Monday, February 12, 2018


Feb 8 - Bangalore

Landed from the rigorous shoot at Narmada.

Woke up and Got ready with some corrections in Utsaha Episode 1. The client Zee5 didn't want any mention of any vendor in the documents. Arjun Ratan has handled himself and went and recorded the corrections. Needed Prashant's voice for the character of the Boss Selvakumar. Prashant has been blocked and Jim John's  studio has been blocked. (no delay)


Told Syama that I wont be able to accompany her to drop her at the bus stop. Its been a while since we have seen each other. The Naramada shoot  and Ahemedabad classes has taken up my time. I was away for 10 days with just a ay in between with her.
She is pissed. Will go with her an drop her. (Delay by 40 mins - can be handled)

A day before Studio Mojo asked for a new trailer and a new teaser. The trailer and teaser need to have some specs and files from Zee5. We added that onto the video. However the edit takes time. (Delay by 2 hours). I am at Pranava studios to get Prashant's sound correction. That goes fine


Anoop sent my old posters to Zee5. They have approved it . However they don't want title credits. Or any credits. They want the poster ope files. The open files are on laptop far far away. I search for a sensible deisgner. I remember Shyamin's friend who is a good designer. I communicate with him. He agrees to do poster. He makes a wonderful poster in two hours. The poster is beautiful but he ignores the logo placement. The logo should be on the right corner. I tell him again He doesn't listen. A very skilled person but somewhere chances are he has not worked with stubborn clients. His poster is beautiful but doesn't work for Zee5. I don't have photoshop or laptop or nothing. (Delay by 2 hours). 


Anoop at Studio Mojo has got me into an email chain. A lot of conversation has been happening at their end. I am updated only now.

______________________________________________________________________________ 2.30pm
The final formats of the video is "Avc intra". I wonder why a broadcast format is used on web content. My format was Prores422HQ so I am supposed to convert it to AvcIntra.  I speak to Sam Santosh my sound designer. According tour logic Zee5 will needs it in Avintra and they will reconvert it back to my format. (This is what happens when u copy paste requirements from older docs) Just to stick to a guideline this is dumb. I tell Anoop that it doesnt work that way. He puts me in touch witha guy good with tech at Mumbai Zee office. (Rohan)


I ask my college friend Shishir Bhagade to help me. he is in between work. Sents him a documents and get requirement in 15mins. Updates it Anoop. Anoop sents it to Zee. Loosing time since A person in between is actually communicating requirement.


Teaser updated and approved by Studio Mojo which in turn was approved by Zee5. Still there are changes. I don't concentrate on it. I need to sent both the trailer before midnight. Their deadline is 6pm. This is unreal because I got info only in the morning. I can take my time. if they pisses me off I will decide not to sell my content. That is very clear. I wonder how Syama will react if I do it, i can't do it.


I fall on a ditch on the road. I am still alive. Hell YEAH

First trailer is ready. Have placed start slide and end slide. trailer is kind of approved. Communicated withAjmal Hasabullah. he is available. Sent files to him


Trailer files sent for sound correction to Ajmal Hasbullah. He did the music in 40min. first trailer is ready. Sample is uploaded as a link on youtube and sent for corrections at Zee5. Informed Sam about the crisis we are having. Sam is still figuring out the clients audio requirement. Multitrack audio. Spoke to my professor about the Multitrack audio on FCPX.

 Internet is gone. This has not happened before. Suddenly the Net seems to be out. It will take a roundabout time of 24hours. I am unable to sent the second teaser corrections. Anoop at Studio Mojo and people at Zee gets mad. I am irritated to the core at the internet. I should be irritated at them but I am irritated at ACT fibernet my internet connection. Don't keep your work for the 11th hour you may die at 10.30. (Delay by 24 hours). 

I call up Radhakrishnan Ramakrishnan who is my distributor from Studio Mojo, I ask him if I can go to his office early in the morning and complete the task. He approves. 

