dropping out of sight! Pulses racing quicker than
a hare! These are just a few of the treats Sony Entertainment
has lined up for next month when its game show Bachke
The show is the Indian version of Russian Roulette
from Columbia Tristar Television. The show will be
adapted soon in 20 countries. It has already tasted
success in the US, Russia, Spain and Hong Kong, an
official release states.
the uninitiated this is how the show works. Four contestants
lock in a battle of grit, nerve and on the spot thinking.
They challenge each other through multiple-choice
questions. The person asking the question is known
as the "challenger". A correct answer means money
and the right to ask the next question. A wrong answer
means you lose money. That is not all! He/she now
has to pull a lever and a red light starts darting
from one chamber to the next. If lady luck is on your
side the light falls on a solid chamber. If not its
bye bye literally. The treacherous trapdoor opens
and the participant drops into a hole out of sight.
Speaking on the initiative to indiantelevision.com's
Ashwin Pinto , executive V-P SET Sunil Lulla
said: "Bachke Rehnaa appeals to all age groups.
The initiative is a step further in our endeavour
to provide engrossing wholesome family entertainment."
The director Kapil Batra said: "When I first saw the
international version I thought it was a completely
outrageous concept and I decided to take it up as
"Adding excitement to the proceedings are the pulse
meters attached to each participant. This gives each
player an idea as to exactly how nervous the others
are. At stake is the jackpot of Rs 2 million. Once
a participant falls out he loses whatever money he
has so far amassed and goes home empty handed. The
last one left standing has the option of going home
with all the winnings or taking the risk with the
lever to get a shot at the jackpot.
In House Productions
The production is handled by InHouse Productions which
had earlier done the big budget gameshow Jeeto Chappar
Phaad Ke for SET, on a set built up at Film City in
the western Mumbai suburb of Goregaon.
Says InHouse CEO Uday Sinhwalla: "The show has three
elements all of which come together for the first
time in a game show. The first is skill. Within the
span of ten seconds the contestants have to answer
the question. They also have to come up with a strategy
for survival depending on which stage of the game
you are in. The second element involved is presence
of mind. You have to be quick on your feet to figure
out the contestant most vulnerable at a particular
point of time. Finally there is luck. You can lose
money and still have the chance to get it back if
the trap door stays shut.
"Regarding the choice of Mohnish Behl as host Sinhwalla
said: "An anchor needs to be fluent, have a strong
presence and strike a rapport with both the participants
and the audience. Behl has all three qualities. In
addition, I was impressed at the amount of time he
gave to the task before shooting commenced. He was
committed to making the transition from a screen actor
to hosting a game show and so sought advice from the
production team and the director as to requirements.
"Also on hand was the director Kapil Batra. He said
that the show was unique partly due to the amount
of hardware involved. Seven cameras are used. They
are placed above as well as on the sides so as to
catch reactions of the participants. There is also
a grip and moving cameras so that a difficult shot
can be caught. Sameer Chanda made the set design in
keeping with what was being done abroad, Batra said.
Likewise some of the music has been borrowed from
abroad. The rest has been composed by the InHouse
team including the montage introducing the show.
The game takes place in a squared circle in front
of a live audience of 120 people. The only editing
that will take place is if the show runs short of
time, Batra said. There are computerised lights, which
keep changing in accordance with the tone of the game.
As for the trap door, it is a hydraulic design with
gizmos constructed by a team of engineers keeping
in mind certain specifications and safety. Participants
are put through test falls prior to the commencement
of shows. They are also asked a few medical questions
so that nothing untoward happens. Although the fall
is just three feet deep the catch is that it is sudden,
Batra said. A person playing well could suddenly disappear.
The contestants also get time with each other so that
each has an idea of the other's personality.
Most significant however, is the fact that for the
first time a game logic computer controls the entire
action. This includes the music, questions and lighting.
When the game starts through the blue chaser light
it is the computer, which decides at random who the
initial challenger will be.
This is why Batra's job of directing becomes all the
more tricky. If, for example, a participant pulls
the lever after answering wrongly Batra does not know
what will happen to the trapdoor. That is the discretion
of the computer, which decides at random which trapdoor
the red light will settle in. It could even open blank
trapdoor, as there are six in number. In accordance
with what happens he has to select shots from any
of four cameras. He also has to catch the reactions
of the participants and the host.
Since the logistics are so complex there is one room
just for the servers. There is another room for the
control computers from where the director works. Batra
said 15 episodes have already been shot. Batra clarified
that the show has been slotted as a weekly for the
present but if it goes down well with audiences the
frequency of airings could be increased. The next
round of shooting is scheduled to take place in October.
Bachke Rehnaa marks the debut of actor Mohnish
Behl in the game show host
arena. Mohnish known to Bollywood buffs for his role
in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. He can also be seen
on the tube in the Star Plus hospital drama Sanjivani.
When asked if he was following a particular approach
for 'Bachke Rehnaa' he said: " A good anchor is one
who is friendly and smoothly facilitates goings on.
I find an anchor who is intentionally being nasty
not only a huge turn off but also offensive. I found
the 'winner takes all' concept particularly appealing.
I also admired the professional approach of In Houses'
He went on to elaborate on his role as an anchor:
"Having been an actor for a decade, this initiative
marks a fresh start. I view the job of anchoring as
a learning process. I have watched most of the game
shows on the tube be it KBC or JCPK.
While I admire the varied styles of the anchors I
do not want to copy, as mimicking would be wrong.
A game show does not involve acting. There is so much
unpredictability that I have to rely on spontaneity.
I am slowly getting used to not having a script being
placed in front of me. Presence of mind is important
just not for the participants but for me as well.
There are times when I have to diffuse tense situations.
see the show as resembling real life in terms of the
dilemma that the contestants go through. In each episode
I can expect to see a different emotion come through.
For instance there was a man who reached the fourth
round and then froze. It is not that his mind went
blank. It was that he could not say a word though
he probably knew the correct answers. For my part
I do not need to be physically too active. There is
already an overload of tension hanging in the room
with pulses reaching between 160-180 and if I move
too much then the flow is disrupted. My job is to
make sure that the participants and viewers have a
lot of fun while wondering as to where the prize money
When asked about the relatively low amount of prize
money involved he said: " Prize money is not the main
attraction. The thrill comes from doing and watching
something unique and enjoying someone falling. You
can have one crore (Rs 10 million), ten crores or
even an unlimited amount of money up for grabs. However
if the show's format does not engage the viewer or
if the flow is stilted and dull then it will not work."
The Channel's Say
For Sony, Bachke Rehnaa is part of the "Hot
N' Fresh" programming initiative
that kicked off with the Madhuri Dixit hosted marriage
show K3H and will see a slew of new programmes
unveil over the next few months. SET director - on
air programming, Anupama Mandloi, said the show would
also have special episodes featuring television celebrities
Marketing initiatives covering various media spectrum
would roll out a week before the show commences, Mandloi
said. The exact date of launch, which will be some
time next month, is still to be decided, she said.
Even aspects like the time slot for the show, as well
as the day of the week it will air are still being
worked out, she added.
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