Lights! Camera! Action!
The first workshop was on documentary film making conducted from 2 – 6 September, 2013 by Ajay Raina and co-facilitated by Radhika Khanna, Editor, The Inquirer and Asst. Professor, Department of Electronic Media and Mass Communication, Pondicherry University. For Ajay Raina, it was all about watching films and more films and many more films. The first lesson of the week was that, “Without watching films, you cannot become filmmakers.” He advised all of us to have all our sense wide open and observe everything around us. As part of the workshop, the 30 odd students were divided into eight groups of four members each and our task was to make a documentary film revolving around the theme of “Conflict”.
Most of us were first time film makers, some of us never had thought about film making, leave alone documentary film making. Hence everybody had plenty of doubts on the do’s and don’ts. Ajay Raina patiently sat with each team and clarified all doubts. He helped each team fix a theme and a sub theme and find their subject. He also worked with the teams in making a script and gave them shooting tips. A schedule was drawn and shooting, editing and reviewing dates were fixed and the teams dispatched to go make their films.
The afternoons were dedicated to film screenings on Kashmir, organized by the Department of d Electronic Media and Mass Communication in collaboration with Films Division, Mumbai titled “Kashmir Before our Eyes”, at the SOM auditorium.We also had night lessons with Ajay Raina where we analysed films and their techniques. We weren’t taught any hard core theories of film making, but Ajay Raina spoke about his experiences, his views and shared very useful tips with the students.
Time flew and soon it was the end of the week. But what a week it was, no matter where you go, to the class rooms, lab, canteens, lawn the different teams were immersed in debates and discussions about their films. All the teams worked enthusiastically all day and night and finished their five minute long documentary by the last day. The eight documentaries were reviewed by Ajay Raina and Radhika Khanna and individual feedback was given. Ajay Raina left the University riding on high hopes to see much better work from the team. The documentary workshop was co-facilitated by Radhika Khanna.
Krishnaveni Ilanthirayan and Swathy Karthik
1st M.A. Mass Communication