Jan 9, 2010

Making of Ee Manohara Theeram

The past is a tale. One can write about his past life experiences in the format of a well-packed suspense and terror-filled story so that no reader would even imagine that the narrated incidents were once happened in the writer’s life. But it is different, when we write about our present ongoing incidents. Instead of the nature of a story, writing about the present incidents usually assumes the nature of documentation.

I don’t know how many of you have seen my amateur attempt of making a short video on Shankhumugham beach in Kerala. I have posted the entire script of that video titled ‘Ee Manohara Theeram’ (This beautiful shore), which happened during my journalism student days in this blog itself. One can see them by visiting the first post of this blog or simply clicking here. You necessarily have to read the post, because watching the video will not give you the required effect as it is in Malayalam. Now, you might ask me, what the relevance of this post is. There is a small reason; the video has won a consolation prize in the recent video festival organized by Kerala Tourism and YouTube, which invited amateur entries from across the world and the first prize has been won by a candidate from Lisbon.

I had written the script of the documentary in a few hours’ attempt and though I was a frequent visitor of the beach in the evenings, I visited it again to inquire about the place’s history and peculiarities. I visited the public library in Thiruvananthapuram and collected a little historical information. After writing the script, I rehearsed my self in front of my friend and the mirror so that my effort of presentation would be easy.

On the day, I made myself a little bit more ‘handsome’ and on a car allotted from my institute I visited the Shankhumugham beach with the cameraman, camera and tripod. We started shooting in the morning and it was easy for me to face the camera as the place remains usually unpacked during the day time. The support from the car driver was memorable, who helped me carrying the tripod even though it was not part of his assigned jobs.

After collecting some different visuals of the beach, I decided to shoot the parts in which I appear for giving details of the beach. We successfully shot the portion where I make the entry into the frame from the right hand side on the backdrop of the sea at a distance. Then we moved to the ritualistic platform for the temple proceedings, where also I had to face the camera. Then there was the Shankhumugham Sagara kanyaka (virgin of the ocean), the sculpted figure of a nude mermaid. Actually the video starts from her face. Then we went to the sea pier, star fish restaurant and the fishing nets. We got some accidental shots of a flying bird, a plane and some Korean tourists, which were not in the script. We left the beach in the noon time planning to come back at the time of the sunset.

We came back in the evening and the beach was crowded fully with visitors. I had changed my dress for the sunset portion of the video. With my innate shyness, I successfully shot my final ‘face to the camera’ at the time of the sunset. We returned after shooting the sun setting to the sea being covered by dark clouds. My job behind the video is those of directing, script writing, dubbing, presenting, video graphing (a few shots), and even the job of camera assistant. Fortunately, it did not need a light boy; otherwise I had to do that job also.

At the editing table, the editor was very co-operative; he easily understood my demands and which resulted in better outputs. He added good background music. The video ends with my comments from the background of the visuals. I dubbed for it in the studio, and he chose one from many of my raw materials.

My friends and gurus appreciated me for the video and they also suggested some errors and betterments. The video was well received in the internet, with many good comments and many video sharing sites and private site owners featured it in their sites. When Kerala Tourism announced such a competition for the amateur video makers in association with YouTube, I hesitated to apply. But, only later when they extended the last date for a few more weeks I applied it with my usual last minute hurry.


NB: Though I did it as my course project, the examiners did not evaluate and thus I didn’t get a desirable result in exams.
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