Lights, Camera, Stunts!!!

img_7396

Bahubali is a movie that caught the nation’s attention like never before and people all over are awaiting the concluding part of this epic movie that has been narrated through spectacular visuals and amazing special effects. Bahubali, with its epic dimensions in nearly every aspect of filmmaking has been lauded for its exceptional stunts and special effects and its grandeur of scale especially in its stunts and battle sequences are truly spectacular.

Stunt coordinator of this blockbuster film King Solomon Raju visited AISFM for a stunt and action workshop for Bachelors and Masters students who will be graduating next semester. The outdoor shoot with our students was conducted on our campus by the man himself. Students got a hands-on experience on how stunts are supposed to be acted out and shot.

img_7780

Speaking to us during a break in the workshop, Solomon said about youngsters nowadays joining film schools to learn the finer nuances of various aspects of film-making, “It is imperative that today’s generation gets the right training and for that learning in a film school is very important. Just like how you cannot go from Grade 1 to Grade 10 in school, here you cannot just join the film industry and become known. By learning in a film school, they always have an added advantage. More and more people are joining the film industry now than earlier and it is a great thing.”

Talking about his favourite movie Bahubali, he said that it is one of the best things that has happened to him and rates the stunts and the movie as the best. When we are talking about the iconic movie how can we not ask the proverbial question on everyone’s lips, ‘Why did Kattappa kill Bahubali?’ To this, he smiled and said, “Even, I don’t know!” “Stunts have come a long way from the initial days of the film industry and have improved greatly. With the aid of computer graphics, various stunts can be tried in films,” he said and added that Bahubali has raised the standards for stunts too.

img_6884

Before getting back to the workshop, he left a word of advice for the youngsters who want to pursue film-making, “Follow your dream, work hard with passion and don’t give up.”

One of the AISFM students’ who attended the workshop, shared her thoughts on it. Isha Thota, said “The stunt workshop was quite an interesting experience. It made me aware of the intricacies that went in to the production of a “professional” stunt scene and also the need of a stunt coordinator even for low budget films. We learnt about other aspects we may use in a film that we may not have previously thought would need a coordinator for i.e. something as small and insignificant as a scene where a character falls onto the floor is in need of an awareness, about stunts.”

“One main aspect that was spoken about, that is of grave importance is that of safety. Mr. Solomon and his team were very prudent, and took various safety measures with the use of body harnesses and crash mats. We were also informed about the importance of using our own safety equipment in order to ensure that the quality has not deteriorated or any problems that come with wear and tear come up during a shoot. Apart from the basic need for safety, the film production and insurance is also at a risk if appropriate steps are not taken.”

img_7156

“We were also made aware of the steps taken in the production of a stunt sequence, from interacting with the director who informs the coordinator of the mood of the scene and the events leading up to the stunt sequence, and of course the setting and to the actual rehearsal of the stunt  sequence itself. During the shoot Mr. Solomon also did a mock pre vis using a camera phone to check different angles, after which the sequence was practiced, safety measures were taken and then we were onto actual production. We were told about various different “cheat” angles and movements we can use so as to insure actual impact isn’t needed, especially since we were shooting without VFX.”

“The day long shot was very engaging, the students were quite involved often doing the camera work themselves and the workshop was a educational first step to a more in-depth awareness of what goes on during a stunt sequence.”

Editing decoded, from the master himself!

img_9743

National Award winning film editor Akkineni Sreekar Prasad visited us for a Guest Lecture at Prasad Labs, to address our students on the topic of film editing. It was an honour and our pleasure to have him amongst us! He shared many an anecdote about his experiences while working on his award-winning films and interacted with the students.

Known for his works in Indian cinema he has worked on Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and English films and his last National Film Award for Best Editing was for his work on the feature film Firaaq. He has won the National Film Award for Best Editing seven times and owns one Special Jury Award, throughout a career spanning over two decades. Some of his notable editing works are Yodha (1992), Nirnayam (1995), Vaanaprastham (1999), Alaipayuthey (2000), Dil Chahta Hai (2001), Kannathil Muthamittal (2002), Okkadu (2003), Aayitha Ezhuthu/Yuva (2004), Navarasa (2005), Anandabhadram (2005), Guru (2007), Billa (2007), Firaaq (2008), Pazhassi Raja (2009) and Talvar (2015).

AISFM Honorary Director Amala Akkineni and Dean Bala Rajasekharuni welcomed the guest, who needed no introduction. Sitting down for a long discussion with the students, he said that he was as nervous as he was as when editing a film. He got nostalgic about the place because he recalled that every time they finished editing a film, they come to Prasad Labs and view it. “That’s the most interesting part of a film when you see the first copy of a film and you know if it’s working or not.”

img_9733

Recollecting how his journey began in the industry he said, “It happened by chance. Dad and uncle were in the film industry. I was fascinated by books and thought journalism would be a good option. While that was yet to happen my dad asked me to come help out in the editing room and just watch and observe. During that process I got involved in working and then it became exciting because every day, every scene was a new story. I don’t know if I should regret not having a formal training but I think it is very important to have a formal training also, it’s a way of getting exposed to the techniques but it’s not the end of it. You will need to do an apprenticeship maybe but you will be much better trained than a person with no formal training.”

