Mar 29, 2012

The Way Kids See Things

My father had an old transistor radio (In fact he uses his radio even today, though TV, cell phones, computers, etc have already replaced the olden things). When I was a little one, I wondered hearing the melodious voice of Yesudas through the radio that, ‘how does the human voice come from a radio? How such big human beings can enter into such a small thing?’

It was my elder sister who had answer to every question cleared my doubts, “Actually there is a tiny human being inside the radio. It is him who opens his mouth whenever our father switches on the radio,”

I was surprised and asked hesitantly, “Is that so? Are you sure that you are not telling lies? Is there a human being within the radio who is employed to sing such beautiful songs every time our father switches on it?”

My sister said in an assured manner, “Yes there is! Actually not one, but there are two human beings. I saw both of them when father opened the radio last time to repair it. They are sitting on the top portion of it.”

'My sister tells what she saw with her eyes. So I don’t need to disbelieve her', I thought. 

Next time, when my father opened the radio to repair, I scrutinized it with my eyes standing close to him. I ran to my sister and told her as if I had discovered something new, “You were wrong when you said there were two human beings inside our radio. In fact, there are many such tiny human beings. And they all are sitting next to next inside it,” I had actually mistaken the small transistors with different colours for tiny human beings.

A few years later, one moon-lit evening, my younger sister came running and asked me in a single breath, “Do you know where the moon is actually coming from?”

“Which moon? The one we see in the sky?” Taking her question simply, I asked.

“Yes, the same”, my sister said, “Our text books are wrong about the occurrence of the Moon. You know that old well of the next homestead? The Moon is actually hiding itself within that well during day time. And in the evening it comes up slowly to make itself visible to everyone,” she was so sure about it, I guessed it from her tone.

She continued taking another breath, “And now our elder sister showed me the Moon and told this fact. It is so big now and so close to us; so anyone can understand this fact from its size and nearness that it is actually coming up from that well,”

“Elder sister told you this fact, right?” mockingly I asked, and it was a good reason for me to mock my sister for a long time whenever I wanted a reason to do that.

After a few more years, one day my little cousin brother came home. This time the chance was mine to explain things to him in an imaginative way. His doubt was about the Sun. “How the Sun appears there in the morning and here in the evening?,” musingly he asked.

“It is curious,” opening the sack of my imaginations I opened up my theory. “the Sun actually walks from this side to that side through the sky,” I said. Pointing to the setting Sun, I continued, “and it goes beyond that mountain by climbing down the trees. Then it walks along the path underneath where we are sitting. It is actually straight below us in the night, and in the next morning it climbs up holding the tree trunks of the mountain at the eastern side.”

My brother liked the theory. He deeply reflected upon it for a few more minutes. Actually my theory was not very much wrong. What I presented to him was a Sun that rotates around the earth, when in truth, it is the other way round. 

Mar 20, 2012

Making of ‘The Movie’ (2012)

Those who have not seen my short film titled ‘The Movie’, may watch it here first and then continue reading. Because, what I write is a spoiler which can destroy the excitement of suspense.

‘The Movie’ is titled so, since our protagonist in the short film, (played by myself), is in the process of making a movie of his own. He uses his basic point and shoot still camera, which has an HD video recording facility. The short film is made completely of the shots recorded by his camera. Because of that, the protagonist appears rarely, only when the camera faces him. Most of the times, his presence is felt through his voice when he speaks to the persons who get into the camera frame. So, his voice should not be confused with the background narration (especially since both the voices are given by myself). The background narrative voice, as per the norms of this film, is of another character; and I will explain his particularities later.

Though the narrator often mentions the character holding the camera as the protagonist or hero, the real protagonist of ‘The Movie’ is the camera itself. Because, the film covers only what the camera captures, so there is no option in the film for the camera to capture our protagonist holding the camera, except only once when he sees his reflection in the mirror. 

One of the most important characters of this film is the lover of our protagonist, called Babitha. She is never shown up in the film, but makes her presence only through the voice heard at the other end of the phone, when the protagonist talks to her using his cell phone.

Other characters of the film are Shankarji, a stranger, the movie maker’s three office colleagues, and his sweetheart’s colleague. Apart from these characters, and the three abstract characters mentioned in the above paragraphs, who makes their presence scantily, there is one more character in the film, whose presence the audience completely fails to notice - the editor. Yes, The Movie has an editor, and he is also a character of the film just like, the movie maker, the camera and the lover girl. For your information, let me tell you that the movie is supposed to have been narrated by the editor’s voice (the fictitious editor; the voice is mine:))

When the movie begins, the narration starts and introduces the protagonist, his lover, and his intention. With an immense desire to make a cinema, he strolls across the streets capturing  what he sees. (We see only the visuals captured by his camera). He goes to a senior director, Shankarji, and gets advice from him. In this film, only Shankarji supports his crazy idea of making such a film. It is allusive that Shankarji too may be an experimental film maker like him. 

In the next scene we see the movie maker for the first time in front of the camera. He fixes his camera somewhere in the room, goes in front of the camera, and starts talking about his film. Though the film is in Malayalam, he attempts to talk in English, and fails miserably in communicating well what he intends to tell. Finally he gives up, and goes on with his mother tongue. It seems that the invisible editor has mixed pretty well the shots where he stammers in order to generate humor. (If it was edited by the movie maker himself, he wouldn’t have done it like that). 

He then goes out and meets several ones in the city. People who knew him sympathize at his silliness and advise him to stop his craziness. Those people who knew both him and his loved one tried to convince him about the possible troubles that could happen in their relationships. But he never looked as having even the slightest plan to withdraw from his idea. He captures city sights, village sceneries, shopping malls, theatres, strangers, his colleagues, etc. In the end, at a restaurant, he receives his lover’s call on his phone. She tells him that she might become unable to marry him if he goes on with his crazy movie idea. He suddenly realizes that he is losing his love, and life. When running out, he even forgets to take his camera. The camera, which is on record mode captures him coming back to get it. In the end, when the camera stops recording due to mishandling, the film comes into a full stop. 

Not in The Movie:

Many people asked me, would the climax stand? Since it was a handicam, he could have removed the memory card, and retrieved the movie files. Ok, here is the answer! If the memory card was tampered, this movie couldn’t have been made. When his camera was broken, he surely might have gone to someone who knew to repair. In our film, the person who was approached by our movie maker was an editor. While repairing the camera, he sees the videos with recorded background voice, and finds the intention of the movie maker. Without wasting the time, he edits everything into a film omitting only unnecessary parts, speeding up some places, slowing down some other parts, and adding some music and his own voice as the third person narrative. He also gives credit to the ‘neurotic’ filmmaker, while stating that the movie was edited by a sensible editor.

So that is the story of The Movie.
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