None of that actually happened though as the man, who has been behind films like TAARE ZAMEEN PAR and STANLEY KA DABBA, insisted that his actors learn on the job and gain real time experience than spend time in front of the monitor.
Smiles Saqib, ‘I too agree that woh sab dekhne se koyi faayada nahi hota hai. I can watch all the sports films in the world but then what’s the point? Every film has its own rhythm, its own requirement. The idea was to gain practical insight into skating.’
To achieve that, Saqib visited quite a few skating academies in Mumbai.
‘Since I am playing a coach in the film, I observed how real-life coaches behaved with the kids, what are the instructions that they give to people, the kind of lingo that they use. I wanted to pick that up.’
For Amol Gupte, who shot his last STANLEY KA DABBA in a guerilla fashion so as to extract the most natural performances out of kids without knowing that they were actually being filmed on camera, the approach for HAWAA HAWAAI worked.
‘The idea was that if I say any particular lines as per my character, it should not sound forced. I needed to know that if I was saying something, what did it exactly mean,” says Saqib, ”This is where directions from Amol helped. I had to be natural than come across as someone who was acting. It is good that I didn’t watch any film on this subject, otherwise I would have been unnecessarily influenced by what had been done by other actors.’