Monday, December 31, 2007

happy new year to you!

the fog came on lil cat feet...
the fog that seems to have taken the world away...
may the new year be clear n crisp, bright n happy!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

dmc college goa workshop

finally getting down to write about my first workshop for undergrad college students...this friend of mine - anita, teaches economics at this college in assagaon, near mapusa. and we'd been talking of me doing a film workshop for some time now. three (or was it two) years ago, the inimitable shammi did one during iffi, which was a big hit with the students.

we decided to keep it small ...12-15 students over a week...introduce them to the basics of film-making. for a change i didn't carry my camera n laptop, just to see how i'd manage with what was available. carried many films, a couple of books n my digital still cam. oddly tho, i hardly took many pics this time...kinda bored of my mostly merely illustrative pictures. the hardest part was getting them to talk...they're so used to passively listening in a classroom, it took a long while for them to break free n enjoy an all new feeling of talking, sharing, exchanging...i thought it was the language at first n encouraged them to speak in konkani (hoping that way i'd learn some too ;)...

the other striking thing that happened was that they kept thinking only for themselves dismissing totally all i said about the collaborative-ness of the filmmaking process. it was only late on day 6 when they begun editing the film that they had shot did they realise...and that was such a wonderful moment! how much i laughed when they cribbed about the one guy, no one else had used a video camera...i hadn't anticipated how much of a big deal it was to impatient they were to just go shoot...without listening or following my instructions...without thinking even about what or how they wanted to shoot...of course they got a earful from me!
once they got over that, we really started enjoying ourselves...they came up with 47 ideas!!! to make a film on...n narrowed it down to three - one about love on campus, which they dramatised n shot. then, one on how to copy at exams n not get caught, which was a lot of fun. and third, about the guy who runs their canteen - an elusive but much loved character. he refused to be interviewed which made it all the more challenging!

remembering what bodhibaba used to say about involving locals in my workshops, i invited a young filmmaker - laxmikant who had made a 45min film "a seaside story" to "interact" with this bunch of students...needles to say, they sat poker-faced after the screening n the over enthu laxmikant went on overdrive promptly talking about his film...i stayed quiet for a while...but soon interrupted it, saying he was making it way too easy for them n that he should talk only if they had questions! a wicked smile left my face...n soon the questions poured in :)

now tech! that remains such a pain...for three days we didn't get a comp with the right config to run premier pro. when we got one, it didn't recognise the playback devise...grrrr i tore my hair cursing my decision not to get my laptop with fcp. sos some tech savvy fails, the other after some tinkering gets it working...phew!...we can edit!! just seeing their footage projected made them gasp n the time they begun editing they realised this thing called filmmaking...

unfortunately tho, we didn't finish the edit...the one thing i had completely not factored was "the last bus home"!! this is goa n the last bus back home was at we had to stop work at 6.45 every evening...n still they'd get shouted at for coming home late n then leave home at 7am to be in time for the 9am start! the end came suddenly n reluctantly...contento contento contento!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

merry christmas!

wishes from the ark this christmas...may you have a very merry fun-filled christmas...there's yumm sweets n good food to be had! so come!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


so the new chat show i worked on - "begum" airs on 15th dec at 10pm on this new channel 9x. pls to catch it n tell me what you think.

goaaahhh! to goa (yet again!)..this time for a week long intro to film-making workshop for a bunch of undergrad students in mapusa. assagaon, really - very close to my mum's family village. i'm excited n nervous...never done a week long 9am to 9pm kinda workshop. the college is celebrating its centenary n we're going to be looking at making 4 films...4 groups of 4 students each. one camcorder one edit let's see how it goes! i hope to rope in some locals in taking the workshop, so that they build a pool among themselves to take this further without me...

haven't prepared much...not too happy about that...will keep you posted.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


...just back from delhi after a harrowing flight on go air. you call before you leave home, "it's on time sir" check in, "it's on time sir". you're waiting in the the departure lounge that resembles a railway stn, no announcement. 15mins after the flight was supposed to take off, there's an announcement that the flight is going to be 30min late. 1hr later the crowd's getting restive...still no announcement. 30mins later we gherao 2 young walkie-talkie totting go-air ground staff. they plead ignorance innocence whatever...we're getting angrier...

turns out that the flight has come in from bombay n that a connecting flight to jammu has been cancelled, so the passengers on board are refusing to deplane!! duty manager is on board trying to coax the passengers to get off. meanwhile, no announcements, no senior "responsible" staff. we start go-air hai hai! the cisf comes by, the airport manager comes by...protests get more vociferous. go-air are sorry! but no offer for refreshments, still no announcement, no offer to put us on other available flights, no refund..but they are sorry!

the commandos are called in n the passengers de-plane n we board the aircraft 2 hours after the scheduled time of departure. on board too they are sorry. but they won't provide us with a complimentary snack or drink. they won't even provide you with a complaint form or passenger feedback form! utterly disdainful disrespectful dispicable behaviour!!

so, the long n short of it - pay that 2/300 extra fly indigo, spice, jetlite, deccan, etc BUT DO NOT FLY GO AIR!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

the gautama buddha...

...advises me to kill the "I"...but, just how the fuckkk??!! did he ever have any followers?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

sankraman studios!

aaarrrggghh! sankraman studios (where balaji n all those k soaps are manufactured)...aawwful dumpyard masquerading as a studio. illegal (it is located within the reserved forestlands of aarey) n ill-maintained
piss pools from overflowing loos!
the sound proofing!
the world's my garbage dump!
i don't know why producers pay for facilities like this. makes me so angry!...the only good thing, is that it is a 5min bike ride away from home ;)

yet another chat show!

long after the high of koffee, i get a call to light another chat show, "something very different, which needs someone as sensitive as you"!! i wasn't too keen as i'd finished my quota of television work for the year...but they were insistent n i bit the bait yet again -so this new chat show to be airing on this new channel called 9x from 15th dec 10pm. not saying more ...just yet!everyone seemed happy enough yesterday after our first shoot. they're happy, i'm happy!...and guess what? we're shooting 16:9!! (that is the widescreen format)...for so long i've been lobbying for it n finally it's happening...

these my two headhonchos - bob n fauzi...we've been working together for years now.and how they've grown!! ;)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

aaja nacch le!

madhureeeee!....that's all i wanted to see!...after ages did advance booking for first day first show!! o those eyes n taht flashing smile...n no one, no one can move like her!...the story v weak n tres facile...the supporting cast fantastic, esp vinay, divya dutt, konkana...impeccably lit n shot...though an over use of the jib i thought...
most disappointing of course, was the empty theatre...this carpet bombing of realese prints has taken the mazaa out of a full house. there were barely 45-50 people in this 200seater at goregaon :( lagta nahi ki yeh picture chalegi :(