A little more than a fortnight ago, I released my first short-film ‘Refaire‘ on YouTube. It’s quite special to me as it marks my debut in storytelling. It was received quite positively during the in-house film festival we had. This post is first in the series Cinephile’s Diary to encapsulate my experience of making this movie. If you missed the announcement in the previous posts, you can watch it here –
I would soon be releasing ‘The Making of‘ featuring some behind the scenes and raw footage. Reminiscing the chronicle, it took us around a month to transform our idea into reality. Timeline breakdown would seem something like –
In one of my previous blog posts I had written –
It’s an interesting idea to capture such tiny moments. But it’s equally difficult to convey the weight it carries. There are numerous instances which everyone goes through but their impact is somehow lost in the influence of the end result. I would really like to share the result of my experimentation.
So here it is. Today I will write about my own experience that made me realize how movies are a compelling medium of visual storytelling.
There’s an old saying – “You can’t really understand another person’s experience until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes“. This was my attempt to fit in.
Ever since I had realized the headiness in movies and effort that goes to bring out that subtlety, I was fascinated. I was eager to paint my own hands with hues of creativity.
The above block-quoted lines were written in context of seeing beyond the obvious. To interrogate and analyze the bigger picture. Now it may seem to be a philosophical ranting – a shell in lieu of solid. But that’s where your ability to comprehend kicks in.
Amidst the desire to cherish, there lies an opportunity to showcase. To extract out the what others couldn’t behold and embed it into your creation. A creation that reveals the beauty. That’s storytelling.
With this conjecture in mind, I dived deeper into my world unknown. A journey that started with mere fascination became a passion which drove me crazy. Now the creator had to find inspirations.
I have watched a vast number of documentaries, acclaimed movies, vlogs, skits, etc. But now I also started reading articles about the art, about the back stage stories, their inspirations, thought process, struggles, bloopers, the story before and the story after. Gradually I realized that beyond our fairly obvious scenes, there lies tremendous effort to make it as little noticeable as possible.
Now there are multiple dimensions to visual storytelling itself and each triggers our nerve in unique style. Most of my life, I have watched movies that wowed the audience. But then I also incorporated movies that challenges intellect into my list. It was all possible now that I could get access to this vast repository of information – Internet. It then expanded to documentaries that took us to the unseen corners. I can’t forget my childhood’s obsession with National Geography and Discovery.
When I beheld further, I recognized them as just another medium and there were plenty. I binge watched skits like ones from SNL (Saturday Night Live) or TVF’s Qtiyapas. But then came the web series and changed the definition of how we perceived television. This is the era of online contents and it provided a way to better consume them. With wider penetration of Internet to the masses, web series quickly gained the traction and we got shows like TVF Pitchers, Permanent Roommates (one series that triggered my inner zeal to tell good story in a humorous way) & Little Things.
It was during my intermediate that I was first introduced to an impactful storytelling medium. All thanks to ‘Yaadon Ka Idiot Box‘ on 92.7 Big FM. Radio was my biggest companion back then and I owe a major part of my positivity to this show. And then recently I come across its visual counterparts.
There exists incredibly intellectual talk shows like this –
And the fascinating travel diaries like these –
Night and day, I kept immersing into a world that seemed so different yet been existing around myself. It’s not the matter of what one could or couldn’t have experienced, it is rather about the presentation. Call it the magic of cinematic shots or the power of editing, they came out way better than what an average person could imagine. This need vision. This needs creativity.
And then I stumbled upon something that seems to be the latest fad – Vlogs. But there are few creators who have mastered this art. I was never much fan of vlogging where a guy just keep on moving and doing stuffs with camera in one hand but Casey Neistat showed me a whole new aspect. I owe a major part of my learning experience to him. He taught me what to shoot, how to shoot, how to edit but what matters the most is ‘the story‘.
And this was just the entrance. As I kept on looking around, I got to know about wonderful people whose works were as amazing. They taught me how to produce videos that make the audience feel the experiences without them being there. I would talk about them later in the series. Till then I’m just hanging in there – watching, learning and getting better as I practice this art.
Film-making is ever evolving. With each passing time, there comes another medium that surpasses the existing trend. These trendsetters take the crowd by storm. They’re here to persist. Each of these has different style but what remains constant is the story.
Author’s Note – The purpose of this blog post was to introduce readers with various mediums of visual storytelling. It was rather to consolidate the things that inspired me to understand the mechanism better. Obviously I couldn’t accommodate everything I wanted to write about but this gives a fair introduction of what I started with.
This blog post is mere a prologue to the upcoming ones. Keep falling in love with this enticing world of film-making and stay tuned to the series! Peace ✌️