Saturday, July 26, 2014

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Erasure

Third sleepless night in a row. I am eating up the words I used to form. Nebula black hole. Empty, empty, empty. Write. Shut up, lock up, act appropriately.
In other words: some habits are dying, leaving behind space. Not for too long. Do, what you have been intending to.
This is how one makes oneself?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Good things are happening

Never have I had any doubts that this project is going to be a failure. Never. Not even for a second. I close my eyes and visualize the sequences. I jot down notes and quotes and details of random scenes. I discuss it with my friends. I imagine myself on the location, with my "crew", ensuring that the abstract turns into something tangible. And it all feels so GOOD. Like there is something beautiful that is going to happen through this project. And that is what has made me stick to it every single day.
We are going to fail, for sure, and something beautiful is going to come out of it. Our job? Not to ensure that we fail. Not  to ensure that we not fail. Our job is to work to our potential in creating an authentic movie. This could be a start, a way to get ready for the bigger things to come. And I sense that they might just. The team that has formed is good enough. Is excellent in fact. I cannot be sure of our technical abilities, our skills, or even our potential, we know each other very less...but when we talk, we communicate. We udnerstand each other. Good things happened that led to formation of this team, and good things continue to happen.
I hope we stay true to our story and themes. I hope our ambitions aren't misguided. I hope we go prepared as well as we can be in the short time that we have and, once there, translate.
The movie is going to fail but we don't have to.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Where the hell I have been the last three weeks?

To Mcleodganj, and back.
Details soon. Tomorrow.

The movie has become more ambitious in last one week. I think my work for now is to let the script expand, soar, and before I share it with my team, weed out everything except the essentials; and also to work on other components, say, team management and schedule.

Wheels are churning. I sense a momentum building. I hope to flow.

The Remodernist Film Manifesto

From Jesse Richards:

