Tuesday, December 4, 2012

The Alternate Cinescope

Imagination is something that fascinates me. It is what fuels art and it's various forms. Even science is dead without imagination.
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere. -  Albert Einstein
Movies are something I hold in the highest regard for the power it wields in the manifestation of imagination in all its visual splendor. I believe it can have an immense emotional impact as well. At least for me. I usually get an emotional high even if I watch simple movies like Bridge to Terbithia, Fish Tank, The Cement Garden to The Godfather, The Matrix, The Dark Knight and more recently, the spectacular Life of Pi.


From the experience of movie watching, I tried my hand at movie making. I recently made three short movies. One of them was not that well planned. It was a spoof('Stalker') on an old Hutch advert. I believe people found it mildly amusing. The second and third shorts had actual scripts written for it. Our college has a course called 'Ethics and Values' which had a short movie as a part of the curriculum. I had not taken the course, but being the enthusiast that I was, I tried my best to get involved in the movie making scheme of things.

I co-wrote both the scripts. Interestingly, both of them revolved around women and the injustice against them. The first one was called 'Lost Fire'. It had a pretty extensive script. It was 19 pages long. If a script is nineteen pages long, it would mean that the movie would be roughly 18-20 minutes. We did not need that long of a story. Hence, when the shooting started, I decided to remove a few scenes to make the movie around 13 minutes.

We had around seven actors for the movie. The problem was each one had a different schedule of classes. Hence, getting all of them together was a huge pain. Thank god we did not have too many scenes with all of them involved. The shooting took us four scattered days, with around one to two hours of average film shooting each day. I learnt a lot about how hard acting can be. Imparting believabilty to a role turned out to be very difficult. I tried what I could. When it came to editing the movie, I realized the movie needed voice dubbing very badly since the dialogues were not heard properly over the background noise. Unfortunately, it had to be submitted the next day, and we did not have enough time. I also realized on  more thing though - the background music makes a world of difference.

The second movie was called 'Withering Away' (Couldn't think of another name, honestly), This short had around three acts. I wrote the middle act while my friend wrote the other two acts. This was a much smoother experience and was shot within two days. The movie was around 10 minutes long. Also, this time, I made sure the actors spoke loudly enough for the dialogue to be heard. It worked and I was happy.

The subject matter of the movies were pretty dark which included eve-teasing, female feoticide, rape and molestation. It was a touchy subject and everyone involved actually felt strongly about the subject matter. It helped a lot in the shooting process, especially in 'Withering Away'.

Overall, co-writing scripts and directing three movies made me feel very good about myself. It also made me realize how difficult it is to imagine and direct at the same time.

I haven't uploaded 'Withering Away' yet. Might do it soon. :)


Excluding the above short movies, I was also involved in a video called 'Love Language' which was actually a remake of another video of the same name. A colleague of mine did most of the direction while I played part with the camera and a few tips.


As I mentioned earlier, movies always manage to evoke an emotive response from me. Most movies make me feel as a part of the world it tries to capture( and most good movies do). As an amateur short movie maker, I tried the same.

Movies are also a form of legacy and art. It is hard for me to imagine how people would look at the current crop of movies from a hundred years from now. It would represent our generation.