eBolly Exclusive Feature: 'MARIGOLD'- the first Hollywood-Bollywood co-venture - Salman to star with a popular US actress for this film
Hyperion Pictures India, a subsidiary of Hyperion Pictures, USA is all set to roll with their first Hollywood-Bollywood co-ventured film titled 'Marigold'. Marigold, a ground breaking collaborative effort uniting creative forces from Hollywood and Bollywood, the two largest
movie industries on earth, will have Salman Khan playing the lead opposite a popular actress from the US. This is the first time that a film will be shot in two versions, English and Hindi, and will be released in both countries as a mainstream entertainment, it could be described as the first major motion picture with dual-citizenship status.
Written and directed by Willard Carroll (Playing By Heart, with is one of the biggest Hollywood cast such as Sean Connery, Angelina Jolie, Gillian Anderson, Madeleine Stowe, Dennis Quaid, Ryan Phillipe, Ellen Burstyn), Marigold is a truly a bi-cultural collaboration at every level: in it's financing, in it's casting, in the composition of its crew, even in its storyline and theme.
Speaking on this film, Mr. Tom Wilhite, President, Hyperion Pictures said, "We at Hyperion are very excited about being involved with a production that marks a turning point in the evolution of a truly global entertainment cinema. We have decided that most of the key creative positions on the film will be filled by top-flight Indian professionals so that we can be assured that the Bollywood elements of the film will be authentic in every detail".
This romantic comedy, written and directed by Willard Carroll, will be filmed next year on locations in GOA, Rajasthan, Agra and Mumbai and is expected for release in late 2004. The film will be shot in a single schedule of 11 weeks starting in Feb 2003 and will be shot in Sync sound using Panavision camera.
The movie's title character, an American actress working on a song-and-dance filled Bollywood movie who strikes romantic sparks with the production's dashing choreographer.
Speaking on the very Bollywood theme, Willard Carroll, director, Marigold says, "The movie-within-a-movie format enables us to do the Bollywood sequences for real and at full strength, while still preserving the narrative structure of a mainstream Hollywood entertainment".

And so it is: Trio composers Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy have been finalised to do the songs, choreographer Farha Khan, lyricist Javed Akhtar and art director Nitin Desai have all been finalised to work on this film.
The film is being produced by the new company Hyperion Pictures India, which is a new company formed for producing cross-cultural Film & TV content. Sidharth Jain has been appointed as the Vice President and will be based in India. Sidharth represents the new breed of professionals in the "traditional Bollywood" business and hails from a well-known Indian family.

Commenting on being a part of this new film, Sidharth Jain, VP, Hyperion Pictures, India says, "In the past American productions shooting in India have used the country as an exotic backdrop and as a source of manpower. This project is different. It is a true co-production, Indians working side by side with Americans. It will be a seamless mixture of what each industry does best."
He further adds, "Many top movie people in India are eager to work on this project. They see it as an opportunity to finally present a positive view of Bollywood to the West. Indians have too often been portrayed as buffoons in American films. Look at the character of the Indian actor played in brown-face by Peter Sellers in The Party. What we all responded to in Willard's story was his sensitivity in portraying Indian culture, and especially Indian film culture."
Willard Carroll on Salman as a choice to play the lead protagonist adds, " The role of the choreographer Prem Rajput was written expressly for Salman Khan and I have incorporated many of the actor's suggestions into the final version of the screenplay. Salman has been very helpful not in just adding details to the Bollywood sequences, but also in clarifying some aspects of Indian family and life and culture. The story in its present form is very much a collaboration between Salman and myself".
About Hyperion Pictures

Hyperion an 18-year-old Animation Studio, which ventured into films a few years back. Hyperion was founded in 1984 by Tom Wilhite, former head of Motion Pictures and TV production for the Walt Disney Studios and Willard Carroll, a Disney creative affairs executive. Among the motion pictures they made at Disney are TRON - the first CGI feature film and Splash up to then Disney's biggest live action success.
Hyperion is a leading independent producer of youth oriented live action and animated feature films. They also produced various films including 'Playing By Heart', 'Tom's Midnight Garden', 'Down and Dirty' etc.
Hyperion also has 4 series playing on US television. Some of their clients include Disney, HBO, Paramount, Miramax, CBS, Discovery Channel, Canal+, ABC, Warner Bros, Nickelodeon, NHK Japan, Showtime, USA Networks, Artisan, USA Networks, etc. They have recently won an EMMY for a TV film on Showtime.
Director's quotes on Marigold and how he went about it.

Marigold is at one and the same time a true Bollywood musical and a true Hollywood romantic comedy," says writer-director Willard Carroll, "and it grew directly out of my sense of deligh and surprise as I discovered Hindi cinema."

