Swarathma’s Blog


Behind The Real Firestarter: Pavan ‘Superstar’ Kumar
April 7, 2011, 4:24 pm
Filed under: Experiences, initiatives | Tags: , , , ,

' I am the Firestarter, I say!'

Those who know of The Prodigy’s recent India Tour for the Invasion Festival will remember the Real Firestarter video that went insanely viral with over 10,000 hits in less than a week. It featured Superstar Rajnikanth, or someone just like him. The man beneath the wig and the apoplectic dance moves percussionist Pavan Kumar speaks of his experiences as the REAL Firestarter. This is the first part. Watch the video here

It all started while I was watching the film ‘No one killed Jessica’ at the cinema theatre. I got a message from Vasu saying ‘Do you want to act the character of Rajnikanth?’ Suddenly I started seeing Rajni on screen! I immediately replied back to him saying that I would love to as I am one of the hardcore fans of the ‘Superstar’ and that it would be my tribute to him. Vasu told me in detail what this whole project was. I came to know that this was a promotion for the band The Prodigy’s India tour. The next day Shreyas (OML Digital) called me and said that I’ve to organise costume and makeup for my character. I made a list of the make up guys and after many calls, I found one guy at Yeshwantpur who seemed to have the kind of coat, wig and moustache I was looking for.

On the day of the shoot I along with Montry went to get the costumes. On reaching the shop I gave him the specifications and showed Thalaiva’s pictures and told him that the wig has to be as close as possible to that of Rajni’s. That man asked what was the shoot about and also who’s the actor. When I told him that it was me,  that man laughed and said you are the production in charge and also the actor! After trying out a couple of blazers, wigs and moustaches, I selected one white coat, a wig and told him to shape the moustache  according to my face, which he did. Then he told me what should be told to the make up artist, when I told  him I’ve to do the make up myself, he couldn’t believe it!

By the time I started from the costume shop Vasu had finalized the location. He along with a couple of  cameramen had reached the location. On the way from the costume shop Montry and I watched the Prodigy Firestarter video and decided on a couple of moves to be done in our own way. And I managed to shave in the car. The location was Ejipura, near Koramangala. It was right outside our earlier jam pad. This was chosen to avoid traffic. It was told that the whole shoot had to be done in about 20 mins. Before people start gathering we should finish the shoot. So I had to mentally prepare myself for it. After reaching Ejipura we parked the cars opposite to the Temple. People were busy in their work and had not noticed us yet. We knew the  moment cameras come out it would start grabbing attention. That’s what exactly happened when the   cameramen started taking test shots. The people – especially the kids, started gathering. I went inside the car and started the make up. Until I was outside, people were least bothered to look at me. Once I came out fully loaded with costumes, the kids first shouted “Ley, avne kanla hero!” (Hey, look he’s the hero!)

I concentrated on the act. Started imagining Rajnikanth’s moves. I also wanted to mix the moves of our own Rebel Star Ambarish. I had not rehearsed the moves at all. I decided what ever comes naturally to me, I’ll do.

Coming up: What shooting the Firestarter feat. Rajnikanth video was really like!

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