Tag Archives: Psychology

#3 Within 40 Hours (2012)

This was the first documentary I was involved in. And it was based on the students of Kamla High School in Mumbai.

1. Pre-production: It is important to invest a good amount of time in pre-production. But that does not mean we can spend 90% of the time on deciding what to do. In our case, the school that we worked for was supportive by all means. We could shoot wherever we want, we could go in a class in the middle of a lecture and interact with the students very easily. So we were sure at least there are no hindrances from the organisation. We could focus on the creative aspects. We chose the right organisation.

2. Best time to shoot: In photography it is known as the Golden Hour. Luckily enough for us, to match the timings of our college and the school, we had to shoot either early in the morning or just before sunset anyway. And in the month of February, the climate was just beautiful for a shoot. I’ve taken some of the prettiest shots out of sheer co-incidence just because the time was right.

3. Some people are camera conscious: Some kids are natural in front of a camera. Some are not. And that applies not only to kids but to everyone. As this was a documentary we could get away with the hesitation as it acted as a character trait to the person. Also, the subject was psychology so we actually used this to convey our point more convincingly.

4. You don’t need to get it right in the first take: We were interviewing ourselves. We were making a presentation where we were telling the audience about our experiences and what we learnt during these 40 hours of work we did at the NGO. So we had the liberty to note down the points so that two people don’t repeat the same ones. And we did so. That worked so well while editing the film. But on the other hand, it made everyone very conscious while they were talking. The best way to deal with this was to cut the shot a line before they fumbled and then ask them to start again just before the line they said incorrectly. I added a movement in the middle so that I could get a cutting point. And it did not appear as a mistake while everyone watched it.

5. The above only works when the subject is ready to coordinate: As we interviewed the professors, we were running short on time. We had to do it in one go. So we had to settle for a simple cross fade to cover up.

6. Double tap: We were using Lapel Mics for recording the interviews. It is important to check that there is no necklace or any element for that matter which is constantly banging on the condenser.

7. Shoot a lot of inserts/ cut-aways.

8. Cinemascope (2.35:1 ratio) adds a really professional look to your film.

9. Music can make or break your film

10. The film was awarded as the best project and it marked the end of our first year in BMM. It left me on a high and inspired my next Documentary, Pardes. More about it soon!


#8 Write ups – Adapt. In Multiples. (2012)

If the balance sheet tallies at the end of the year without any hassle– they party. But it doesn’t happen always…

Turning 20 is sort of sort of sort of…  a paradigm shift. It is this fancy line that you cross (willingly or unwillingly) and then you are ready to embrace life. The way people react to it really makes me feel that after 20 your brain emits these super neural signals that equip you with

Option A. Ultrasonic audibility – so that you can hear what they just say in their mind and act in the suitable way

Option B. Two extra hands (Devi style, sprouting from your armpits) – for extra involuntary work

Option C. The John Travolta smile – embrace life, remember? To be content with what may come along

And you know what? THEY are right. You build your arsenal slowly. But eventually you find yourself upgraded with these weapons at your hand. (putyournamehere) Volume 2.o

Darwin (held up by his Dumbledore-like beard) suggested that humans evolved from animals. We developed our advanced methods, rules and system en route. And to make the never-ending story short, we are at the top of the food chain (figuratively of course) because we are good at adjusting to the environment. We are adroit at calculating thecompound interest on our investment in any manner.

Any manner, absolutely

Yesterday, today and tomorrow – three entities separated by merely anything. It just takes a moment for today to transform into yesterday. Doesn’t this scare you? I mean the whole concept of IS being just another WAS, in a jiffy?

The song which once upon a time was our ringtone, is now not even in our memory card. The people without whom we thought life was impossible are just another chapter in our love story. Why talk about others, we look at our favourite pictures and proclaim that we looked different then. Our own emotions become a joke for us.


Because they are ‘Yesterday’. And we are ‘Today’. But ‘Tomorrow’ for someone we will be ‘Yesterday’. And we wont be worth a penny.

If the balance sheet tallies at the end of the year without any hassle– they party. But it doesn’t happen always. Simply because we forget to count those things, which actually count. Those intangible assets of ours… Goodwill – the chapter that we all skip in our accounts paper. We keep scratching our heads, adding and subtracting again and again and again. And we can’t find out what went wrong. Tedious calculations and our advanced methods are not enough to solve the most complex problems. Therefore common sense, free will and a good sense of humour have their own importance.