Archive for the ‘cinema’ Category

About
On public demand, Tilt Shift Labs is organising a certified workshop with National Film Award winning director Kamal Swaroop on film writing and direction.

The workshop, titled ‘Grammar of Film Making’, is a three day long (long weekend) intensive workshop for amateur, semi-pro filmmakers or even students of cinema who are looking towards making a career as a filmmaker. This three day filmmaking workshop is the most intensive, instructional program in filmmaking that can be found at any film school. In three days, students are instructed in the basics of writing, directing, camera.

Your film begins here.

What you learn
Basics of Film-Making with focus upon camera angles, composition, cutting,
continuity, constructing a screenplay, and creating a shot breakdown.

Brief
Kamal Swaroop is a dual National Award- and Filmfare Award-winning film,
television and radio director and screenwriter. In 1974 he graduated from the Film and
Television Institute of India, and even his student works met with unusual international
acclaim. He continued with postgraduate studies at the Institute. He assisted the director
Richard Attenborough in the filming of Gandhi (1982). He made documentary as well as
feature films. He is currently working on a full-length documentary titled The Battle of
Benaras, produced by Medient. Famously banned, a formal experimenter, Om-Dar-Ba-
Dar is his master work.

Kamal Swaroop was born in Kashmir. The family then moved to Ajmer, where he graduated
in biology, before moving to Pune to study film direction. He had a brief stint at ISRO,
where he used Russian fairytales to teach science to kids, and then took filmmaking
classes in a remote village of Maharashtra.

Below are the details
Workshop topics
Day 1
Camera angles
Scene, shot, & sequence
Types of camera angles
(objective, subjective, and PoV)
Subject size, angle, and camera height
Extreme long shot
Long shot
Medium shot
Two shot
Close up
Inserts
Descriptive shots
Subject angle
Came height
Level angle
High angle
Low angle
Angle plus angle
Tilt dutch angles
Employing camera angles
Area
Viewpoint
Selection of area and viewpoint
Depicting the action
Change camera angle, lens or both
Scene requirements
Aesthetic factors
Technical factors
Psychological factors
Dramatic factors
Editorial factors
Natural factors
Physical factors
Camera angles on signs and printed matter
Problem camera angles
Conclusion
Continuity
Cinematic time & space
Time & space continuity
Time continuity
Space continuity
Filming the action
Types of action
(controlled action, uncontrolled action)
Filming techniques
(master scene, triple take)
How to use master scene technique
Advantages of filming master scenes
Disadvantages of filming master scenes
Triple take technique
How to use triple take technique
Advantages of triple take technique
Disadvantages of triple take technique
Master scene vs triple-take technique
Directional continuity
Importance of establishing direction
Screen direction
Dynamic screen direction
Use neutral shots
Action axis
How camera set-ups can be used to establish & maintain proper screen direction on moving player or vehicle
Action axis on curves
Action axis on corners
Action axis through doorways
Cheating the action axis
Entrances and exits
Reaction close-up for switching screen direction
Reversing screen direction
Map direction
Location interiors
Planned screen travel
Static screen direction
Matching the look
Look on both sides of lens
Neutral look
Matching look on moving players
Matching look on master scene cut in shots
Matching look with single player
Matching looks on speaker & audience
Action axis for 3 players
Matching looks on group seated around a table
Re-positioning action axis for background cheat
Matching look on stock shots & production scenes
Reverse shots

Day 2
Types of film editing
Continuity cutting
Compilation cutting
Cross cutting
Cutting on activity
Cutting and composition
Moving shots and static shots
Timing moving shots
Loose camera shots
Protection shots
Dissolves
Sound editing problems
Sound flow
Editorial requirements
(aesthetic, technical, and esthetic)
Narrative factors

Composition
Still v/s motion picture composition
Compositional rules
Compositional language
(lines, forms, masses, & movements)
Balance
(formal and informal)
Centre of interest
Lighting, tonal values, & colors
Selective focusing
Eye scan
Image placement
Image size
Integration with angles
Linear and aerial perspective
Background
Framing
Dynamic composition
Suspense composition
Catalog pictures
Compose in depth

