Monday, February 12, 2007

Filmmaking Cool But Not Easy

As I'm grappling with directing student film projects in the final year at my film school, I'm realizing that filmmaking is not really a piece of cake, especially when you're the director.

I have done the following projects as part of my three year filmmaking course:

* Mise En Scene (a 2 minute short without dialogue and without cuts, bg music allowed)
* Continuity (short based on the same concept as mise en scene, but this time with cuts)
* Dialogue Excercise (A 3-5 min short film with dialogues and sound)
* Music Video (My most recent project, and I dont think there's anything to explain)

Shooting all these above projects as a director, it was quite an amazing and also mind boggling experience. Its changed my whole mindset on filmmakers and filmmaking! Earlier on, I used to laugh and comment on mistakes and other faults in movies, but now I've sobered up quite a bit.

To get you a hang of what made me change as such, I must say there was an enormous pressure on my head to make my films come out well. And well, my first 2 projects (mise en scene and continuity respectively) which were quite simultaneously done, got me a good hang of this pressure. I had to face lots of problems while shooting them, which I had never quite expected:

- For one, it was a very hot afternoon with a blazing sun, and so the camera was catching an excessive amount of light - making the scene look quite burnt. Any color that came directly under the sun would just look white in the camcorder's LCD!
- Besides this, one of my actors just did not turn up. Also, he conveniently remebered to switch off his cellphone so that we could not contact him.
- Thirdly (and this was quite my mistake) , I was not able to use the crap dolly because my location floor was unsmooth in many areas. So I had to take hand-held shots for tracking movements, and obviously it did not come out very smooth.

Being the director of the film, all the above things almost deranged me that day. But now when I look back, I think it was quite a learning experience. And I've realized how important it is for a filmmaker to keep his cool in the face of adversity during a shoot.

But I am quite tense about my final project, the short film about which I've already mentioned in an earlier post. Still working on its pre-production phase.

PS: I wish I could show you my projects but we're not allowed to take them out of college until we pass out! Sad n Bad!

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