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Waxing lyrical on film

BHAWANI CHEERATH

Cinematographer K. Ramachandra Babu's `Cineku' is a one-minute film with a message.


There are three points anyone experimenting with a Cineku must bear in mind.



INSPIRED FRAMES: K. Ramachandra Babu calls his short films `Cineku.'

Film as a medium has attracted many and now we have technology enhancing the possibilities with the medium manifold. That is exactly why the word `Cineku' sets one thinking.

Linking the Japanese haiku with film may raise eyebrows, but give it a thought, says reputed cinematographer K. Ramachandra Babu. It was not the mere fancy of combining two distinct mediums that attracted him. What he attempted was to create a format whereby in the short span of a minute, the film conveys a message.

Short and neat

`Keep it short and neat' seemed to be his dictum and the six Cinekus speak for it. Common themes drawn from life receive the magical touch at the hands of Babu and you have `Fire,' `Lending Hands,' `Kiss of Life,' `Suicide,' `Doctors' and `Knives.' `Fire,' for example, depicts its presence in our daily lives, but, to complete the picture, the violent face is also brought in.

Like the haiku, we have the new `Cineku' using form and content to make its impact on you. Was it only for the brevity of the form that he chose to add `haiku' to name his finding? Ramachandra Babu is also fond of haikus. Drawn by the crispness of these poems, he worked on the idea of translating a similar format to film and thus was born the `Cineku.'

Use a handycam or the mobile phone to try your Cineku, is his suggestion. But, there are three points anyone experimenting with a Cineku must bear in mind. The film must be of a minute's duration, only three shots can be used, no shot should be longer than 40 seconds, nor can you use computer graphics or optical modification of images.

The `Cinekus' that Babu has made have inputs from Renjan Abraham as editor, Isaac Thomas Kottukapally, and Radha Krishnan as art director. Convinced that this is a format that will appeal, particularly to students of film and media, he looks forward to more people taking to the `newest form of cinema' as he terms it. Once a clutch of Cinekus are made, he believes it can be put up before the larger audience, now that the Net provides the reach.

Any wonder why these words of Thomas Ackerman's find a place on his site, `Break your own rules. Photography should be inspired not habitual.'

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