think that humour is captured brilliantly.
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