Who is watching who?

There is something inherently fascinating about a bunch of people willing to stay in a house, cut off from family and friends, being watched night and day for 100 days, vying for attention from a “boss”. As much as we snicker, smirk and protest the idea, we often spend mindless hours watching them fight, show off, act, pretend, compete, scream, laugh, cry, cook, twiddle their thumbs, loll around...

And therein lies the success of the Bigg Boss format of reality TV shows. It is life playing out in all its colours and all its everydayness — complete with unwashed linen and burnt food, stars and celebs in their pyjamas without make-up, in a house made of candy floss coloured sofas and glass walls, soaked in slugfests and “family” feuds, twists and turns, hurt and pain, plain boredom, madness in many forms...

Bigg Boss Kannada Season 4 has its dedicated following on Colors Kannada TV, where it is edging towards the grand finale of 100 days on January 15. On the 77th day MetroPlus gets a peek into the goings on and behind-the-scenes precision and planning that such a mammoth production brings with it. The huge set in Innovative Film City is a bubble within a fascinating bubble. The contestants still don't know that TN Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa is dead. Even demonetisation is only a hazy idea they have (the team felt compelled to tell them because they didn't want anyone to lose their money; but no contestant came forward to say they needed their money sorted!)


26bgmdirector   | Photo Credit: mail


The channel’s business head Parameshwar Bhat is also the director of this reality show. “Bigg Boss is a study of human behaviour and people’s response to challenges. One incident can make or kill a character. We create a mini society in there,” he declares. “The 90 minutes that finally go on air each day is the director’s and editor’s interpretation of what happened.” And for those of you who think you haven’t been getting enough, their sister channel Colors Super airs footage that has been dropped from the main episodes.

Controversies, wild card entries, eliminations and re-entries, Twitter wars between Sudeep and a participant’s fans, squabbles and tensions — the season has seen it all. But Parameshwar dismisses any suggestion that the “drama” is scripted. “The only intervention is limited to the tasks handed out by Bigg Boss. Nothing else is induced.” A new element introduced in the show almost sets one person against another by showing them footage of what others have said on set without their knowledge. “That is part of the study. Contestants may fight to get attention; I don't know. But we don't encourage it. Ideally we would not like to interfere at all.”

Who is watching who?

Have contestants, over a period of time, become predictable? Bored even? For a man who almost watches them 24/7, Parameshwar shrewdly observes that while some of them do become predictable, “Bigg Boss is really about the contestants who continue to surprise you. Each of them is here to win, and like in a cricket test match, they pace out their innings,” he grins. “This is as real as reality can get.”

Where everything is BIG

*There are 55 cameras constantly watching participants in the 15,000 square foot house

*An average of 300 people are working on the set to make the show happen

*The average age of the core creative team of about 70 people is between 24 and 28

*There are two “loggers” on every eight hour shift who record/transcribe every line being said. They “catch” the stories

*Eight editors work non-stop (in shifts) under an editor-in-chief to continuously scan what is being fed by the cameras.

*One story editor is always on the job to watch out for “stories” in the day’s happenings.

*Like in any other job, contestants were put through medical and psychiatric tests, specially to see if they can take on the stress and travails of such a show; candidates have been rejected!

* This weekend, while we go to print, one more from these nine survivors would have been eliminated. Here is the list of survivors from the original 15 — Malavika Avinash, Shalini, “Kirik” Keerthi, Pratham, Karunya Ram, Sheetal Shetty, Bhuvan Ponnanna, Sanjana, Mohan

The house of The Boss

A lush green garden behind tall wooden gates welcomes you to the Boss’s world. Huge blown up stills from his films announce it is Kichcha Sudeep’s territory. The host of Bigg Boss has a comfy space for himself where he spends a night and a day every weekend to do his bit, and shoot for the weekend specials. His life-size photos guard the flatscreen in the large TV room, that opens out into a kitchenette on one side, a small dining area on another, and leads into a more private space off-limits. A fancy star dressing mirror complete with a frame of bulbs forms the entryway of his private space. “Sudeep comes on Friday evenings and goes through the week’s episodes and sometimes looks at unaired footage too, to get an idea of what has been happening,” says director Parameshwar. Sudeep and the director sit together and decide what the Boss is going to ask contestants that week. “He usually doesn't sleep at all on Friday night. At the most he hits the bed by 5.30 am on Saturday and is up for the shoot by 7 a.m.”

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Printable version | Jul 24, 2021 5:11:04 AM |

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