Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bidding Adieu to ‘That’ Reluctance: First Public Screening of My Film

‘Because we have a lot of time, would you like to see my film?’ I asked my classmates reluctantly.

‘Yes. Show us. You have been talking about it for so long’, TMS said.

‘Let’s screen the film’, SK added.

‘Put it up on the projector’, Sir told me.

‘Okay’, I said with a smile and took the pen drive out and went to set up the projector.


I had been talking about my film for some time. When I had put up the poster on facebook last month, some of my classmates had expressed the wish to see the film. Barring a couple of them, nobody had any clue what the film is about. I had no intention of revealing the suspense to anyone and wanted them to see it for themselves.

It had started as my final project for graduation. Shot over less than a week’s time with at least 3 shooting schedules between February to May 2013, the post-production led to the conversion of over 5 hours of footage shot on Mini DV tapes to a 24 minute long ‘short documentary film’.

‘Introduce the film to us so we know what it is about’, Sir told me.

I was ready. Everything was set.

‘The film that we are going to see right now was made as my Final Project for graduation. It’s titled- ‘Leukemia- Not Just a Disease!’ It’s a little over 20 minutes long and is a purely interview-based documentary’, I announced to the class.

‘I won’t reveal what the film is exactly about and would request you to see it and decipher it for yourselves. Because revealing anything might ruin the film’s experience.’

‘And before we begin let me warn you that because this is a pure documentary and doesn’t have even a tiny connection to animation, there is a possibility that you might not like it. In case it is so, please do not walk out. I will feel bad. And by the way, this is the first time ever that the film is being screened’, I added with a grin and the statement returned a few smiles and claps.

The film began and I took a corner seat from where I could see everyone’s reactions.

I excitedly messaged my parents and sister: 'Leukemia screening in class right now!'

As a couple of minutes passed, the reality began to settle in. A sense of pride filled me slowly. Nobody here has any clue what this is all about. This is the first ever public screening of my film! I had goosebumps.

Last May I had completed the post-production on the film and what should not have been more than 10 minutes long, had resulted in a 25 minute long film. Only a few close friends and teachers had seen the film apart from my family. They had all appreciated the work. But I had my doubts. They know me well. They know that I have worked hard on this project. Wouldn’t saying that they didn’t like it or that they found it boring, make me feel bad? Everyone surely considered this before giving me their opinion. So should I consider their opinion to be truly honest?

The film was reaching its climax. This was the moment I was waiting for. I turned my view towards the audience. I wanted to see their reaction. I was nervous. Everyone was surely watching the film and hadn’t dozed off. If this doesn’t make everyone feel the way I want them to feel, my objective of making the film would be doomed. If these guys say anything like ‘It was boring’ how can I expect that people who don’t know me would even consider seeing the film? Am I simply wasting money by sending it to film festivals? What if some of them are willing to walk-out right now but are continuing to sit simply because I requested them to?

A round of applause rose. The credits are still left, I wanted to tell them.

The credits rolled and the copyrights appeared. It was over. I switched on the lights and went to the front to switch off the projector.

Yes, I was on cloud nine. The screening was successful. They actually liked my film, the same film that I have been terming as ‘boring’ since so many months.

A round of very informal Q&A followed. I received a few suggestions and I revealed more details regarding the production and why certain things were the way they are.

One of my friends said, ‘Probably it is a little weak technically, but the way the story is told you can easily see the intensity-graph of the film rising and then at the peak, in that particular scene, you are totally into it.’

This had been the exact way I had liked describing the structure of the film and it was just so amazing to hear it from somebody else.

‘Because of your film TK has to re-do her kaajal,’ MK told me. (Note: TK and MK are twins. There is a slight possibility that I might have confused there names [:P])

‘Not just TK, MK also!’ added TMS. ‘And DT has been in a trance since then!’

What could have been an accusation was actually the biggest surprise and compliment for me. The biggest objective of the film, which I thought of right in the beginning of pre-production, is attained!

The discussions continued for as long as an hour and a half. I didn’t expect that from some people who know so little about me. What went through my mind over the next few hours resulted in this blog entry right now. Unknowingly what everyone who saw the film today did was something big. It was in fact the best part of the entire thing- a significant change in my attitude towards my film.

‘Are you sending it to some film festivals?’ Sir asked me.

‘Yes Sir’, I answered, surely more confident about my decision now.

I have no clue what would come out of the applications I am sending to the various film festivals for my film right now. Thinking about this did make me nervous till today morning. Now I seem to care a little less about it.

Probably when I have the next screening in front of an unknown audience, I would be confident about my work. I would care a little less about how they react to the film and I surely wouldn’t try to wriggle out of a ‘prospective’ embarrassing situation by saying anything in the lines of ‘If you don’t like the film, please do not walk out’.

P.S.: In case any of my Jamia-mates are reading this- Thank you guys for making my day!


And to everyone (including my family members, my MBICEM friends and teachers and of course, NP) who told me that they liked my film but my reluctance led me to believe that what they were saying may not be true, a bigger Thank you! I love you guys!

5 comments :

  1. This is an age of self advertisement. You must tell people and tell them with confidence what you have done without hesitation. Whatever others think you must learn to appreciate your own work. You are in a very competitive field and to survive and progress in it your level of self confidence should never go down. I sincerely appreciate the work you have done to depict the fighting attitude of your sister.

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  2. What course did you do your graduation in? Just curious. And I completely agree with your dad, this is something I need to learn for myself too.

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    1. Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication- that's what I did.
      And yeah, that's an important trait to learn for ourselves. Thanks for the comment :)

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