Monday, September 29, 2008

If sea is love, she is sea…& if she is love, sea is she…
She is a mother for some…
She is a lover for some

Wind and the waves are whispering the sonata of sea. There are a wide range of performers too…children, fishermen, birds, a lazy dog... and me…

‘Sea sonata’ is a kind of docu-fiction on seaside. It’s a montage of visuals shot at the beaches of Chennai. I am not trying any Flaherty touch here. There is no connection between the shots…and…no specific story to tell you. It’s the flow some random visuals on the backdrop of the music of wind and the waves. In fact I would rather switch of the monitor of my comp and loop the sound of sea…the sonata of the sea…it’s soothing…taking me back to the laps of nature.

It’s about the fisherman’s way back with his catch…It’s about a lazy dog…it’s about the Kattamaram (boat) dancing with the current; it’s about the children of sea…it’s about a little girl waiting to get tickled by a naughty notorious wave…It’s about me…it’s about sea…
‘Sea Sonata’ is for those who admire the golden sand, the gentle breeze and music of the wind and the waves, of Chennai seaside. For a few minutes, let me take you from your seats to the bosom of sea…

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

“Some Cry on's and Some Crayons”

“My proposal to a woman and Film Institute was always been a flop. And the history just repeated. But both I can’t stop coz I’m not yet convinced that I’m not good for both. Anyways this time I realized that I was been proposing the wrong girl and that I must change my way of proposal.”

I msged my film guru, friend and guide, Vinod Sir (Veye Films), as soon as I heard that I’m rejected once again in the interview at Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune. It was my 4th attempt since the year 2003. Yea, I can read it, 2003 to 2008 is quite a long period. Last time I was too upset after seeing the result, but this time I’m not. Last time, I even lost my train back to Chennai, boarded wrong train and reached Mumbai VST. Luckily I found a dealer who got me a ticket for the evening train to Chennai on some extra cash. But I had to spend a day at the railway station. I needn’t have done that, but my mental status wasn’t letting me to enjoy Mumbai roads. Sitting there, I thought a lot on what I must be doing in future through audio-visual medium that I was already in love with. Why should I wait for someone to teach me things, why can’t I myself start doing something on my own creating my own space? Too good a dream and too unpractical…Isn’t it?

A lot of ideas just flashed in mind on how to go about doing things. I had a sudden thought - there are novels but there is always a short story, there are costly oil paintings on canvas worth millions but there is still a less costly crayon wax sketch. Without any further explanation to myself I made a quick decision. I may or may not be a feature filmmaker who makes big budget blockbusters, but I can still remain a passionate short filmmaker who fulfils the art of cinema at almost zero budgets. The short filmmaker in me need not bother about the reaction of audience to the film; the money involved in the creation as well as the money such a film can generate later. I don’t need to bother about any kind of awards and appreciation too. Something beyond the box office, the headaches from film unions and ego-prestige issues, where I could concentrate only on the art aspect of it. There I felt cinema more free and fine. In a way, I was doing mere experiments with a satisfactory script, using a mini DV camera and minimal editing techniques only to share a thought…an idea. In past two years time I could do 14 short films and 3 documentary films. All of them have a pattern of simplicity, which I strongly believe in - minimal duration, few dialogues, music, characters, locations and almost zero special effects. To place all these films under same banner and to have a common identity, I have branded it “Cockroach in Cocktail” and a few friends thus stated calling me Cockroach…that I use as my penname now.

Even after all this, there always remained something blank in mind…a good knowledge of filmmaking. I felt this really irritating when my friends and juniors called me to be a part of their film screening sessions and to talk about cinema. Twice I had to go and see the college projects done by junior friends on their request, before they take the output from editing machine. How can I tell them that I have no qualification in filmmaking and all that I have done in these years is like an ekalavya-effort of teaching myself what filmmaking is! I am slowly realizing that, with the trust others have on me, I must not be doing a bad film any time. That is why I tried at FTII once again. Thought I may get a brighter canvas and colours.

Again I was called for the interview a few weeks back. As one of my friends who studied in FTII suggested, I spoke very honestly on what I feel about filmmaking. I said that I’m there to learn the art of filmmaking and told them about all that I was been doing in these years. Finally the jury declared I am just fantasizing on films and I have to come down to reality coz filmmaking is an industry. They said the idea of short films and my promotional measures would never take me anywhere. Thus the history repeated with me losing again the battle for a seat at FTII, Pune.

I am not upset this time’s lose at FTII though it’s not a great feeling to be a loser anywhere. I am clear that I am not the right candidate for them. The idea of films and filmmaking I have is quite different from what they r expecting, which I won’t anyway fit in. Neither I regret about me nor I blame anyone for this. One thing I understood is that, I am sure on what I am doing…in life…I may or may not be able to make feature films in life, but this is my promise to everyone who shares thoughts on my films – I will continue to do short films and reach you with new thoughts.

I am motivated by Vinod Sir’s reply to the msg I sent (I referred him as my God father figure at this time interview as I treat him as my soul source of inspiration) -
“The world always saves ur girl. The girl whom u r searching for, must be in search of you. And so on. They lost you. History starts here.”

Words have a charm of its own, when placed in proper order. It’s inspiring. Anyways I’m not here to change anything. Though I have lost a wider canvas and rich paints, let me speak to you with my crayons and notebook sheet. I don’t have a proper frame for my paintings and don’t know where, when and how to display it. Let me just make a rocket and through it to you. I’m not expecting anything in return. It’s all for free…