A couple of years back I wrote a film manifesto calling for a new authenticity in cinema, and encouraging filmmakers to strive for this. The manifesto has since been translated into Polish and Turkish, and right now it is in the process of being translated into Traditional Chinese and Slovak. It is also the subject of several thesis papers in progress by students in England, Taiwan and Germany, and has inspired a new, growing, international film movement I was hoping that you might take consider taking a look at it. Thank you for your time.
Remodernist Film Manifesto
1. Art manifestos, despite the good intentions of the writer should always “be taken with a grain of salt” as the cliché goes, because they are subject to the ego, pretensions, and plain old ignorance and stupidity of their authors. This goes all the way back to the Die Brücke manifesto of 1906, and continues through time to this one that you’re reading now. A healthy wariness of manifestos is understood and encouraged. However, the ideas put forth here are meant sincerely and with the hope of bringing inspiration and change to others, as well as to myself.
2. Remodernism seeks a new spirituality in art. Therefore, remodernist film seeks a new spirituality in cinema. Spiritual film does not mean films about Jesus or the Buddha. Spiritual film is not about religion. It is cinema concerned with humanity and an understanding of the simple truths and moments of humanity. Spiritual film is really ALL about these moments.
3. Cinema could be one of the perfect methods of creative expression, due to the ability of the filmmaker to sculpt with image, sound and the feeling of time. For the most part, the creative possibilities of cinema have been squandered. Cinema is not a painting, a novel, a play, or a still photograph. The rules and methods used to create cinema should not be tied to these other creative endeavors. Cinema should NOT be thought of as being “all about telling a story”. Story is a convention of writing, and should not necessarily be considered a convention of filmmaking.
4. The Japanese ideas of wabi-sabi (the beauty of imperfection) and mono no aware (the awareness of the transience of things and the bittersweet feelings that accompany their passing), have the ability to show the truth of existence, and should always be considered when making the remodernist film.
5. An artificial sense of “perfection” should never be imposed on a remodernist film. Flaws should be accepted and even encouraged. To that end, a remodernist filmmaker should consider the use of film, and particularly film like Super-8mm and 16mm because these mediums entail more of a risk and a requirement to leave things up to chance, as opposed to digital video. Digital video is for people who are afraid of, and unwilling to make mistakes.** Video leads to a boring and sterile cinema. Mistakes and failures make your work honest and human.***
6. Film, particularly Super-8mm film, has a rawness, and an ability to capture the poetic essence of life, that video has never been able to accomplish.***
7. Intuition is a powerful tool for honest communication. Your intuition will always tell you if you are making something honest, so use of intuition is key in all stages of remodernist filmmaking.
8. Any product or result of human creativity is inherently subjective, due to the beliefs, biases and knowledge of the person creating the work. Work that attempts to be objective will always be subjective, only instead it will be subjective in a dishonest way. Objective films are inherently dishonest. Stanley Kubrick, who desperately and pathetically tried to make objective films, instead made dishonest and boring films.
9. The remodernist film is always subjective and never aspires to be objective.
10. Remodernist film is not Dogme ’95. We do not have a pretentious checklist that must be followed precisely. This manifesto should be viewed only as a collection of ideas and hints whose author may be mocked and insulted at will.
11. The remodernist filmmaker must always have the courage to fail, even hoping to fail, and to find the honesty, beauty and humanity in failure.
12. The remodernist filmmaker should never expect to be thanked or congratulated. Instead, insults and criticism should be welcomed. You must be willing to go ignored and overlooked.
13. The remodernist filmmaker should be accepting of their influences, and should have the bravery to copy from them in their quest for understanding of themselves.
14. Remodernist film should be a stripped down, minimal, lyrical, punk kind of filmmaking, and is a close relative to the No-Wave Cinema that came out of New York’s Lower East Side in the 1970’s.
15. Remodernist film is for the young, and for those who are older but still have the courage to look at the world through eyes as if they are children.
** The only exceptions to Point 5 about video are Harris Smith and Peter Rinaldi; to my mind they are the only people who have made honest and worthwhile use of this medium. (Aug. 2008)
***(The position on digital/video has changed since this manifesto was written in 2008- the group is inclusive toward use of any motion picture format. See recent essay here).
This manifesto may be appended/added to in the future, as further ideas develop.

----Jesse Richards, August 27, 2008

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Mcleod Project

The movie is based in, and about, Mcleodganj. Who is our principal character? Mcleodganj. The place. I am inspired by my own curiosity since I can't find a way to place this place in my head. How do you understand it beside as a Tibetan settlement? Hundreds of questions really, thousands of curious observations. And there are no simple answers. The movie has to be made. Has to be made. Has to be made. It just cannot be ignored - the itch that I have.

Did not watch El Mariachi today. Spent a major portion of the day reading Castaneda's Fire From Within on a park bench. Played volleyball with random strangers. One area where I waste a lot of time, and so can retrieve a lot of time from, is web surfing. Makes you think you are working but you are not.
Will be more mindful of that moving forward.

About the movie. Some more work on the central protagonists. Looks like we will need 6-7 proper actors. Or people who can pass for proper actors. Wherefrom?
Time will tell. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Movie Project

Alrighty! Feels great to just say things. Writing fiction can make you go so up your ass that to write without being self-conscious, and in a voice that is your own, seems almost undoable. But it is so EASY! So natural.

This is how we are supposed to write.

So, well, another declaration. I am going to document the progress with the movie on this blog. The movie, and the stuff around it. This will be a journal of sorts.

Doesn't the universe just love that we make decisions? :)

I am going to watch El Mariachi tomorrow. It will be so much fun to watch it, esp. since I have read about its Pre-Production and am half way through Production. Reading Robert Rodriguez's Rebel Without a Crew (yes, that's the title of his book, with an even more macho subtitle: Or How a 23-Year-Old Filmmaker with $7,000 Became a Hollywood Player).

A very exciting story idea about Rama. Like Lord Rama. Should I sit on it and let it develop or should I write?

Write.

Time to right things.