I am told that the logo in my poster which was corrected by Shihsir is small. I have already sent them a .psd file. they cant figure what shishir did. I call up another friend Vishnu (who I believe is good with Photoshop) I ask him if he could help since Shishir internet at home  is bad even for downloading a 50mb file. Vishnu decides to help. In half an hour the logo is bigger and poster is sent back. Such a wonderful person he is.

I finish the trailer corrections and add the requirements. Without internet things are impossible for me. I pack everything and waits for sometime. Syama is asleep. She has an office camping tomorrow morning. She has to wake up at 5.30am. I can drop her and come back and then go to studio mojo.

Feb 9- Bangalore

I wake up and sleep again. I can't makes tea for Syama. I copy everything onto a folder. Syama is late for her camping. I decide not to accompany her. She understands. (At least I hope she does)She does. She books a cab. She is gone.  She has her vacation and camping.

I call up Syama and ask her to book a cab for me. The Uber in my phone is fucked. She books a cab for me to studio mojo. Radhakrishnan at the studio gives me a space. Sadly there is no Mac in office. There is no-one who knows FCPx. There might be a person who knows premier but he is not around. I am screwed. This is not what I imagined Studio Mojo would be. I have been there several times but expected them to be top notch. I am stuck. (Delay by 2 hours)

I need a sensible person with FCPX and fast internet. I call up Rakesh. He doesn't pick. I call up Suhail he doesn't pick either. later he does. he is good with the tool but his net is screwed up. I call up Jishnu and ask if he can help. He is far from IIT Mumbai. Sam my sound designer stays in the Mumbai campus. He can help. I call him. He decides to help but it will take some time. Zee5 wants HQ files. they have agreed on Prores and not the AvcIntra. (a very logical decision ). Sam and my proffesor Sudesh Balan sir has figured out the MUltichannel output. Jishnu reached IIT AV lab. He knew it before hand it seems. They are rediting my trailer which I could uplaod from Mojo office. The files are big and in Gb's. (Delay 4 hours)

I retime the trailer subtitles. I also make the subtitles for episode 1 in sync. I sit at Studio mojo and do it. I am also waiting for a token payment which I need to Pay Sam and Ajmal. They have been up with me since this last minute -cookery has started. 

11.00 Am
I get my payment approved from Studio Mojo. I am glad there is not much haggling. I still don't trust them from the bottom of my heart. I know the final price with which they are selling my content. I am maybe getting a quarter of it. Sam is working on the teaser. He sents me the teaser in the format they want with the end slides. I rush home since they want all the episodes before morning

The Zee5 requirements have changed the want the video tonight. Which is impossible for me. Isay it is impossible. Meanwhile the Studio Mojo office sets up an FTP for file transfer. 100Gb through FTp seems an impossible task.

The Zee5 requirement has changed. they need a hard-disk before 12 noon tomorrow. This is again impossible for me. I tell Studio Mojo that I can give them files by 8.30am in the morning. Each rendering takes two hours. they book a ticket for one of their employees. I have to reach Studio office at IndiraNagar before 9.00am tomorrow. I approve. I don't have an extra hard disk. At 10pm I will get a hard-disk from studio Mojo. Anoop is calling me from Studio Mojo.

There is a correction with the trailer. i haven't eaten anything. My head hurts.
But there is no internet. Episode 1 subtitles are ready. Episode 1 is almost packed. Sam Santosh my sound designer has already sent the first episode mixed sound as a multitrack. I need internet to download them. he is working with me simultaneously on this. I am-glad he is as committed as I am.

4.45 pm
THE INTERNET IS BACk. Episode 1 titles are corrected and packaged. Episode 2 has started. Studio Mojo lets me directly interact with Zee5 now. This is a boon and blessing. I am working with a person called Suriya from Zee5. Even though he doesn't understand and doesn't care about my troubles He is patronising. I can work with him. "Kaffeiene Media" is replaced by"Studio Mojo"


The trailers are updated in a drive with .srt corrected. Anoop is calling me from Studio Mojo.

