Friday, March 25, 2005

Advance Booking

150 Free tickets available for One O clock show at Sathyam theatre on 29th!

Hang on... 28th night that is. After the 10 O clock night show on Monday night, at 1 a.m., I need a 150 people to fill up Studio 5.

This is just to book you all in advance for the show. What are they showing? Er... nothing, but I can get them to play a movie for you guys.

I'm gonna be shooting, so I want you guys to fill up the frame and give it some EXTRA punch! And yeah, you can watch the shoot too! Aint that exciting?

Well, I know I make a bad Tom Sawyer!

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But yeah, I will be very grateful if you can land up! This is one favour I need badly!

Thanks a ton!

Thursday, March 24, 2005


I did something yesterday.

I made an important decision. It was a tough one. Cuz it involved losing someone who had put in a lot of effort into my film. But I was left with no option but to do it. Told my lead star not to do my film if he didn't trust me enough to do my job as a director.

I do realise he has a decade's experience in the Tamil film industry, respect the name he has created for himself and the effort he has put in my film. But what I could not deal with, was (and IS) interference.

I strongly believe that a movie is a director's baby.

And it is that director who has to take the credit or the blame for a good movie or the bad movie he creates. So that people at least know whose baby it is. A movie becomes a bastard when too many people try to play director.

I have always said it is "our movie." I still think it is "our movie" but there can only be one director.

I know I'm the "beginner director" and he's the star.

But I refuse to believe that he's "doing me a favour."

So I told him not to do my film if he thinks he's doing me a favour. And with him went half my crew (who he brought in) and the other lead actor. So that's how it all ended. I lost my cinematographer, my music director, half the locations and food he had arranged for the shoot. I lost three days of what I shot.

The show, however, has just started.

I am going to re-start my film for the third time.

I auditioned people today, recast my actors and am all set to start shoot again.

Starting day after tomorrow!

Like I said in last post, nothing can stop this film from being made. No matter what, I will complete shoot for this movie before April 10. I gave my word to a lesser star in the film. And I will keep my word. The show ... will go on!

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Saturday, March 19, 2005

The bitter-sweet pangs of low budget filmmaking

Ranvir almost dropped out of the film today.

Rahul Bose rejected a special appearance.

We don't have permissions to shoot our climax scene.

And we don't have money.

Oh, but first the good news: I'm right at the beginning of my second attempt at making That Four Letter Word, and it was a great evening's work of shoot at The British Council.

It's nice and colourful and I'm happy. More than satisfied, in fact. I got the shoot started again, after over two years and eight months!

The first day's shoot cost me all of Rs.585 bucks: 450 for buying three tapes, another 50 for thermocol, 65 for juice for my technical crew and another 20 for black tape used to mark the margins of the LCD, so that we know what the frame looks like for cinemascope!

Yes, like I said we still don't have the money to cover even the incidental expenses, so I'm spending out of my pocket. Abbas today asked me what should we do if do not get the money to cover incidental expenses, which could shoot upto 1.5 lakhs!

No sponsor, no producer (well, as good as no producer considering that this is the last thing on his mind right now), nothing, no one! Yet, there's some sort of energy that's keeping us going. We've made half a dozen presentations, trying to incorporate everything from fruit bars to vodka into the script. And honestly, now I'm tired of chasing sponsors or bugging disinterested producers. I just want to make my film.

So I told Abbas: If we don't get anyone to give us money, then we don't owe anything to anyone. We don't need to give a fuck about answering questions from anyone! We own the film. So we create it and we sell it once it's done and make some money! And then, repay every single person who has been instrumental in the making of this film -- the first time as well as the second!

The good thing about low budget filmmaking is that there's not too much to lose here.

The very process of creating something we believe in, gives satisfaction that words can only try to describe. There's a whole lot of feel good, the high of being in an underdog team that almost won the World cup, the spirit and camaraderie of working together to see a common dream come true.

As obstacles, one after another, show us their ugly face, the more resolved we get to deal with things which we have become too familiar with -- rejections from sponsors, actors we badly want in our film and other production hassles we can write a thesis on. So now there's like the known sense of comfort in dealing with them. Obstacles have become like these unreliable people we know. "Okay, it's him... we know how to deal with him." Let's go on without letting him win over. All right, we don't have this, we don't have that ... but let's make sure that we don't have to say again that we don't have a film!

