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FilmCamp!

December 10, 2007

Written on Dec. 9th

After dropping in at V’s place for her birthday, I was ultra-hyper and quite literally a bouncing ball of energy before I headed to FilmCamp at Elliot’s Beach. When I reached, I found many enthu people already there and talking. Met Hrish, Hari, Raghu and Sanjay – who’re at the core of FilmCamp.TV. Spotted Nandhu and Spammer as well! Nandhu was very amused and enquired if all the convo excerpts on Gapp’s blog were true. Hmpf. What publicity, I tell you! 😮

So, we first gathered around under the unyielding sun where Sanjay told us what we’d be doing the rest of the day. He is this person with a you-better-do-this-if-you-don’t-wanna-die attitude. He totally comes across as someone who knows what he’s doing and loves it! Oh, he’s also blunt/articulate/acidic/killer critic/v.amusing. 😛 So we would be writing a narrative, scripting it, translating that into a story-board, shooting our one-minute film and editing it. One minute doesn’t sound like a lot…but we actually worked the whole day to pull it off! 😀

So we sorted ourselves into teams of five and began work by 0900 types. Ganesh, Jafar, Arvind and Nelson were the others in my team. Brainstorming for ideas, narrowing down on themes, finally picking a story line, detailing our plot sketch and finally getting a rough narrative turned out to be the hardest part. Ours was a simple story-line and as we learned later, the only one to be shot entirely on land. Everyone else used sea and water to make good use of our location, the beach.

Every film could have only one location, a maximum of two main and one side character and six lines of dialogue totally. By the time we got our narrative written and approved and started on our script, it was about noon. It took us a further three hours to write and discard many drafts of script and finally do the story board. It blew me to see just HOW detailed every part of your script and story-board has to be so precise. Essentially, an uninitiated person looking at them should be able to exactly visualize what you did when you wrote the script. No ambiguity. Narrating, scripting and story-boarding has to be my favourite aspect of film-making. Mostly cos I love pen and paper. Story boarding was fun cos we drew our shots as little frames and little stickmen with props and camera angles and perspectives! In the middle of which, Hari comes up to me:

Hari: Hey…Hrish told me yesterday that you weren’t really Ganesh’s sister?!?!
Me: Yeah, this is Ganesh’s idea of dark humour. And unfortunately it’s refusing to die out. 😐

Hari also totally embarrassed me by going around telling everyone that I blogged and whatnot. “She’s a good writer, cos she blogs a lot!” and many versions of that. Totally earth-swallowing-me feeling. 😛

It was three by the time we wound up and most of my team was famished and desperate for lunch. And bang! Sanjay comes over and dashes their hopes by announcing we weren’t to have lunch break cos we’d used too much time already! Somehow, the junta convinced him to let them off for quarter of an hour. Which of course turned into three-fourths of it. Meh. By now, we’d been handed our Sony HandyCams and tripods. I had a croissant and iced-tea at Barista (Fleecers! :-o) and generally spent the time learning how to work the tripod and inspecting our location. Ganesh and Nelson were our actors and Arvind and I did the direction/camera-work with inputs from Jafar.

Our film was set in a coffee-shop and Barista would’ve been an ideal location. But Santosh, who seemed to be the proprietor/manager, refused to give us permission to shoot there. He told us we could shoot there if we paid charges accordingly. Inspite of my telling him that we weren’t a commercial outfit and wouldn’t even shoot their logo. I mean, WTF! So we headed to cozee and shot our film in front of Pupil, where they were super-amused by us. Me especially, cos I fell over laughing everytime the scene went from sober to comic and we had to do a retake. We started our shoot last, thanks to the extened lunch time. But surprisingly, when we wrapped up at 1730 types, we were first! Everyone else had a tough time with the water and people thronging their location. Nandhu’s suicidal protagonist (Spammer) had to contemplate suicide in the midst of two hundred noisy people and an unruly sea. 😛 Heh! I learnt a lot about camera angles, frames and stuff in this part of the workshop.

There were couple of MacBook Pros and a cube to edit the films. Sanjay helped us start off our edit using Final Cut Express. Halfway through it, V came to beach along with Abi. So I left Nelson and Ganesh to finish editing and ran off to talk to them. 😛 Later Nishanth came too and we decided we’d go out to dinner for V’s birthday. Finally the first cut of our film got done. Unfortunately, mum and dad dropped in just as we packed it up. So they couldn’t get a glimpse of it. It’ll probably be up on the site in sometime, with bgm by the FilmCamp team! Fun day!

As I was leaving,

Hari: Hey, text me your number or something okay?
Me: Er, I don’t use a mobile.
Hari: WHAT?! OMG! YOU don’t use a mobile?! The world HAS to know this!

I, in my usual fashion, stuck my tongue out at him and ran away to save further embarrassment. 😛

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 10, 2007 8:07 PM

    Maybe they should give you an award for not using a phone. 🙂

  2. December 11, 2007 3:10 PM

    wonderful post.. thanks! 🙂

  3. sajan permalink
    December 11, 2007 3:52 PM

    hey!!! it’s super post…
    i really like the way u done it.

  4. g33k permalink
    December 11, 2007 4:25 PM

    was not able to make it , love ur insightful post!!!

  5. Arvind Natarajan permalink
    December 11, 2007 6:14 PM

    hi der gapp’s sis 😛

  6. December 11, 2007 8:32 PM

    sounds like you people has FUN

  7. December 11, 2007 11:02 PM

    @abhi:
    yes, they should! 😛

    @hrish:
    anytime! i sure had fun! 🙂

    @sajan:
    thanks! 🙂

    @g33k:
    aww, that’s too bad! 🙂 we had much fun! and thanks! 🙂

    @arvind:
    very funny, hmpf! 😛

    @N:
    yes, yes! 😀 you should’ve come, doofus! 😦

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