Bollywood dancing is all about the details. And Khan knows that every detail, from prop to costume, can tell a deeper story. While walking among the tightly packed stalls in India’s many outdoor markets, he pulls out his iPad Air to snap photos of colourful finds perfect for a particular dancer or scene. Then he quickly and easily shares the images with his costume designer and prop master to begin collaborating on his vision.
In Khan’s world, he is always working. Because inspiration can strike at any time — and it often does — Khan’s iPad Air functions as a portable, digital mood board that he carries with him everywhere. When a new idea strikes him, he pulls it out to review his thoughts in Notes, or pore over his photos to reconsider the look and feel of a scene. He might stop at a local café to browse Pinterest for new ideas, or open iTunes en route to a meeting to hear the film’s title song again and re-imagine dance steps. With all the moving parts of a film, from wardrobe to set design, Khan’s days used to be consumed with endless meetings and discussions with his director, producer and crew.
Khan found it not only incredibly tedious but also challenging to share a clear vision across multiple channels and team members — especially when things were moving fast, which they inevitably were. With iPad Air, Khan is able to adopt an entirely new approach that enables him to save precious time and share his input more simply and cohesively. Khan can set up a shared photo stream and invite his team to view photos and videos in a single, organised album. His colleagues can add comments and their own content. This way, everyone can receive updates instantaneously and get on the same page more quickly.
The slim, lightweight design of iPad Air allows Khan to manoeuvre easily around his performers to capture the subtleties of the dance better than he could with a traditional camera, lens and tripod. Then he uses the SloPro app on iPad to slow down each frame and analyse movements more carefully. Instead of watching the footage at home on videotape and
meeting with his dancers the next day, Khan gathers them around for in-depth, on-the-spot feedback. “Watching my dancing slowed down on the iPad lets me see what Feroz is seeing, and I can understand better what he wants changed,” says principal dancer Heena Panchal. “It’s so much easier for me to adjust my movements this way.”
Painstakingly choreographed movements. A bright red scarf and other perfectly hand-picked props. Once all the elements of a sequence fall into place, Khan uses the Artemis HD app on iPad to frame his dance scenes from all the right angles. Before, Khan would have to wait until the day of the shoot to share his input.
Now, with Artemis HD on iPad, Khan is able to select the same camera his director of photography uses and experiment with lens options ahead of time. The two go back and forth as much as needed in preproduction. And the director of photography has all the information he needs to frame the scene once shooting begins.