Day 3
Process of writing
Discussing individual scripts
Story boarding process
Production planning
The need for story-telling
Visualization strategies
Dramatic strategies
Characterization strategies
Dialogue strategies
Melodrama, docudrama, hyper-drama
The experimental narrative

Venue
The District – Bungalow No. 96
Jankidevi School Rd, Versova, Andheri West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400061, India

Date and Time
19-20-21st October (10 AM Onwards Daily)
Duration of the event: 3 Days

More Details
https://insider.in/grammar-of-film-making-by-kamal-swaroop-oct19-21-2018/event
Ticket inclusions: Workshop Kit, Mentoring by Kamal Swaroop, Lunch, and Notes.

(WARNING: Watch the movie first. May spoil it for you if you don’t.)

It feels a little strange to call a film titled ‘Andhadhun’ pointedly self-aware. But then if a Sriram Raghavan film won’t kill and resurrect irony a thousand times, then what will?

Just when the Nanas, Bahls and Kavanaughs of the world had you ready to throw yourself in the nearest gutter and die, there comes something so innocuous – a thriller film that ends up giving you hope about life. There is still some goodness left in the world and it’s all stuffed inside Sriram Raghavan’s film.

Wait, hope did you say? In a film full of darkness, little innocence and no redemption? What hope did I find in this universe of dystopia that is so dystopic it doesn’t even take its own dangers seriously? Enough so that I don’t get pimples due to all the invisible tension, you know!

Andhadhun is good for health
It is like anaar juice. You know, rich and full of texture and body wala juice that is actually just clear liquid. You drink and feel you are in heaven but the minute its over it is over. But you still relish it for a long time, that richness and the memory of the texture of the richness. It’s local but exotic at the same time, sweet and sour at the same time and dry and wet at the same time. Anaar juice is also very good for the liver, no?

And apparently, so are rabbits, full of vitamins and minerals. The vitamins and minerals of this film go far beyond the sharply written plot spiralling out of control every five minutes. Or so it seems because it never goes out of hand. The film merely teeters on the edge; as mercurial as Tabu’s performance, as lucid as Radhika’s and as fluid as Ayushmann’s.

What keeps it from teetering off the edge is the phenomenal love for the medium on display, the self-assured craft and the Raghavan moral universe that plays hand in glove with immorality as smoothly as the images, sound, music, words, places, people and performances play with each other; all the worlds he seems to understand equally well.

Such ingenuity cannot come without a distinct love and understanding of the medium and it cannot come without the accompanying genius of your team. Without K.U. Mohanan’s intriguing camera work, Madhu Apsara’s equally trippy and cheeky sound design and Pooja Ladha Surti’s shrewd editing, the film would not have been half of what it is eventually, a sheer treat of music and magic.

Such ingenuity also cannot come without a stronghold on the moral core of the story. Raghavan’s films may all be stories steeped in an immoral universe with equally susceptible heroes, where goodness doesn’t necessarily always get rewarded and evil isn’t always punished. Yet, they operate within a very clear and basic framework of right and wrong that never loses its focus, even when gutted and laughing at its own self.

A completely plot-driven narrative from start to finish, one then almost imagines Raghavan playing similarly with his film. Turning his hero from blind to not blind to blind to we-don’t-even-know-anymore, with a tongue firmly tucked in the cheek. Chuckling away at the absolutely delicious conundrum a murder-gone-wrong can become. Shoot the piano player! Shoot! No, not yet! Shoot! Missed! Run! Hit! Fall! Gotcha! No? Wait…What?! I want a time plus brain machine that can go inside SR’s head and tell me how it was working when he was writing this whacko piece of sheer art.

When the hat tipped and tipped
The film saves its tribute card for Chhayageet and Chitrahaar, very aptly personified as fondly remembered, dearly loved people now no more, with dates et al. (Oh yes, sir, yes!) All the love for Bollywood then flows freely as the thriller merrily turns itself into a musical tribute to Hindi films and films in general; noir in particular – SR’s pet territory. And here comes in Truffaut’s delectable, ‘Shoot The Piano Player’, a film whose language SR borrows from so gracefully and meticulously that he outdoes Truffaut at his own game in creating a unique piece of cinema at once tragic and comic, classical and unconventional, silly and smart but with the distinct impression of a directorial sleight of hand that is playing with his material as consciously as the film seems un-self-conscious while having a lot of fun himself. This is the real tribute, and it is delectable.

