From childhood, I have been fascinated by cinema. As my fascination grew, I realised that I am a cinephile. I discuss movies, narrate the stories of the movies that I have seen, enact each scene by becoming one of the characters, dance to my favourite songs, do mock fights (I trained myself in a martial art) for poses and direct scenes to entertain my audiences depending upon the event I am attending. Well, I am good at engrossing people with my storytelling talent.
To pursue my passion for cinema, I joined theatre first, then television; later, I worked on actual movie projects with various directors of the silver screen, and finally directed my own debut movie. To understand the true essence of cinema, I have always been a student, using every opportunity, every exposure, every endeavour to learn, to gain practical knowledge and fruitful experience. As I learnt, I also understood that it is important as a film-maker to keep abreast of the technical aspects of film-making that keep changing with the advancements in science and technology, especially, information technology. Much of my learning is based on my enriching experiences with all the people with whom I have worked and interacted.
A movie, whatever be its duration, can make us forget our real life and transport us into another world. A good movie can make us experience a roller-coaster ride of emotions. How do you think a director can visualise a story and make such an impactful presentation on the screen? An artist can visualse his idea or thought or story and paint it on a canvas. A film director will use technicians and craftspersons from 25 crafts - VFX technology is the 25th craft in 21st century film-making - to give life to their story on the big silver screen.
It is important for a director to have some basic knowledge of these 25 crafts. Apart from the 25 crafts, a director should also have people management skills and finance management skills, and the ability to pick up some new skills on the fly while making a movie. Sometimes, we hear that a movie’s story is good but the presentation is bad, the movie’s script is good but the execution is not great, etc. Only a director will know what happened behind the scenes and whether the movie is a hit or flop, they are the ONLY ones who have to carry the burden of the movie on their shoulders.
Therefore, I would like to start with the tasks of an associate director from a director’s perspective. What is expected out of an associate director? What are the abilities an associate director should have during preproduction, production and postproduction of a movie? I will draw parallels from my own experiences as an associate director and director and try to share all that I have learnt making it as practical as possible.
Visual rhythm is incredibly important in film-making because it establishes the flow of a story, a flow that can really make or break your film.