Read How Ishan Sharma and Anurag Verma made a short film in minimal resources and with lots of help from their friends.
Tell us about you and your team (if you have) in brief
I have continuously worked with Anurag Verma, who’s another young writer-filmmaker from FTII. He has written the scripts of all my films till now, and is also the co-director of my latest film, “The Day He Sleeps”. Raju Biswas, another talented cinematographer from FTII, shot TDHS.
How did you come up with the idea of this particular short film?
Anurag and I were standing in the balcony of a cramped apartment in the Delhi suburbs. Some great music was blaring inside, we had a bottle of old monk in our hands and it was raining. The good kind of rain, which makes you want to do beautiful things with your life. It was then that the idea of The Day He Sleeps was born. Of Urban isolation, loneliness and the character of the city in a modern world.
What all prominent “Jugaads” did you do to make the film with minimal resources?
Every independent film is made with a few brave minds and a lot of rich\influential friends. Anurag and I are so grateful to so many people who helped us along the way, just so we could transport an idea to the screen. We held auditions at The Fursat Se’ cafe’ which was so helpful in giving us a space when we had nowhere to work. One of our friends, a young filmmaker herself, Sonam, decided to come on board as the producer and showed tremendous faith in us by funding the shoot. Another friend, Lohit, gave us his house to turn it into a set for a month! So many of my friends, who have absolutely nothing to do with films, would send in money whenever I needed it. Jitender, Paran, Tarini – we are so lucky that there are people who are willing to support Independent Art in India. For our outstation shoot in Rajasthan, we were staying at a spectacular hotel free of charge, all because of people like these. For the post, we edited the film ourselves, found royalty free music on the internet and are now engaging in sound mixing and colour correction. In my experience, it’s always better to learn something and do it yourself when you’re working on a zero budget.
What recognition did you get for this short film?
Till now the only recognition I’ve got for this film is that my father has extended kicking me out of the house by another six months. Apart from that, Anurag is already staying with his brother and will be out on the streets in another month or so. On a more serious note, we hope the film is going to do well in film festivals and we look forward to travelling with it all over the country.
What advice with you give new / aspiring filmmakers on making a low budget film?
My advice to the young filmmakers out there – Borrow your friend’s camera. Write anything you feel strongly about. Shoot the film. Don’t worry about the money, don’t worry about what everyone’s going to say about it, just shoot your first film. If you have absolutely no money, try to get in actors who are starting out. Look at locations that are easily controlled. Or if you have to shoot at a public location, do it guerrilla style. For expenses that cannot be avoided, contact friends with cushy jobs.
Link to the trailer of short film – The Day He Sleeps : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hP56riemWko
To know more about Ishan, click here.
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