Exactly two years ago, the crew of Coffee Bloom was doing their last minute prep in Coorg, to prepare for the shoot. Within me the moths in my stomach were ready to be butterflies soon, as it will probably the first time in my life I will be calling the words “Action” in front of a professional crew. Looking back, with a perspective of an outsider, I am really a nobody who had got this opportunity to make a feature film, thanks to Harish Amin and Sharath Parvathavani. It feels too good to be true that an outsider without any experience of making films or assisting anyone, besides few DIY short films, managed to be on that shoot calling action. Thanks to an incredible team who gave me a fair chance and believed in the script we wrote. Over the next two years with many passionate creative arguments and reworks, Coffee Bloom gradually assembled itself part by part, thanks to a producer, who unconditionally continued pumping money into it believing in the film. We all knew as a team, it wasn’t perfect, there were issues we were all aware, but with whatever resources we had given it all and the film that was ready to go out. We had done our best with whatever we could do.
The MAMI screening gave us a lot of encouragement, but the beast called Distribution was sleeping on our path. When things had hit a lull, Shiladitya Bora, one day sends me an SMS saying, he wants to see the film. The next thing I know within weeks we were getting a release, Shiladitya along with Harish Amin, was on ground tackling the beast and clearing the path for us to move. Is it for real? I am probably living a dream, and the dream had goodies, it included US and Canada release. Very soon, the PR and marketing activity started, giving back to back interviews, cluelessly posing in front of flashbulbs to screwing up the first media interaction fumbling for words. Seeing your own name on the hoardings, makes up for the all the silly little struggles, that every film maker complains of. All this while, I kept pinching myself, it’s a dream ok no maybe it’s real, regardless enjoy the ride dude. The committed cast (Arjun, Sugandha, Mohan and Ishwari) and crew members, pull all stops to make a premiere happen and before you know, it is the morning of March 6th. So far the flight was fine, but rough weather and turbulence is part of every journey.
The reviews started pouring in, for your first film to be called Awfully pretentious, self indulgent, “Shouldn’t have been funded”, to some glowing reviews from the best critics who saw merit in the film calling it “well acted drama”, poetry in motion, “complex relationship film that couldn’t have been smoother”,” with an arresting soul” and comparison to Ray etc. it was emotionally overwhelming from where I come from. They say you have to be thick skinned, I admit my skin needs to get thicker, cause this emotional roller coaster has changed a part of me forever. I sincerely hope it never affects my writing or film making. Many comments and feedback were genuine, many people called personally to tell me, a part of them had connected with the film and they were not able to shake off the experience. Every time I see any merit in the criticisms, be it good or bad, a part of me wishes I want to relive these two years of my life and rework things. I always regretted I couldn’t go to film school, I still do have plan to go in future, but Coffee Bloom has been the best film school, I have experiences and lessons for life. To all my family, friends and fraternity, it happened because all of you gave the film a fair chance and I am again and again forced to repeat the most cliche words sincerely, cause there is no better way to say it “Thank you from the bottom of my heart” for helping me get the buzz out there to taking the effort to making it to theaters and personally sending your feedback and love.
Every morning is a high, to know the film you worked on is playing in theaters. As Oscar Wilde puts it, “Life is never fair and perhaps it is a good thing for most of us that it is not”, the dream may soon end, by Thursday,economics will decide the fate of the film. It may or may not cross the Thursday bridge, the number of shows might go down, life is unfair, it’s probably a secret message from the universe, “do better dude”, internalise the lessons of Coffee Bloom, the weapons for the next battle is already being polished with this message. To those who haven’t caught the film, I am hoping you will give me the privilege of your time and a part of you over the next three days cause the ride will soon end. Thanks in advance smile emoticon
Humbled, Sincere Love and Thanks to all who were closely and remotely part of this journey (Yes, this moment I am living “now” is bigger than any award in this world.)