Filming the evening aarti

#1 Jan 1st, 2016, 23:11
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  • spud is offline
#1
Hi guys
I've been pondering over Varanasi, in particular, the evening aarti.
On previous visits to the city I only watched the ceremony once or twice.

So for my upcoming visit I was going to film a few minutes of the ceremony, but I want to do it from 3-4 different locations/angles. This means going there 3-4 evenings.
A few questions

Do the exact same priests attend each evening? Do the dress the same?
and do they each use the same platform each night?

I realise I can fake some of the footage to make it look like it was all done in one evening, but it would be easier if each night was pretty much a repeat of the previous.

I'm planning on taking a field recorder to record the sound separately, and will add the sound to the edited footage at a later stage.

Is filming even allowed now? A read a story about a group of people being thrown in jail because they used a flying drone to film the priests.

Any suggestions, have I forgotten to take anything into account? Do let me know.

Cheers
#2 Jan 2nd, 2016, 04:54
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#2
Has already been filmed a few too many thousand times .. at the risk of being inventive could you find something else to film.

The Varanasi Ghats are horrid hot in April.
#3 Jan 2nd, 2016, 08:30
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#3
The priests and their standing order changes, often but not all the time. Try to shoot from various angles simultaneously using multiple cameras. Else you have to ride on your luck a bit, from the point of view of consistency.
#4 Jan 2nd, 2016, 10:17
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#4
Filming is allowed at Varanasi Ghat during Aarti till you shoot from the same point.

Generally standing order of the priests remains the same but priests may change, but the changes do not take place on daily basis.

You may take written permission from the organizers for filming and recording. Generally they permit.

But they may not permit the use of drone. For using drone you will have to take permission from district administration.
#5 Jan 2nd, 2016, 11:07
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#5

Filming the evening aarti

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post Filming is allowed at Varanasi Ghat during Aarti till you shoot from the same point.
I don't think there is any bar upon moving around, though practically you can't move around a lot because of the crowd. I have done that shooting many times in many ghats with both still and movie camera and have never bothered to take prior permission. Last year, ahem I mean 2014, during dev deepavali at dashaswamedh ghat they issued press card but without any fuss. If you had a camera and reeked of rum, the card was granted even before it was asked for and ;-) none checked it.
Cheers
#6 Jan 2nd, 2016, 11:20
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#6
OP is planning to use a field recorder to record the sound, hence, suggestion of taking permission...
#7 Jan 2nd, 2016, 11:37
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#7

Filming the evening aarti

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prakaant View Post OP is planning to use a field recorder to record the sound, hence, suggestion of taking permission...
I completely agree that a prior permission is always the safest way. Specially if you want to use an elaborate set up.
#8 Jan 2nd, 2016, 11:48
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#8
I've done filming on Varanasi ghats. I had a small set up & a small group of 4 crew members only filming a No-budget short film. We had not faced any permission issue then (in Dec 2011). We had not shot the aarti events though.
#9 Jan 2nd, 2016, 11:52
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#9
Join me there guys, I will be roaming there 23-26 January, Shiva willing. Byom Bhole :-D
#10 Jan 2nd, 2016, 12:13
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#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by spud View Post
Is filming even allowed now? A read a story about a group of people being thrown in jail because they used a flying drone to film the priests.
Using drones by private parties in India for any purpose is banned since October 2014 partly because drones can easily be used for aerial surveillance, among other things . The idea was for the government to formulate a legal framework within which drones could be used. That of course doesn't stop many from using them. The latest news was yesterday when the staff photographer of Dainik Bhaskar Jaipur was arrested in Kanniyakumari for filming the Vivekananda memorial and the shoreline using a drone. He was merely trying to get ''the best possible image'' for his readers - the people of Jaipur.

On a tangent, have you considered hiring a boat to film things from the waterfront? You'd get a different view - the same as the film makers of the banned documentary - Battle for Banaras got.
#11 Jan 2nd, 2016, 12:21
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#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaibhav_arora View Post ... have you considered hiring a boat to film things from the waterfront? ...
Now-a-days, water front also remains very crowded and it may be difficult to find an uninterrupted view...
#12 Jan 2nd, 2016, 14:26
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#12
For future plans, maybe you could consider filming an authentic aarti, like the one in Haridwar?! The one in Varanasi is sickeningly fake, a staged show for tourists. There is no heart in it at all.
#13 Jan 2nd, 2016, 15:16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atala View Post The one in Varanasi is sickeningly fake, a staged show for tourists. There is no heart in it at all.


The truth be out .. Haridwar would be a slight step away from show time.
#14 Jan 2nd, 2016, 16:45
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#14
Agree on the point about fakeness- but it's quite a spectacle still. Much more so than the one in Hardwar.

Best shots would be from a boat- but you probably knew that already. Also agree that the Aarti has been overfilmed. However- Varanasi is an amazingly photogenic city and the constant hum of life in the ghats and gullies is worth shooting over and over again.
#15 Jan 2nd, 2016, 17:29
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#15
Even the ganga aarti at Haridwar is perhaps a relatively modern affair. I had regular trips there during late 80s and early 90s. I don't actually remember that being performed there. Haven't been there since. Can anyone enlighten since when this started in its current avatar?

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