Friday, April 20, 2012

The 0ne Rupee Novella - Part II

[Published on MAM Previously]

A man opens the door with a smiling face; must be a servant who already knew that another young filmmaker is coming in search of luck. No one would have guessed that such a rich man can live here in this soon-to-be-abandoned kind of building. How did he become so rich, the filmmaker tries to think while moving towards the drawing room. Suddenly, the thoughts gets obstructed as he sees a young man playing cricket. Not exactly playing, rather practicing, but where's the ball again! What is this man trying to do? He's got a bat, he is posing as if he is playing different shots and, nevertheless he is also narrating the whole action in English. A shadow practice with commentary, nice! The filmmaker stood motionless, watching, until the servant calls him inside. Unexpected association of images and sounds! The fat film producer enters the room

-- 'Welcome, my dear friend, what'll you have, cold drink or beer?

-- 'Beer of course!'

As if tea or coffee is meant for a mediocre only! He knows very well where this conversation is going to end. Sometimes he thinks he must learn to lie. Does it really matter if you cheat some fatsos to make your dream a reality? You just need to say that you know some buyers and they live in some UK or USA and the only thing needed is three or four copies with Spanish, French, Itallian and Russian subtitles other than English. You need to convince them that you know every bit of the international market but, fuck man, you are a maker and not a merchant. You can't humiliate yourself at least! So, again he says the same things like even Uttam Kumar had to cope with flops. Absolutely no one can be certain whether a film is going to work in terms of revenue or not. And the producer would say

-- "See, it doesn't matter to me if your film is a flop. It's my money and I just want to know how I can get it back, I mean at least what I invested. Can you show me a structure?"

-- "That depends on a lot of things."

-- "Then my financial support too depends on a lot of things."

Then they will talk about the market trends and how much investment can assure some return etc. The producer will talk about his previous experiences with other directors whom he thinks to be eminent names now-a-days in the industry. How they came to him when no one had heard their names and how he changed their lives etc. All the same, all the same! Then after a couple of bottles, the filmmaker would get depressed and open up again

-- "The taste has changed a lot, you see. No one likes a good film now-a-days. If you use some slow moves, prolonged zoom-ins and zoom-outs, they will call you outdated. No one wants a Hrishikesh Mukherjee in the 21st century. The longest shot should last less than 6 seconds, that's what they like. Even these kinds of conversation sequences, like we are having a discussion now, sitting face-to-face on two sides of a table, shot-reverse shot-over the shoulder-POV; they will call it cliched. I know, I've used these devices previously. I've heard that film insurance is an option in Mumbai provided that the project profile looks fine. The the kind of casting required to avail that...well, I don't think you are that much strong financially.

-- "Who told you to think about my financial background?"

-- "No, on a second thought, the kind of stars that we have here won't be fit for my film. Most of them are incapable I think. Moreover, viewers can empathize more with a new man, a new face. This is a psychological factor that always works. In case of stars, the process of self-identification gets hindered.

-- "Whatever! If you comne up with something interesting let me know. Just give me a call and we'll see"

Another door is closed.
New face?
What's new again?
It's just a common face
But a face that's uncommon for the screen
For the spectator
In a sea of thousand faces how'd you know who finds empathy in what shape or which complexion
I stand in front of a wall
All covered up with posters
I shuffle between a thousand images
All I look for is a face
Similar to mine
Yet dissimilar

...And the rain starts to fall  

No comments:

Post a Comment