Sam has sent me the episode2 files. Episode 2 will be packaged by 10. I am hungry once again. I need to eat. Anoop is calling me from Studio Mojo.

I receive the hard disk from a nice gentleman. i have fried rice . For a change I drink Pepsi. The sugar will directly help my brain. I have given up Pepsi and Coke earlier because of the health impact and the callous environment impact imposed by them. My brain is more important. i call up Shamin and asks if he can help me with the subtitles re-syncing. He waits.

Feb 10 - Bangalore

Suriya is not happy with the initial credits. He says "its too long'. his boss says"who will have patience". They want to remove "krishand films " and "Neelavelicham". They also want to remove all disclaimers since Zee has its own disclaimers.  I am agitated. I can remove the disclaimerrs but the company logos won't be removed. I become agitated and raise my concern. Suriya is silent. I chop the initial part and keep the logoes. Suriya is sent a copy of the film. Low res youtube link. He approves.

There is a power failure. i am two episodes down. I close my eyes fro 20 minutes.

Suriya wants more logos to be blur. Blurred all logos. Exported the episode. All going well. I fond a glitch in the removal of a word 'maruthi' from the dialogue. How can we solve it. Sam is working in Tandem with me from IIT. Sam solves it for me. Its a blessing to have him around. He makes his own decisions, which works wonders for me.

I am hungry. I drink more pepsi and correct episode , Meanwhile subtitles for episode 2 is also getting synced.

Nobody is mailing me anything. It seems like everyone has slept. I am reduced to a man who waits for files to render. Should I watch porn. Nope
Should I do the subtitling. Nope
I will go out for a walk. The files need to be delivered by 9 (I am ahead by an hour)


Anoop is up. I had chai. I ran for 5 minutes. Should have worn my running shoes. Wait my running shoes are my casual shoes. Damn. I need running shoes. Will I run. Render must be 85 percent

Render failed notification. There is a train of thought passing through an abyss of pain> i haven't failed anyone but there is an indispensable feeling of loss. I give render again and run for chai. (Delay caught up with me)

The rendered files comes out. I have finished work. I check the files. I havent deleted a text in the video. I call up Anant from trivandrum at the Studio Mojo office and ask if the person who is supposed to deliver the hardisk to Mumbai can meet up in between so that I can have time for another render. He agrees

Power failure. This is a fucking piece of shit. Electricity is so fucked up !!! (Delay by 45 mins)

Power is back. I take rendered out and I run to the meeting point. We meet I transfer files. Will wait for payment tomorrow. Need to work on subtitles. Shyamin is ready to help. He wouldn't take pay. I wonder. I eat brekafast. I doze off for 20min.  (Fuck the delay )

Poster design by Rahul from SH college

Poster design quickie by me

Monday, February 5, 2018

Images and Stories

Earlier I would classify Singdha as one of those friends who calls me only when she is confused. I am against classification but I secretly do it. Well mostly. When she called me up in January to ask if I can take a photography workshop I felt confused. I had already committed to a class in Sacred Hearts college (School of Communication) to take a class on human centric graphic design I  called up my friend Kiran Sasi and changed the date.

Snigdha Banergee as far as I can remember is a painter, one of the most powerful artist I have met.  She is an animation filmmaker and she is now leading the department of Animation at UID. She advised UID to book air tickets for me.

U (say yooooooooou) 😮😮😮😮😮
I (say aaaaiiiiiiii )😛😛😛😛😛
D (say deeeee)   😁😁😁😁😁😁😁

UID is situated on the new highway near Uvarasad GandhiNagar. A place where 3g internet is a myth. Where the heat is so much that chapatti's cook themselves and at night the temperature dip so much that the mist fills up the whole barren land.
Uvarasad sunrise (no color)

morning masala chai at chotus dhabha
I am sceptical about taking workshops. Mostly because I have to deal with students who are not ready for my workshops and faculty who are not ready to accept human centric liberal design outlooks.  Somehow UID had none (let me be diplomatic and not mention the assholes for once). In fact UID animation had the opposite lot. Very intelligent students and equally open facilitators. I could also figure out that the other departments didn't have such a collective of facilitators (lectures-professors) who were actually striving beyond their limits to get students to understand design.