However much it sounds like a cliche, the show must go on. With or without money. And, nothing ... NOTHING... can stop us now!

If we lose one, the others do it! That's how a team works. And that's how a battle is fought!

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Shoot starts today!

I'm extremely pleased to inform you all that the shooting for That Four Letter Word re-starts this evening at the British Council.
If you can make it at this short notice, please make it to British Council for the Buzz party, to mark the start of the movie. Time 7.30 p.m. Date: March 16 (today).
Spread the word.
And wish us luck.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Resetting the biological clock!

I'm used to staying online till 4 or 5 a.m. and wake up by noon.

But with shoot only a few days away, I decided to try and reset my clock.

I woke up today at 8.30 a.m, in spite of going to bed only by three last night.

The whole day I've been feeling so damn drowsy. But the good news is that I got quite a bit of work done. Fixed up at least four locations which cover about 40 per cent of the movie. Another 10-15 per cent needs to be fixed up. The rest? We are not taking permission.

It's a technique we picked up from Bowfinger! :)

Today, we caught up with a friend from the film industry, to show him our first version of That Four Letter Word. What we shot three years ago. Though it was embarassing enought to make me cringe in my seat, I think it was good to feel that way because it just meant that I know what was wrong with it. Hopefully, it should be better the second time around.

With increasing workload, I have sworn to go to bed by midnight. But for the fact that I got home and finished dinner only by then. Had a couple of emails to send and a quick daily update on the film to type and it's already 1.20 a.m.

But that's because my favourite people from around the world get online at this hour!!

Sigh! I want everything!!

But first, let me finish and crash. That's the only way I won't crash into another vehicle tomorrow, riding around like a zombie, like I nearly did today!

Good night!

Monday, March 07, 2005

Two weeks notice!

Just another two weeks before we shoot.

Maybe even earlier, depending on how the permissions for locations needed turn out.

And we have enough reason to panic, but we won't. At least not yet. But here's why it's crazy.

1. Ranvir hasn't confirmed dates yet. He reaches Mumbai only on March 20 and will take three days to read the new script. He said he will call us on 25th. Which will be three or four days into the shoot.

2. We still haven't been able to get a replacement for Suchitra though we've auditioned a few. We've sent the word out. If you guys know any girl interested in playing one of the lead roles in the film, please email

3. Though we have had smaller meetings with almost everybody involved in the film, we haven't had an entire cast-crew meeting yet because the final list of the cast and crew is yet to be prepared.

4. Scheduling the shoot requires permissions for the locations needed but we can't get permissions till we get a fix on the cast. Hope this will resolve in the next few days.

5. I've applied for leave between March 15 and April 30. I still haven't heard from the management about that!

On the upside however:

1. We are ready with the location report and grouped Ranvir's scenes together to be shot towards the end.

2. We have adequate people for the crew. Just a matter of time before we are all able to meet together and have daily sittings. That should start happening in a week.

3. We have some wonderful people who have volunteered to help in kind by giving us locations and props that we need.

4. Last time we didn't have Ranvir even after 15 days into our shoot. He's destined to be part of this project. We know he will make it. And we have a backup ready. Half the scenes we shot with him last time can be used as they are.

5. Last time around, my letter never reached the management till I came back from the shoot and I got into trouble. This time, at least that has been taken care of!


Kiruba's interview!

Kiruba's interview has most of the information that I wanted to put on this blog on the Making of the movie: The journey of the film from then to now.

So, you guys can catch up with the action here.

Thank you Kiruba.

Starting tomorrow. I will be blogging here about the daily developments and work in progress on the film, along with information on help that we need.

But before that, I would like to summarise the help I seek.

1. Money. If you do know of potential sponsors looking at attracting a young audience, please help yourself to this.

2. Production Assistants. People willing to spare a month and work full time between mid March to mid April, and for free.

3. Extras. People who can chip in with guest appearances at your convenience and as much as possible in the free time you have.

4. Traffic jammers. Required for two days of shoot with cars and bikes to stage a traffic jam in the middle of the night. Might require you to stay awake all night. Please bring your friends along.

5. Pretty women. Who will act as one of Cary's many girlfriends in the film. Scene involves dirty dancing with Cary! Women willing to kiss will be an added plus! :)

Please register with us by emailing me at or at the earliest. Our production manager will then call you to confirm details.

Can't thank you guys enough for the support. So I will save that up for later.