Sunday, July 26, 2009


Two days back I watched a film, which was widely talked about, made by well experienced team. The director has been making good and critically well received films for past decade. As I am one of his admirers and also one of my good friends have starred in the film, I was anxious to watch it.

Though the film was well made and presented, I was not able to remember anything about the film, at all, after I came out of the theatre. And I was wondering why.

After giving it a thought for sometime, what I could conclude was that, apart from bad script. poorly written dialogues, and hell of a lot of flicked scenes from foreign language films,

there is no pause.

A pause can be in between the scenes (transitions), can be in between dialogues, can be between first half and second half of the film (thats what we call interval, we relax and start to munch on what happened in the first half, and try to predict what would be 2nd half.)

As human beings, our brain does not respond instantly to grab what just happened before your eyes. It takes couple of fractions of seconds, then it takes another couple of fractions of seconds to respond to it, and another fractions to conclude on the logic of whatever happened.

Eyes see, Ears hear, then taken in to the brain, and the brain responds. And then only we say 'wow' or 'shit'.

So when you are making film, this factor has to be seriously taken into account. There has to be pauses here and there where ever required between the dialogues, between the scenes. Good scripts with no pauses, may do well, but audience will never remember anything when they come out. Because, before their brain could memorise something, the next thing happens and keeps on going, so audience will remember only bits and pieces of the film, that too vaguely.

thats what happened in this film which i watched 2 days ago. The director or editor stopped leaving pauses, all the artists stopped pausing between the dialogues. They might as well read it as fast as they can.
Especially when the Artists deliver the dialogues.
When there is no pause between the lines, then Artists seem to respond with each other in a pre-planned way.
In real life, when we talk with each other, we do not plan, so when somebody asks a question, we think for a moment, we manage that with 'ya' mmm' 'no' 'I mean' etc and then we phrase inside and reply. The speed at which respond comes out varies from person to person. But still, there is a pause. Thats natural way of communicating to one another.
But in our films (Tamil), we seem to neglect this fact.
Artists just want to deliver what ever the line is and they do not bother about the pauses. Even if actors make pauses, the editor feels LAG and he deliberately removes it saying it will bore the audience.
There is a very bad word being circulated among the Tamil film industry - LAG. Nobody wants to see anything silent, there has to be some music going on in the back, or some sound fx. Otherwise there should be contiuous dialogues. Rest are all LAG.
They dont realize one thing is that the whole damn film is a LAG, because of this.
They also think that holywood does the same thing. But in reality no other film industry does it
Holywood films have a graph. Even in block buster action films. Whenever high speed action takes place, the very next scene is established in a deliberate way, silently, thereby relieving the audience and preparing them again for the next action sequence. None of the artists spoke their dialogues continuously. they paused, turned their head, looked through the window, etc.
Any directors who knows how to handle pauses and actors who knows where to pause between the dialogues really shine.
Ofcourse its apart from the scripts, directors are handling and expressions actors are making.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Sometime back, I met a friend who wants to write scripts for film. Most probably that’s the ‘very rare’ and most in demand commodity in the industry.

But you never know, who has got what in him. So I asked him if he has any concepts, and he says still thinking. I encouraged him to go ahead, and gave him some basic ideas like how to create and develop a concept and how to write treatment etc, he listened seriously and then one fine day he comes to me with a story line.

I read it and at once I knew he flicked from two or three foreign language films. I don’t blame him, as it is a generational practice, going on in this Indian Film Industry (Especially Tamil, those directors who talk too much about Promoting Tamil cinema and compare their films with classic films and who does not like to hear if their films are flicked ones, regularly flicks from foreign language films only).
Anyway lets not blame them also, as they are too busy thinking about money and lost their creative goal somewhere into their wealth.)

I am not really sure why one should get into the industry, especially as director, or music director, when he is not able to make his own original concepts and original presentation. Is it for money? Then You have another half side of the industry where they treat the film reels as mere ‘cans of luck’ and gamble
Or if one don’t want to gamble then he should not be looking at all at this film industry. They can have grocery store, fancy shops steel business whatever.
Current trend is that those who has no job, no education, no money, and no thinking, but who wants to become filthy rich quickly, are the ones dominating Tamil Industry. For them, what you got to do is some how, repeat somehow join with a somewhat known director, learn the language he talks (very important), and try to impress the hero (somehow at any cost) and tell your story. The stupid hero will one hundred percent okay the subject just because you are with ‘so and so’. Make a movie in a time span of Maximum 2 years) not even a time taken for one to be graduated. The film flops, does not matter, film hits box office, you reached your goal.
Its not a collective abuse, but dominant part is true.

However, lets go back to the friend of mine who wants to write scripts.
He readily agreed that it is from so and so films and tried to make sense out of it. I appreciated him for his efforts (took him a month) and then I told him, how to go about it. And as we discussed the theme, along the line, slowly the theme diverted from the original version and then at a point we had a original story concept. He happy, and me happy
The point is, there is no harm in being inspired by a particular film, as any good film is made to be inspired by the audience. You may even get a concept from a badly made film, or may be even a character in a film, but no one ever thinks about it anymore. All they want is to remake the whole damn film, (Tamilization) inserting couple of songs, dances and there you go, you have wasted some thousands of feet of film roll and producers money.
I am not saying that you are not suppose to remake a film, you can, but keeping in mind,
In what sense that particular film was made and how you can improvise to fit into this audience without the original essence being lost. And willing to give some credit to the original story you really need guts for that. Not because those guys are going to sue you, overcoming your ego is the toughest part.

Of course, above is valid only when you are so much inspired by the concept and making, that you think you will never be able to make another film or story of same kind. (Which is a disgrace of course. After all, those films are also conceived by human brains only. And not outwardly God like creatures).
And not because you need a script urgently as the Producer is ready with Hero's dates.

Cinema is a beautiful and most creative invention human ever made. And a Director is the one who dictates it. If he wants he could make or break a star, or a financier.
It is going to be most pitiful situation if it’s in wrong hands.