‘The Search’ selected by National Film Board of Canada for Filmmaker Assistance Program

More good news is coming our way with the short film ‘The Search.’ It has been selected by The National Film Board of Canada for Filmmaker Assistance Program. NFB will give their in-house studio/personnel support to do some high end post production stuff. NFB will give it’s name behind the production which brings lot of credibility to our film. And, finally, it also opens up distribution possibilities. We are really glad that a short film made with modest expectations have covered so much ground. It do provide a much yearned affirmation about our own worth as writers and filmmakers.

Two short film contests

1) The Bombay Sapphire imagination series and Tribeca Film Festival present a short film script contest where you are to write a short film script based on a template provided by Geoffrey Fletcher (scribe of ‘Precious’). Five winners will be chosen and the writers will get an opportunity to work on the production of these scripts. The link is here.

2) An initiative by LA India film council, the second short film promises contest winners 1000 dollars and opportunity to get work experience in a ‘major film production company.’ Open to film and media students in India and LA. The link is here.

He said…she said: a short film review

This short film review of mine was first published here at shortz

 

(Major spoilers…)

How do you dramatise the malady of modern relationships? When I read the synopsis of this short – ‘Marriages are made in heaven… what happens to it by the time it materialises on earth?’- I was curious about this. But after watching the short, it  appears that the logline is a little too generic for what happens with the couple in the short.

But if you don’t approach ‘He said… she said’ with any prior misconceptions, it does reward you. What  the back bone of this short film really is the brilliant acting by the lead characters especially Prashant Narayan. Until I googled him, I didn’t realise that he is a successful film actor. He deserves to be. The improvisations he manages on screen makes it a real pleasure to watch this short.
Another strength of this short is the production values. The quality and destiny of your short is inevitably linked to the quality of your equipment and expertise of those who handle them.
I liked the basic idea. And the twist in the end is very well set up with the calendar, the character of the husband who repeatedly tries to joke about everything in the first segment etc. The first half of the film where the wife tries to do a cross word puzzle while the husband is busy on his laptop is infused with a certain credibility. Even though the conversation is deceptively simple and mundane, it is very tough to achieve that in terms of writing, directing and acting. The second segment (after husband admits to the relationship) is also well made but I felt that even though it has come out beautifully, cannot claim the kind of simplicity and credibility of first half. There are beautiful lines out there (‘We are both travelling in the same boat but with different people’) but it is difficult to believe that immediately after admitting to an extramarital relationship from both sides, a husband and wife will talk (poetically) like this . At least on the same day of the revelation.
My biggest problem with this short is the ‘talking heads’ syndrome. With the subject matter, definitely it is going to be dialogue dependent (even though a much more daunting challenge would have been to use the pauses and silences well within the time constraints of a short film without the dialogue being too exposure heavy or meandering) . But some how an effort doesn’t appear to be made to break the monotonous nature of the camera angles and repeated visuals of heads of characters talking into the camera. Interestingly, it is only for a very short duration both the characters are together in the same frame even though they are talking to each other incessantly through out the film. Don’t know whether this was intentional but at times we don’t even feel they are in the same room. Towards the end, the amount of light exposure and tint of light is different for these characters even though they are standing near to each other. There is a lack of fluidity in the execution and shot selection of the scene where wife closes the laptop and husband grabs her hand.  But I liked the decision to abruptly start the second part of the film after that such that husband has already confessed to his extra marital relationship.
The title of the short film could have been better.

Short film script ‘The search’ sold

To all those friends and acquaintances out there who were asking about the status of ‘The search,’- it has been sold. The rights were bought by a film maker friend from Canada whose previous short film was screened at short film corner in Cannes 2011. We have worked on ‘The search’ together to develop it further. I think the current version is much better.

 Photo by Jeremy Brooks