Saturday, September 27, 2014

Tamil Short Film 'Full Stop' - Lessons from Production

These are a few lessons we learned after we finished shooting our latest Tamil short film, 'Full Stop'. You can watch it HERE. The idea for this film came about a year ago, when we repeatedly saw unconscious alcoholics in the middle of the road, completely oblivious to the reality around them. So we thought what would happen if we did something about it. So there...we made this film for fun, to tickle our production bug. A few things we thought might be worth sharing, especially if you want to know more about the filmmaking process. Anyways...
  1. Always be in touch with filmmaking, especially production. Makes you grounded to the reality of the chaotic beast that is. The last shoot we had was about 5 months ago and shooting after that gap was like a wake-up call, a reality check. We scrambled a bit to a delayed start and then got on track. So keep scripting and shooting.
  2. While working with new actors, always block-rehearse(Characters’ movement and positioning in relation to each other with dialogues) before getting them in front of the camera. If your actors are new, this is very important. Otherwise, you are likely to spend more time on this during the shoot.
  3. Create Storyboards…highly recommended. Unless you are extremely confident and trained in conceiving and executing shots, create storyboards.
  4. Create a Shot List. That is, what shots you need in a particular scene. Say if the Lead Character touches something, you write that down and say whether it's a Close-up shot or a medium shot or a long shot. And if you can match it with the Storyboards, great, do it.
  5. Stick to your Shot List. If you must improvise with extra shots, do so minimally and don’t go overboard just because you are shooting digital and have resources at your disposal. If you want extra safety shots, include that in your Shot List.
  6. Find and work with people who are passionate, sincere and with a collaborative mindset. Especially those who believe in the vision of the project. While most obvious, this is something you should always be aware of.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Men of Burden - Acclaimed Documentary Film on Cycle Rickshaws in Pondicherry, India


Folks
Back in 2005/2006, we made our first ever feature-length documentary film ‘Men of Burden – Pedaling Towards a Horizon’, about Cycle Rickshaw drivers in Pondicherry. It was during our rudimentary years as filmmakers...when we didn’t know a thing, of course, we still don't, but then it was more like, not even knowing the general aesthetics and techniques of filmmaking. We went by raw instinct, a deep socially bent instinct that certain things should be captured and made a story out of, because those stories(with certain issues) haven’t been told before. Our ‘style’ was more influenced by a gut-feeling arising out of society’s many foibles – issues that were conspicuously stark naked, yet completely invisible to all of us. So we thought filmmaking was a tool to bring those naked truths out, a power to change things in the world and thoughts like that. Well, a lot has changed since then. But ‘Men of Burden’ was and is, a film close to our hearts, because we didn’t set out to ‘make’ the film, it just organically happened. We took out our cameras and just started shooting the raw, roadside lives of the Cycle rickshaw men who lived in abject poverty, following them for weeks, before we could ascertain what exactly we were doing. In fact, it took us 9 months from start to finish, before it was ready.
‘Men of Burden’ was officially selected and had its World Premiere at the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles at Arclight Hollywood theater, then at the Stuttgart Film Festival in Germany and the New York Indian Film Festival and some more. It was a film that opened our eyes to the many realities of our world. So, here’s one of our first works as filmmakers. Of course, we had done a couple of short films before but…here you go. Some of you may have seen it(on Internet Archive) but we just uploaded it on Youtube. Do watch/share it and let us know what you think about a little part of our work.
Directed by Raghu Jeganathan
Co-directed by Earthling Koushalya
Produced by Ramesh Mourthy, Accessible Horizon Films
Cinematography by Mohandass
Music by Steve Gorn
Link here also...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T3Fjf_nNfyM

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Our New Short Film 'Full Stop'

Wooohooo folks…a bit of an announcement… we just wrapped up our new short film called ‘Full Stop’ which we shot last month. This time, Accessible Horizon Films in association with Yatra Multimedia will be launching the co-production in a public event in Pondicherry/Auroville. Not only that, our new film will be part of a larger Open-Air Film presentation(including the screening of 2 other short films) slash cultural(dance) event organized by Yatra Arts Foundation. More details on that later. But for now, here’s the first look Poster of ‘Full Stop’.
Context of the film: In Tamil Slang, a ‘Full’(Oru Fullu) means ‘a Full bottle of liquor’.
Having said that, Full Stop is sort of a comic caper quickie (or whatever) set in the exclusive world of Alcoholics in Tamil Nadu. So what happens when a ‘Full’, an unidentified Alcoholic and 4 mysterious women come together? Damn it Yo! You connect the dots!!!
Or just come to the show directly and bring your film-lover friends too. It’s a free event. And folks in and around Pondicherry, do get down there. The film is also a PSA made in the larger public interest of…well, you watch it.

Penned & Orchestrated by Raghu
Players – Yatra Srinivassan, Lakshmipriya Chandramouli, Earthling, Nandhini, Stella and Oshiva
Story by Earthling, Created by Ramesh Mourthy
Cinematography by Mohandass, Assistant Camera by Rajaram and Prakash Dhanagopalan
Art by Mithran and Bharath
Production Support by Yatra Team.

Venue: Yatra Arts Foundation, Near NuCreation Sports Ground/Swimming pool, Kuilapaalayam, Auroville. Call us for directions.
Date: Sunday, June 29th, 2014
Time: 7:00 p.m.