First it was Anurag Basu's Kites which got an editor Brett Ratner from Hollywood to put together the material after the Indian editor Akiv Ali (a regular on Anurag's films like Gangster and Life In A Metro).
Director Anurag Basu was not too pleased with this creative meddling. But there was little he could do. Now it's Teen Patti which has roped in the services of a Hollywood editor over and above the desi editor Kaushik Das.
Hughes Winborne who has edited the Will Smith starrers The Pursuit Of Happyness and Seven Pounds and also won an Oscar for his editing in Paul Haggis's Crash has done the 're-edit' of Teen Patti.
Explains the director Leena Yadav, "We needed that international sensibility to be placed on the footage. We sent a subtitled print to Hughes. But he soon did away with the subtitles. He got all the Hindi jokes and punch lines."
Why was it felt that a Hollywood editor would be able to give Teen Patti the global cut? Explains Leena, "It's really about getting the rhythm right. The Western audience has a different pace for movie viewing. That pace worked beautifully in my film." An international editor was not all that Teen Patti got from abroad. The film also imported a stunt co-ordinator.
It was a sight to behold when the petite female director Leena Yadav decided to direct the Big B in some of his toughest stunts in the post-Zanjeer era for Teen Patti. The German stunt director Armin Sauer who has worked with global biggies like Matt Damon in the Bourne Supremacy and Ralph Fiennes in The Constant Gardener had been called to supervise the stunts.
Leena let go of all stops and made sure she pulled the punches as hard as Armin.
"These stunts that Mr. Bachchan has performed are very real, very raw. Not for a second was I allowed to feel like a woman on the sets. Agreed there were a lot of men on the set and two intimidating stalwarts like Mr. Amitabh Bachchan and Sir Ben Kingsley. But any director regardless of gender would have felt equally intimidated by these two stalwarts."
It's generally said that female directors have a much tougher time directing a film than their male counterparts. Leena says she has never had to suffer because of her gender. "Not once did I feel I was disadvantaged by my gender. On the sets, my authority was never questioned. Whether it was legends like Mr. Bachchan and Sir Ben or the newcomers, they all surrendered to my vision."