The film almost starts similarly, taking the noir trope of a gun chase set-up happening in some other universe and immediately cutting to the universe of the film. The chased in Truffaut’s film is the protagonist’s brother, a semi-central character that turns the film on its head, the chased in Raghavan’s film is a rabbit, a non-character that turns the film on its head. That’s how whimsical is his craft. And delicious!

Kent Jones in his piece on Truffaut’s film says it is a film, “in which all of his assorted gifts and preoccupations are in play and meshed into a uniquely idiosyncratic whole. The film offers powerful evidence of his love of American cinema and literature… There is that wonderful speed, a pleasure in and of itself, that amounts to a kind of worldview—actions, objects, places, and sensations glimpsed and seized on, almost spontaneously forming a vivid afterimage in the mind’s eye. And his high-velocity storytelling is intimately tied to the feeling of impending mortality, the sense of every given moment in time coming and going, never to return. As for surprise, Shoot the Piano Player is about as unpredictable from one moment to the next as any film I know.” Was he speaking of Andhadhun and Sriram Raghavan?!

Perhaps, it is the play of contrasts in the film that lends it its unpredictability and richness. Yoking seriousness with hilarity at every turn, the tonal quality of the film becomes a universally mocking one and freely so. This delicious mockery is directed at everyone, everyone is in on the joke, except the characters. That’s why as Simi’s character unfolds we revel in the knowledge she can never be Nurse Radha – part 2. I am assuming it is a play on Waheeda Rehman’s character in ‘Khamoshi’ (1970), that genteel, heartbroken woman yearning to love again. Lady Macbeth, Lady Macbeth, we say (not only coz it’s the perfect Tabu, the original Lady Maqbool) but until Dr Swamy calls her so we realise she is far away from that too; Simi is absolutely guilt-free, completely soul-less. But then, with the exception of Sophie and Akash, this entire universe is completely soulless. Even Bandu, that see-it-all brat, who quickly enough becomes the audience’s ally in getting to the bottom of this mystery-within-mystery. Until the film takes another crazy spin at interval.

Whose lens is it anyway?
The blind hero who was not blind has now officially turned blind. What is this seeing and unseeing business? It’s a smooth trick of genius-giri. We, as audience begin the film watching Akash’s story first through the innocent, naïve eyes of Sophie, then as we are wisening up to the antics of the film-maker he shifts our POV to a smarter lens, that of a precocious, oversmart Bandu. Just when we think we have caught up with him here too, the proverbial rug is off from under our feet and we are in the deep, dank, dark. Just like our hero. From then on and just like him, we are fumbling in the dark too, with all the secrets hanging around for us to grasp and unravel. Till we are back to being the gullible Sophie again left to put the pieces together. And we do, until a crushed coke can hits a rabbit handled stick and knocks that part of our brain that tells us when we have been played. Check-mated sir, and glad to lose! And that is why I disagree with every review that says the second half is weaker and loses steam. The second half in fact, is as perfect as the first, maybe even better, puncturing perfectly, all the balls of contrast constantly in air.

These contrasts play out on all levels, much like all the cinematic elements in the film, sometimes simultaneously, sometimes one after the other in rapid succession, moulding and remoulding the film as it goes. The permanent warm tone sets up an idyllic, small-town Pune only to open up into the brutality at its borders. Dramatic, operatic music punctuates dramatic scenes as well as turns them comic, and in the scene where Simi and Manu clean the traces of their crime as Akash plays away – tragi-comic (and brilliant!). The sound cuts, diegetic yet full of imminent danger, keep the excitement tingling as the film keeps playing with our senses and feelings. After a point, the musical bit in this ‘musical-thriller’ transcends from the world of Akash’s piano and starts creeping under our skin as it starts underlining the unfolding darkness, tragedy and comedy. I don’t think Beethoven himself could have thought of a better cinematic use for his 5th symphony. Very cheeky, but the classic ‘Teri galiyon mein‘ is now redefined for generations to come. And since we are talking about music, welcome back Amit Trivedi and Jaideep Sahni, it had been a while.

