Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A day of Filmmaker’s Life

It started as a crazy idea... An idea that originated from a childhood dream and got into a shape by the opportunity provided by ‘24x7 Making Movies’.

That was a quite afternoon and in SIMSR Library I was reading the monthly magazine ‘Outlook’ when I first saw this opportunity. This was an event organized by Mr Dev Benegal with a concept of 24. The movie was supposed to be made in 24 hours by people less than 24 years of age for duration of 24 seconds to 24 minutes. Then, I wasn’t sure whether I will participate in this contest.

But I did. After looking into my book of poems and stories, I selected a poem and a story to send as my entry to the contest in February. I waited and looked into the site ‘24x7makingmovies.com’ for some time. They had extended the closing date to sometime in July. By then I had already forgot that I had send my entry to such a competition. But one day in August, I received a call from Mr. Sharat Rao that my entry has been short listed in ‘Top-35’ out of some 300 entries. And I was already over-excited.

The participants had a one-to-one session with Mr. Benegal and Mr Sopan Muller where we discussed the story, the script, and the basic concepts of film making. Things were happening on their own, as if!!

When I reached the studio for the session, I wasn’t very sure whether I will be doing this. Every participant was there with his/her team. I had gone alone. And of course I looked like a fool who was about to do everything by himself. The person responsible for the I-Cards even asked me whether I was really going to do this all by myself. Then I had nodded in Yes as I just wanted an entry inside the studio to have a look at the place where dreams are carved into objects.

While leaving the studio, I knew I am going to do it, not knowing HOW.

I called up my friends, who of course didn’t believe me for the first time. But when they did it was excitement and a kind of weirdness because none of us knew where to start. We started digging into our contacts to find out if we knew someone who could guide us. And, thankfully, we had many. From here a writer turned into a project manager. I had to get my resources.

By now ‘My Dream’ had graduated to become ‘Our dream’. Everybody took a particular role and tried playing that to the best of their capacity.

The D-day was approaching. We had 4th as our shooting day and we did not had our actors with us by 2nd even. Tension. Restlessness. And what not.

But then God exists. And we were almost ready to shoot on 4th.

Our ‘24 hours’ period was starting at 11:30 AM. I and Junaid had to reach the Fame, Inorbit to register. We first went to Siddhivinayak. Hitesh was on music. Aditya and Veeresh were arranging every thing required at the set. Anooj was working on the credits. Nishith was doing and re-doing the script. Amol and Dr. Patil, the actors of our team, were working on their dialogues. 24x7 had provided us with a volunteer who was supposed to monitor the shoot. So we had Surjeet with us. And he turned out to be a help rather than an observer. We started our shoot by around 3:00 PM. Umesh bhai handled the Camera for us…and things started rolling. We also received a great help from Deepak, Devesh, Tulika, Charishma, Suman Aunty and Anand Uncle.

Lights. Camera. Action.

And by 9:30 we wrapped up. Now it was time to run to Malad from Thane and start editing. By the end of the 23rd hour, ‘Mritak(The Dead)’ was born.

When Mr. Benegal reviewed it, ‘Nice, Very Nice’ was all he said. And we had already won.

29th was the prize distribution day. I did not win. But WE did.

After a month when event is over, now I know if you believe in them, dreams do materialize.

Thank you, everybody.