Archive for December, 2017

News Links – Preetisheel Singh


Preetisheel Singh transforms Nawazuddin Siddiqui yet again for Thackeray

When National Award-winning makeup and prosthetics specialist Preetisheel Singh designed Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s look for the Sridevi starrer Mom, everyone was stunned by the transformation. The prosthetics expert has now created yet another transformational look for Nawazuddin for the role of Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray in the upcoming biopic Thackeray.

Preetisheel Singh besides a poster of Thackeray

Ever since the teaser of Thackeray was released by Uddhav Thackeray and Amitabh Bachchan, the look has been getting rave reviews and has been a topic of discussion amongst the public as well as the media. The film is presented by Sanjay Raut and directed by Abhijit Panse.


“I’m grateful to the makers for having shown faith and trust in my work,” says Preetisheel. “When a legendary personality like Balasaheb Thackeray is being brought to life on celluloid, the responsibility is tremendous.”


She has made a lot of heads turn with her work for actors in more than 15 movies including Bajirao Mastani, Rangoon, Brothers, Mom, Haider, Parched, Hawaizaada, Shivaay, Talwar, Housefull 3, Ghayal Once Again, Finding Fanny, the Tamil film 24 as well as the pre-Mughal historical epic Nanak Shah Fakir for which she won the ‘National Film Award for Best Make-Up’.


Her work will also be seen in awaited movies like Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati, Umesh Shukla’s 102 Not Out, Vikramaditya Motwane’s Bhavesh Joshi and Sunny Deol’s Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas.


She puts in a strong word for Nawazuddin’s dedication. “He is not only a brilliant actor but one who treats his art and profession like prayers. During the three-odd hours it took to get him into the look, his studious silence and study of his face was inspiring. It was as if he was in a meditative mode.”

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But Preetisheel admits, she was overcome with anxiety about the reaction she would get from the makers. Recalling the situation during the teaser shoot she says, “When Nawazuddin finally emerged out of the makeup room for the first time in the get up, everyone had a very judging look on their faces. And then, suddenly I saw huge smiles everywhere. The makers were impressed. They praised me and shook hands with me. I can never forget that elated moment. I heaved a huge sigh of relief.”


Indian actor Rakshak Sahni to make big-budget Hollywood debut with Eastern Crimes

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With movies like Lion and Slumdog Millionnaire clicking big at the Hollywood box-office, more and more makers are coming forward with subjects involving Indian actors.

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One such movie to go on floors soon is Eastern Crimes, with an estimated budget of 30 million dollars. Bollywood actor Rakshak Sahni who began his career in the Indian film industry, playing the lead in Kkavyanjali on Star Plus, will play a parallel lead with a yet-to-be-finalized American star in this Hollywood feature film about two cop buddies.

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What’s more! The makers are in talks with none other than six-time Oscar-nominated director Peter Weir to direct the film. Weir is known for great Hollywood blockbusters such as The Truman Show, Dead Poets Society and Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

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Produced by Los Angeles-based NeuAsia Studios, Eastern Crimes is written by Mansur Ahmed; who has also co-developed the screenplay for The Treasure of Ali Baba and the 40 Thieves, being directed by the Casino Royale director Martin Campbell.

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“It’s rare that a role is written for an Indian actor to play a parallel action hero opposite a leading American actor in a major Hollywood production. So when Mansur Ahmed sent me the script of Eastern Crimes, it immediately got me excited,” says Rakshak who is confident that the movie will be a milestone in his career. It’s expected to begin shooting in mid-2018.



Interacting with Amitabh Bachchan was a humbling experience, says Sanjeev Gupta

 A meeting with living legend Amitabh Bachchan has left Global Advertisers CEO Sanjeev Gupta a very motivated man. Gupta met Big B at Jalsa recently, as his firm joined hands with the upcoming Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan starrer The Great Leader.

As a token of respect and admiration for the megastar’s amazingly glorious journey, Gupta presented him a memento with majestic horses; white galloping stallions.

 Sanjeev Gupta of Global Advertisers presenting a memento to Amitabh Bachchan.

“I had heard about Mr Amitabh Bachchan being punctual and a thorough gentleman. He sure is both. But more than that, throughout my meeting I got a feeling about how a great personality like him can be so very humble and down-to-earth too,” says the business tycoon.

