Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Short Film Trajectory #1

The Short film project is one of the important ones to be completed in the IV semester of the course. It has to be shot on film, in studio and should be under ten minutes in duration. Like most of our faculty I too believe that working under such restrictions helps a lot in the long run. Their reasons might be a bit different from mine, I think. When restrictions are imposed, a deadline for example or a duration or word count that has to be maintained, it brings a certain order and discipline to one's work. Method of working, I would say. It is rigorous and considering the amount of things every film maker envisages for their films in the beginning self restraint has to be practised a lot. The final product, however bad it may be will be one which has been stripped bare of adjectives if you equate it with writing. Don't adjectives have a beauty of their own? Well, yes, but when you are asked to describe something without using them you explore more on the form and craft which as far as a film maker is concerned are of prime importance.

The first draft of my script was completed some time in June. [The final draft -the myth called final draft, rather- will be published after the production]. Even before I sent it to the rest of the crew I had a person in mind for the lead role. She confirmed her aviability after reading the script. After the crew read the script the cinematographer, D Jeet and I held some discussions on line [I was at home, Kerala, all that time] about the general approach, treatment of space etc. He sent me the following stills for inspiration and refernce of the space he had on mind. We discussed these further.

The place I had on mind as reference was Sud Basu's home in North Kolkata where we had shot parts of our II demo film. You can read about it here. For the short film project the entire place where we shoot will have to be manually constructed in the studio. Quite frankly I find the process tedious, that of preparing a floor plan, constructing a working model etc. It has to be done, nevertheless. How does it help? It is important for a film maker to have an idea about the space and measurement. This information will help in planning the shots and not planning shots which are physically impossible in the given space.

D had not seen the place so he made a visit there yesterday. All of us in the crew will visit the place once more to take reference stills and proceed with the floor plan, casting etc. We had much earlier decided that we will be shooting black and white. The idea that i had on mind then was quite different but i think the new script will also be just fine in the medium. Don't think it matters much anyway. 

Short Film Trajectory #2 

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