I land at Snigdhas house. Behind NID. Greeted by the Kite festival. She lives on the fourth floor without a lift. I may have burned a few calories. Snigdha was welcoming and she had a friend. I can't remember her name. A  young lady COLD as a chilled beer in greenland kept in refrigerator. "I dont want to tell you who I am. I don't trust strangers that easily" she said. This was a happy moment. I had devised my mechanism of small talks to survive strangers. Suddenly I am relieved. There is this emotional afterglow of a silent fart. Snigdha got me an auto to go Gandhinagar UID guest house.

I ate 5 chapathis. some dal, a sniff of rice and some curry.

The first thing i did when I got up early in the morning was to walk around the guest house. It was cold and I walked around the village. This place is blessed with fresh water. I could see the Gujarat model that our prime minister throw at random ralleys. Still there are no toilets. The 'flex' used by the government to sponsor their cleanliness campaign isused by people as temporary toilets.

I reach early. Snigdha is dressed up. I wonder if I am underdressed.

my scheduled for 10 days

When I was in IDC ,IIT bombay the photography classes were taken by my professor Sudesh Balan. He is still a great inspiration and a person that I look upto. But nevertheless I should say the photography classes that he took didn't make me well versed with the art of photography. I understood his concept six months later when I took a department camera and went around doing everything myself. The classes were more technical centric and calculative than being aesthetic and political. I didn't want this. I understand that the technical aspect is supreme but it is a skill and one can train himself. The muscle memory will step in if a person practice with the equipment but the thought, intend and emotion has its own value. Sometimes a small camera can take a powerful picture which a Hasselblad and million dollars can't.

UID has a brilliant batch of students. Most of them inclined towards design and learning. This was different. I had spent a week preparing for this lecture which I do once every six months to update myself. I am glad i did this. The kids are savvy. They can't be conned. They need the best. How can I extrapolate their imagination. Do I need to extrapolate ? For the money UID is paying I can take a textbook lecture and get away. The dilemma is gone as soon as i speak to students. They deserve the best.

A class of more than 25 students will always have 4 really brilliant students and the rest not so brilliant students. The brilliance is just based on curriculum studies. Some of them maybe brilliant in something else. However UID had a few more really bright students. The rest of them were just plain LAZY.

We started off in a great manner and I could inspire a few people to step out of their immediate surroundings to take pictures.

My normal day would start with me waking up at 6.00 am. I would go for a morning walk with my camera. There were days when I have walked more than 8 km. I am not into fitness. I love cold mornings and I am searching for images to get myself into the groove of my photographer days.

In college I feel a little claustrophobic as soon as I reach. Too organised. I have to do a finger swipe and then sign a document.

Snigdha will be busy with her work mostly. I am impressed with Ravi Sachula a professor in the department and his work. He makes paintings with an inherent cynicism and satirical outlook. The man himself is a free soul. Akrithi is a blessing in disguise. A cinematographer at heart we could speak for hours just about light and composition. Its fun the way her face gets lit up when she speaks about her course in cinematography at Sanfransisco. She has been through the hardships of a cinematographer. She understands. Snigdha is still sorting out office logistics. When will she make her new film ? Puniya smiles. He doesn't speak much. He chooses his words carefully. Herock is of great help. He is sweet. He introduces me to Bengali Dhabha outside the college. He is a life saver.
At the Dhabha I meet "Danish". "Danish" is in his zone. I am blessed to have a man his zone for lunch. Snigdha might still be finishing an office task. 

