To all the Broken Hearted…!

Gnarls Barkley – “Who’s Gonna Save My Soul?”

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July 29, 2008 at 11:27 am Leave a comment

The Day There Was No News




The Day There Was No News

Originally uploaded by Pixelsurgeon

Wish we had days like these. Here is a brilliant video for all. Hats off to Pixelsurgeon.

Cheers!

July 16, 2008 at 1:11 pm Leave a comment

Shahrukh Khan v/s Aamir Khan

Today, I was lucky enough to see the new Aamir Khan ‘Titan – Be More’ advert on television. And I only have one word for this; mind-blowing. It’s rare we see ads like these with big stars in it. And only Aamir can deliver an ad of such brilliance. Such aura, such panache, we cannot ask for anything more than this.

This reminds me of an ad of equally brilliant stature by ICICI ‘Global Private Clients’ advert which had Shahrukh Khan in it. This one literally gave me goosebumps when I saw it for first time. You could actually feel Shahrukh Khan when he is talking. Excellent direction i must say.

Now the point of me writing this post is, which one of the stars is giving better leverage to the brand they are endorsing? Or are they really giving any leverage?

Aamir Khan pretty successfully manages to put his personality across through this ad film. He’s changing watches just the way he changes his style. And this is only to get more out of himself, as he says. Whereas, Shahrukh also equally succeeds in moving the brand close to his identity in the ICICI film. His mysticism, the respect he commands and the title of being the ‘Badhshah’ of everything he does, is quiet easily established. So here, you have a bank who lets you live life on your terms, like a badhshah.

The other question thats haunting me is, who’s more successful between these two films? Let’s not think about the past ads that they have done. The post only pertains to these two films, as to who is leader when it comes to endorsing the brand. I’m seriously in a fix in choosing any one of them, though i can be a little biased towards the Shahrukh one.

Please post your comments and lets have a discussion. You can watch both the films below, incase you haven’t seen them.

Titan – Be More

ICICI GPC

July 11, 2008 at 10:42 pm 1 comment

The Great Indian Story Hunt

Pen Uthao Bollywood Hilao, the latest one in the league of filmmaking opportunities in Bollywood is from Mirchi Movies, a Times Group company. They promise to find the best of stories coming out of India and give them a handsome price too. The rule is:

“The submitted stories should be 1000 words (3 pages) to 3000 words (10 pages) long. All stories should be typed in a font size of at least 12 and should have a beginning, middle and an end. (The main characters should be briefly defined during the course of the story.) The story, along with the duly filled registration form should be submitted to the Mirchi Movies office in Mumbai.”

Now these guys have really got it right in the first attempt. They aren’t just looking for scripts in English and Hindi, but also from other regional languages too, like Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu. Last date for the entry is May 12th, 2008 and you can download the forms here.

What sort of genres are they looking at?

“Could be any story, don’t worry. Love story, crime story, children’s story, political story, musical, courtroom drama. Art house, Masala or somewhere in between. Anything’s fine as long as the story’s good, and can be made into a great film…”

And the prizes are?

“Based on your talent, the three best stories will be awarded 10 lakhs, 5 lakhs and 3 lakhs rupees respectively, while the next 25 best stories will be given 5000/- rupees each, as consolation prizes. A select number of top stories would be developed into feature films, with the writer getting due credits in the respective film.”

So as they say, its time to pick that pen up and scribble down the story you always wanted.

Wishing you luck.

UPDATE: The deadline for the entry has been increased to May 31st, 2008. So sharpen those stories before you submit.

April 30, 2008 at 8:14 pm 8 comments

What’s your Character?

Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking.”

H. Jackson Brown

That’s how i think when I write about my characters. Ever since I read this quote, its stuck with me. And it has been my inspiration for writing my characters. And it somehow works for me.

When i write, i tend to think visually. It helps me see the real colours of the character. His aspirations, his feelings and what does he portrays, the reason for that evil smirk and so on. And all this is seen through the invisible camera placed right in front of the character. As my character is not aware that he’s being watched by someone, the character automatically plays to its true beauty. Evil or Good, the real character has to come out. Just don’t let the character find out your watching him and disturb his equilibrium. A little twist and change of angles to give a character more meaning is understood. But I let it play naturally. And as I peep in through the invisible camera, the colours I see are more finer than through the prism.

The Many Aamir Khan’s

(The many characters Aamir Khan played in Coke commercials in India.)

