Monday, May 27, 2013

Going to Kolkata and oh yes visiting Apple store Imagine

Going to Kolkata and oh yes visiting Apple store Imagine 

One hears about how great the city is, over and over, in the last 40 years I must have undertaken that journey to the city of joy 120 times + and not once has any train no matter where from I had started the journey ever been on time,

This time too as I started out wondering if I will be able to break the record? But no the south eastern railway true to colors made sure the record stayed intact, the Journey ended with the train being 30 minutes late, maybe that’s the reason why one always sees calcasians in a rush, they are always running, but never get anywhere.  I want to ask them where are they going in such a hurry, as no one ever seems to be working or doing anything, excepting the housewives.

Following the mad rush I too headed out of the station appearing very busy, once out of the station and spending 20 minutes to get a cab, I was off into the city, roads were not too crowded and I did see some more upcoming infrastructure development, they say a flyover takes 2 – 4 years to come up, well this one near Posta market has been there for 2 years, maybe another two years to full development.

In the city, I went to buy a hard drive at the Imagine store (they are the premium Apple resellers)

Over the Phone they had told me, they had G drives.  Once there they claimed they did not and it was not possible to get them in India, on informing them, RSG in Mumbai, which is also an Imagine store does offer them, they claimed it had to be an aftermarket product.   Not wanting to anger them (its hard to get anyone to work in the 1st place) I gave in.  Hiding my disappointment, I asked for a external hard rive, with 1-Terrabyte space the salesman got me one, when querying the price he quoted me a few thousand more then was marked on the drive, on pointing this out to him Pat came his reply - “ Oh I was thinking of another brand “ was his reply, was he trying to cheat or was he really not that sharp? I wondered.

Eventually I made my way to the apple service center, with my 1mac 20 inch, which has not been behaving it and seems to have a mind of its own when it should come on, and when it will go to sleep. 
The service guys were sure I should not leave the machine behind, as they were scared the data might get lost.

Somehow I had a feeling they did not want to deal with the service part and they just wanted me to leave. .

On pointing out to them I was happy to sit there and back up my data, they refused to let me do that on their premises.   On asking why, their version was,” Oh we can’t let you do that, as we are not responsible for the data.  “ AGAIN I pointed out, no they were not I was, I just needed a power point, there point was: But we might have a rush all of a sudden in the store, (in the 30 minutes that had transpired that I was there, there was just One other guy who had made a appearance) I pointed out all of a sudden there might be a earthquake too or a Tsunami, so how about we wait till it happens.

Finally pushing my journalistic credentials to use and offering to do a story on their POV on these matters, they relented and were willing to let me work there. Magically the attitude changed.    NOW to wait and see how this chapter turns out?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Another day watching the game of Sekkor

Day 4
We are off to a shoot on a game of sector, this is the big game we are told, the finals will be on, so the teams will be great in there skills we are told, well its 1 pm in the afternoon 42 degrees it is outside, and we have no AC in the car, 3 of us are off to Chaibasa, we drive straight through 70 km approx., stopping occasionally to get a few b roll shots of village and summer shots, its so bloody hot, n it is giving us many opportunity to shoot summer like never before, Like come on at 1 – 3 pm  no one is ever outside with there camera.

We reach the venue by 3pm, and are greeted by long faced players, who are upset that they have not gotten no food yet, so pissed are they, that they refuse to move till they are fed.

The caterer says, don’t blame me, I have fed 42 of them, have used 48 Kg of rice already. 

Finally the games started , chaotic and unorganized to some extent,  we left having met 40 % quality of what we expected, another day of shoot required again.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Sekkor day 3 of shoot approaching

Summer is on us in full swing, they say it is 46 degrees (c) well it is hot, n I am indoors, tomorrow I will be going for 3rd shoot day on our film on Sekkor. A sport that is played under the summer sun.

    I realized how hot it really is, and how great a mechanism our body is, as I lay in bed this afternoon, relaxing under a fan, watching a really bad ad By Videocon.

Now I actually like Videocon as a company and use there products, but then watching there AD, One felt sad for the company, it is an company That I always felt never really got its due, was always looked down upon, and here there brand ambassador is an aging cricketer, who is unable to give up the limelight and is hanging around like an old dog, and an actor, who though young has not really been meeting the greatness one would have hoped he will achieve, just like Videocon.
Anyway   The Air conditioner has just been switched on, and slowly I can actually feel the dryness of my body is being replaced with Moisture, it was an amazing experience to actually feel it so. It was like water getting into the pores that was dry all this while, WOW.

