Saturday, 7 March 2015

Documentary Diaries #15: Patch Shoot but not Patch Shoot

On 7th March 2015 when i got up and went to the mess to have my morning cup of tea i saw that it was shut. They were taking a holiday post Holi. I decided to have breakfast outside with Sethuvamma. The poori place which was cheaper than any restaurant back home Rs. 10 for four pooris and two kinds of sabji and chutney. Rs 5 for two rotis and the same] was an instant hit in family. Both of us had poori and ghughni and later tea from 'hardworking's'. [I call it that because they open earlier than most places in Kolkata and shut much later too.] It was around 10 a.m when i was back in the room and took the newspaper in hand. Bowel movement was to be with The Telegraph.

In the toilet evading a lot of shitty reporting (no pun intended) i did my daily scan of obituary. There was something i wanted in there. A christian death. The footage we lost. A burial. I don't remember if i finished what i was doing. I ran to the room and called D Jeet. He had a workshop going on and had told me that he was packed for the most part of the month. My family had already started calling him Santosh Sivan because he was so busy. I was scared he would refuse to shoot. Even before he could do that i showered a lot of please's. Later he asked me not to do that. She had said the same to me the previous day. The fact is i don't know what else to do in such situations. D Jeet asked me to arrange for a camera and a card. I tore down the hostel stairs to Kenny's room. He was the rich junior who had a camera. Some more please's later i had it. The next problem was the card. Nobody seemed to have one. I ran up and down the hostel looking for one. Finally got one from D Jeet's classmate, Kesh.

NN was fast asleep. She had slept as late as 6.30 a.m. I woke her up and said that we had to shoot. She made coffee zombie-like and changed. She had to go to her department to see if she could issue a tascam recorder. She didn't get it. We managed with a windshield-less boom mic and recorder.

While D Jeet and i were waiting at the main gate for NN to join us a lot of students asked us if we were going on a shoot. I don't know if it was because they were seeing us together after a long time or because i had created quite a commotion in the hostel running for the card and camera. I don't know why it was that neither of us felt like telling anybody that we were going on a shoot. We didn't feel like saying that we were going to try and recover the footage we lost. We didn't feel like saying anything at all. So we said that it was patch shoot. It sounded cool and it made us feel like we were film makers for real. They are the ones who had patch shoots. For petty film students like us all shoots were shoots.

It was around 11 a.m when we left the institute. My heart was racing. I took an extra anti depressant that day. Self medication that she so opposes and i practise often. When we were a couple of hundred metres away from the institute D Jeet exclaimed that we had left the battery charging at the security gate. U turn. Stop. Retrieve and commence ride.

The funeral service was at 11 a.m. There was no way we were reaching Christ the King church at ark circus in time. So we went to Bhawanipor cemetery where the burial was going to be. We had to shoot the digging of the grave. It was already dug when we reached there. I looked for somebody who could pretend he was digging it. D Jeet later said he knew what shots to take exactly because it was the second time he was doing it. It was as if we had had a rehearsal for shoot almost a month ago.

Bhawanipore cemetery entrance

Like the previous time i went out to check when the family was arriving with the body to let D Jeet and NN know. They arrived around noon. We shot. We had everything we had lost except for a small portion at the church. We had our opening sequence. We had what was in the card which was gone and which made me swallow a lot of small round sleeping pills.

D Jeet said that he didn't like what he shot. I said that we had what we wanted. That he was feeling so because a copy of a copy would never be the copy. All that Derrida and i had chucked the absolute of anything in the bin. There was no absolute shoot. We only had incomplete copies of images and sounds. Our films were incomplete. I liked it that way.

What she was brought in

Lunch at Zishans and back to the institute.
I copied the contents of the card the first thing after reaching my room.
I played badminton.
I watched the rushes.
I slept.

Documentary Diaries #16: Cinema is Powerful

No comments:

Post a Comment