Lets take my character ‘Raj‘. The protagonist. He’s a naive, young writer who writes about things he believes in. He’s not concerned what others might think of him, but follows his heart. Full of youthful energy, an honest hardworker, Raj is a guy who people will always pity on as he always has something to say about everything. He’s a ‘Dreamer’. Knowing what the Indian film industry is going through, he has the key to the change. But he knows that to reach his goal, he might have to compromise a lot of things. That including his very dream.

But he’s not the one who would take any shit lying down. He will work someway or the other and if it’s not fulfilling his dream, he will atleast come as close as possible. And thats what exactly he does. When he’s alone at the table, the script no more with him, he sits back and relaxes, and with a confidence smiles narrates the very ending of the story. Maybe this is not the ending he had in his mind but he had to choose that to stop the evil (bad work) reign.

Characters is the key that drives the story. Not vice-versa. They are the once who undergo a state of change. And thats how the story progresses. Not everything about the character has to be spelled out. It should have certain traits which should be left to the imagination of the reader/viewer.

Like our favourite school headmaster. Albus Dumbledore. Alas! He’s gay. And so it shall be.

So what’s your character?

October 22, 2007 at 10:20 am 3 comments

Writing your film

When sitting down to write my film, i had quite a few options to choose from. First, the classical method. Writing and formatting it manually on MS Word, which is a lot of pain. Second, get a copy of Final Draft and immediately get down to business. Which is what a majority of people do. And Third, discover Celtx.CeltxI happen to come across Celtx at a blog i read regularly (Thanks Sam Longoria, your posts are really inspiring. But long time, no see). And the software instantly clicked for me. It was more or less similar to Final Draft which i had used, but now the updated version is not just a movie writing software, but alot more than that. I say, a very important tool for all the media writers.

It has templates for all the amateur writers to help them begin. Then, have all the features of Final Draft. Save your projects, on your hard disk as well as online, export a pdf version of your work, index your complete script and also help in channelizing all your production work and other things that go in Pre-Production of a film; i.e., what’s gonna be the make-up and who’s doing it, the art setup and list of all the props, generating a call sheet and also about location survey. And if you still feel anything is missing, you can add it yourself.

The feature that stands out is its online support. You can add any number of users to work on the project. Like, if your Art Director working on the same project needs to keep updating it again and again, all you have to do is allow him the access. And he’s in. So similarly, a lot of other people can work on it just by installing the software and updating it to their server whenever they want. So everybody can see what going on with the project and thus, stay updated. And so, Project Central was born.

Project Central is where you have all the project uploaded on their server and created on Celtx. In short, a meeting point for all the users. But you have an option of going public with your project. Or else, you can keep it private too (I’m gonna go public soon). So you have your space where you can show all the projects that are under you. Basically, get a page for yourself and let many people see and comment on it (My most favourite part 😉 Check out mine). They also have a blog where they feature Project of the Week (POW) and also talk about film festivals.

All of this is a lot of stuff. Well, now comes a suprise. You get all of this FREE. So you get to not just write a film professionally but also manage it. Which is a difficult task.

So, now go work like a pro and reap all the benefits that Celtx provides you. Coz im all over Celtx.

P.S. – More about Celtx below.

So this is cinema?

There’s no such thing as good writing

End

October 16, 2007 at 11:38 am 4 comments

The Story

Whats a film without a great story! The story is like a skeleton of the film. Stronger the skeleton, stronger the film. Its the base for all your toppings. So here’s my base. Please do comment as to how you find the story. Thanks.

