The project that consumed me ... "short fiction film"
just after the ads were made we had to shoot the fiction film in the same semester.
I still remember the day Arun Gupta sir ( senior faculty - film and video) walked into our class (acting workshop) and announced the schedule and dates for the shoot. I was the first to go ... I had just 12 days left ... thank god i had my script almost ready ...
points to know :-)
We are provided with HDV camera, lights and 2 attendents.
Our class mates form the crew (i.e, dop, production and sound)... since NID is not a film institute, none of us are specialized at any other jobs (unlike FTII where u get a Cinematography student as DOP)... for some reason i decided to shoot my own film.
We get a budget of 2000 rs from the institute for the film.
We are free to use other institute resources but only with proper permission letters.
Well this was our first project at NID. A visual effects project !
George K Antoney
Mahan J Dutta
Sarvesh Kumar (later joined us)
I got my inspiration to write this story when i read about "the grand mother's paradox" in some sci-fi book. We as a team had decided that we would make a short film and not a 30 or 40 second vfx video (which is what most did) ... and we sure had fun doing the same.
"ITCH" A film that was made before i got into NID (national institute of design), It was made for the first edition of "PFCone2007- online film festival for one minute movies" conducted by www.passionforcinema.com ... The article below was also published in the same website following the festival. Cant believe it has been 3 yrs since then.
ITCH is technically a “zero budget film” (more or less, we had to pay for the hand cuffs ).
It all started with OZ announcing this festival and yes my eyes lit up and I was frothing when I saw the awards “internships with directors” my god … this is my chance … I got to do it … but “one minute” !!! … My first movie was meant to be 20 minutes and it ended up being 52 minutes (made that in my final year B tech ) … how am I gonna make a 60 seconds movie !!! And that very day I casually mentioned about PFCONE to my mom. Days passed and I was busy with my job as engineer doing shifts in a petrochemical plant (though there was not much to do there). PFCONE was always on the back of my mind, and I was quite sure of the kinda movie I wanted to make Dint want the movie to be preachy ... No AIDS … no child abuse … no sympathy… no melodrama…no blind ppl Then what shud it be “play with your characters… george., characters!!!” Yeah fine but character development in ONE MINUTE .. gone mad or what!!! Well that’s the CHALLENGE .. DO IT!! One evening as I was sitting with my mom watchin TV during tea time, I again casually asked her if she had ne idea? And she replied “well there is this thought, but I don’t know if u wud like it .. it has a police and a thief” and I thought to myself “there it is .. ur characters.. now do something” And she described the story that she had … roughly … The story initially shaped to be “Police and thief, thief escapes to finally get caught in this ITCH caused by some worm or something and finally he has to surrender.” Then I got lost in my own thoughts Well sounds good but the spice isn’t there What more do I want? Well I want something else… hmm not sure … well lets raise the bar. WTF .. its just one minute dammit. Well challenge george challenge … this story wudnt want me want to watch it again. What should I do? Well I think I shud introduce a twist. TWIST?!?!? Yeah .. tats it I needed a twist .. a perfect three act structure in one minute .. “INTRO OF CHARACTERS – PLOT – TWIST – CLIMAX” voila!! all in one minute .. man this would either be a “winner” or a “theory of relativity” ok now wats the twist gonna be … what if the thief starts chasing the police man, .. well, why wud he do that ??? cause he needs some one to ITCH his back as he is handcuffed and there is no one else there .. why wud the police man run away from the thief?? hmm .. good question .. it can be nething… fear of getting infected by the ITCH, or just the fear of the thought “why is he chasing me?? ,, my god something is wrong” ok fair enough!! Now I went to mom and asked her view on “the twist” that I added to her story, she felt that it would confuse the viewer and spoil the film !!! well I dint think so … this story looks good like this … if I cant make it in one minute . I will make it in 2 minutes and show it somewhere else (yeah yeah u guessed it ryt,…. Tats the film maker in me talking) well then the thought of the internship came to my mind “my god .. dammit george .. u better get it into one minute” I knew this movie needed no dialogues and it needed a lot of on the spot innovations and improvisations.. cause I wasn’t even sure with whom or where I wud be shootin it !! ZERO BUDGET u see !!! So I did a story boarding on my white board splitting the scenes with time frame of say 3-4 seconds .. and an approx shot division also based on the time frame !!! as I completed …I yelled to myself .. THIS IS NOT A ONE MINUTE FILM !!! Well the editor in me said .. no worries george … we will do the CHAPLIN trick .. “fast frames ”.. (b t w CHAPLIN is one of my passive gurus.. or rather I am one of his passive students)
Since I was working in shifts I get Sunday offs only once in a month, and I planned the shoot on the same day .. initially there were 2 police characters to be played by Kedar Bhagwat and Rahul Anil Rathi,… Rahul couldnt make it that day. So the shootin was planned and I went with my 2 actors (also my college time mates) “Kedar Bhagwat” police and “K H prabhu” thief in search of the ryt location for ITCH .. on the same day of shoot!!! Well we did find it in panvel.. the same location where I shot the climax of my second movie “eclipse” … looked perfect for this !!! Initially I thot I wud make it in B n W or put it in some tint … but when I saw the first frame shot, realized the composition was good .. dual tone … a dull green in the back ground, cloudy skies and the actors had grayish tone in their costumes!!! Wow … looks good !! But in those fields, I just hoped we had a tripod!! Hand held wasn’t helping much even with the help of a “pauper’s steady camera stand” ( u can find it in google.. easy to make) .. my friend Vikrant enlightened me on this “paupers steady cam”. I made it and it was quite helpful in smooth surfaces!! ZERO BUDGET MEANS lot of research on the internet .. Wikipedia and google will help. We completed the shoot in 2 – 3 hrs … the next few nights I spent editing it on the slowest PC on earth (mine) with a decent “ulead video studio editor”. Thank god I dint need ne BGM for this movie ...
Well PFCONE taught me to kill my creation for the betterment of the full product !!! I managed to edit it to 1 minute and 4 seconds .. I just cudnt cut 4 seconds .. and that’s wen I posted in one of the PFC posts .. “if a flexibility of 3 – 4 seconds would be allowed??” That was strongly denied by OM!!! .. and rightly so !! Well my dear editor in me .. do something now … well there went the Chaplin trick again and a few cuts of 0.15 secs and still it was 2 seconds longer .. my god what to do now??? And tats when I cut the first scene put it as a still and put the title over it !! it’s a still image so it wudnt be considered in one minute .. wah george u are brilliant !!! but later found that there were cleverer souls than me .. who had half the story in credits !!! RESULT It won the "special minute award at PFCone 2007"