Film Aspirants, Aspirations etc...
Ranjith Sankar [ Wed, Dec 12, 2012 ]
- Almost a decade back I called Sathyan Anthikkad and told him I wanted to narrate a script. He asked me to come to an animation workshop he was attending the next day. I remember I reached that hotel in trichur, stood in that line of students who were participating in the workshop, sat in the last row and saw the event.Sathyettan later took me to his flat and we had the meeting.
Remembered this whole session yesterday as I was invited to attend the same workshop being conducted by the same sponsors. It was a different hall though in Kochi this time. There was again the same line of students as I entered. And there were some film aspirants who were waiting at the back. This is one cycle which can never stop!!
Listened to couple of scripts from wannabe film makers the day before. Both happened to be engineers in fact. They had completed studies, decided not to work, try movies instead. As usual both started by criticizing existing movies. As usual when they started narrating their stories they turned out to be worse. As usual I tried to convince them of the same. As usual they got offended. Now when I say a script was good/bad etc they are completely my personal opinions. That I believe is the only way someone can judge or make movies.
It has almost become a routine exercise for me. Most people who call me are professionals, people in good jobs who want to quit and enter movies. Of course that's how new movies has to happen, but the point is whether you have the right script with you? Have you done enough homework for the same? I try to tell people leaving a job is not a must to enter movies. I am someone who still works. You can use it to your advantage, if used properly.
I get calls from people who want to be assistant directors. When I ask WHY they think it's such a silly question. Obviously they want to direct after being assistants. The bigger question one should ask oneself is WHAT do you want to direct? When a new person comes a new movie should happen. Do I have that new movie with me? Is it worth spending years assisting?
What is assisting a director actually? For me it's a clerical job. A director has a vision and has a movie to make. You assist him by giving clap, writing reports, looking after makeup, art, costume, action continuities...Doing just that for years makes you a director? I don't think so. That will make you a good Assistant or Associate. If you become a director from that, most chances are that you become a good technician, not a director. For me a director is someone with an outlook, who has his own perspective to what is happening around him. He tries to bring that outlook through his movie. When people like his approach he becomes a successful director. Not necessary that he should write his scripts himself, but he should be able to conceive his movies for sure!
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How can you create an outlook? It can be nurtured by good reading, watching good movies, good television, observing life, try and be a good social human being, opening yourself to new windows life gives you...Probably doing all these for 10 years could make someone a better director than being an assistant for 10 years. Once you have your script ready then you can easily find ways to get some practical study from real movies happening around. But minus a script I doubt how effective a process can that turn out for you.
How does a new movie happen? I mean probably there are 10 or 15 original stories in this world. They have been told n number of times. Then how does a new movie happen? My answer is that each one of us is unique human beings. There is no one like you, who thinks like you in this whole world. The way you look at an incident is entirely yours if you have an outlook of your own. That fresh thinking gives birth to new treatment, new movies or probably any new art!