Monday, May 14, 2012

Learning from ‘Ayynoorum Ayynthum(500 & 5)' – Indie filmmaking Series (Part 1)

If you want to learn ‘Indie(Independent) filmmaking’, there are probably thousands of resources and millions of ways to show you how to do so. But the thing about ‘learning Indie filmmaking’ from others is in itself a paradox. Because when you make a film in the true ‘Indie’ spirit of the word, you are actually going all-out yourself without much dependency on the traditional system or…just by Doing-it(Everything)-yourself, literally. Another thing is that it’s far too unstructured and chaotic to even try to learn it all with the amount of information deluge that hurls your way. But, at any rate…there’s nothing like experiencing the puzzling thing we call life, penning your thoughts down, taking your camera, getting into the trenches, wading through the shit, smelling the stench, finding the pearl and coming out with a unique piece of work. Or at least, ‘your’ unique piece of work. So, with the culmination of ‘Ayynoorum Ayynthum(500 & 5)’ ‘round the corner, we thought we could just share our perspective of making this film the ‘Indie’ way and add to the chaos, ahem! And maybe through this process, we intend to keep track of our own doings and maybe…maybe aid in the demystification of the process of Independent filmmaking in the digital and new media age.
One primary way of looking at filmmaking is that it’s mostly about learning through experience and eventually asserting your perspective in the world. Sure there are a zillion perspectives out there, but how is yours different. Your perspective may not or need not be the ‘best’ but is it different than the remaining zillion-minus-one of them? That’s what this whole thing’s about. Seriously, for someone who considers film school to be redundant – not because they don’t teach useful stuff but because of the concept of indoctrination of what constitutes good filmmaking – I certainly think twice about sharing and receiving ‘creative’ advice with others(not that we are all above it). Because, in the few years that we’ve been independently making films, I realized one thing. How could one contain the almost cosmic nature of the filmmaking process into a few nuggets of concise writing/advice in either book form or film school form? That’s why I repeat, what many truly visionary filmmakers have shown - filmmaking, to each his/her own – I mean, in perspective(for that matter, every film has its philosophy). And that’s why I even wonder about the concept of Herzog’s Rogue film school. By that definition, isn’t it also an indoctrination of how to be a Rogue filmmaker? But I guess that’s going too far out. But the point I’m trying to make is, getting your own perspective of things without being tainted by the usual suspects.
On the flip side though, we do feel the urge to share whatever we have learnt in a sort of organic way where one doesn’t teach but merely inform so that others can make decisions based on their set of experiences and subjective realities. More so, IMO, the creative process is best when cultivated from within one’s own universe, which I guess would more effectively bring out that unique POV. I know it’s hard not to be influenced by the variety of media and consumerist onslaught that constantly tells you what you need, to be ‘successful’ or ‘famous’ or ‘rich’, because if someone feels the need to be a filmmaker that arises from the need to be ‘rich, famous and successful’ in the traditional sense of the words, then I doubt if that could lead to creating true art. So anyways, as we near the completion of our project, with the background music(Re-recording) pending, we thought we’d start putting this out. This ‘learning’ is as much a learning for us, from our trials and errors as it is for others who are looking to learn themselves. If you’re even a wee bit curious, watch out for this series, as we’ll try our best to make it a weekly column or whatever. And hey, nothing in this series is meant to be an absolute so take it with a pinch of salt. And of course, if you have anything to share or contribute please feel free to add to the discussion.

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