Now wait, second of all, I apologize for not writing for so long. The aforementioned not-so-bad addiction is to blame. Now before the lot of you bring out your torches and pitchforks, and I turn around to see this chick who blogs less than I do now running away after having glued giant screws to the neck of my addiction, understand that the addiction is a good addiction. Also, someone tell me why the fuck the first chap who got the torch and pitchfork treatment had giant screws on his neck anyway. I never got it, or the green skin pigmentation. On to franken-addiction.
Hello everyone, my name is Renovatio, and I'm a workaholic. Not just that, I love my job. Every bit of it. From the lack of sleep to the obscene hours, the creative freedom to the trust and respect that flows through my ever-changing cast and crew and myself, to the opportunity to meet a myriad of smart, talented, hard-working and equally addicted folks. I, the ever-present production chap, the future film maker, am currently working as a freelance Assistant Director. Not just that, as I work with smaller production houses and directors, I get to be sole AD, and I couldn't be more elated.
For those not so well-versed with film and television production, the work of the AD is all-encompassing. While some may assume the AD is everyone's shared mundoo, experience would say that the AD actually turns everyone else into his mundoo. Now perhaps I'm wrong, perhaps I've only been fortunate enough to work with good directors, especially the one whose organisation I find myself fast becoming a partner of.
How that happened, I'm yet to understand, but the man and I work together well, he respects my opinion, gives me creative license, and immense authority. Someone once told me that they hated authority due to the flak that accompanies it when shit hits the fan. I have to say, in the last week, a lot of shit hit the fan. It hit it, spread around for miles, got carried by the wind, fertilized a few fields, and provided heat for a couple of kettles of chai.
I digress. An Assistant Director , well a good one, which I hope I am, knows all the ropes of a production. He or she should know how what looks good on camera, what angles work, how to achieve what looks good on said camera, how to deal with the
There's a new show coming up on Doordarshan, one which has left me with immense respect for the creative heads at Unicef. It's written as a K-serial, a saas-bahu piece-of-shit, but with a progressively greater message of women's empowerment. It's being produced by the larger *cough* oh alright, I see this joke's getting old now, it's being produced by Miditech, and we were called in to do the opening credits. A day was spent in a studio in Noida, which the brief informed us as being forty-four by twenty-seven feet, a production dream come true. On reaching the studio, bright and early, at six in the morning, having left the house at a quarter to three to fetch lights while my colleagues fetched the cameraman and camera, the studio was indeed its promised dimensions. Unfortunately, however, it contained an enormous and tenacious pillar bang in the middle. This pillar effectively split the most promising and dreamy studio into four separate mini-studios. Through some clever thinking on the part of our camerman, one of the more experience light boys, a South Indian chap who was after my life to see his PCR room and FCPs, and a slight adjustment of the chroma sheet of my own, not to mention a little kid who tripped over a power cord and dropped a stray Sony Cybershot, we managed to salvage one entire half of the studio for use. There was a camerman from Wilderness Films on site, who had accompanied the Digi-Beta 790i we had rented for the day, who was unfortunately relegated to camera assistant, and even more unfortunately, turned into a spot boy on my behest as there was already a senior camera assistant from Wilderness present, and the fact that I had no one else to force to run around to get stuff. This chap took his role in those circumstances rather well, and was rather good-natured about it. He even went so far as to tell me that I'd make a great director because of my honesty and passion. What was the source of my honesty? Threatening to hit our cabbie with a brick if he hit the puppy napping under the cab with a rock. Ah well, live and let live. That sure made my day, if nothing else, assuring me that there's hope yet. I also had a moment, an epiphany, if you will. Production is the work for me. I really connected with a subject. We needed to shoot a girl jumping in silhouette, but she had a problem with her knees, so I took a call and put another actor in a similar skirt and dupatta, had the make-up guy tie her hair in a braid similar to the little girl's, and made her do the jump. She was a bit apprehensive of the limited space, especially considering the fact that there were three rather large lights at the end of her jump site, which had been on for a few hours and were quite hot. Trust came into the picture here. I had spent some time with the whole cast over the day, and convinced her that I'd stand at the lights and catch her, provided she ran as fast as she could and jumped as hard as she could. We got a great jump out of it, despite the Unicef chap telling me that he needed his actor for a few days of shooting, so I had better catch her. At this stage, the entire crew also revealed to me that they had assumed I was twenty-eight. A look at my license, and the realization that I was a full nine years younger brought a look to their faces I rather enjoyed. Still, they accorded me more respect from that point on.
The following morning, my colleagues had (thankfully) deigned to fetch the lights and camera themselves, and met me on the outskirts of NH8, rather close to my own house, so I didn't have to leave too early. We were headed to
Regardless. We were about to start shooting with what available sunlight we had, when the costume chap piped up with an admission of having neglected to iron all the costumes, and as there was no power in
Having spent a full thirty-eight hours at the location, our crew limped away and headed home-ish. I came home to shower, the cameraman visited his boss who had suffered a heart attack, and the producer and his wife went off to get their kid from his grandparents' place. We reconvened at my house to do a final shot at around 10, and packed up the whole production around midnight. Time well spent, and immense learning.
I hope this sort of makes up for my absence, my last month has involved work in similar settings, situations and circumstances. I know I mentioned a Street Devils post, but if you'd notice my profile now contains a Street Devils blog. I'll write about it there.