THE WRITER

He is seated at a local restaurant, peering out the window, breathing the stale air he wishes to make fresh. And all that by a piece of paper lying in his hand. He glances towards it, and then again looks out the window. He wishes to bring this script to light. That’s all he hopes. Raj awaits the arrival of the licensee. The one who’s gonna make his dream come true. Ala typical Bollywood style. With the bickering sounds of the cafe crashing and thrashing around him, a fat sweaty man in a safari suit laden with gold, joins Raj. He introduces himself as Gabbar, the Producer. Ahh, the name sounds so familiar. So dear. Even if he retains an ounce of the original character, Raj is already half dead. Raj has a script to sell. A stunning bollywood extravaganza about love, passion, hope and dreams. They both settle down with a cup of tea to go through the narration. There are people who are walking in and out of the café. There ‘s an ordinary looking boy, sitting alone at the table with a cup of tea. It seems like life has been too hard on him. The other table has a young beautiful girl and her father. They seem to be busy discussing about something. The other tables are filled with a bunch of guys, two old men sitting, and one bawa uncle reading a newspaper. As the writer begins to narrate the story, with the introduction of the hero – Vijay, as a guy who is thrown out of a newspaper company because he dared to write the truth. Saddened with the fact that the company did not support him, he’s trying to get over it and start all over again. The producer is staring at the writer with a blank expression on his face. As the narration is happening, we see the young guy with a cup of tea browsing through the ‘Job Openings’ column in the newspaper. Not able to control himself, the producer finally gets it out. “Where’s the herion”, the producer asks. Noticing the producers only worry, he proceeds to tell him that there soon will be a beautiful heroin. The heroin, Basanti, is a middle class girl, working and supporting her family of old parents. We cut to a young beautiful girl, accompanied by her father walk in the café. They both go to a corner table.
The producer cuts in again, asking whether the heroine is really hot, and the writer tries to persuade him that the heroin is as beautiful as one can get. But the producer keeps on enquiring again and again, and with the heroine who has just walked in the café, her smart salwar kameez is slowly turning into a pair of tight jeans and a small top. With the final transformation, the producer says, “I hope you’ve got your camera angles right”, and bursts out laughing. The writer just nods, as we see the low angle of hot chick sitting down on the chair. And then the two eyes finally meet. The young lad and the hot chick just stare at each other while the surroundings just drown. We hear the producer shouting, when is the song, when is the song, but the writer continues to define the moment of love, and suddenly, with pin drop silence, the writer says, ‘And here’s your song’. The whole café is turned into a disco, with trees coming up from around, both their dresses changing and the film turns into a musical. The remaining people in the café are still while the hero and the heroin just dance around happily joined by the café owner and the waitresses. There will also be fairies that will come and go. As the song is about to end, the father turns around angrily to look at both of them, hand in hand. He wants to separate them, but they have fallen in love. In between this chaos, the door opens with a bang and three guys enter for a hold-up. They have everyone at gunpoint, and are taking away all the cash. The owner hands them over all the cash and as they are about to leave, the main villain’s eyes falls on the girl. He stops at the exits and walks backward towards girl and starts touching and feeling her. The hero is enraged at this site. Not able to control himself, he raises an attack on the villain. The producer intervenes. He wants the villains to touch the heroin a little more. “You know, a little skin show”. The film moves backwards, and this time the villain has her against his body. Kissing her and feeling her all over. The hero is enraged. Not able to control himself, he raises an attack on the villain but he is brought down by the companion. A hard blow on the nose and blood sprouting everywhere. Producer, “Let’s be a little melodramatic.” The hero is being smashed in circles. Turn by turn. And at one point, he hits them back. He takes a turn, ala Rajnikant style, and is a winner. He finally manages to get the girl back. The producer feels the story isn’t interesting. They sit and think for a moment. All the action is paused in the background. After a while, the producer takes the script from the writers hands, and says, “Let me work on the ending”. And as he pulls away the script from his hand, he freezes. He can sense the touch of cold steel at the back of his head. And when he faces towards the feeling, he is stared back by the villain. The producer just snaps out of it and is in company with the writer again. There’s’ sweat on his forehead. Feeling a little uncomfortable, he tells the writers that he would work on the ending. He leaves the writer feeling helpless.
Looking at the producer leaving the door, with a sly look on his face, he mutters, “But I haven’t finished with the ending.” Out on the deserted street, the producer is walking back to his car holding the script tightly in his hands. And out of the corner, our hero of the story, who is a budding actor, tries to convince the producer for a role in his film, but the producer shoves him away. At that, as a last attempt, the hero yells back at him, “ Sir, I can do great things”. And the producer turns away at the corner. Nearing his car, the producer opens the car lock through his electronic locking device. 5 fee away from the car, he is halted by a smartly dressed, corporate guy. There’s something familiar about the corporate guy. He has a funny way to laugh. Laugh very similar to the villian in the story. Or is he the same guy? He’s aiming directly at the producer with a gun. They are just two feet apart. Producer, helpless at this, tells him that he can take away everything. He finally utters some words. Its vague but he says something about the new players in town and something about investing. Straining to hear what the corporate guy has to say, he finally hears it. ” Your role is over Mr. Producer. It’s time for us to take over. From now onwards, let us take care of everything”, saying that, he takes the script from his pocket. But before the producer could reply, BANG. We see the producer lying on the ground, and corporate guy bending down to place a piece of paper. Looking closely, it’s a business card. And it says, ‘Welcome to our world’. The card is placed on the producers eyes, just like the Greeks placed silver coins on the eyes of the departed. Guess it will help them pay the boatman to take them to another world.

The corporisation of the filmdom begins…

September 28, 2007 at 8:53 pm 2 comments

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