This post comes with a special rule - at any point during the perusal of this post you are allowed to say, "Sunil bhai, you are crazy!" but you can't do it twice! Read on!
Recently I read this phrase somewhere "A life of unfulfilled dreams, a shelf of unread books..." and it struck me as the ultimate wisdom. That's what we are left with at the end of the innings. Due to the nature of desires (we have one new desire with every breath, it is said) it doesn't seem likely that anyone would be able to fulfill all their dreams but still there is only one life and one chance to do all that you want to do.
Following this philosophy recently I started on another one of my dreams - to make a film. Here is a good place to call me crazy!
I am not one of those people who were born with the dream to be a hero or knew that he was going to be a film director when he grew up. Far from it. I actually didn't like learning about these things. Once I learnt that the actors always carry empty suitcases on screen. When you see someone coming off the train or pushing a trolley on the airport with loads of big suitcases on it...there's NOTHING in them! Totally empty! Another time I learnt that when the actors pretend to drink anything like coffee or tea, the cups are totally empty. There NEVER is any coffee in them, not even a little bit. After knowing these, and other things like these, I was always focused on it and could tell that the actor was just pretending to drink. With that special knowledge I could actually judge who made a good job pretending and who was just so so. But still, I didn't really want to know these things. I'd have preferred the bliss of ignorance.
On the flip side of this was the fact that I always found those movies interesting where they showed the moviemaking business. Fake rain coming down from the roof, fake car racing scene, all kinds of fake stunts, I found it fascinating!
It started with second life. I decided to make a movie there. About my motivations to make a SL movie, the less said the better, but suffice it to say that I spent a few months working on that project and finally finishing it. A movie where you capture game footage is called a machinima. The actors are all animated avatars but after you capture the footage, the editing is just like editing a real life movie. For that I had to learn editing. I did it the way I learn everything - from books.
The experience was amazing! It was so thrilling to work on that project and see the output. My friends who learnt about it from me said why don't you do it for real. And I always had an answer why it was not feasible to do that in RL. Money is usually a big part of it.
But then slowly, the idea took root - why not? With the advent of digital filmmaking, it has become possible for people to make low-budget short films.
Then finally, last month, in March, I did a course on filmmaking. It was a course for beginners, taught over 4 weekends. 4 Sundays, full time. I have mentioned this class several time in my posts, but never revealed what the class was for. Well, now you know. :)
The plan was to learn to make films by making a short, really short, film about 7 minutes in length. We were going to interface with an actors' class from the same institute to cast for our film. After 4 weeks we were supposed to have the finished product in our hands. Everything went well, but we ran out of time when it came to editing. So, now that film is being edited in our own time, when all of us, including the teacher who is a well-known, award-winning director, can get together. First such session was this Monday when we got locked out afterwards.
This film will be finished by the end of this month but I took a copy of the whole footage and made a backstage video for it, something like a "Making of" for our project. If you are curious (and you should be if you read this far), you can watch the video below. Your comments are welcome.