Making of "Pharrell Williams - Happy - We Are Mumbai"

Thursday, April 03, 2014





I could hear the alarm ringing. With squinting eyes, I checked the time. It was 3 a.m. and it felt like I had just fallen asleep a while back. And then realization hit hard. We had actually slept at 1:30 and were supposed to report at our first shoot location, C.S.T. at 4:30 a.m. 


Dare someone ever say that girls take more time than guys to get ready! We, 3 girls, were the first ones to reach CST. We waited near the ticket counter till the boys arrived and waited some more time till the crew reached. The initial plan was to shoot with a gorgeously lit CST in background, but unfortunately the World Heritage building wasn't lit up as we had expected it to be. So instead we took the shot with Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation building in the background. 

I travel to C.S.T. everyday. The image of C.S.T. signal that I hold in my mind is that of jam-packed roads, vehicles honking and people trying frantically to cross the road. But that night, seeing a vehicle-less crowd-less C.S.T. signal was an out-of-Mumbai experience!
After another dark hour shot of two of our bikers at Kala Ghoda, we continued the shoot at Asiatic Library, overlooking the Horniman Circle building.

Next on the list was Gateway of India. And isn't it just so obvious. Gateway is an iconic location of Mumbai. We were joined by two more cast members here, who featured in the shots, while the rest of us enjoyed a fabulous sunrise. This was also the first place where we faced the amused and inquisitive stares of the passerby.



See someone was already yawning

We took the next few shots at Nariman point end of Marine Drive. Here we were joined by many morning walkers who expressed interest in the shoot and were featured in scenes by us. Day 1 of shoot was wrapped up at around 9:30 a.m., as most of us rushed to office, but not before the last shot at Machimar Nagar with colorful fishing boats as backdrop, where two of the cast members did Koli dance on the tunes of 'Happy'. A hilarious combo that only a Mumbaikar can understand!


Caught red-handed at Marine Drive

The Blue-Eyed Boy
Day 2 of shoot was super hectic and we still thank our stars that the next day was Gudi Padwa holiday. We reported at Dadar station at 4:30 a.m. again. After shooting the overbridge shot, we executed the local train shot while the train traveled from Dadar to Churchgate. 


We walked from Churchgate to Flora fountain and just as the first light of the day appeared we took the shot there. Well, I can now say - Dancing at Flora Fountain at sunrise - Check!!! Destination next was Marine Drive again. But this time, we stationed ourselves opposite Pizza by the Bay.


Once we landed up at Bandra, we made our way to the Bollywood Art Project at Chapel Road. Then after a quick lunch at Candies, we took shots of the general public at Bandstand. The sun was just overhead and the heat was killing. But in spite of that, Bandra Fort with Bandra Worli Sea Link as backdrop felt like a relief, thanks to the awesome breeze that was blowing and the most funniest retakes.



But how could our 'Pharrell Williams - Happy - We Are From Mumbai' fan video be complete without the essence of Bollywood. Sandeep, one of our most entertaining cast member, did Salman's Dabangg step in front of Shah Rukh's Mannat. 'Total Blasphemy!!' I told him... A die hard fan of Shah Rukh. We packed up the shoot by afternoon of Day 2 at Walk of the Stars at Bandstand Promenade.


From conceiving of the idea to persuading the cast to contacting an able technical crew to shooting during the weekend to publishing the video on Youtube, all these was achieved within a period of 10 days.
We always crib about how crowded the Maximum city is. But trust me, as the hours passed on both days and the roads and locations filled up with its 'crowd', it felt better. Yes... it felt better. We realized Mumbai is nothing without its people, its 'crowd'. We are the quintessence of Mumbai... 
If you liked our work, do share the video.


You can get in touch with us at happymumbai16@gmail.com. We would love to hear your feedback.

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