Sunday, December 18, 2005

Dissolve, Wipe, Fade. . .

Yup! That's me!
And yes! That's a Sony PD-170i a professional ENG camera.
And yes! It is the most gruesome event of Panjab University. Not tumult of the Celtic Earth plates, Battle of the Gods, Revenge of the Crusades or even the rage of the angry tsunami laden waves can topple the raw excitement of Punjabi bred male, and the more the merrier. But it was the most peaceful one of them, was the verdict in the newspapers the next day.
The Event: annual open house debate cum electoral campaign drive of the PU elections. And with all the pulsating, high electric barricading the cops put up with their gignatic and rowdy human forms; the sweat drenched, humid September morning was live with more than just excitement for more reasons than one. And especially for me. And why would'nt it be? Any director/cameraman (regardless of the rate of success or whether more such suites follow ) would remember the 'first.' My first assignment with a team of unmanageable amateurs, this director had to man and shoot nearly 4 hours of film. And having handed with the most challenging task of the day, (all the other groups just got rallies and camps, wheras we got the actual event. So much for having a nose for news.)

The producer lost her voice somewhere in the maddeningly unprecedented clamorous screams, the scriptwriter ran for cover, two cameramen deployed on stage lost their shoulders to the heavy VHS formats, the editor kept screaming to get more angles, the Chairman (the man in white looking into the crowd) more bothered about his prized PD than the rowdy gung-ho's. And the director, well more lost than even Alice in Wonderland, who atleast dealt with one dilemna at a time! But the screams went on, fights broke out, abuses flew free, a few measure ups ...........well lets not even go there. Agendas were raised; pink, red, yellow fliers rained around; flags swayed in the wind; sound systems cracked voices; tempers raged more; and then the last leader took to the stage. 4 hours later, the sounds ceased, the crowds dispersed, carpet of fliers strewn around gleamed under the bright sunshine. An empty coliseum echoed with the remians of a legacy long lived out. And finally a pat on the back, 'Editing table pe milten hai,' the Chairman smiled. Couple of hours after pack up and another 5 hours on the editing table a byte of 30 minutes, complete with the cinematic experience of 'lights, camera and action.' Tired, hungry, excited, we slept in the studio that night to wake up the next morning with a strange contentment and faces glowing with the pride of mothers.

Screening: flaws? but of course. Verdict: 19/20 and a fulfilling gleam in the Chairman's eyes. "Beta class bhi lagaya karo. Saara kaam field mein hi nahin hota. Class mein bhi itni mehnat dikhaya karo!"

Since then, eunuchs have danced, four weddings and a funeral have been witnessed (quite non-metaphorically), care-takers have wept, beggars have revealed, dead-men-walking have shared their perhaps last few traces of dreams, buses have narrated stories, wedding dancers and prostitutes have cried, remains of monuments have sung out their legacies, lamas have disclosed their sexuality, debt inheritors have lived, borders to Pakistan have allowed a peek-a-boo, '84 riot voctims have re-lived tragedies, terrorist families have spoken free; but the exhiliration of that firt 'Ready to Take camera. Take camera. Action' and the first 'Cut.....'

"No extra take can ever be as rewarding as the first frame. Compose a more beautiful scene than that and I'll proclaim you God," Steven Spielberg, Filmamker.


AG said...

Congrats girl! On the first successful shoot! Definitely wish this is a prelude to many greater successes in your life! Keep Going! :-)

Sam said...

Sweetie, spell camera for me... remember pixi masi's engagement you goofed up with the cut angles...... hehehehe... But i saw your Finnish package and i have ta say........ COMPLETE FIGURES! NO CUT LINES........ hahahahahahaha....


harpriya said...