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!

Click on the title of this post to view original entry and your comments.

No comments: