Monday, August 30, 2010

The Making of Raavan & rambling about film academicians!

I am sure everyone loved hating Raavan. I am not going to defend here, coz I myself fall somewhere in that category. But wait, am I sure? One look at the visuals on the big screen and you are left open-mouthed. For starters, buy a DVD of Raavan and check out its 'The Making' or 'Behind the scenes' as they say. I saw it yesterday and was entertained thoroughly! The movie might not be as entertaining as 'The Making' is. Leaving the actors aside, you have the biggest technicians/artists of the industry coming together. And now see what possible visuals they all can come up with.

In a way I was lucky to know almost everything that went behind the megalomaniac sets and locations of Raavan. courtesy: for 2 months in Scotland, the guy with whom I was sharing my room was sir Samir Chanda's Assistant Art Director on Raavan for almost all of the 2 years. The story behind the gigantic Vishnu statue, the story behind that wooden bridge and how they shot it, the story behind the action sequences in midst of waterfalls & rivers and and and...the biggest story of how to make a bilingual film: with one shot of the Hindi film being taken and then right after that going for shooting the Tamil version and not just dialogues or actors that go into change, its the whole locations and the cultural references that go with it. All of this within 30 mins, so that your shoot time doesn't get prolonged.

Now I know the reader must be thinking: 'arey itana sab kuch kiya aur baad mei flop ho gayi film, kya faayda?' (what's the use now, the film failed at box office, no one watched it!)
But hey hey, Colours or some such channels will be showing it on weekends and make sure you try and catch some visuals, if not the whole movie. And then try watching 'The Making' - I am sure you will be blown away by the efforts. Sample this: Samir Chanda (for people who don't know him. He is the production designer for some of the most amazing hindi movies. Omkara, Rang de Basanti, Guru, Kaminey, Netaji Bose, Dil se, Iruvar, Delhi-6, Zubeida, Aks and many more) builds the hanging bridge between two huge cliffs. And after the bridge is done, there is an action scene with fire on it to be shot! Here's a short clip I thought I should upload and not put words for what he and his team did.

If someone tells me that you know these guys have so much money that they all can do this easily. No! after a point of time money becomes secondary, the whole idea of plunging into such a situation and to get the scene exactly as visualized: Thus as you saw in the clip, Samir-da ends up making 4 different bridges for the whole sequence. One miniature, Two for the close shots on green screen and the one on Location. Isn't that a huge effort for that thing called cinema? Now its ok if it didnt work, people didnt go and the film failed. All these efforts are so much better than the Anjanas and Anjanis and the Dharma movies that conveniently go abroad and shoot the whole film there and capture visuals that are already beautiful. Its like if one goes to Ladakh and takes a beautiful photo, its good but its not great - After all anywhere you put the camera and its going to be a picture post card frame.

So for readers I highly recommend to watch 'The Making' and more so for people who are associated with media, movies or television. What all it takes before the camera is placed on a tripod and switched ON.

Now the rambling part:

P.S: Had to write this somewhere: attended the FTII seminar on 'The uniqueness of Indian Script" and the problem with seminars and workshops is that due to the way bollywood movies are and their subsequent box office success over the years has resulted into more academics and 'researchers' than actual filmmakers who want to turn the popular bollywood around. Sample these terms from one such academician or researcher called Eeeeeeerrraa (to be spoken in Utpal Dutt style) Buskar!! (first put off: she comes with a bindi that is so reminiscent of the elite delhi leftist people who dont want to do anything but keep commenting on world affairs): The terms are as follows: 'Hyperbolic cinematic exteriorization', 'Desacrialized sacred space', 'Semi-operatic Indian melodramatic form with Idioms that subtended the content' - I mean what the f***' - what are you doing in life? I mean get a life - who is she trying to fool here by using such terms. And just by the way If she didnt look up while she was reading these pathetic terms: 'Ma'am half of the auditorium was snoring, not just sleeping and that includes the 'big' personalities that were sitting on the front row'! Ranjani Mazumdar with her paper on Urban Fringe with examples of Dombivali Fast, Being Cyrus and No Smoking was so much better. At least she was making sense.
Eeeeeeeeraaa (to be spoken in Utpal Dutt style) Buskarrrr!!!

Copyrights for Video belong to Madras Talkies and the picture is Google courtesy.
© Copyrights 2009 All Rights Reserved. Hardik Mehta


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AR said...

Where is the location of the reclining vishnu statues? Are they real or is it a set??

hardik mehta said...

the vishnu statue was put up somewhere in Kerala...its an actual location...and not a set!

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