An experience written by Sidharth Kumar while shooting for my film "Chemical Reaction"Everyone has his or her own passion. Each has their way of looking at the world. Some see everything as a synchronized symphony of undectable strings, for some the whole world falls neatly on a stave, while some can give you a mathematical explanation for how bad your tie is. For me, its always been movies. I cant help it, and its very frustrating sometimes, but I tend to process the world around me in terms of acting, story, scripts, shots and background score. I like to think what it would be like to actually shoot a movie. I always wonder if I will be able to materialise all those perfect scenes I have prepared in my head. I used to pretty sure that I can do a marvelous job as a director. But recently, I decided to move my butt a bit and help out with a movie my friend Vanshaj was shooting. After the whole thing, I still dont doubt that I'll do a fine job (I wont doubt it until I finally get to do a movie and screw it up), but I guess I could see how a bit of that disillusionment settles in. Making a movie isnt all haha-hehe.
Okay, to start with, the story. It was a script written by a sophomore the previous year. Vanshaj had got it from him and decided to turn it into a movie. I was a short film about a misunderstanding between a couple, who become paranoid because of the stress of exams, in particular a chemistry paper which they have to write the next day. It was given the rather cute title 'Chemical Reaction', I mean, cute title for a movie script anyway, not that I think there's anything cute about chem lab work. Okay, so the reason why I decided not to get too actively involved witht the film was that it was a relationship drama, which is, frankly, not my thing. In fact, the reason I havent yet got down to directing a short film is that Im dont have the patience to write a script, and all scripts/stories that are written by people I know are relationship dramas. Anyway, even though I wasnt too actively involved with the film I wanted to be there when they shot it.
So I showed up at Bowring Club after school, along with Abhin; with an unruly stubble on my face, which unfortunately goes very akwardly with a school uniform. Anyway, Vanshaj had taken care of whatever little pre-production there was ( I mean I call it little, for Vanshaj it was probably quite a bit of work) and had altered the script a bit to suit the location. He was his usual tense, directorial, self. The leading ladies were already there and I suddenly became very conscious of my shabby stubble. Anyway, so we had a few introductions and then ordered a bit of food and then we started rehearsing the scene. At that moment, I could find fault with everything - the acting, the direction, the setting, the script. But I like my face as it is so I didnt mention it to Vanshaj. I later realised how my third person perspective gave me many luxuries which the director's first person point of view did not. We started shooting, and immediately I recommended a better way to shoot the first scene to Vanshaj. He agreed my idea was good and we continued. In the beginning, I made suggestions to nearly every scene. Director sahab graciously accepted many of them. The I talked a bit to the waiter and got him to do an extra role in the film. Things were going okay, and I didnt talk too much about how poorly I thought the scenes had been done. Then suddenly an club staff guy showed up and asked us for our member ID's. Since most of the crew were not members, we got evicted. Okay, what to do? So we quickly made a few script alterations and I found us a new location, a nearby ice-cream parlour.
I had probably created some sort of new position for myself. There are about 50 essential creative personell involved in a film's making. We had a writer, director, actor, music composer, editor and cameraman. I found myself doing a bit of the work of the remaining 44 people. At least, I like to think so. I made suggestions on camerawork, found locations for us, gave a bit of directorial advice, nagged the composer to make the score softer; I was like everyone's nanny. Then I suddenly realised that I was involved in the film, a bit of it was my responsibility. And I suddenly found myself out of ideas. 'Is this angle okay? It must be. I dont know. I dont have time for this. We need to get on with the remaining work you know.' It was the first person perspective I had talked about. Yeah, the film went on; it had to. The editings not yet over, so I dont know how it has turned out. That's about all I had to say. So why did I tell you all this? I dont know! I mean, it just goes to show.... something. Anyway, I dont really know what to think about this but if you're making a film, and if you've understood what Im trying to get at (cause I for one have no idea what that was all about), you could make use of this experience. Actually, I guess I just meant to say that you need to freshen yourself up regularly. You should know when making your movie has suddenly become a chore and take a breather. Otherwise, there's no point in doing it.