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!


Natasha Badhwar said...

Ajay,while you were conducting this workshop, I was in Lahore for a week conducting a similar one with young Pakistanis who had converged from Multan, Hyd, Sindh, NWFP.
This group knew their basics and so it was more of a level 2 with 'discipline' and 'detail' being the keywords. And 'tell me something I did not know before'
Doing these workshops with a brand new generation is really the better part of being a mediawallah!

ajay noronha said...

hey natasha! you is always n exhillarating feeling at the end of these worskhops. let's work at you coming down some day to goa to do one!