Thursday, April 29, 2010

Construction Engineers

In most parts of Cyberabad, I see many companies constructing buildings. After inception, they spend a lot of time digging up the earth, making foundations, putting up pillars. Once the foundation is done, the construction work takes a faster pace and you can see the building coming up. Passerbies cannot see how the construction is going on during the foundation stage (as large plastic sheets are fenced around the site to avoid debris from flying onto the roads). They will recognize the building coming up only after the construction has gained face (that is, it started from 0th floor).

The same applies to a film as well – viewers see the actors, see the locations, see the sets, listen to music, and possibly connect with the film if they like it. They are seeing only from floor 0; but the foundation for the film is created only underground (by the technicians) – they are the people who put things together, put people together, and make things work. To me, they are the FOUNDATION of the film – who are present behind the screen and make the various emotions run on it – they are the CONSTRUCTION ENGINEERS (or ARCHITECTS) for any film.

And I consider that our film SF would not have so well without the collective and collaborative effort of its architects – Sashikanth, Pradeep, Kiran, JK Chaitanya, Naveen, Karteek and Swagath. Without them, the face of the film would not have been as what it had been achieved.

SF Architects

When I started the film, I simply thought that the technicians should be friendly, har-working and committed. So, I chose the guys who worked with me before, and I clearly knew what their strengths are; and I could mould and sharpen them to make them give their best effort. One super-strength for me from the technicians is that they all wanted the film to come out very well, and they put their max. efforts – what else can a director expect from his crew?

In the following text and pics, you can see the architects working towards the film's foundation.

A. Sashikanth (top left) – He worked tirelessly all through the production. Cameraman was of the opinion that Sashi had put more effort to the film than he did.

Floor ‘-5’ [Sashi]

Lights, Camera, Action – the magical words of cinema begin with Lights. See how important they are… Lighting is a key aspect of filmmaking, and so I regard technicians working on light with high regard.

Doesn’t it give the look of a film being made film-students of reputed institutions? Mark Sashi on the left end of the pic.


B. Pradeep (right) – He was like my right hand all through the production. It was his ability to quickly get the right answers and his readiness to do anything which attracted my attention very much.

Floor ‘-4’ [Pradeep]

Bright and logical – Pradeep used to provide some unconventional ideas to us when it comes to usage of light and shadows for a shot. After working with Pradeep, I could conclude that Cinematography can be learnt by any person who has the ability to understand the context of the story and lighting schemes.

Pradeep was more like an Asst. Director, during the absence of Swagath. If the scenic scenes of flashback part came so well, part of the credit goes to Pradeep; he helped me with the shot division and managing the kids (the latter is a herculean task) during that part of the film.


B. Kiran Kumar (left) – Left hand during the production. Witty, smart, effective and hard-working epitomize this architect. Quite often I used to ask the team that I want it shot there and that way, and almost instantly Kiran used to give an idea how it can be done. I like ideas coming like a snap – almost instantly – and Kiran had just provided that.

Floor ‘-3’ [Kiran, in between Director and Asst. Director]

A people person Kiran – he effectively managed people and made sure that things happened according to plan.


JK Chaitanya (top, left) and P Naveen Kumar (down, right) [Floor ‘-2’] – Though they worked for small part of the film, they assisted us very well. In the top picture, JK and Pradeep are carving the puzzle on the sands of Bheemili beach; in the bottom picture, Naveen is in a pic where crew is getting ready to shoot the telescope shot before the sun sets...


GS Karteek (leftmost) [Floor ‘-1’]

Karteek pretty much learnt the craft of film-making while working with us. He is able to make a few, good short films with the experience gained in SF. He acted as AD when Swagath (actual AD) was acting in the role of Pradeep.

That book in the picture is the ‘time code’ notes. All the footage was carefully noted which came handy during the editing process. In the background you can see the production kits, reflector boards and thermocole sheets. The production team relied mostly on natural light during outdoor shooting, which is why you will be able to see the natural feel to the movie during exterior scenes.


GS Swagath (right)

Asst. Director… for that post I wanted someone who understands film grammar, at least of what level I could understand at that time. After the first draft of the script was finished, I emailed it to Swagath (my cousin) to see if he agrees to act in the film. I hadn’t thought of who should be the Asst. Director then – but I knew what qualifies a person to be an AD. While I was on the first day of location scouting, Swagath called me up and said he would act in the film; and requested me if he could be the AD – and just then I said ‘yes’.

From the very first days I was inspired to become a film maker, I used to discuss with Swagath about movies and their analysis. We used to go and watch movies together, and we used to share common thoughts about films. I guess now you know why I chose him as the AD.

As he is also good at talking with people, I appointed him as the Public Relations Officer (PRO) – if there is anything to be told to any authority on/off location, Swagath used to handle it and we used to do the shooting with minimal confusion.

Floor ‘0’ [Swagath]

Sometimes, I used to take up other jobs on the set, and let Swagath do the direction. For some small scenes, Swagath was the director, and I was the AD.

Floor '0' was intentionally put as he can be seen for a good part of the film - he acted a major role in the film.


The large letters on the newspaper read ‘HOPE DIES’… but when I am working such a dedicated team of technicians – I can ‘NEVER LOSE HOPE’…

Thank you very much crew for putting in your best efforts and making the shooting successful at all times, and letting me have a good FOUNDATION of the film!

P.S.: You can find all the technicians somewhere or the other in the film. I made sure that each and every person who worked for the film till the production phase are in the film.