Read on to know how Joydip Banerjee made a short film – ‘What a wonderful world’ in minimal resources.
Tell us about your team in brief
The most important member is my long time friend Sugriv Kumar. He co directed and at the same time edited my 1st two short films. We have a certain comfort zone and itsis a delight to work with him as I can blindly trust his craft.
My friendship with Somenath Chatterjee, my DOP also goes back a long way. He always knows what I want and never fails to add some value of his own.
Shantajit Chatterjee usually takes care of the sound and music department. I am a fan of his work and we share a lot of common interests. There are a lot of other people who are always with me and provide constant source of support. And given a chance I would always like to be associated with them.
How did you come up with the idea of this particular short film ?
I suddenly came across an advertisement of a particular short film festival when the deadline was only 3 days away. I immediately shared the thought with Sugriv who readily agreed. The story was framed during a conversation at a tea stall which I further developed while writing the screenplay.
What all prominent Jugaads did you do to make the film with minimal resources?
The first and biggest challenge was finding the lead character. The role was of a street child, 7-8 years old. Finding a professional actor of that age is almost impossible so we started searching for a real street child instead. However in spite of our best efforts the search failed. Then Sugriv miraculously discovered Koushik, who actually lived in his neighborhood and the rest was smooth. Though he was actually a bit older and was not a street child, but he sure looked the part.
We shot the film in almost zero budget and hence had to shoot in real locations. Busy streets, bridges and roadside food stalls. So it was quite a tough job for us to manage the crowd as we were a very small group of only 5-6 people. It was a tough job indeed but at the end of the day we were happy that we took all the shots we wanted.
Finding a radio shop and asking the shopkeeper was another tough job. None of them was willing to help at first. We faced another hell of a time shooting at the Biriyani Stall. However then we found out a perfect solution to manipulate them – LIES. Let me assure you in order to get all that you have visualized, you have to be one aggressive liar.
What recognition did you get for this short film?
The fact is that I am a very lazy and laidback person. So may be the film did not get all that recognition it deserved. However it was screened at a number of national level festivals and got appreciated. A Bengali publication house selected it as MODEL SCRIPT for their English comprehension book for plus 2 standards.
However when random people send me requests in Facebook and tell me that they liked my work (as stagephod people did) I feel that is the best thing I could ask for.
What advice will you give new/aspiring film makers on making a low budget film?
Do not limit your vision while writing but be flexible and ready to improvise while shooting as nothing will go as planned.
Try to make a list of all the resources at your disposal, like a friend’s car, an uncle’s house or a distant relative who has a collection of some antique furnitures. These elements can be utilised while framing the story.
Rather than paying a professional actor and going through workshops to get the part right, try to find a real person who has features or mannerisms similar to the person you sketched in your mind. These will save a lot of time and more importantly, money.
Never pay the actor or technicians. Try to form a team of individuals who are as capable and as passionate. The more number of like minded people you have in the team, the easier it will be for you.
Don’t use light. Rather work out the best possible way to utilise the greatest light source on earth. Try shooting in the night. The road are quieter and street lights look gorgeous on screen.
Read my advices or all similar stuff. But at the end of the day nobody will be there besides you while shooting. So be aware of the existing theories but also be ready to break them and form your own. Because it is your film.
Link for the movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cHQMLYQXs5Q
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