Subject: Permission to Complete Diploma Work
Dear Dean, Dear Registrar, in case the Dean is the professor mentioned in this letter who practises untouchability with me,
I am writing this letter to bring to your attention a few details. SRFTI is trying to ruin my career. Yes, i do believe that snatching a film from a student director is equivalent to snatching her career away from her. Most of us go the vast world of films with our student projects as certificates. It is a very well known fact that no filmmaker asks for a certificate from an institute but only evaluates your capabilities looking at your previous works. The hardships that SRFTI had subjected me to, during the shoot of my diploma project have been duly documented in the form of numerous letters i had written while in the middle of the project. Now there are the following problems that have been put in front of me and i have been humiliated to no end ONCE AGAIN.
Yesterday, (9th March 2017), my student editor messaged me asking me to call her. When i did, she told me that Prof. Saikat S Ray had told her that the lab disk should be made on the same day. Later when i asked Prof. Ray, he told me that that was not what he had said and that what he meant was that it was better the earlier it was done. I completely agree. I would love to complete my work as soon as possible. IF YOU LET ME.
- When i went to collect signatures from all HoDs on the crew list as the procedure is, here, Prof. Debashish Ghoshal told me that he cannot permit Kalhan Raina’s name be written under the title ‘Sound’. I told him that that would be equivalent to stalling my project and he said ‘let that be’. He first told me that if that credit was maintained, he would have to terminate Kalhan Raina’s studentship. Later he called Kalhan and told him that ‘he will can my film’. I find this extremely intimidating and irregular from the part of a professor. He holds power and he was blatantly giving out a threat. Not cool. Not done. He did not even see that the credit list i had given had both Shib Sankar’s name and Prof Abdul Rajjak’s name under ‘Production Sound Recordist’ and ‘Mix’ respectively. This is evident from the note he penned in his own hand while the paper was with R P and Prof. Debashish Guha.
Yet, in the evening of the same day, i had a talk with him and the matter was resolved verbally with neither him nor me, being happy, but yes, i get it, the world is not perfect and nobody is honest, SRFTI, the least of all, because SRFTI’s policy, i got to know today, is that credits shall not be given to the person who worked and will be given to random people who did not work. I sometimes imagine a situation in which Mr Shib Shankar is asked what the story of my film is. Here, even if a person has not even read the script, they will be given credits. This apparently is government policy. So be it, governments are like that. Like i said, the issue was resolved between professor Ghoshal and me in the evening and this letter is to put on record the events which happened and the humiliation i faced.
- As if that was not enough, Ms R P, my student editor, decided to help in ways she can. I know that i am taking a lot of your time but some letters have to be long. Especially when i have been pushed to the edge of a cliff. So, here is the chronology of events EVERY ONE of them for which i have supporting screenshots from my phone. As soon as my animation got over, i informed Ms R P to come to Kolkata to do the rest of the job which are the following
b) Making credit cards
c) Making the lab disk
d) Do a minor change in edit because the picture placement had to be changed by a few frames after sound work.
Some related facts: I had asked permission from Editing department to do some of these jobs (have the supporting letter and reply) so that i could save time. It was not possible because I was doing animation work during the workdays and Prof. Saikat told me that it would be difficult to open the department just for me on weekends. Since it was a genuine problem i had to give up. I had to wait for animation and sound to get over so that i could call Ms R P back. I did, on 20th January 2017.
She told me that she was busy and that she’d come in the first week of February. I asked her to come on February 1st, she said she’d reach after 3rd. She reached on 6th February 2017. On 7th she told me that she’d see me in 2nd half. On the same day i gave her the necessary files to start work. On 8th February, when i said that i would be late to come because in the morning i was doing some changes in Sound with Kalhan, she said that she will start work only after i come. When i saw how slow she was in doing subtitles and also considering the fact that the language Malayalam might give her problems, i took over the job of subtitling. I completed the first draft, if i may call it that in one day. Attaching screenshot where she is asking me to ‘continue work’ because she had ‘some work’.
After i finished subtitling she again dilly dallied around the titles. Again, to save my own time, i decided to make the required .tiff files myself. When the work did not get over, she told me that she’d be leaving on 15th February, Wednesday. Since i am no expert in photoshop, i kept on asking her details of the kind of file she needed to which she had no answers. Finally i had to ask her to give Prof. Santanu’s number. I couldn’t reach him on that number and i took a .tiff out with whatever limited knowledge i had.
In the following screenshot you can see her asking ‘if i really needed her’. Like i said, i told her that under Saikat’s instructions i am doing the titles myself. Prf. Saikat S Ray can also confirm that it was he who put a LuT on my film and gave me an out because i had to submit it to a festival. R P was absent. Throughout.
- Regarding 2)d), anybody who checks my film can see the portion still being out of sync because Ms R P has still not synced it. I stopped asking because there simply is a limit to asking a person to do their job. If i knew how to work on Avid, i would have done it. Sadly, i don’t have time to learn that software now because now i have to learn After Effects to make titles.
In the following screenshot
You can see her asking for the pen drive while i was working in Sound department from 7 p.m to 2 a.m. On 6th March, I was supposed to sign the DVD in sound department. When I sat down with R P to do the titles, i realized that she is slow in doing that on Avid and therefore there was no way i could sign the DVD. More than that, what struck me was that she was more interested in knowing the Sound title card and what was written in it. Since i saw the speed at which she was working, that night i calculated the time using Premiere Pro. If she had told me she was slow with Avid, she herself or i myself could have done it earlier in Premiere. I lost a day there. Finally with the duration i calculated, the finals sound mix was done and i signed the disk.
- On 8th March, ironically enough, Women’s day, she called me. While i was running around departments asking for signatures from HoDs, she scanned the title list. She asked me if i had got a signature from Sound department. I said no. Prof. Putul Mahmood was acting HoD of my department and i was in a hurry because she had asked me to go to her office in ten minutes for her signature. So i asked Ms R P to get signature from her HoD who is Mr Shyamal Karmakar who practises untouchability with me. She left. She was taking a lot of time so i had to call her up again and ask her if it was done. She was in front of Editing Department with Prof Debashish Guha and Prof. Debashish Ghoshal was walking away from them. Upon reaching there i saw that she had not got the signature of her HoD and that Prof. Ghoshal had written his notes on my paper. I lost my cool and had to raise my voice to ask her why she had not got signature from her HoD. She said that he wasn’t on campus. Miraculously in five minutes, i saw him approach Ms. R P. Praise the Lord for these miracles! I had to snatch my paper away from her and the professor there because it was utterly humiliating.
- I don’t mind doing any amount of work for my film. I have already done subtitling and created the files needed for titling. I can do the rest myself too. Or anybody BUT Ms R P. Because i am not here to get humiliated by her or anyone else. I am aware that the institute does not trust me, but believe me, i am more honest than all of SRFTI put together. But that doesn’t count. If you don’t trust me with the work, you can appoint anybody you trust to oversee the work. Or like i said, anybody can do it and i can be there just to make sure it is being done the right way. In either case, i cannot work with Ms R P. She has been punished for ragging, she is not even allowed inside the hostel, yet she is here. She is the person who held a General Body meeting against me and yet i did nothing. If till this moment i kept my cool and i lost it today, there is a reason. It is because Ms R P ceased being professional.
Hope you understand the situation and act accordingly. If not, please get ready to seeing me every day in SRFTI at your door, demanding justice, till the day you kill me, institutionally. Trust me, you don’t want to see me every day. I am an ugly sight.
kunjila, 9th March, 2017, Kolkata.