While attending a film festival in the South Indian metropolis of Chennai (Madras), in early 2000, Carroll decided that it was high time to check out the unique moviemaking phenomenon known as Bollywood, an industry that turns out 1,000 movies a year for a global audience of over a billion people.
Ducking into a packed downtown theater to watch the romantic melodrama Chori Chori Chupke Chupke (Secretly, Quietly), Carroll was dazzled by the movie's very first song and dance sequence, a boisterous and funny wedding number, "Ladki Jo Dekke Gulabi. ("When He Sees a Pretty Girl."), exuberantly performed by superstar Salman Khan.
"When I got back to the States," Carroll recalls, "I went right online at IndiaPlaza.com and started buying DVDs.Over the next six months I must have watched 100 Bollywood movies. I was amazed by the depth of talent and the technical sophistication of this industry, and by its affirmative approach to entertainment. By the end of that immersion period I knew that I wanted to work with these amazingly talented people, to make a film over there that would be true to my love for the movies. And I knew that I wanted Salman Khan to play the lead."
Carroll's approach to intermingling the conventions of the two industries was a fish-out-of-water, East-Meets-West plot, with the Indian movie business as backdrop as seen through the eyes of an outsider from America.

Marigold's title character is a spoiled and demanding B-movie actress who is stranded in India when her latest fly-by-night vehicle, Kama Sutra 3, is suddenly canceled. Penniless and unable to return home, the desperate Marigold accepts a role in the gaudy Bollywood production Pyar Bina Kya Zindagi (What's Life Without Love?).
But Marigold has two left feet, and in Bollywood all film performers must dance. Her dance instructor for the production is the film's choreographer, Prem, played by Salman Khan.
"The material arose out of my response to the seductiveness of Bollywood," Carroll explains, "and the story reflects that directly. Marigold approaches the Indian way of doing things with skepticism at first and then is won over by its great spirit and sense of joy-qualities that are personified by the Salman's character. I knew that the Bollywood sequences had to be the real thing to work their magic on the audience, and for that we needed creative partners who are fluent in that idiom, who have been working in Hindi cinema all their lives."
In addition to recruiting top Hollywood professionals like composer David Newman (Scooby Doo) (Deep End), Wilhite and Carroll have assembled an Indian cast and crew for Marigold that reads like a Who's Who of contemporary Bollywood.

Carroll was attentive to Bollywood norms even when structuring his screenplay. Rather than stick to a standard Hollywood three-act structure, he deliberately his storyline into two parts, emulating a practice common in Hindi cinema, a convention defined by the "interval" or intermission that gives Indian audiences a breather at the mid-point of their 2 1/2 to 3 hour movies.
The second half of Marigold leaves the world of moviemaking behind, and it is consciously patterned on the Hindu Family Values genre, as Prem travels with Marigold to his lavish ancestral haveli ("mansion") in Rajasthan, introducing her to a teeming cast of friends and relations-and his rock-ribbed traditional parents.

Prem's intimidating but loving father, Mahendra, is a familiar figure in both Hindu family life and in Hindi cinema, and Carroll has consciously written the role for one of the powerful older actors who have made a specialty of these parts in India: Amrish Puri, Dimple Kapadia, Hema Malini and Waheeda Rehman are being considered for the other roles.
Music is a key element of any Bollywood production, as well as a crucial component of their promotional campaigns. In addition to the background score composed by David Newman, Marigold will be the first Hollywood movie to contain a full complement of six new "playback songs" in Hindi.

The films intricate dance steps will be devised by Farha Khan, who has been Bollywood's most popular choreographer for more than a decade. Khan recently returned to Mumbai from a sojourn in London, putting the dancers through their paces in Andrew Lloyd Webber's Bollywood-themed West End musical Bombay Dreams.
The lyrics for Marigold's new songs, and the dialogue for its simultaneous Hindi version, will be supplied by a father and son team that defines the best of the past and the future of Hindi cinema.

Others not finalised: Camera Man/ DP - Giles Nuttgens - was 2nd cameraman in Star Wars Episode 1 & II, Deep End, Indiana Jones TV Series etc. He has also worked on 2 Indian films- Bandit Queen and fire.
The Many Firsts of This Film.

・The 1st true Hollywood-Bollywood Film project at both ends.

・The 1st major Hollywood Film pairing a US actress with an Indian Superstar - Salman Khan.

・The 1st Hindi film to be directed by a Hollywood Director - Willard Carroll.

・The film will be simultaneously shot in English & Hindi.

・The next Hollywood-Musical after "Moulin Rouge".

・1st Hollywood film to be inspired by the Bollywood Art of filmmaking.

・Film will have a Completion Bond from an International Company - A new thing for Bollywood. This is apart from the Insurance.

・The 1st Hindi film with a leading US actress in the lead role.

・1st Hollywood Film to have an Original Sound Track of 6 new songs composed by Indian Composers. "Bombay Dreams" was theatre.