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    Feb 2010


    Default Pig Tantrums: Producer doles out more money for a pig than actors

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    Rajat Bharmecha of Udaan fame, Manjot Singh and Shazahn Padamsee won’t like this one bit. But the star-pig who plays the fourth protagonist in their rom-com Disco Valley will be paid a larger remuneration than the human actors.

    And the pig has not come into the picture without heartaches and tantrums. Apparently the original plan of importing a trained pig from Australia had to be dropped because of the cost factor.

    Apparently the pig, if air-hopped from Australia to Fiji (where the film will be shot) would have cost the producer more than the budget of the entire film.

    The film’s producer Siddharth Jain met Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama who offered to help with the pig crisis.

    Recalling his harrowing experience Jain said, “When we decided to make a pig a pivotal character we never realized it would be so expensive. More than the cost of hiring a pig maintaining it every day was too expensive. So instead of hiring the pig we decided to buy it outright and get a pig trainer.”

    Then began the next stretch of problems. “We wanted a small cute pig. So we paid the price of over-sized pig for a small one. Then we realized that the pig was temperamental. So we hired two identical pigs, so that if one is not the mood to give his shot the other can step in. Quite like the two babies that Sajid Khan used in Hey Babby.”

    Jain is grateful to the Prime Minister of Fiji for offering assistance with the pig situation. “He offered that we use local Fiji pigs instead of bringing them from Australia. We couldn’t get a pig trainer, so we now have a dog trainer looking after the pigs.”

    Apparently all this constant attention to the pigs has not gone down well with the human actors in Disco Valley. We hear Bharmecha and Manjot have made their displeasure very clear to the producer.

    Says Jain, “It can’t be helped. This is the first film in any part of the world which has a pig for a main character. That is not the same as a dog or an elephant in a film. No one knows how pigs behave. There’s no pattern-history. So we are all moving cautiously.”

    Apparently the pig is required to accompany the main human characters everywhere. It even has conversations with the cast. And has a fight sequence of its own at the end.



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