Thursday, September 29, 2005

music and lyrics

The last two days have suddenly been turning points. Three days ago, Teja gave me a long lecture on music and lyrics, and how I needed to put in more work. As usual, I defended myself by saying that my work process was internal, and that, one day I would be ready. He knows that, but does get exasperated by how vague I can be at times, and thus perhaps give the wrong impression to people who don't know me.

Perhaps it was the effect of his scolding, but I woke up in the morning, with part of the lyrics for the letter-writing song, written in my sleep. And once you have a springboard, it does not take long to launch off into space. We drove off to Revdanda beach for a recce, looking for a lighthouse. We found it a few kilometers ahead of Revdanda at Korle village. 


It is spectacular, an old fort, the sea, hills, a old world fishing village. At the base of the fort, while I waited for Teja to finish taking his stills, I wrote the beach song, as well. I could not believe I had done it, as for a year, I had been proclaiming that I would need a professional lyrics writer, and I could not do it myself.

That's made me believe how powerful the mind is. Once I had done that, I could talk to my music director too very clearly about what I wanted, and what I hated. Now I feel sure that I'll get what I want, and not just accept what he thinks will be nice.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Frantic location hunting

25 Sep 05

Still struggling to find a location. When I wrote the script, I thought I was being smart, fitting my story into an apartment complex where I lived. I knew CFSI budgets were miniscule, and I wanted to make a film, which could be well-executed within the budget.

But the film took more than a year to happen, the apartment politics changed, and I am stranded without a location. And what was to be the easiest part of the shoot, right now seems to be the most difficult.

All my decisions, including secondary actors' casting, props, assistant directors, apart from the more mundane issues of hotels, food and transport are swinging around because of this uncertainty.

When I had my baby 12 years ago, what went forever was the arrogance of my youth. I learnt that one could not be anti-social if one wanted the best for one's baby. I learnt to be patient with all kinds of people, nurture relationships, selfishly for my kid. And it's the same with making a film. Once again, it's all about finding different languages to deal with different people.

Friday, September 23, 2005

meetings begin

22 Sep 05

Today we had a first meeting between two lead actors, Nazneen and Suresh who are playing the roles of Bela and Tutu; Manik, Vivek's camera assistant, Manoj, my associate scriptwriter and assistant director, Vivek and myself. I read the script, and we had an initial discussion. Now that we are closing in on dates, there seems to be a huge amount of work, and little time and resources. We need a lot of action props that were going to be easy to manage if we were shooting in Challenger, in our own flat. Now that we have shifted the location to Pune, a lot of small little details will have to be worked out completely. I'm hoping that by involving people like Gauri who are based in Pune, I'll be able to manage more than budget permits.

The important job of a director seems to be to make everyone excited in the project, and give it their best.
And the most exciting moment, to hand out scripts that one has laboured on, in solitary confinement, for more than a year, and see words taking physical shape through the interpretations of others'.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Work and more work

When an adult does not have meaningful work, a purpose, she slowly withers away. The work has to be meaningful not by any one else's definition, but satisfy her own soul. For years now, though I was busy, taking care of my home, my child, earning a living in the best way I could, I felt myself shrivelling day by day, wasted. Because I was not making a film, because I was not getting funds for my ideas. I did make a documentary on DV with my own hard-earned savings, but that did not feel quite right. It felt somehow, as if I had cheated, as if I had found a short-cut in the race.

Today, when I have been commissioned by the Children's Film Society to make a film on a miniscule budget, I find myself back in action. I feel as if I have a place in this world, as if I have a voice again.

Work does lend one an inner confidence, which even money cannot. Or love. Atleast for me, work has always been an important factor of my life. Though in the way of most foolish females, I have often let relationships surmount me.