As the film draws to an end, you suddenly become aware of the smile on your face, pasted there with Fevicol for the past 2.20 hrs. You realise you are feeling happy and hopeful. You also realise you wanted the film to go on and on. Especially, since the ending is still open, still incomplete. But then as Sophie says, ‘Kuchh cheezein adhoori honese hi toh poori hoti hain.’

You get up, humming aapse milkar accha laga, bahut accha laga. And walk out giving out a silent, invisible bow. Ekdum liver se.

Fatema Kagalwala

We have all been witness to the recent outpourings from various women in entertainment, media and film industry and other walks of life about their experiences with men crossing the line, taking liberties with their personal space and sexual harassment. This is being called India’s #MeToo movement, some people have also coined the hashtag #MeTooIndia for it. What started with Tanushree Dutta’s allegation of Nana Patekar, and then accounts of incidents about stand-up comic Utsav Chakraborty, soon snowballed and was used as a platform to expose behaviour of many people in comedy, media, films – almost the entire AIB gang, Chetan Bhagat, Vikas Behl (and in this connection Anurag Kashyap), and Rajat Kapoor amongst others, for their behaviour with women assistants, journalists and colleagues. And even how people who were made aware of these incidents in the past chose to not do anything about them.

MAMI being a well-known festival and academy has shown support for the movement through their social handles.

The content of the note is:

We as an Academy (MAMI) strongly support the #MeToo movement. In light of recent developments, we have decided to drop the following films from our line up – AIB’s Chintu Ka Birthday and Rajat Kapoor’s Kadakh. We want to use this opportunity to open up the conversation and find solutions to harassment and sexual misconduct in the workplace. Starting with this edition of the festival, we would like to unite the community to find positive and constructive ways to deal with it.

This is definitely big news for women safety and consent, at least for the entertainment industry!


While we gawk over the intense trailer of Tumbbad that was dropped yesterday, there are rave reviews for the film from the largest genre specific film festival in the US, Fantastic Fest.


‘Tumbbad’ Review: A Striking Artistic Display of the Catastrophic Temptations of Fate
– Matt Donato on SlashFilm

Tumbbad bridges gaps between different worlds – India and any viewer’s homeland – through a common language: storytelling. Costumes and cityscapes may be unfamiliar, but Hastar’s terrifying chase sequences require no translation when it comes to horror appreciation. Mad creature-feature designs, Academy-worthy blends of color and pristine optical packaging, despicable character work meant to provoke heartlessness traded for materialistic grandiosity – Tumbbad is a full genre package seasoned with a pungent foreign kick. A welcoming breed of horror that transcends barrier, creeds, and beliefs.

Fantastic Fest 2018: TUMBBAD Review – Fantasy Folk Horror That Drips With Atmosphere – Jonathan Barkan on Dread Central

Never really a scary film, Tumbbad is more focused on the horror of human behavior than it is on creaking doors and the terror of what lurks in the dark.

Fantastic Fest Interview: Tumbbad Brings Horror to India – Adesh Prasad’s interview in The Austin Chronicle

Fantastic Fest 2018: Adesh Prasad and Jesper Kyd talk “Tumbbad” – co-writer and co-director, Adesh Prasad, and the film’s composer, Jesper Kyd, in an interview with Jackie Ruth in ShuffleOnline

Fantastic Fest 2018: ‘Tumbbad’ is a Feast of Mythology, Greed and Effective Horror – Trey Hilburn III on iHorror.com

It’s rare that something comes together as well as the trifecta of score, direction and scope does, but Tumbbad manages to create something really special, while making sure to keep things nice and horrifying along the way.

Apart from producer and actor Sohum Shah, the film also stars Jyoti Malshe, Dhundhiraj Prabhakar Jogalekar, Anita Date and Deepak Damle, and is releasing in India on October 12th.


