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Stagephod Jugaad Series: Lack of resources can bring the best out of you sometimes in terms of creativity – Pratik Kothari

Pratik Kothari-Baiyaan-stagephod

Pratik Kothari made a music video Baiyaan with minimal resources and used Jugaad for things like Rain, location, actors etc. Read on to know more how he pulled it off.

Tell us about you and your team (if you have) in brief

On a low budget film you need a compact team. We have multi taskers. All of us play more than one role in the team.

How did you come up with the idea of this particular short film?

I would like to share a music video here. As it is one of the most ‘Jugaadu’ stuff I have ever done. One rainy evening, Suyash (a very good friend/ a colleague/ a very talented artist) called up and said he has a song on which he wants to make a music video. Prarthi (a trained singer herself and an excellent actor/writer/director) and I met Suyash in a small restaurant in Vile Parle East. As soon as I heard the song I wanted to direct it!

Pratik Kothari Baiyaan stagephod

What all prominent “Jugaads” did you do to make the video with minimal resources?

How? That was the big question. Next thing I wanted was a jimmy jib! A picturesque location (like Khandala/Lonavala) and a few actors! For this enterprise I would have needed at least a lakh. But I had zero! To make things even more challenging I was assisting Mr Shyam Benegal on Samvidhaan and the shoot was soon to start! So I decided shoot has to happen in Mumbai. The next thing required was rain. I had no budget for the rain machine. So I had to shoot in Mumbai (with the cops hovering and if you are caught shooting without permission you are in for trouble) with actors who were willing to work for free. I also needed a DoP who was willing to work for free and make himself/herself available on a day it rained!!! Asking for too much! Right. I tried and tried to get all the 4 variables under control but either one of them would not fall in place.

I then came up with a theme that I shall not rely on actors! In the Mumbai monsoon you will always find couples out enjoying and romancing with the rain! We came up with a treatment to use these couples to create a mood of romance in a way they are not clearly visible. It infact helped making a generic wider statement about the romance. Great so I almost needed no actors! Rains also came down! I also found a DoP. But the Mr Benegal’s shoot had also started! The shoot had to now happen in my absence.

A DoP friend (Sanket Pawar) would be briefed on the phone about the visuals I have in mind and then he would be left to chase the rain. 2 days into the shoot I realised I didn’t have enough shots. Sanket had tried hard but the rain God really tested him. He also ran into trouble with the cops on occasions. So this method was no longer working. We had shots but they weren’t enough.

During the lunch breaks I would really pray for it to rain. If it even drizzled I would request the camera team to help me and would start shooting on my digi cam. By that time I had also worked out that I can do certain portions of the song in the interiors where the rain needn’t be there. I would call up actor friends and request them for an hour of time. We shot one section inside a car with Suyash and Prarthi and then one inside a house with Yasir and Rajshri. I am also extremely proud of a shot I took from inside the car using a filter which gives an effect of rain and as the wipers clear the window we see a couple on a bike (used in one of the interludes). By the end of it all we had 3-4 people who shot for us. From a young, freshly pass out of a film school Sanket, to a veteran 70 odd year young Rohit Uncle (a still photographer and a family friend).We had shot on various cameras from digi cam to go pro to 7d to 5d, we tried our hands on all that we had at a particular time.

Pratik Kothari Baiyaan-stagephod

What recognition did you get for this music video?

More than recognition it was the satisfaction that we got. It was almost against all odds. Though I would want to revisit the song and shoot it with those beautiful visuals I had imagined to but at that moment it was a sense of fulfillment! Humaramovie put up the music video online. The music video was uploaded on 26th of September. This was a great gesture from their side as it was the first death anniversary of our mentor and my father Shri Rajen Kothari.

What advice with you give new / aspiring film-makers on making a low budget film?

One must understand the scope and limitations of the resources one has and try telling the story most effectively within those resources. Lack of resources can bring the best out of you sometimes in terms of creativity. Patience and persistence are very important.

For link to the video, click here.

To Know more about Pratik, click here.

 

If you are a filmmaker who has made a film with minimal resources and with lots of Jugaads and want to share your film, write to us at stagephod(at)gmail.com.

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