Monday, November 17, 2008

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LOCATION SCOUTING....
looking around Durgapur for locations to shoot....
film making is actually manual labour....
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DURGAPUR...
location for my diploma shoot starting this 24th.
cross u'r fingers 4 me.

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MANIPUR...
I am amazed at the amount of talent this state has....
I stayed at the capital Imphal for just four days in my search for an actor for my Diploma film but the people i met and the interactions i had were an eye opener...
i am convinced that if ever there is an event close to a Renaissance in art and culture in the northeast, it will come from this state.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

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SATURDAY CINE CLUB



Mixing 5.1 surround sound with the Kolkata Cine Society can be an hilariously mix - as I found out Saturday last.

Almost every Saturday, the Kolkata Cine Society screens a couple of movies at our Main Theatre here at the institute.

This Motley group of people who come to watch the films are sometimes as interesting as the films they screen.

Our institute has recently installed the Dolby Surround sound. What this means is that – very simply put - film sound can be distributed or sent to any of the four corners of the room, giving a more ‘realistic’ sound experience.

So last Saturday, I am sitting in the back row watching a film by Fassbinder with these people when halfway through the film, the heroine’s mobile rings. This sound comes from the left side, the character being on the left side of the film frame - when suddenly one of the viewers in front shouts out in Bengali –

‘AY brother switch off your phone na!’ thinking it’s someone’s phone in the audience.

‘it’s in the film man, are you asleep or what’ pat comes the reply from someone else in the dark.

‘what’s happening! Why do u need to reply’ another gentleman shouts back from somewhere.

‘OH HO!… be silent all of you!’ a louder voice rings out

This sets off a chain reaction….

Arguments and counter arguments starts being throw back and forth from all over the place in the theatre.

Now let me tell you that an average Bengali loves four things – mach (fish) sandesh (sweets) adda (talk session) and a good argument. (not in order of preference)

The last one was in ample evidence at the theatre where the argument lasted for a good fifteen minutes.

And a good argument in the Bengali language is something to relish.

So anyway the film goes on and an hour later another mobile rings in the movie….

And everyone starts laughing.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

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i've picked up the paintbrush after ..... an eternity. the last complete paint was in highschool. that was another lifetime.....
was harder than i thought i'd be. i've forgotten the feel of a paintbrush, can't remember how colours mix, don't remember the way water behaves on paper..........

the end result of my first trial after many a years.....
nothing to write home about
but -
i've found out that i still love to paint
that's all that matters in the end

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

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video

MONSOON clouds over the institute.....

Monday, June 30, 2008

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had a hell of a time trying to find how to install windows on a mac through bootcamp.
although mac provides a manual but one needs to print it out to see it! since i don't have one n maybe there are others out there with similar problems ....
heres the link with the pdf file-

http://manuals.info.apple.com/en/Boot_Camp_Install-Setup.pdf
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i got myself an imac! how cool is that!
so - i quickly got it home from the reseller at city centre, i set it up at my desk and then- well, i basically just stared at it for a couple of hours cause i have noooo idea how to operate a mac OSX. how dumb is that!
so i'm into learning a new OS mode for the past couple of days.
makes me feel technologically illiterate. hum, haha... strange!
an even stranger thing though-
a small family had come over to the shop whilst i was waiting to get my mac packed. a cute teen and her parents. she wanted an ipod and wasn't sure which one to buy. the parents - typically- insted of letting the child make up her own mind kept giving her their own tastes and preferences 'i like this one, i like that one, no that is better etc etc. poor thing was so confused. but the golden liner came at the end from her mom - and i quote the exact words- ' what about the SHOW OFF factor, u need to show it off at school na?" EGAD!!!
when we talk soooo much about the ills of the new generations - i think it's the parents who should seriously start looking at themselves in the mirror.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

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11:30 pm. Hostel room.

Woke up at 10:30 am today.
There’s a sudden down feeling after almost a month of high.
I’m looking forward to going back home for some change of weather. The humid summer here is unbearable.

The Kolkata Metro, the South Park Street Cemetery, the Bantala Junkyard.

It’s a bit surprising the kind of 'unfilmable' locations we got to shoot around this time. Although it meant I had to take far more meetings to various govt. departments and really trying to convince the authorities on my work.

Never walked the streets of Kolkata this much before. Never travelled so much in a month within the city.

The Kolkata metro :
I had to make more trips to the head office than I’d like to recall.
The concerned official was an amiable sort of a person who would listen to me, but he had a collegue who I’d like to give a piece of my mind some day. To almost every request he’s immediate answer would be –‘NO’. and this in the middle of my sentence.
An overblown ‘babu’ from the past who should be given a few lessons by the general public.
He goes on give various security reasons at length for denying any shooting and then some time later promptly adds –‘otherwise you pay 3 lac rupees and shoot anywhere you want! I guess 3 lac rupees takes care of all security concerns.