“I was touched by Mr Bachchan’s modesty. He is everything a perfect role model is made of. Not only actors, but even corporate head honchos and politicians can learn from his humility,” he adds.

 (L to R) Abhishek Chadha (director of 'The Great Leader'), megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Gupta of Global Advertisers and producer Deepak Sawant.

Gupta has strong words of praise for the makers of The Great Leader too. “Producer Deepak Sawant (who has been Bachchan’s trusted make-up man for years) of Daxana Films has strived hard to make this film with a gritty subject. And director Abhishek Chadha has complimented his efforts with his vision and expertise,” he noted.

Global Advertisers is India’s leading outdoor media agency and it has been entrusted the job of publicizing the film via outdoor media such as hoardings, kiosks, etc. Apart from Jaya and Amitabh Bachchan, the film with women rights and empowerment as the central theme, co-stars Gulshan Grover and Pakkhi Hegde in lead roles.


Global Advertisers joins hands with Amitabh Bachchan’s The Great Leader

India’s leading outdoor media agency Global Advertisers has joined hands with Daxana Films to handle the outdoor media hoarding publicity campaign for the upcoming Amitabh and Jaya Bachchan starrer The Great Leader.

Produced by Deepak Sawant, who has been the trusted make-up person of Amitabh Bachchan for many years, the film is written and directed by Abhishek Chadha and co-stars Gulshan Grover and Pakkhi Hegde in lead roles.

 (L to R) Abhishek Chadha (director of 'The Great Leader'), megastar Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjeev Gupta of Global Advertisers and producer Deepak Sawant.

Global Advertisers CEO Sanjeev Gupta recently met up with Big B along with makers Deepak Sawant and Abhishek Chadha, where the megastar gave his love and blessings to the campaign and appreciated the support from the agency for the movie.

The Great Leader is being described as a female-oriented subject with women’s rights and empowerment taking centre-stage in a rural setting. Moreover, it strikes a stronger note as Bachchan’s recent film Pink was also about women’s fight for justice, though in an urban setting. The film as well as the megastar’s performance in it, drew great appreciation and acclaim.


Bollywood should produce its own make-up and prosthetics material, feels Preetisheel Singh

You have received abundant praise for your work as a make-up and prosthetics artiste in films like Bajirao Mastani, Shivaay, Haider, Mom, Hawaizaada, Housefull 3, Rangoon, Brothers, Talwar, Finding Fanny, Parched, Ghayal Once Again and the Tamil film 24. You have even received a National Award for Nanak Shah Fakir. Does this body of work create very high expectations and a pressure to raise the standards with every new project you undertake?

At the back of my mind, it’s always ticking… that I got to better my last. And I think that happens with every professional who is sincere to her or his core. That’s how you win in the long run. The shorter races don’t excite me as much.

Preetisheel Singh working on Deepika Padukone, Pankaj Kapur, Kay Kay Menon, Ajay Devgn and Irrfan Khan.

After Bajirao Mastani, how does it feel being repeated by Sanjay Leela Bhansali for Padmavati?

Mr Bhansali has an eye for immaculate detail. Add the stalwart starcast of Ranveer Singh, Deepika Padukone and Shahid Kapoor and all the energy along with every powerful actor on the film… that’s a lot of pressure too. But that’s exactly what kept me going. I deliver in pressure and earning Bhansali Sir’s trust is really really encouraging. So any amount of pressure is worth it.

 Preetisheel Singh working on Ranveer Singh's look during Bajirao Mastani.

For another upcoming film 102 Not Out, you have designed the looks for Amitabh Bachchan as a 102-year-old man, with Rishi Kapoor playing his 75-year-old son. Was it tough to make them look like father and son?

Tough would be an understatement here. More so, since both the actors are legendary. I was a baby when they were shining bright and they are still ruling hearts globally. So yes, you got to toughen up and think beyond the aura they exude. Getting deep into the respective characters felt like a duty, because I knew their talent will only take the work we put in much higher. Plus, at their age and stature, it takes a lot of patience to sit and allow so much make-up to happen and then go out and perform. It’s commendable and inspiring. Compared to their perseverance, my job seems easier.

 Preetisheel Singh working on Amitabh Bachchan's look on the sets of 102 Not Out.