We have written in the past about the excitement around our home-grown mythological thriller Tumbbad at Venice Film Festival.

The trailer for the film was released today. Take a look.

The trailer showcases the mood, the mystery, and the special effects that are woven into this story of a goddess who created the entire universe, and the horrors around it. As we write this, the trailer has generated a lot of interest and excitement amongst fans and viewers.


While we all wait for Rima Das’ Village Rockstars’ theatrical release, there is more good news for the film and its fans.

Village Rockstars has been selected as India’s official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars.

The 12-member selection committee of the Film Federation of India, led by Kannada producer-director Rajendra Babu, announced the decision after watching 28 entries, which included Meghna Gulzar’s Raazi, R Balki’s Padman, Shoojit Sircar’s October, Dipesh Jain’s Gali Guleiyan, Nila Madhab Panda’s Halka, Siddharth Malhotra’s Hichki, Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s Padmaavat, Tabrez Noorani’s Love Sonia, Ashwin Nag’s Savitri biopic Mahanati, Ravi Jadhav’s Nude, Chezhiyan’s To-let, Rahi Barve’s Tumbbad, Sukumar’s Rangasthalam, Rahul Bhole and Vinit Kanojia’s Reva and Deb Medhekar’s Kabuliwala adaptation Bioscopewala.

The director-cinematographer-editor-producer Rima Das says, “I have been waiting for this day and praying! Luckily, I got this news in my village at Chhayagaon, Assam (I arrived last night) I am glad that I am with my family and the cast of the film. Otherwise, a news like this, if you are alone in some far off land, could put you off the balance! Although I have been jumping around uncontrollably and creating all sorts of a nuisance. I still can’t believe that our film is India’s Oscar entry. I am pinching myself, screaming shouting with joy.”

She adds, “We are totally overwhelmed by the announcement that Village Rockstars is India’s official entry to Oscar this year. I am so grateful to the selection committee for believing in our film.”

The film which had its World Premiere at Toronto International Film Festival and India Premiere at Mumbai Film Festival 2018 has screened in more than 70 prestigious international and national film festivals and won 44 awards including 4 National Awards (Best Feature, Best Editing, Audiography and Child Artist).

It was an official selection at Film Bazaar Recommends (at NFDC Film Bazaar 2016), 2017 Marche du Film (Cannes) Work-In-Progress, San Sebastian International Film Festival 2017.

Until now only three Indian films have made it till the last round and were, as a result, nominated in the foreign language film category at the Oscars – Mehboob Khan’s Mother India (1957), Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay! (1988), and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan (2001).

The 91st Academy Awards is scheduled to be held on February 24, 2019.

Here’s Rima Das sharing her joy on Twitter:


(Photo by Aditya Varma. You’ll want to keep an eye on this talented fella.)

After touring film festivals the world over, Nandita Das’ eponymous film on Saadat Hasan Manto releases in theatres today. While we are excited to watch it, and hear from others about how they like it, here’s something from someone who has worked on the film.

Anubhav Dasgupta had posted this on his Facebook page initially, and we thought it’d be a fit here at MFC. Anubhav has worked on Manto’s post-production.

Over to Anubhav:

In the summer of 2017, I was doing nothing. I’d practically severed ties with everyone I knew and I wasn’t close enough with my Whistling Woods friends to really hang out with them. Consumed by ennui and the buzzing background noise of clinical depression, I barely acted or reacted to anything that was happening around me. The fact that I had topped my batch earlier in the year did nothing to stir my spirits. I was just pretty fucking down, man, and I recognised that as a problem. I got an email about a senior student asking for an additional editor and one of my professors had recommended me, impressed as he was by my work throughout the first quarter of the editing course. Having little else to do, I jumped on it.

Shashwat Gandhi and Yugshrestha Karpatne had adapted Saadat Hasan Manto’s sweet and quietly devastating tale of child prostitution, Dus Rupay, as Five Hundred Rupees for their final year diploma film. Their original editor had begun working with Subhash Ghai but their lovely film remained unfinished so I stepped in to help them complete it. I didn’t think much of Manto back then. I was exposed to his work by a few adaptations fellow colleagues had done and I was quite turned off by the use of schlock and horror. Male perspectives presented his stories as nothing but lust and violence and relied less on the depth and empathy Manto brought to his characters than the violent twists and lurid storytelling. Having avoided Manto because of these misrepresentations, Manto’s stories remained unread. I thought that Five Hundred Rupees would be the end of my sojourn with Manto but I was wrong. I don’t know what forces were in play, but Manto found his way into my life once again.

