The Search at Cannes festival short film corner

The Search has been accepted to play at the Cannes film festival short film corner 2013. Congratulations to the whole team. I was at the corner two years back with my first film, Take Out. More updates soon!

Here is the link to the official page of Search at Cannes website.

The Search at Cannes film festival


Fantasy Comedy films analysis

Last year around this time, I did an informal analysis of few popular films from a comedy sub genre ‘Fantasy Comedy’- also called ‘what if’ genre-. I thought of sharing that file with the readers of this blog. Please ignore the spelling or grammatical errors in the file below as it was initially supposed to be rough exercise of my own. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this genre or the discussed films (There might be significant spoilers in case you haven’t watched a film or the films mentioned in the file/link below)

what if films’ analysis

When virtual meets reality in Rome!

I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Rome during my recent trip to France/Italy. Traveling always widens your horizons and gives you the best possible feel of a place, its culture and its people. You can read tens of books or watch hundreds of movies about a place, but nothing beats your being in that place for real. Rome is a very important city because no other city in the modern world could possibly boast of similar ancient history and culture as Rome. And what great pleasure than meeting a real Roman in Rome. I have known Giovanni, or MOR on blogosphere, since late 2009 when we first interacted here on this blog. I was always taken over by his intellectual curiosity and genuine warmth. So, when I was planning my trip to Cannes, I thought about hoping over to Rome for few days. Giovanni gave me all the possible information and even generously offered me to put me in his home. In today’s world where your own people sometimes behave too formally, this hospitality on the part of a person who I haven’t even met instantly won my heart.

I stayed at Giovanni’s home during the last day of my brief visit to Rome. I have to admit that meeting him in real made our friendship turn real too. I’m not saying that before our real meeting, the friendship or the relationship was fake. But it lacked certain credibility which I believe comes only after you meet/know the  person in real. Giovanni, who looks even more fitter and younger than his pictures, met me with the same genuine warmth as he had always shown in the virtual world. I had a great time talking to his beautiful and intelligent wife who welcomed me into her home with the same warmth as her husband. They both watched my movie, Take Out, and all three of us had a detailed discussion on things I was trying to say through the movie. They said that they liked my film and I wanna believe them! I met their beautiful daughters as well who appeared hard working, intelligent girls.

Giovanni has a very strong sense of history and culture. He is not only a proud Roman himself, but also encouraged me to look deeper and with more respect into my own Indian roots (He himself has a huge interest in and knowledge of Indian history and culture). We spent the evening walking around the streets of Rome and discussing everything from Polymaths to Ancient civilizations to the Classics. It seemed as if we have known each other through the ages and this meeting was destined rather than a random event. He also took me to Vatican city and I wondered at everything I saw there.

I have to admit that I fell in love with the part of Europe I visited and ever since I came back, I have been dreaming about settling in Mediterranean Europe one day :). This trip has forced me to look deeper into some of the questions I have been avoiding for some time, while giving me a fresh perspective on certain issues. And, the meeting with Giovanni was one of the important events in this trip. Thank you Sir and here’s a toast to our ever lasting friendship! Waiting for you guys in Montreal!

“Take Out” to play at the Cannes film festival Short film corner

Our film “Take Out” has been accepted to play at the prestigious Cannes film festival Short Film corner. I’m excited to go to Cannes for my first film.  The coolest thing about this is that they are sending two passes per film. The pass gives you access to all red carpet premieres, meeting industry big wigs and attending some cool workshops. And who knows I might sign a distribution deal for the film as well. It’s the biggest short film market in the world.  Below is the link to our film at their website catalog.

The making of short film ‘Take Out’ (Part 2)

I know it was again a long hiatus after my last post. As they say, your first film teaches you a lot about filmmaking and one thing I am learning constantly is that how seemingly little aspects of film production could take so much time and energy. Nevertheless, that or several other unjustified reasons are still no excuse for the irregularity in my blogging. I have decided to be more regular in my blogging from now on and I hope that I stick to my resolve this time (Can you believe me saying this?).

As things stand now, Take Out is finally finished and I’m busy sending it to few festivals plus promoting the film at another channels. I’m also working on my next short film to be shot in the next couple of months. Continuing with my last post on the making of the film, below are some more reflections from my experiences during the pre production.

Rehearsals with the actors

1. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of rehearsals. I was lucky to have actors agreeing to do two sessions of rehearsals with me. Most low-budget independent productions rarely have that luxury. I know that some people say that too much rehearsal can kill the spontaneity of the actors. I don’t really agree with that. Most independent shoots happen under the tough constraints of budget and time. So, actors spending too much time experimenting/improvising during the actual shooting, is rarely beneficial. On the other hand, actors have enough time to improvise and reflect over their character with the director and other co-actors during the rehearsals.

Continue reading

The making of “Take Out” (part 1)

Since I started the pre production of my first short film, ‘Take Out‘, I had plans to blog and chronicle my journey. But, as is my wont to procrastinate under the illusion that time will give me better ideas, blogging kept getting delayed. So, I’m finally writing some tid bits from my journey so far. These are just random reflections, experiences etc because frankly I don’t want to spend hours writing about it and giving my posts more defined or professional look. But, still I thought its important that I write something about it. Perhaps just for my own memories, if nothing else.

As things stand now, the film was shot in July and the post production is now coming to an end.

Some notes from the making of the film:

1. I think its very important to work with the professionals only or at least those amateurs who are serious about the business. I’m very lucky that I live in a city where there are lots of artists who are willing to work for very little. With the kind of very limited resources I had, it would have been impossible to make a movie of this kind of production standards in a place such as LA or New York or even I would say, Toronto. The reason I say work with the professionals only is because actors or other artists involved in filmmaking are people who are in this business because they really love their craft and will give themselves into your project much more than your friends or other amateurs/non professionals who just want to do it for lark. Plus, professionals bring their own energy and interpretation to your script which adds so much value to your storytelling.

2. I was very skeptical in the start to contact more experienced actors because I didn’t expect them to agree working with a newbie like me who had practically no experience before this and who’s paying almost nothing. But, I guess if you believe in your script and are enthusiastic about your project, other people get rubbed over by that passion too and that works in the end. Or you can also say, I’m really a sweet talker who hoodwinked so many people !

3. My experience was best with the female actors. All of them were  passionate, unbelievably professional and very talented. I must admit that I was pleasantly surprised with this as I had earlier assumed that it will be challenging both to find the right female actors and to also work with them. Infact, for all female roles, I had more than two actors wanting to act for the same role!

4. I think it’s extremely important to discuss your shot list in detail with the cinematographer. Ideally, I think, storyboarding each and every scene and sequence could never hurt.

Rest later..

Back to blogging

My short film, Take Out, got delayed by few months, but things are very much falling in place now. The making of this film has been a great experience till now and I’m very excitedly looking forward to the final shoot which will be happening in two weeks from now. Many of the earlier cast actors and technical crew etc have been replaced with much more experienced and professional actors and crew members.

Hopefully will be back very soon with many stories and experiences to share.