Late in the evenings Mazhar comes to meet me. Mazhar is a student who is actually quite good with photography.He has the attitude of a ATM uncle. It seems like he doesnt give a flying fuck. Secretly he gives too many fucks. At least a few. Toash is silent but quite open with his approach to deisgn, he wakes up early and practice photography. Ms Menon is a poet. She is a person lost in a limbo. She floats to class and go back. Toash seems to be her reality check. Rishik is hyperactive. A brillaint storyteller. The man at the chai shop is friendly he gives me free chai. Twinkle is more mature than her age. I see a lot of possibilities. I missed one of her prints. This actually made me sad. She understood NOIr more than anyone and i misplaced her print. What is stopping her. I have already started forgetting the interactions i had with many of them. I am forgetting names. Avanji seems to be a brilliant artist. She thinks visually. When i walk to my apartment in the evening I see Shruthi at the cricket field trying to capture the decisive moment. I see her everyday. This is how I was in college. I decide not to go and tell her, not to help her or solve her photography issues. Let her be. Harsh sleeps in class. He is a quite a nice photographer. Some of the videos are boring. People will sleep in classes. That is what classes are for. Its the lecturer jobs to get their attention. Vansh leaves early. June reminds me of a rehab person I met in Mumbai. Half in love with graceful peaceful tranquil limbo. Priyanka is a model and she is missing in class. Sharon has her doubts. I don't clear them. She will eventually clear them. She should. Aanya is from the instagram generation with an attention span of a housefly of cocaine. She gets bored too easily. She suprised me with her final set of pictures. Padman experiments with his camera a lot like Harsh. Padman seems to have a good eye for visuals. He thinks too much. Unlike Swapnil who doesn't think that much and jump into an assignment. Its students like Swapnil that an ideal design school needs. But do we need people who only does their assignments. What about adding life to the assignment and pushing the limits. Here Suvarna steps in as a storyteller. I figure out she is lazy. She is lazier than me.  I see Aman Gupta taking pictures of a crane in one of the destroyed water bodies around Uvarasad. He is always smiling. He is discovering the joy of photography. Aman patel didn't interact that much. Even Shreya and Shireen interacted less. I am impressed with one of Shreyas picture. Shirin is already a photographer. I saw the images she has taken before the workshop. The same case go with Priyal , Mazhar and Padman. Priyal has an eye for details. She is full of questions. 

Jwalin is a very silent person in class but when it comes to his work he is hyper active. Along with Suvarna and Twinkle he is one of those kids who experimented a lot. Bhushan also did an impossible task with the shutter speed assignments. Bhushan is chilled. Shefali submits her assignments on time. She has that edge to experiment. Who am i to judge these people. I am lazy and stubborn and stuck in a mid 80's rock anthems riff. I teach a little bit of Photoshop to Mazhar. 

Swapnil giving the handsome look 


Shruthi and her corner

Aman and Priyal

Students setting up the exhibition


Students finding order

Photographs are memory markers

Order and disorder

two cinematographers not doing what they are supposed to



Students shouldnt be trapped in a cycle of aperture shutterspeed and ISO and should learn to think like creators.

Student should strive to push their creativity and camera should not limit thier creativity

Students should start seeing hidden patterns, hidden order, storytelling elements which will help them communicate more vividly

Student should find their own pattern for exhibition design and arrangement so that they know how to use space to interact with images.

Students need to feel like respectful grown up individuals who should take responsibility in their content

Students should have a kickass time

Snigdha took me to Adlej well and To a lot of other places in Ahmedabad. We had a blast of a time together. 
Overall UID was kind of a good experience.

Looking forward to other workshops around India. meet more interesting people. I was also asked to given a speech on my journey so far to inspire students in the "Alaap talk sessions". I am an introvert trying to put the face of a social animal. This was horrifying and somehow I pulled it off. people from Senior batches came and met. Glad I could inspire. People more skilled than me (i should admit). Let everyone have a great soar in life.

Going straight to narmada shoot from Bengaluru soon after this. 

More pictures from students