Monday, November 17, 2008

mcrc lighting workshop


i couldn't believe my ears/eyes when some weeks back, i get this email from jamia mcrc asking me if i'd be free n willing to do a week-long lighting workshop...i mean, it was what, 15yrs since i graduated from there. never felt particularly good about the place, held some grudges...but was secretly thrilled that they wanted to do something like this. we never had anything like this when i was studying there. whatever we learnt n did was often despite the faculty there...but yes, the resources we had n the access to equipment was unrivalled....
i didn't take much time to think n almost immediately said yes. no shoots happening. i had done a lighting workshop at sristi earlier this year. ended up being most intense but very satisfying. but 50 students!!! daunting, to say the least...we were a mere 27 in comparasion. they'd fly me down, put me up in the guest house n even pay me...nice, i thought!
i had been there just once since passing out...but now, as i walked in, an overwhelming sense of decay greeted me...i dunno what it was at first...it seemed stuck in time n we had moved on...gotten worse as we got better. it bothered me but only increased my resolve to enjoy myself n get the students to have a fun time learning. very dull they seemed blinkered by their tv news presenter aspirations. what could i do to change that, i pondered...
in these many years of teaching, i've often been asked, "so how's this batch?"...i never know what to say which would be a suitable response to some expectation...i'd like to think of each group of students quite like the other. soft moist clay on a potter's wheel...tho i never thought of myself as ajay kumbhar!...we just dived in together into the deep end, splashed around, swallowed some water occasionally but came out on top, mostly.
enjoyed it immensely...tho the numbers did make it exhausting this time. i tried my best to dissuade them from coming to class. all will be marked present, everything is optional...but nothing worked...day after day, session after session, they'd be there like good dry sponges...soaking it all in. even at 6am on a cold misty winter morning! to look at available light...and till 830 at night to watch the evening film.
i'd meet friends over dinner, classmates too who're teaching...and we'd crib endlessly about the abysmal quality of students these days...yes, we too were one n twenty once upon a time, but then, our seniors said the same disparaging things about us too, remember? it seems to be a universal phenomenon...to the problem seems to lie with us, not them. the onus is on us. yes, they don't read the newspapers, nor watch movies, are lazy lumps of undeserving @#$&...we rant on...this is exactly what drives me...to figure how to make a connection...figure what their pre-occupations are...
they spent an entire day realising the one situation they had scripted in order to evoke a particular "mood or feeling"...what a day it was!...i hardly spoke...they experimented, slogged, skipped lunch n by the evening shared their work nervously but excitedly like it was their first film! later they told me they'd never experienced anything like this here...i've been smiling very widely since ;)

21 comments:

samra said...

Dear Ajay,
The feeling is mutual, atleast for me.
Thank you for accepting the invitation...instincts I believe always work better.On the first day after the workshop ended,I did miss it. The excitement and energy,I hope will not die down.

with regards,
Kanika.

ajay noronha said...

hey kanika! that was quick :) thanks...always feels nice to have someone like you around...we'll be in touch

Deepshikha said...

hey.. was out of the blogging scene for long.. just wanted to tell u, i am back :).. not with a bang though ;)

we must catch up next time, well, hopefully :)

Vasundhara said...

Would like to say that I was really really happy that you conducted the workshop. Though we've plunged into work (namely the music video) I do the miss the feeling of anticipation every morning - "what will we do with ajay today!"
We had another round of studio exercises and the difference in lighting, even scripting was incredible. i think everyone wanted to show how much they had learnt in just 5 days of the workshop!

with regards
vasundhara

ajay noronha said...

hey wb deepshika! yes yes, there will be another time.

vasundhara: great to hear from you...and glad to know you guys are already experimenting...cheers!

charis said...

hey ajay,
just wanted to say that your blog is lots of fun to read!we all are missing your classes but are totally putting into practice alot of the stuff we learnt with you.we're much more confident around lights now.thank you!
charis

Juhee said...

hey Ajay,
we've had a great time learning from you. it wz a wunnerful experience.....
hope we put d knoweledge to good use.. thanks a lot...
:)
Juhee

ajay noronha said...

hey charis, juhee...thanks for that. I too had a good time. Do you have a blog as well?

charis said...

Don't have a blog yet, but always wanted to start one.just don't know how to begin exactly.how do you find the time to keep it so up-to- date?

ajay noronha said...

...elementary my dear charis! just click n start blogging...am an occasional net rat ;)

shars said...

hey ajay
as all of us have already told u..i guess ur workshop was the best thing to happen to us in second year.I know we might have been dissapointing but want to tell u...wahtever we have learnt was not for that time but it will remain with us and as vasundhara said the difference is there.wish we had a even longer workshop.Take care.
Sharon

Juhee said...

well... not as of yet... bt hv suddenly developed a desire 2 have one...(all thanks to u) probably will have one in the near future... :)

aroop said...

Hi Ajay.....

Ur workshop was one of the best experiences of my life.u actually taught us -TO FEEL-With tym v all 4got something called as resultant feeling, but nw i m sure every1 in my class talks bout it aftr watchng a film.U ll be surprised to knw dat while sitting in the class one can always hear students talking bout u.now evry1 seems to understand that there is nothing good n bad in this world.

Deeply thankful.....

ajay noronha said...

hey aroop, sharon - thanks...you guys are embarrassing me now.

aroop said...

Hey Ajay.......
We are not kidding.The difference in our attitude after ur workshop is great.We all are missing it....

Warmly.....

Ankur's Arena said...

Ajay (sir),

...
...
...

...you have light up our aspirations for making good sensitive films...

would love love to share a few things or more with you in future...


love you man!

Ankur

Anonymous said...

To begin with I loved the honesty with which you have shared your experience here in this post. I must tell you that my music video had an entire sequence that we shot in the studio and the learnings from the workshop came in handy.

I guess the week long session has pushed me into opening furthur and has sharpened my observational skills to a great extent. I'd forever be grateful to you for that.

Warm Regards
Reena

ajay noronha said...

cheers guys! reena n ankur...i know you're gonna do me proud :)

Mimansa said...

Hey Ajay...
We all miss you... completely... For me ur workshop was d best thing in jamia... sumthin i'l remember forever... all our products now reflect a sense of knowledge abt "light"... a thing tht went probably unnoticed earlier... bt above all else... v miss d excitmnt to learn sumthin new, enterin ur class everyday... thnx a lot for widenin our horizons...!!

regards...
Mimansa :-)

Mimansa said...

Forgot to write... u hav another fan added to ur list now!!!

-Mimansa :-)

ajay noronha said...

i am overwhelmed, guys! thanks mimansa