Monday, March 26, 2012

My short film - Meet The Boss



[Cast and crew of Meet The Boss after the shooting.]

Have I mentioned before that I have been trying to learn how to make films by making short films? I think that's the best way to learn to make films, by making them. And now that I have mentioned it I will be free to tell you about my many adventures in the low-budget filmmaking field any time now.

Right now it's about one particular adventure, my film for the Reed film festival.

So, I have this group where people come together for the same purpose, learning filmmaking. The last time we had a meet it was on 11th March and a member mentioned that Reed.co.uk is hosting a film competition where people can send films up to 3-minutes in length. The theme given by Reed is "The Boss" and with that theme you are free to make any kind of film that you want.

That was all well and good but the deadline was exactly 2 weeks away on 25th March! I like to chase such close deadlines but going from concept to final cut in 14 days? Even for a 3 minute film it's a tall order.

But then Gianni took me aside and told me this little story that had happened to a friend of his. It was brilliant! I liked it from the start. Also, when you don't have a multi-million dollar budget, you always look for good stories that can be told without any special effects or exotic locations. This story was PERFECT for that.

And that's how we ended up making the fastest film we have ever made - 8 days from concept to rough cut!

And here is the output:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgvhgtqxKl8



We spent one week in pre-prod while our whole crew was working full time day jobs. No auditions, I knew the actor I wanted. We shot it in one single afternoon (Gianni and I co-directed) and edited that night and next morning. We had our rough cut by noon next day. We could have brought it to final cut the same day but we were shooting for another film from noon. That story some other time...

This is our film and we are proud of it! So feel free to share this film from this post or from YouTube as you like. :)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ships in the night


"Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing, only a signal shown, and a distant voice in the darkness; So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another, only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence."
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_Wadsworth_Longfellow

I quote it here because I find this expression "Ships in the night" wistfully sad, it has an inherent romance in it. So I searched for it and the original is even more beautiful. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Your Personal Currency

As you know every country has its own currency that you can exchange (most times) from one to the other. There are exchange rates that govern the amount you get when you buy or sell a currency and these rates are very volatile, they change very quickly from day to and even during the day based on a lot of real life factors like what's going on in the two countries.

But just like the countries you also have your own personal currency - your smile.

I know you are counting on me to elaborate, and I won't disappoint you. :D

As any economist will tell you, it is not good for the economy if people hoard the currency. The more people spend the currency the better for the economy. Same thing applies to your smile, it does you no good to keep it in, it's always better if you distribute the smiles all around you. You are the walking talking ATM for this currency.

Not all currencies are the same and the same currency is not the same all the time. When you smile without really feeling it, it's like the currency that was devalued after last night's coup de etat. When you smile at seeing a loved one, it's like your country just elected a new president!

When a receptionist smiles at you, that's like she's handing you play money used by drama companies. It's printed on glossy paper and the colours are bright but it's not real money.

Then there was the shayar who said,

मेरी रूह की हकीकत मेरे आंसुओं से पूछो,
मेरा मजलिसी तबस्सुम मेरा तर्जुमा नहीं है.
(The truth of my soul you will find in my tears,
my public smile is not my reality.)

Obviously, he was passing on a counterfeit currency.

Now, some people think that this is a gold-backed currency. Meaning that if you have money and material comforts, you are happy, and when you are happy, you smile. That's not entirely true. This is in fact a fiat currency. You can keep passing on as many as you like without the value going down at all. It has been scientifically researched and established that if you smile it makes you a little happier than you were before, EVEN IF the smile had absolutely no valid reason behind it.

I dare you, try it right now, you just CANNOT think sad thoughts while your lips are curled in a smile, even when without any reason at all!

Just like the other currency the smile is also traded, exchanged and spent. Sometimes when you spend a smile you get a smile in return. This is foreign exchange. Now, unlike the other currency this is a PROFITABLE trade, for BOTH parties! Yes, this currency has its own rules of exchange.

Sometimes you spend a smile but don't get anything in return. This shows you invested in a dud economy. But according to the smile-economy laws, you don't lose anything in this trade. Giving it away for free is the MOST PROFITABLE trade in this currency.

By these rules, when you have no money, you are not broke. But if you have no smile to give another human, you are bankrupt!

So, keep smiling, it raises your face value!





10 Commandments of Google


1. Thou shall not Google thy neighbour's wife.
2. Where there is a Google, there is a way.
3. Google ye not lest thou thyself be Googled.
4. Boast not thyself of Google for thou knowest not what a search may bring forth.
5. Thou shall not eat an apple in public.
6. When in doubt, use Google.
7. Blessed are the Googlers for they shall inherit the Web.
8. Thou shall never use the plural of "job".
9. Thou shall not Google in vain.
10. Hey Google, forgive them for they know not what they search for.

[Sorry guys, the image is in Hindi, but it was too funny to pass up.]

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Technomythology: 2050


"Baba, baba, tell us a story!"

My two favourite rascals in the whole world came running and plomped on the bed. Having uttered their demand in the first sentence they just settled down resting their chins on pillows and sat looking at me with those twinkly eyes that said they were not ready to move until they had heard a story.

I know when to give in...besides I knew how to keep these two amused.

I started, "Once upon a time, long, long ago.."

"Even before Google?" My fair-haired granddaughter interjected with her pixie face showing genuine astonishment.

I ruffled her hair which she combed with her fingers immediately, "Yes, sweetheart, even before Google."

"So once upon a time", I started again, "long, long, ago, even before Google, there was a time when computers lived in little boxes. There was a man who owned the search business and was called Billoo. Everybody went to him for search and respected his search Engine. You have to understand that in those days search was a symbol of status. The more time  your search took, the more respected you were by your peers. Why, elders in the city used to have searches that could run for several full SECONDS."

"Wow!" They opened their mouths in incredulous wonder.

"Then one day a new search Engine was created and it was called Google. People shunned it because it was too fast. But then it was discovered that the search Engine was created by the two men called Page and Brin.It was rumoured that they were incarnations of the deities Brahma and Vishnu."

I paused to look at their little faces, still rapt with attention.

"They vowed to destroy the Search Giant Billoo. But then suddenly one day a new demon stormed the cyberworld. His name was Applasur and he used a rotten apple as his symbol." I tried to convey the horror of the thing with my voice.

"There was a BIG war! And I mean BIIIGGG!! Applasur attacked the twin deities with ifonaban and ipadashastra. But the deities were strong. They built a big weapon Androidachromashastra that was both a weapon and a shield all in one.  Applasur threw new version after version of his weapons and many, many people became victims of his weapons. The deities were strong, they cast a spell upon their super-weapon...they said.."

May the SOURCE be with you!

They watched me with open-mouthed awe.

"Then what, baba?" My grandson asked breathlessly.

"Then...what always happens, the victory of good over evil...Applasur was destroyed by the deities and the people of Earth were blessed forever with good technokarma."

"That was bound to happen." my smartypants graddaughter proclaimed.

"Okay, now off to bed, you two."

..........................................................................................................................................................
As they exited their grandfather's room, her brother said. "That was a good question huh, even before Google?!" He imitated her voice.

She tittered, "Of course. I know when granddad begins to tell such big whoppers, that means the story is going to be good. He doesn't know our teacher already told us that Google always was, is and always will be. But the story was good, no?"

"Very true", he agreed then chuckled, "Computers in boxes...ha..ha..ha."

They ran off to their rooms.


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