Recently, Rishi Kapoor even praised you in the media for executing his look of a devout Muslim in Mulk.

Oh, what can I say, but ‘Thank you Rishi Sir.’ If he is complimenting, then I sure must’ve done something right. It’s really thrilling to be praised by him. Rishi Sir is a gem of a person to work with. Me and my team have had the pleasure to work with him on two films back-to-back and I look forward to keep transforming his looks in the coming future (winks).

 Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor in 102 Not Out. (Image courtesy - Google)

Compared to Hollywood flicks, do you think Indian films are finally coming of age regarding make-up and prosthetics? Or are we still far behind?

We have taken strong strides in recent times. People are more aware of prosthetics, but we have a long way to go.

 Preetisheel Singh working on make up of a ghost on the sets of The House Next Door.

Do you use Indian raw material? Or do you have to rely on foreign products to get the desired effects? Is shortage of quality raw stock the only reason you have set up India’s first make-up and prosthetics lab called Da Makeup Lab? Or is there some higher goal and bigger purpose or vision in mind?

To be honest, Da Makeup Lab was born out of necessity and now its growing fast with an aim to set higher standards of make-up and prosthetics for our movies. See, there isn’t a proper special-effects material supply shop here. So much so, that it seems our technicians never realized that this could also be a great business opportunity too. Since I can’t compromise on quality, I do end up getting 80 percent of my material from abroad. But it would really be a boon if we begin creating and manufacturing our own raw material for make-up and prosthetics. That would make a huge difference to the look and feel of our films.

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In the past, Indian films have often portrayed ghosts in quite a tacky manner. But you changed that with your recent film House Next Door. Can you tell us a bit more about what has gone into the ghosts you designed for the movie?

For The House Next Door, it is the first time that we are showing ghosts which don’t look artificial. A lot of work has gone into creating looks that are extremely believable, yet convincing for the supernatural genre. Film is a medium of expression and good storytelling. And if I don’t do justice to the looks of the characters, it would be really unfair. Eventually, I would want Hollywood to be looking at an Indian film and be baffled by the professionalism in the make-up designs executed by us. That would be an achievement.

 Preetisheel Singh working with Ranveer Singh for Bajirao Mastani, Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor for 102 Not Out and with Nawazuddin Suddiqui for Mom.

In a short span, you have already emerged a market leader in your field. Any plans of moving to Hollywood?

C’mon, don’t spoil me! I have a long way to go and have so much more to learn. I’d love to learn more advanced and newer techniques and implement them in India. Imagine a day when Hollywood can look up in awe at Bollywood… what a day that would be.


Preetisheel Singh impresses with The House Next Door; awaits Padmavati

 Preetisheel Singh working on make up of a ghost on the sets of The House Next Door.

National award-winning make-up and prosthetics artiste Preetisheel Singh has once again managed to receive rave reviews for her art with the Siddharth-Andrea Jeremiah horror film The House Next Door, making the ghost flick extremely believable and spooky.

Based on a true story, director Milind Rau’s film is made in three languages. Apart from The House Next Door in Hindi, it has released as Aval (She) in Tamil and Gruham (Home) in Telugu, garnering acclaim for all three versions.

 Preetisheel Singh working with Ranveer Singh for Bajirao Mastani, Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor for 102 Not Out and with Nawazuddin Suddiqui for Mom.

“The film makes audience cower in their seats biting their nails while trying to look away from the screens,” reports The Indian Express. Times of India calls it a “well-executed” and “gripping” film, while First Post says, the “ghost flick is terror-ific”. Preetisheel uses her prosthetic make-up for ghostlike apparitions says Gulf News, “which are way removed from the regular pan-caked powder faces of other Indian films.”

Scroll calls the film a “very well crafted and a commendable addition to the genre” and Bollywood Life writes, the “film manages to scare the daylights out of you.” Apart from critical acclaim, actor Siddharth is ga-ga over Preetisheel’s work. “Her design framework has brought a sense of professionalism to the whole experience of prosthetic make-up,” says the actor.

 Preetisheel Singh working on Ranveer Singh's look during Bajirao Mastani.

It can be noted that a few months ago Preetisheel received accolades for the look she designed for Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the Sridevi-starrer Mom. She now awaits the release of Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmavati where she has designed the looks for Ranveer SinghShahid Kapoor as well as Deepika Padukone.