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ART of filmmaking

The basics of filmmaking and storytelling. That's what students of communication got to know at a workshop on creative writing for films and TV.


A DOG barks and an eerie noise plays in the background when actor Vikram is delivering his punch line. The sounds have not been introduced as part of the background music. They are the noises present in a film before re-recording.

Cinema is a fascinating medium all right. But a peculiar set of problems is associated with it. And, the students of Communication of the PSG College of Arts and Science learnt what filmmaking was all about during the workshop held in the city this past week.

"There are some practical problems that you cannot wish away easily," says director S. M. A. Vasanth. He asks the students why movies are re-recorded? Pat comes the reply - "It is to take out unwanted noises from the rushes." But, Vasanth is not convinced. "The movie camera produces some strange noises. The film used generates this noise. Moreover all kinds of atmospheric sounds get in. All these need to be weeded out," he points out.

What can you do to make a fish jump on film? Wait for the event to happen naturally? Nope. Use a small black thread, rendered invisible on film, to push it. After some tips on the technical aspects, Vasanth talks about the basics of filmmaking. "While making a movie, visualise if everything is correct cinematically. Whether it is morally, aesthetically and socially correct is a different question."


As for the importance of storyline, he has this to say -- "Only if there is a problem will the viewers be interested and get involved. But, the problem should revolve around a central character, whom the moviegoers can identify easily."

Comparing the Hollywood and Indian styles of filmmaking, he says "In Hollywood, the problem is brought into the movie very early. Here, it comes only during intermission. This is because we add some masala in the form of songs, dance and comedy."

In Tamil cinema, directors prefer revealing the facts slowly.

And there are many ways of doing it like the protagonist not recognising the hero in him, the power of the villain, wrong build-up and the fortress concept (where all those close to the hero get eliminated like in Kaakha Kaakha).

Is shooting on the roads and in houses an easy task? Vasanth recalls his experience: "I encountered difficulties while scouting for a house to shoot Keladi Kanmani. The house owner thought I would break his furniture. After sometime, I managed to convince him. I don't like groups of people in my movies. When I was shooting for the song Engenge in Nerukku Ner in Kolkata, the public refused to move from the spot, saying they were entitled to use the road as they liked."

Concluding, he says: "A cinema is created in two places - at the story table and on the editing table."

M. ALLIRAJAN

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