The work I did on Five Hundred Rupees would lead me to a chance meeting and that chance meeting would lead to a WhatsApp message asking whether I would like to assist on a feature film. It was being directed by a reputed woman filmmaker and starred one of my favourite actors, so I replied, “Yeah sure, why not?” and didn’t hear back from them.

A few weeks later, I was at a crosswords store, browsing their Indian fiction section, shifting aside the usual Durjoy Dutta and Chetan Bhagat schlock to find a copy of Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy. I took it in my hands, leafed through it and balked at the price point. As I carefully slid it back into its spot, I noticed a book with an orange cover right next to it. I pulled it out, Bitter Fruit — A Collection of Short Stories by Saadat Hasan Manto, and just looked at it for a bit. At that same instant, my phone rang and someone asked me if I could make it to Bandra in a few hours. School was out, so I answered in the affirmative. Then I had lunch and set off to Bandra on a Sunday. And that’s how my Manto journey began.

I joined in as an edit intern, late in the film’s post-production stage. It was pretty much complete but Nandita Das wanted to cut it down a little more and needed someone who could carry out the necessary exports as the film neared completion. Manto had a small in-house team — initially just me and her assistant Riya — and I found myself taking up more responsibility than I’d anticipated. And through the film Manto, Manto the man and the writer was revealed to me. The film peeled away the layers of grime and violence and revealed the true core of Manto’s stories: empathy, even for the cruellest and the worst, and a terrible sadness at the things that men do. His works and writings became a prism through which I processed my own feelings about the state of the world, the division and the cruelty that men have succumbed to, the blatant permission to commit cruelty that the current rulers seem to have signed off on. The film, too, is in part Nandita’s response to our times. I’ve seen it nearly a hundred times now as a result of my work and each viewing reveals a new detail, a new perspective, evident of the fact that the film was made with a lot of love and passion. Some days I’m moved by it, some days I’m ambivalent. I’ve been moved to tears by it just the one time, but maybe the first time will do it for you. It’s a good film with great scenes, two of which remain my favourite scenes from any film this year.

In some way, because of the coincidences, and especially of Manto leading me to Manto, I believe I was meant to work on this, for my own selfish self-improvement if nothing else. I’ve come in contact with some of the most talented and eminent people in the course of this journey, Sneha Khanwalker, Avani Rai, Tahir Bhasin, Resul Pookutty, Nawazuddin, Rasika Dugal, Kartik Vijay, Manto’s daughters Nuzhat and Nusrat, Nasreen Munni Kabir, Ashok Kumar’s daughter Bharti, Cameron Bailey, just to name a few. This has been one of the more fulfilling experiences of my life so far and I think I’m not the only person who has been changed by working on Manto. It was a special experience for everyone involved.

In becoming an inextricable part of my life Saadat Hasan Manto has achieved his ultimate revenge on me, someone who was militantly ignorant of his works, who went out of his way to avoid Manto. I cannot escape him now, and I’m glad to join the ranks as a Manto fan.

All I’ll say is, I’m proud to have worked on this film, to have worked on a film that I quite like, featuring some of my favourite actors, Neeraj Kabi, Rajshree Deshpande, Nawazuddin, and more, and a film that couldn’t be any more relevant, when the people in power have decided that they do not like what we say and want to rule through paranoia and phantom enemies. Please watch it tomorrow, I can’t assure you that you’ll like it, but I’m sure you will feel the passion and love that has gone into every frame of the film. I would like to thank everyone who was instrumental in making this happen, the people I know, the people I don’t and the people who I have come to know through this film.

Here’s to many more.

Please watch Manto. Out in theaters in this Friday. It’s been made with a lot of love, reverence and passion.

Anubhav Dasgupta