Panel Discussions


Saturday 2.30 p.m.

"Make it tighter"

I had my 5th review with Rustam Vania. I will be continuing my 5th review session with Ayisha and Raghu next week. This is an update of the session between Rustam and myself.

Deliverables: 3/4th of the film complete with sound and video and animation. Subtitling needs to be done.

I have overlayed a lot of footage in most of my scenes
Rustam(R): I would like to see a scene that's without so many of these layers. You have used them almost everywhere. So it will be refreshing , as well as a 'different' feel, since you are using so many layers. But I would like to see a straight-and-simple cut too.

I have used my grandfathers voice mostly, but...
R: We hear his voice a lot,which is fine, but you haven't established his face as such, only glimpses here and there. Is that intentionally done so...? 
Because if I look back from what I've seen so far, I can hear his voice in my head still, but I can't picture him. response to this, my conclusion is going to have more of a virtually 'physical' presence of my grandfather.

My transitions were not working smoothly enough..

I have used my voice as narration
R: When you speak in english, it sounds like that of a 'bhadra-lok', whereas the parts where you have spoken in bengali sounds more authentic. Perhaps, you could add more spoken bengali to your film. It would give the impression that you are bilingual. 

I have a certain flow and mood in my film..
R: You could bring about some ups and downs in the film too. Also you could apply the same principle to the sound in your film. For your exhibit, you could place your speakers in different places so it gives more of an ambient sound to the space whereas it actually comes from your videos. 

with Ayisha:

Your footage and visuals look rich but I don't understand the language. So put the inter-titles and then I can have a look again.

[We are meeting on Monday the 18th]


Ayisha: You're there. Just keep working towards this. Tweak it, tighten it. You're fine otherwise. 

I asked whether the pace of the videos were slow.

Ayisha: In some bits, yes. You have to compose your film that way, along with its sounds and clips. But thats for a later date; right now, tighten and add subtitles, and then keep on going back to your film and tweaking it. Take your time while doing so.

Thursday 12 p.m.

"Just keep at it."

I showed the panel a rough version of what my animation was going to look like, and also a view into a hypothetical exhibition space; 

  • End the script with myself - considering I start it off with myself. 
  • Draw more.
  • Add layers to story. Bring in some of the history of your grandfather's time into it.
  • Think of sound for the film. It should seem suited to your film and not become a cacophony.
  • Edit grandfather's interview.
  • Also, the entire 'film' should be 20 mins. MAX., possibly less.

Monday 2 p.m.

"Think of how you want to display your project to the audience."

This review was exactly how I thought it would be, a little disappointing....for my panel. Prior to the 3rd review I went ballistic trying to find a focal point or even a start to my project.When I did  figured it wasn't planned in an orderly manner.
This is what I showed at the review;

  • No story-board
  • A few drawings
  • Script only in MY head
  • Not a very concrete structure
  • No idea of final presentation
The feedback given was to construct the much-needed story board for my own sake. Develop a script and to think of how I would present the final outcome to an audience.

Word Bites:  

Raghu: "Again, are you trying to show your grandfather to us, or Suvo Guha Thakurta? Also, start with a bigger picture. It always works."

Rustam: "Think of how you will be showing this project off in the most interesting way. If you are going to incorporate your project  through augmentation and making it interactive, well, work it out. Time is running out."

I am meeting Ayisha on Wednesday, the 25th.

Friday 12.30 p.m.

"How are you visualising the project?"

I knew what my form would be, but that wasn't all. 
From footage of interviews conducted in Calcutta, to random shots out on the streets of Santiniketan, old letters and audio recordings; I carried back with me plenty of materials and 'rich' data which will aid my project, and that got a thumbs up.
During the period I had been gathering data I had come across a new angle, which was finding a balance between the Personal and the Universal. The Universal represented bringing out the story of a leader, a grandfather, a father and a character and what made him so special, whilst the Personal speaks of a more close-knit relationship between a boy who has never met this/his hero who also happens to be his grandfather, dadu. This also was the question that I had been asked incidentally, "What are you trying to show the audience besides the fact that he is your grandfather? What is the motivating factor behind this project?"
There was also fear about this project becoming slightly self-indulgent, so I have to keep a check on it.
My overall feedback was to start scripting and directing my ideas into one frame so that I could find closure in my project.

Word Bites:

Ayisha: "You have rich material here. Look at them, understand them and try to put them in a frame wherein it makes sense. Also, start drawing with what you have."

Raghu: "Look at your grandfather from different angles, different perspectives, and as different people."

----------------------------------------------------------------- Rustam couldn't make it during the review but we caught up for lunch and discussed my progress so far. He made fairly similar points, but he also asked me to think about my budget for this project and the technical aspect which would be in terms of the kind of equipment I will be using, and the overall experience I am trying to portray.

8 JULY, 
Thursday 2 p.m.

"Dig Deep. Think Deep"

This was an informal review with all three panel members where we spoke mainly of how and where my project was headed. I had done some background research already in order to aid my proposal and so, after describing my idea once more, they helped me in answering questions as to why and also, how I came to deciding such a project.

I had initially decided upon making a documentary on my grandfather along with some other touch ups as is mentioned in my proposal; the panel helped me in figuring out what the 'others' could be. The main point was to find my grandfathers cultural and creative milieu.
Funnily enough, during the course of the discussion, talks of my grandfather and his ventures led to a link to this project, myself - apart from being the obvious facilitator to a personal endeavour. It became interesting at this point because I initially had thought of using myself, my body as a canvas which would form a part of a theatrical intervention.

We ended our first discussion by talking of people and resources that could give me different directions to look at while chalking out this project. 

The faculty gave me a time period of a month to gather data, find and document events and objects that would be an asset to my diploma.

Word Bites:

Ayisha: " I think you should draw here too. It's something that is YOU."

Raghu: "I want to know why you want to perform live here."

Rustam: "Look up everything about your grandfather, from his school, to his clothes, his belongings to even letters."