Kavita Thakur, Production Designer: The Reigning Queen of Her Art
Kavita can best be described as the Thakurayeen - the reigning Queen of the advertising world, as one of the most sought-after Production Designerṣ.
Kavita has a vast experience of over four decades in making print ads and TV commercials look just right, whether it's a house, a palace or setting in a garden. Every element in that setting is well chosen to reflect the vision of her clients - the ad agency handling the account. Imagine, if a client of a top brand of home paint were to give you a single wall painted in their best colour, would you be able to shoot an ad poster or make an ad film to appeal to the target audience it was intended for? Even if the film set is just one side of a wall, it must be made to look like it's part of a lived-in home. Carpets, sofas, cushions, picture frames, tables, vases, flowers, lights, glasses, accessories, spectacles, phones, etc., all, make it look like a home. Kavita's role is to provide and creatively dress up these props and be prepared for contingencies, which means, be ready with back ups, should something such as a colour shade not fit in with the overall picture. Often, Kavita is also a resource person for models.
A two days' shoot can mean that Kavita is arranging trucks to carry props in one and costumes in another. If there's a shoot in a far-off place such as Himri in Himachal Pradesh, Kavita will ensure the trucks are loaded in Mumbai with all that's needed and more. Right from a pin to the most exquisite piece of furniture, Kavita must ensure that production is never lacking. Her role also includes catering for the entire unit. As a norm, the film production fraternity is highly divisive. Different cuisine and quality of food is ordered for different classes of people, akin to the shape of a pyramid, where the apex represents the select top few. Kavita broke all such norms in her productions and every team member has one cuisine and one quality of food, ensuring there is no divide on the simple joys of life. However, when catering to film stars, it's an entirely different scenario. Catering to their dietary habits must always be top priority; that includes sourcing exotic dry fruits, fresh fruits and salads from specified vendors. With a casual shrug she says, that's all part of the day's work.
I ask Kavita what keeps her going and this is what she has to say, "I love my work because it gives me immense satisfaction of having created something from nothing; of having worked with people who have become close friends and some, like family." Kavita has cultivated relationships across a wide cross section of people with her charm, grace and a humane approach, never allowing stress to rule her. Her friends and relatives often call her only to hear her laughter and at times, to lift their own sunken spirits.
Kavita believes, if you do something you love, you'll excel. She's ever grateful for her opportunities and her friends. Now, she's at a space she's earned for herself and that is, she chooses her projects and people with whom she likes to work. Ideal? Almost utopic!
Kavita Thakur can be reached at email@example.com
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