Times at the First Frame 2013 Office
Last week, a couple of days before I left for home, one last task remained to be done being a student of MBICEM. More importantly, being a part of First Frame 2013- Fifth International Students’ Film Festival. After the successful completion of the festival in April, my friend Sahil and I were given the task of submitting a report of the entire festival- a document summarising how everything took place. Considering the grandeur of the festival, we were in no mood to submit a boring file filled with a thick set of printed sheets. We took it upon us to design a whole new document with newly written content and submit a ‘grand’ report to the Director. I joked, Let’s do this and let’s make this huge, 10 years down the line this report might get shown to the new First Frame Team and they would be told, ‘This is how the 2013 team worked and revived First Frame!’
With almost two months of hard work put in, the report was completed in all respects in the early morning hours of Friday, 21st of June 2013. Considering that this would be my last day at Delhi when college was open, Sahil got the document printed from Nehru Place the same day and we went to college to submit it.
|Sahil and I with the First Frame 2013 Recipe Book|
As my friend Divya, a member from the First Frame Core Team, saw the document, she wanted to read each and everything that was written here. I told her I would email the content to her. As I was going through the entire 22 page word document, I thought there were a few parts which I should share with the world. These are certain things that anybody who was associated with the festival, specially the members of the core team, would deeply relate to and would, hopefully, enjoy reading. The video at the end of this post ought not to be missed! ;)
Extracts from the First Frame 2013 Recipe Book:
Chapter: The Announcement
“Is First Frame actually happening?”
“Hahahaha…it can just be a joke…it didn’t happen last year, this year also it would get cancelled”
“They are mad people… First Frame cannot happen”
“First Frame hoga, chahe kuch ho jaye!”
Chapter: The FFO
The students’ team felt the need of having a common place to sit, discuss, brainstorm and execute various plans related to the festival. On 23rd January 2013, a room in the Institute was allotted to the First Frame Team to carry out work related to the event. The room came to be termed as the First Frame Office a.k.a. FFO.
For the coming two and half months, the FFO became the hub of activities at MBICEM. As soon as they were out of their classes, the students’ team preferred ‘hanging out’ in the FFO rather than in the canteen. The FFO seemed more appealing than even their homes. The college shut down each day at 4 and everyone left, but the gatekeeper, Dharmender bhaiya, cooperated completely with the First Frame team who didn’t leave the FFO before 10 PM any day.
Initially, long rounds of discussions took place every day in the FFO amongst the team members joined every now and then by the faculty coordinator, Ms. Neha Pande. Strategies to get sponsorship and more entries were discussed at length. For sometime it seemed that the place was just a place of ‘discussion’ and no ‘implementation’. But then, as the days rolled by, the FFO became the place where every big news was announced, reason for every sponsor-rejection was hashed out, bigger strategies were planned, good news was celebrated, the Director’s messages were received, the documentation work was done, couriers were received and sent, the received films were screened and stored, phone calls were made to prospective sponsors, the anchoring auditions took place and not to forget, everyday the canteen wale bhaiya got the opportunity to earn a lump-sum from the late-workers at the office!
The scene in the FFO was something very common to everyone who was there each day. A green carpet in the back side of the room with a few students staring and working on laptops, one sitting on the computer terminal and struggling with the slow processor, one holding the black marker and writing something on the white board, one running up and down the building and coming in just to prepare the next document for approval, a few chatting, a few pretending to look busy and a few actually finding it a peaceful time to rest and thus, sleeping. The white board was the piece of object that made every heart nervous when they entered the FFO. A small part on the left side of the board carried a daily reminder with a countdown to the festival date. The rest of the board carried the ‘To do’ list of work against the names of each member of the core and peripheral teams which was refreshed each day.
As the festival days drew closer, the FFO saw the influx of all the event related material and a part of it slowly turned into a store room before the material was moved to the venue on 1st April 2013. When they were leaving the FFO that evening with all the work done, the students waved a final goodbye to their workplace.
Chapter: The LIVE Edition Newsletter
When the detailed programme schedule for the Valedictory Function was being prepared, the students included the release of a special LIVE edition of the Institute’s monthly newsletter, MagzL. The idea behind this ‘LIVE’ edition was to cover all the minute details of the two-day festival in written form and include every detail till the declaration of the results.
When the film catalogue was prepared, the sequence of events of the Valedictory Function included the release of the LIVE newsletter. The Festival Director was uncertain about including this point. To be truthful, the editorial and designing team that had to work backstage ‘during’ the event considered this the biggest challenge in the entire two-day festival; not being able to achieve this would mean that every person who gets hold of the catalogue and programme schedule asks the question, What is this LIVE edition newsletter and why did it not release?
The MagzL team was up against this challenge. The newsletter was designed and the layout was decided prior to the event. Most of the articles including the details regarding the Jury members, the sponsors and the like, were pre-written, edited and placed in the layout. The students booked a cyber café in Gol Market so as to carry out the immediate printing work once the judges disclose the results.
What exactly was to be done ‘during’ the festival was the inclusion of the quotes from the guests, the Opening Ceremony, the Jury Members, the delegates and the members of the press. Photographs of the various events at the festival were to be included with proper captions and cutlines. The final touch to the entire design was to be given. And most importantly, 30 copies of the newsletter were to be printed and delivered to the venue after the judges disclose the results and before the beginning of the Valedictory Function- all in just about an hour’s time.
On Day 2 of the festival, the designers sat ready at the Gol Market Cyber Café around 3.30 PM. Every detail in the newsletter was complete except the page that included the final results. As soon as the judges disclosed the final result to the student coordinators at about 4.30 PM, the result was communicated to the designers, who in turn immediately got the details of each of the winning films and did the fastest designing work in their lives. They had to be fast but they had to be even more careful, for a single mistake could ruin the effort. There was less than an hour to complete the designing, printing, cutting and binding process.
The Valedictory Function began as per schedule and this was a few moments after the printed copy of the newsletter had successfully crossed the evening traffic hurdles and reached the venue. The dream of releasing the newsletter’s first LIVE edition, that in-brief summed up the entire First Frame 2013 journey, had been achieved.
Chapter: Valedictory Function
Well, that was not it. First Frame 2013 did come to a close but not before the Festival Director announced the festival’s next edition, First Frame 2014- Sixth International Students’ Film Festival, to be held tentatively in January 2014.
I am 100% sure this is not my last post about First Frame or MBICEM. Many would come up, sometime or the other, in the coming time. For now, let me leave it at this video. We shot this in the First Frame Office (FFO) on 13th February 2013, during one of the very light and work-less moments. We had originally planned to work on the original footage, edit it and use it as a ‘Call for Entry’ promotional video. But that plan neve r worked out. This evening, while I was sitting and finalising this blog post, the idea struck me. Why let good old fun remain constrained to some of us? Let me edit the footage and upload it on my blog. And here it is. Enjoy and share! (I am sure half the cast of this video is going to kill me the next time they meet me) ;)