The other day while at a shoot the camera ‘s were overheating, and we had to shut it all down, every 10 minutes, the equipment felt so hot to the touch, that I kept removing the battery physically from the camera thinking maybe the camera is still on, even though I have switched off the battery.    The body had just adapted to the surrounding and was functioning as if all is normal. Amazing indeed is the human body.  Great indeed is the creator.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Jharkhand film festival

Food and cinema are two of my best friends and put in a mix of innocent looking beautiful people and excuse to spend time with friends and it promised to be a week of fun.  The Jharkhand film festival was on for the 4th Year.

All excited about the 4th film festival in Jamshedpur, I contacted my friend who is a film lover, but was treated with a strange reply “ Sorry my friend I cant go to the Jharkhand film festival in Jamshedpur, I have judged the festival in the past and they are really bad films, there is no way I can suffer another of those films “

Well I was not put off; after all how bad can the movies be, and was not lack of infrastructure the reason better films got made? so I charged on to the festival.

The festival started an hour late, it was an packed house, and I was excited to get my exposure to Jharkhand films. The fist hour and a little more was spend listening to the chief guests and other guests on stage talking about films. Listening to them talk, I was sure my friend was wrong, after all how could people from a state where people spoke so well and be so witty not be able to produce lovely cinema?

Finally the 1st movie of the festival screened.  “Mahua”
Recently I had discovered the Mahua tree and found out all about the drink from Mahua, thus I prepared myself for a documentary BUT it was a short film with a message.   It was an interesting film, 30 seconds into the film the 1st shot was still on, I was engaged, a minute and 30 seconds later we were still watching  the 1st shot, and some repeats of the same footage,  Either the director forgot to cut the shot, or the editor forgot he did not have to use all the footage that was shot. ( I was wondering if it is a 1 shot film ) The shot went on for so long that one stopped feeling for the girl being chased, and was waiting for the shot to end.  It was a well cast film, but extremely predictable and one lost interest in the film a few minutes into the film knowing how the story would unfold. At least the film was technically well  made, and I resolved to come back to the festival the next day.

2nd day of the the festival, I was there 550 in the evening there was no film on till 615, seemed like they were waiting for a crowed to gather before they started, not one to be to patient and not finding any organizer, I took to asking the operator of the projection system when he would play the movie? The operator claimed he was waiting for order to start the film, he was busy trying to avoid answering any more question and so I slunk out of the hall.
I went to check out the stalls outside, bought myself a soothing HO music CD, and got myself some food.
Jharkhand fare was available

1.      Rice with meat cooked over slow fire
2.      Rice and meat baked over a slow fire in shaal leaf was the other dish ( tasted like pitha )

a few days later,  I myself had just finished a workshop on filmmaking in Jamshedpur and before I recommended the workshop participants to visit the film festival I wanted to see the festival another day.

Thankfully the movie did start by 630, but then I saw what my friend had warned me about.

The lighting was terrible
The acting was non-existent
The story was as boring and predictable as can be.
The production value was missing,

The list could go on, Lack of equipment gives rise to interesting way of doing shots, production methods are discovered, innovation is indulged in, amazing results are created because one is forced to think out of the box.
Even a newbee in filmmaking knows there are always a few hours in the morning and evening when exterior shots are best done and then use of mid day for interior shots. A few lights and use of reflectors can do a great job in most scenarios. The film crew did not seem to know this 

Am sorry for the festival organizer, if this is the quality of entry, its better to have a 2 day festival then 6 days of bad movies being screened, quality over quantity.

 Jharkhand films makers have a lot of reading and thinking to do, and walk many a mile to reach out to audience’s.

It is not easy to make a movie, there needs to be an effort to tell a story that will gain from being a cinema, there needs to be a basic understanding of the medium, it is not about grabbing  a camera and pretending to be a director and make a film it is a mix of  art and craft ( and most difficult ) 

Once again I exited the hall  5 minutes into the movie so bad was it ,( My 1 day workshop students had produced a better movie) 
  and I went to the food court once again, along with food, I found a  sculpture artist working on his art, making his pieces at the venue to keep audiences entertained, (the films were not) so might as well watch some art being created.  I left the venue disappointed.  Next year will I come for the festival?  No ! but then maybe there will be wonderfull work being produced in Jharkhand and I might think otherwise.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

when the sun peaked through

When the sky parted ,

 tomorrow 5th may is the birthday of My late father Dr C B Ghosh , he woudl be 87 , oh well !