Pooja Talreja, the production designer for the award-winning film, Court, is an architect by profession and is currently building an amphitheatre in Mogli, Karnataka. Talreja talks about her time on the sets of Court, working with men, and architecture.
Did men listen to you when you worked as a production designer on the sets of Court?
This is the first time I worked on a feature film as a production designer. Yes, definitely there are men who carry a gender bias, and are not used to taking orders from a woman. It’s a process. There were ups and downs. With some men on the set, it was a struggle every day, while with others it was never about being a woman, it was about the work and the ideas. We used to work with painters and carpenters directly and I did face some resistance initially, but I quickly learnt to handle the situation. Also, my being young makes it harder for people.
You are building an amphitheatre currently. Is it a one-woman show?
I am presently building a green amphitheatre made of mud and grass. The backdrop of the amphitheatre is a stone house with a parabolic arch, which helps amplify the sound in the amphitheatre. Well I would love to call it a one-woman show, but I worked very closely with the client and his needs, and it’s a collaborative process.
“Architecture is really about well-being. I think that people want to feel good in a space… On the one hand it’s about shelter, but it’s also about pleasure.” Zaha Hadid. Do you agree?
Very well said. Architectural spaces are designed to address various needs of different users, but it is also about adding pleasure, flexibility and a positive environment.