Declaration

Alright. So. A declaration. I am making a movie.

Phew! It helps to get that out. The script is under process. Frankly, script is not too much of a concern, the kind of movie we have in mind. Real people, real conversations, no music, little drama, documentation, found footage (maybe), no background music, no nothing. Story is important though: we have to be aware constantly of what we are trying to do, show and there have to be some central characters for the audience to relate to. That's what I am exploring on pages presently. A trip to the location is long overdue. Going as soon as I get well (just a bit of cough and cold and fever and rounds to a dentist these days). Can't wait for it.

Saw Apoorv's camera and stuff. Pity could not just go out and shoot on the roads of Jaipur. Will do that too, soon. I am glad of his new found inspiration in Abbas Kiarostami. He and I both need to stop watching studio movies. Which means no Hollywood and Bollywood and anything that screens on a Friday effectively. I am going to watch The Clerks again. And The Clerks 2. And The Snowball Effect - the movie about making of The Clerks (yet to find it online).

My biggest doubts since I first blurted out the idea: 1) Is my intention for this project right? 2) Having known the level and amount of commitment required in my last project, am I ready for this one?
Haven't been able to reflect. Maybe these posts will help. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Vacancies

(to be edited)

On the roof of Indian railways
Now no crouching passengers by rule

So when a 12295 arrives
Full two hours late at 2 am
With barred doors and grilled windows and not an inch of space
The lousy students at the lousy junction
Instigate a hullabaloo

The constables cow, crowd the crowd, and the station master cajoles
With authority
And when the voices settle down
And the train is flagged green, the doors kept locked
The lousy scholars wait for a lousy 16468

'There will be room for everybody in its extra special dabba'

Sure, an hour late they will reach for the test
And Section D might go untouched
But the banks this year,
How many positions they have to fill, as such?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Releases

Releases from a constipated belly
Are long, coarse,
Abrupt.
For what its worth,
They show
There is more to you than what you ate since Monday morning. 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Maula, Oh, Maula


Defeated, dejected.
This field beyond all shapes and ideas,
Beyond even dimension of dreams,
Where you and I, Rumi,
Drink heartily in my sleeps,
Can I believe my rueful voice
Travelling in that space?
Don’t songs there of a dervish singing
Rever-be-rate?

Maula, Oh, Maula,
At your disposa, Maula.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

How It Works: Random Scribbling

How It Works: Some Identified States

1. Fuzziness: 2-9 days. State of cluelessness and bad hopeless ideas. Where should the story head? How? Digression. Books, authors currently-reading/recently-read corrupt most in this state.
2. Epiphany: 1 day. Identification of previously unseen problems with the novel, precise solutions, clear and distinct visuals of the forthcoming piece. State 1 to 2 traveled by Will.
3. Euphoria: 1200 brilliant words: one night.
4. Follow-through: 800-2k words: 1-6 days. Confident, venturesome, but possibly careless and sloppy. Revisions and the work will be includable somewhere in future.
5. Missing "feeling" - a wall of dissatisfaction, disinterest, waning motivation. Moving away from the novel: 1-15 days. The state exists because new problems have developed in the work. How to waste less time here? Revise what you recently wrote. See how it fits, what it changes. THINK.
6. Resumption: returning to the novel. Mindful of the factors that drive to writing. Basic reasons for writing This particular novel >> the force of all the factors that put you off from writing. But words don't come alone because you have decided to return and fight. State 6 will lead to 1: a period of subconscious meditation.

Observation: States 5, 6 and 1 often merge together or are indistinguishable.


The cycle may exist for a while, causing binge writing and wait for inspiration, but the time spent away from writing must must must recede. Number of words in a sitting, a session, a season, a State, must increase. Identifying the present state and acting accordingly should help. Problems - tensions - arise by lack of mindfulness. In State 1, for example, one wastes time by stressing on actual "writing", on Future of the story: the events to follow, while clearly the state exists primarily due to a lack of transparency in the Past of the novel.