Wednesday, February 13, 2008

P.S: had written this before the start of the shoot of my second film.

Filmmaking is essentially a medium through which one tries to tell different stories. But then, in my case its just the 2nd film (logically the third – the first was a premature baby) and in both the films, there is an element about filmmaking always shouting it from the top and intelligently or foolishly it is a part of the main script. Why? How? Well, while writing this I am trying to find those reasons. Am I trying to show off, while I show filmmaking as a part of my film?, well lets assume yes – when you have made a film, after its complete, you are done with it, it no longer remains just with you and that film will be seen by a particular audience, anywhere – thus when 'filmmaking' comes in between the story or is the story I try to show that see this is where I am in the film. Thus I somehow try to prove the point that see even in my profession – the profession which I was never suppose to take up in my life – I somewhere leave a mark of myself – call it a self-obsessive gimmick! Or should we see this in a different perspective – that since it is our inception in this particular field as we are a part of a film school – that we are so enamoured by it that we are bound to create stories around it. Stories, unless you are not adapting, come from within yourself and when it comes from you, it has a part of you. However hard you may try – if you are the mother who gives a birth to the story – it is bound to have your features in it. And like birthmarks, the story too once it is out of you leaves certain impressions about those particular characters with you, which is again dangerous, coz when in reality you do meet a character like that you tend to force your way of thinking on to it.

Then, apart from these 2 there are other reasons for me which leads to include the aspect of making films about 'filmmaking'. One of them is that the audience throughout these years have been watching all story-based films – so the audience knows now the kind of stories that come and given a particular character's mental journey – what will happen in due course of the film – thus they expect a particular kind of twist and turn in the main plot. Thus Syd Field comes up with the kind of screenplay format – where he tries to say that 2 plot points are important for a good script. But is Syd Field the only one to tell us that this is the 'formula' for a superhit screenplay – I give you the skeleton and now you fit your story into it. Thus, when the audience knows or expects a particular kind of story – me, who has has the privilidge to learn about films and filmmaking – let me take the audience on a tour and show them how actually films are made – what does it go to make a film – and what can go wrong while making a film. Hmmm…this sounds interesting to me. Show them what you do all 'day for night'. But does a doctor show the operational procedure to the patient or its relatives? Does a railway engine driver invite passengers to show how she/he drives? Does a architect show the steps of constructing a particular building? Well, sometimes they do…like a husband is allowed to watch and at times even help to see the baby come out from the mother. then that's what I do – if my story has an aspect about filmmaking, which I include while I make a film – then is there anything wrong? Truffaut and Godard have done it, Lynch, Fellini and Woody Allen did it. Hrishikesh Mukherjee did it in Guddi and Ram Gopal Varma did it in Rangeela. And there couldn't have been better examples then Mahabharata and Ramayana – where the authors themselves come into the story to tell an essential part of the story. But then it is important to know that not in every film did Truffaut, Verma or Godard did this. Agreed, if we see their repertoire they are the ones who have highly experimented with the forms and styles and the ways to tell a story. But then probably till the time I am in film school and am learning about the tools of film making that I am enamoured by it. As time passes, I would give birth to stories that will be able to have an identity of their own and not as if "Oh here it comes again from this guy!"

But then I wonder till the time I am studying about films, am I on some kind of road towards a trilogy about filmmaking? Coz at MCRC, jamia, we are allowed to make 3 films (of varying durations ) as a part of the course. The third is of course upto your capability to handle the film as a medium. So, even if I manage to get that – will there again be a filmmaking angle into it or would I finally break free from the kind of thinking that filmmaking is not the only aspect the rest of the world is interested in!

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