Wednesday, 23 May, 2007

The 6,57,000 Hour Long Movie

Who does not enjoy going to the movies? Scrambling through Bombay Times at a random time on a random Tuesday to catch the latest offering is an experience missed by few. Be it your college gang, the promiscuous couple or the solo movie buff – each of these categories makes its way to the cinemas to celebrate the movies.

And as the hours inside the theatre tick by, an interpretation makes its way into the recesses of the mind. Ofcourse, this interpretation is supported by the very versatile F word. Ranging from “What a Fuckin’ good movie dude!” to “Fuck All” to “Fuck man, it was sooo lengthy”. And as the junta moves out of the theatre it creates a place for this movie in the archives of cinema history.

I also know of some 6 Billion people directing movies too. And it’s a mere 6,57,000 hours long or 75 years for the numerically challenged . The movie is unanimously titled “My Life” for each of these filmmakers.

It’s a fascinating idea this and it struck me as words poured out of Raju Hirani’s (Munnabhai fame) mouth. He opined that the seat of the editor is a most powerful one. The position allows the movie-maker to ensure that the movie is tailored to suit the director and the audiences’ taste. It also gives him the ability to delete irrelevant parts. Surely, its an amazing place to be.

The question that hit me was – What if we could edit our own lives? Of course the flipside and the irrelevance of the question was that editing is a post-production process or atleast a post filming process. Thus editing can only happen at the age of 75 when we are reciting tales to our grandkids using the powerful tool of selective memory.

The above paragraph may have been a futile exercise of the unemployed mind but I thought I'd hang onto that thought. And the question that followed was rather interesting. For obvious reasons the seat of the editor holds no value in our life. So the question is – How do we direct “My Life”?

The answer screamt out – Direct your movie without an Editor.

And that captured it all.

The Underlying Philosophy – We are on the sets of “My Life” all the time. The camera is rolling all the time. And there is no CUT. So, the challenge is – To shoot it in a way that is fulfilling as a scriptwriter, satisfying as a director and entertaining for the audience. Remember you have 6,57,000 hours. Unbelievably long or short depending on the script of your movie.

Remember :- The challenge is that you can’t ever edit it. You can’t ever change a frame once its shot. It could either be the most exciting movie making experience or one that you’d get tired shooting mid-way. If it’s the latter, spare a thought for your audience.

So make sure you’re directing the right script. Make sure the actors are ‘your’ best choices and that your soul sinks into every frame of your movie.

I want to ensure my movie is worthy of directing. I am searching for ‘my script’. I hope you’ve found yours.

Anuj Gosalia
‘My Life’

Monday, 14 May, 2007

On Travel

We travel, intially, to lose ourselves;
and we travel, next, to find ourselves...
And we travel, in essence, to become
young fools again - to slow time down
and get taken in, and
fall in love once more

- Pico Iyer