I remember my mom loved to keep pet parrots and one of them used to repeat – Hari Hari Bolo!
I must be around 4 and for a 4 year old, the beautiful green tail and red beaks of the parrots were far more fascinating than their ability to mimic. After getting bitten several times, I learnt never to play with their beaks, but the soft green feathers on their tails were totally harmless. Once I realized that I started pulling their tails mercilessly.
That way I killed a couple of parrots. My mom never tried to keep any other pet after that, to save me from the sin of Jeev Hatya.
She sometimes tells me about my first school entrance exam. She says I was much much faster than all other kids but my handwriting was too bad as compared to most of them.
She repeats the story whenever I am trying to do something very fast.
Well I always laughed when she told me this story.
“Being in IP business I need my handwriting to be as unreadable as possible, and whenever I need to express my thoughts I can type them.” I used to tell her until last weekend.
I was shooting another 48 Hour Film last weekend. The Genre I got was Horror.
Horror is one of my least favorite genres.
I never see, read or write anything that has got anything to do with horror. I don’t get scared or anything but feel uncomfortable and disgusted seeing/reading stories on – Horror, extra marital affairs (Silsila etc.), stories with prostitutes as central characters (films like Umrao Jaan or Memoirs of a Geisha are the films which disturb me a lot, no matter how much they romanticize it).
I wash my hands several times while reading horror stories/comics or watching a horror movie. I really find them very unhygienic.
I panicked as soon as I got this genre and I decided I’ll mix horror with some other genre to make the film. A horror spoof was the first thing that came in mind, and I was able to use all other elements that the competition needed in this funny story, but my team wasn’t sure about it. (I was working for the first time with most of them).
A brainstorming session went on for hours and I decided I’ll mix a thriller appeal to a horror story.
This time I wanted to go the bollywood way. My game plan was - I wont write a screenplay but decide the scenes and start shooting. I can always stitch them together to make a film on the Editing Table.
As we were already running out of time, I started doing what I am really good at – Hurry!
We started shooting the film, I mean the scenes. Thanks to Neeshank, our very talented Cinematographer, we managed to shoot some real cool scenes.
Sharib Bhai also joined the gang as an actor and said the only dialogue I had in the film.
Rest of us played the Zombies…
We shot for almost 24 Hours.
I reached the editing suite around midnight the next day. My editor was just going to start editing, when his stomach rumbled and before I could realize the poor guy was hospitalized for food poisoning. Getting an unpaid second editor at 2:00 am was impossible. (Besides the way we shot the whole film, we needed an editor who could understand what we wanna show in the film and edit the 3 hours footage into a 4 minute film.)
Next morning we started hunting for another Editor. I called up Devang, an editor friend and hijacked him while he was coming out of his studio after finishing his night long editing shift. Devang (who worked the whole previous night) edited our film the whole day, while our in-house musical jodi Dhirendra and Rishabh worked on the music.
After 48 Hours of complete madness, we were able to submit the film on time.
But as the screenplay/story boards were not done in the beginning, many things I feel went wrong with the film. The outcome of a hurried process can never be satisfactory. I am sure this version of the film looks exactly the way my handwriting would’ve looked like in that school entrance exam.
I am really unhappy with this cut of the film and going to re-edit the whole thing and redo the sound for some of the scenes soon. If I can try and make my handwriting better than what it used to be, I can improve the film and my habit of hurrying everything too.
“Slowdown Speedracer!” – SP always says, when I hurry things. Bro, wish you were there to say those magical words!