Friday, February 18, 2005
On a Learning Curve
I had my earliest formal training in film from the legendary Balu Mahendra. This meant that I wished to emulate his style of functioning. He not only wrote and directed his own films, but also did the cinematography and editing. I trained in all these areas with him.
As time passed, I have slowly started moving away from this one-man-team approach to filmmaking. The first thing I dropped from my list of ambitions was cinematography, even though photography was my subject of specialisation in Loyola.
During my days in Anna University, I desperately sought to train myself in picture and sound editing. I hated working with other editors and edit technicians whose sense of rhythm never matched mine. This was the case until recently, when I had the chance to work with a really good editor on a project I directed. Suddenly I realised the advantages that collaborative editing can bring. Soon, both editor and I were communicating with mere twitches of a few facial muscles, and odd nasal and grunting sounds. A little glance through the corner of an eye meant, "The cut has to move exactly 4 frames back". I do know that it is hard to come across this kind of a collaborator, but when one does, then it definitely adds value.
The next stage in this process of jettisoning crafts would be to give up solo writing. I trust my own writing, but I have found that I can work better with a co-writer.
What next? Now, I know that it would be practically impossible to do location sound while directing. Producing? Hmm... Well that's a big job in itself. So those are quite a few things knocked off the list. But all this, in case I wish to finally become a director.
Coming from a film industry that prides itself with filmmakers with at-least five credits on a single film, I know it is rather creepy. This is losing out on 'auteurship'!
But having learnt and exercised these essential skills has been rather useful. The complete filmmaker is not someone who does everything, but someone who knows how to! Now all I have to do is abandon my bloated ego and start learning to collaborate. But that I can only if I find the right people. Until then, T Rajendar, here I come!
Comments to On a Learning Curve
Interesting you mention T Rajendar and not a Stanley Kubrick.
I have heard that Kubrick thinks of the movie as one man's art - like a painting is. Kubrick didnt do the music for his films but selected music all by himself.
But I guess you talk of collaboration in the sense of "approved collaboration". That is, as long as you approve and feel the content of the collaborator as almost yours. Is my understanding correct?
For eg: you might not do the music, but when your music director does it for you, you approve of it to the extent that you almost feel it is "your" music.
That would be Kubrickesque.
I have more to say on this but later.
posted by swami11:15 pm, February 18, 2005
In case u did not get to watch Manmadhan, Simbu actually has been credited for "Directorial Supervision" or something similar.... And apparently avanoda screen play vera yaam andha padam. Looks like you have got a much recent path to tread... lol.
On other things, would like to hear what you feel about 7G Rainbow Colony.. in case u have seen it.
posted by anantha11:41 pm, February 18, 2005
You have found him. I am ready to don the mantle. I have great passion for film-making and what was holding me back was lack of a proper support structure in the form of other good technicians. Let me know when you finish the course (I may have a script ready by then for your "co-writing" partner :-)).
posted by thennavan3:44 am, February 19, 2005
T Rajendar laan ok dhaaan aanaa ore oru request: please, please don't rhyme your dialogues or songs as he does..enna..!?
posted by11:26 am, February 19, 2005
Yeah realizations that dawn on us are pretty annoying.
I realized sometime ago that all I can do was enjoy a movie and at times find fault with it. I have abandoned my dreams of making a movie and am sticking to the job I have :p
posted by Nilu12:41 am, February 20, 2005
how abt the audience whose sense of rhythm matching yours?
posted by Chakra Sampath3:01 pm, February 21, 2005
hey.. reminds me of product managers :-)
to create a successful product u need vision (what), the tools (how), and market sense (where and when). you also need a market analyst and a couple of developers.
life seems pretty similar :-))
posted by chikuado9:02 pm, February 22, 2005
T Rajendar? Yuck!!! Yuck!!!
posted by virajgeeta8:37 am, February 24, 2005
why only him..Why not Kamal?He too screws it up, many a times when he dons the mantle in many other areas rather than sticking to acting alone!
Now it makes me wonder..How penetrating/nonchalant is Rajni during the course of his movie-making process?
How abt Captain/Vikram/Surya??
I remember watching a show where Vivek spoke about having a small group of very close friends,with whom he collaborates almost every comedy track that goes into any movie and improvises it to the maximum extent!I guess..it works almost 100% of the time!
Interesting question would be..Did Nagesh/Thangavelu/Goundmani do the same thing?
I doubt it!
posted by rajesh9:05 pm, February 25, 2005
hey anand.....there is a wish for some fear and loathing at the dublin bar. but mihir is at work, and i might have to go too!
posted by v11:03 am, February 27, 2005
check out http://scotland.ideasfactory.com/edinburgh/ideasfactory_live/
and let me know.
posted by ammani6:38 pm, March 03, 2005
Hey...so you into making films? Wud you be able to do a short film for a corporate? Nothing sure yet...I am just testing the ground...
posted by jammy11:06 pm, March 09, 2005
First of all congrats for your gold medal thing... (spoke to your father through phone). I have been a quiet reader of your blogs for sometime now... interesting stuff... all very nicely put up.
All the very best and keep in touch!
posted by Sriram5:11 pm, March 10, 2005
hey anand...congrats on ur gold medal...been reading ur blog regularly....only been terribly lazy to write to u...nanum un amma vum sonna anda small scene nyabagam vechuko da...u gotto use it in ur film....!!! Take care...stay in touch..
posted by12:56 pm, March 15, 2005
Once I and this guy who used to work for M (the man) ran into TR at a restaurent. We spent the evening thinking of ways to rain on his party. He was there with his wife, so we planned to walk up to him and say "Anna, vanakkamnaa. Akka, vanakkamka. Anna, anni sowkyamaannaa?"
BTW, thondayila mayir valarkkaama iruntha sari.
posted by Kingsley8:47 pm, March 24, 2005
Swami: I did not mention Kubrick because I meant the T Rajendar reference as a joke. Nevertheless, you are right about Kubrick's 'auteur' status. You see that is something that is not always achievable, also not desirable for somebody who wants to make friends in this world. About 'approved collaboration': I might not entirely see the end product as 'my work' simply because it is not.
Anti: Maams 'thet faemelee! Eh Mei Gaad!
I havent seen "7 G..." I have to travel to London to see Tamil films. And I am not too keen on 'downloading it' considering that some day I would not want anybody doing 'a download' of my film.
Mukund: Thats it! Send me your draft rightaway. Also get me some guys with lots of money to finance the project! :)
Kanna Magaesu, nan edukka pora padam 'ace'
Nee pesaade summa laesu, apparam allame abaesu!
Nilu: Sometimes I wish I had a 'job'! But then I quickly change my mind.
Chakra: Good point! But considering that it is something one can never know, I never plan to try. I make what I think is good, and hope people come around to it. I mostly overestimate my audience. Plus this is something I can learn only by experience!
Chick: Life is similar! :)
Viraj & Geeta: But the chap makes money!
Raapi: TR's strengths and his faults lie in his 'perceived notions of talent', but Kamal is talented. Kamal's problems are because he can sometimes surround himself with mediocrity; and that is when he screws up.
I will never dispute the fact that Kamal is very very talented in Acting, Writing, Directing, Researching and Producing. He can do all this. Just that he has not been able to for various reasons including things to do with how the Tamil film industry is designed.
V: Now that you've said it, might go to the real Dublin for a pint of black!
Ammani: Cheers! :)
Jammy: When? Where? How? :)
Aarthi: What scene?
Kingsley: Thondaikku veliyilaiya, ullaiya?
posted by Anand1:28 am, March 25, 2005
References to On a Learning Curve
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