It’s actually a big pleasant surprise that the police headquarters in Kolkata has a Films Section! Nice! The office coordinates with various police departments and stations in kolkata where you need prior police permissions. It really made things easier on my front. Just had to go there once to give an application for three locations, and I always got a good update whenever I called and finally even got the permissions without having to go back. It actually works. Always a shocker when that happens in a govt. department in India.

I didn’t really expect to get clearance to shoot in the old park street cemetery as it was undergoing renovations; turns out it was one of the reasons I got the permission! Talk of irony.
The Christian burial board under whom the cemetery runs had a madame whose concern seem to be most on ‘donation’
She’s adamant on her stand that we can’t film as restoration work is on full swing. Another round of convincing and smooth talking and she promises to talk to her superiors. I get back two days later and there’s a proposal.
We screen the film for the Board so that the senior bureaucrats can see the renovated work the cemetery has gone through.
I promptly say yes.

Finding location and getting permissions is one thing, finding actors in another.
Almost every small actor here has bangla looks. So searching for a non Bengali looking face is an adventure in itself. We naturally had to turn to non professionals.
I post adverts on the net and in front of college gates.
I get good responses on my mail. But opening them is one disappointment after another. Portfolios have ‘sunil shetty wannabe’ written all over them. No point serching for ‘normal’ looking actors.
I turn to my friends. It’s always through them that we get someone in the end. This time too is no different.
But the female actor hasn’t been found till the last moment. I make contacts, I call, I meet actors all over kolkata, but nothing.
At the last moment I call up my friend. She is like a lifesaver. She promptly says yes. She rescues the situation. Like my last short film when the female lead had a change of mind in the day of shoot and vanished! She was there to fill in and save the day.
I later come to know she’s bunked her work to be at my shoot.
Wow.




Shoot happens on time. My crew works like they’r suppose to. Professionally. We have good locations and we make the most of it. Although it always seem the eight hour shift a day isn’t enough and whenever the production in charge reminds us that it’s pack up time, there’s always two or three shots more to take. Problems crop up at intervals n we try dealing with them as best we can.

The kolkata metro allows us to shoot on the condition that we do it at 7 am in the morning when the metro opens and the pilot train runs. For half an hour only. And no shooting with a 35mm film camera. We can take only a small digital camera. We’r fucked. This is a film camera project, not a digital one.
Meetings with the production manager. We decide to use a digital camera and screen it on the plasma tv and shoot that with the film camera.
They agree and we make preparations.
At the last moment the Metro officials again inform us that they can’t let us shoot on a weekday and we have to do it on a Sunday at noon. We already have a fixed schedule from Monday to Thursday. We’r fucked again.
I try convincing the official that we’ve fixed a schedule for Monday.
‘how can you fix anything? It’s upto us to give you time. You can’t demand anything.’
I feel like smashing the ******* daylights out of this ******.

Why not shoot on a Sunday and call a rest on Monday? The production manager agrees. Great. We call up all the locations that we were to shoot in Monday and tell them we wanna shoot on Sunday.
The Christian burial board denies us permission to shoot in Sunday.
We’r fucked all over again.
We go through out other locations and see if we can shift things around.
But all the other locations come under the police and we’ve already fixed location dates with them. Getting their permissions for a new shoot dates will take a week at least and our shoot is suppose to start the next day!
In a desperate call the production manager allows us an extra day of shoot with a digital camera.
So we go with five days of shoot instead of four.

The last day of shoot and the ‘honourable band madam’ Mamata Banerjee decides to call an impromptu band (again) after six.
We are shooting at the junkyard and have to shift base to park street exactly at six o’clock. I suddenly get desperate and call up our production manager. He calls back saying it’s a one hour band only. We can have an extra hour to shoot. Whew.
But we have to get to park street in an hour or the shop closes where we are to shoot. As we ride towards park street the rain falls and it’s the worst traffic jam ever. The IPL is being played at the stadium nearby.
I’m almost chewing my nails and thinking things couldn’t get worst when all of a sudden a crowd of Trinamool congress supporters jump on the road shouting slogans and raising flags. They further slow down the already dead traffic. I almost give up.
The shop is closing it’s shutters and is switching off it’s lights. I run to the propertier and request 10 minutes. We just get two shots inside the store and that’s it. Not good.
Shift location. Griahat overbridge. We need traffic below overbridge but by the time we arrive it's late and the traffic has begun to thin. by the time we'r ready for our first shot it's past ten at night and there's just a token traffic plying around. we go ahead anyway n try to make the best of it. Three more hour of shoot at the Gariahat pathway and we’r finally done past midnight.

I need that plane ticket home.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

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my favourate spot out there...
thank god for star mark!!!
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Shoot date for my Diploma Film is fast approaching and I’m not ready with my script.
Can’t be in a worst time to go through a block! Argh!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

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March 10: Out of Exile, Into the Streets!

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