Students of different batches attended the guest lecture and trying to understand his perspective on various topics they asked him many questions and gained insights. Here is the excerpt of the session:

With over 300 films in your work record, what according to you is film editing and how has its definition changed over the years?
Film editing to me itself has changed over a period of time, from when I started off and today. If you go back in history, editing was started off mainly to join two strips of film, to make a video clip bigger so that they can see more. Slowly they realised the possibilities of how joining these film pieces into different forms could make it much more interesting. Then they tried to juxtapose a close up and slowly over 100 years, it slowly evolved. Initially editing was more functional and film was shot to a very bound script. As time passed they saw more possibilities in it. When I started, I was looking at it excitedly as a concept of storytelling and really never understood that editing can be much more than just joining those shots that the director wants to join to make it a scene. Slowly it sunk into me that a scene can be shown slightly in a different manner and you can withhold information, which was possible in editing. I should thank all my directors, for each one of them passed on some learning and a different perspective to filmmaking. Many people have asked me if I have a particular style but I have never felt it necessary to create a style and consciously I’ve never tried to create a style for myself. I would always try to get into a personal equation with the story and try to move with the story. Whatever is best for that story for those visuals I edit, we are not here to question what is been shot. Initially it was not possible to collaborate, but now it is easily possible to do that for the films I do, where I see the rushes immediately or two days later so I am able to give a creative input where it can still be corrected. Earlier that was not possible and whatever was given, we would try to make a structure out of it and polish it.

Editing impacting cinema as a tool for storytelling, where does it stand in the conventional workflow of filmmaking?
The whole concept of films is that you are trying to tell a story so that’s of paramount importance for the audience who is getting glued onto a scene in a particular story at some point. In our Indian ways of film, we have a lot of items inside a story and the audience has got used to it, like the leeway of songs etc. But if the story is not gripping for you at any point of time, then you would probably lose interest in the film. So the editor’s job directly is to make the story seem interesting and see to it that the story keeps moving all the time and it doesn’t become redundant or static; even with constraints like having breaks like songs or fights. The editor has to be conscious of his contribution and ensure that the story is moving in every frame of the film.

Is it a misconception that an editor comes only in the post-production of a film? How important do you think it is for an editor to be involved in the pre-production and production stages of a film?
I think it is very important for an editor to be a part of a film in preproduction itself because there are various things which he will be able to help in. In the story itself, if an editor is equipped enough to judge a story, he can suggest changes. What happens is that when you write a story most of it gets translated, 100% of it is never translated due to various problems. So even if 75% of what a director has visualized has been put on screen, then it is a huge effort. Some people don’t even visualize 50% of what they’ve written on paper. When a story is been written, there will be a lot of things that will not flow in the story and they may not be able to realise it sometimes. An editor’s insight will probably make him imagine how it will transition from one sequence to another, from one mood to another and can be corrected. And if computer graphics are involved, then it is better if the editor is involved from the beginning so that the whole system is smooth and there are no problems later in post production.

img_9748

So does editing start right from the development of the concept?
Yes, that is how it starts for me right now. But it is not fair for me to say that that’s how it could start for everybody. It didn’t start like that for me initially. Over the years I made it a point that it was not just cutting and pasting, and I started involving myself involuntarily also into the process with the director. You need to have a very good rapport and wavelength with the director. About 30 years ago lot of people would not have given importance to editing, and were very clear that this is the way it will be shot and edited. As time passed, filmmaking evolved and they realised that you could shoot more and get the best out of all the angles shot. Also with the advent of latest equipment there is a chance for us to experiment on a number of variations.

Editing starts during the shot division stage itself. Could you please explain how important editing is even for directors?
For a director also, it is very important to have an idea of editing in some way or another, maybe not in finesse or in totality. But if he knew from where it would be cut then it would be much easier for him. For a newer director it is always good to sit with the director and see how to break down the shots; why a close shot, why a wide or top angle one etc. The younger directors shoot with multi-cam and shoot all the angles for the whole sequence and then mostly leave it to the editor to decide. Just because we have all the shots, it doesn’t make sense to use all the scenes.

What are the misconceptions about editors that you have heard over the years?
Editing is not about lot of shots, editing is more about the shots that make an impact. It’s not about the number of cuts in a sequence. There are a number of advantages and disadvantages of working on a digital platform. Advantages are endless because you can cut on any number of options. In the olden days they were editing on a smaller platform and they never watched it only on television, they watched it in places like this lab, so people would have an idea of how much would an expression register for a person.

Sometimes we change the story in the editing stage, can you please narrate any from your own experiences?
Once the shoot is done, we are editing in sequences and the overall flow is not seen. Once you put it into a story form you realise that there is repetition of information or obstructions, which need to be solved. 80% of the screenplay does change in the editing stage which will be in the interest of the film moving at a brisk pace. You need to show it in a concise manner. But when you write, not everyone can write like that. An example is a film called Kaminey. It had a peculiar problem which was that there were two characters and one was that of a person in action sequences and the other was of a love story. So in the parallel narrative when we put more time in the love story, the other action part was getting lost, so we had to strike a balance where it was almost uniformly similar in length. Another thing was that there was a wonderful 4-5 minute sequence in the beginning which had a great impact but at the same time what was after that was losing its impact so I had to tell the director the bad news that the scene had to go and he was shocked because they had spent lots of money on it. But as a director he didn’t buy it. In Bollywood there are screening for focus groups and their opinions were similar to mine. Then we took out that scene and showed it in other places to other groups and they liked it in terms of narrative of two brothers, so we had to remove the whole scene.

Another example is Firaaq, where there are five parallel stories and we had to maintain the rhythm of the five stories equally so that no one story got prominence. So we had to restructure the timing in such a way that the scenes end in almost a similar length. We also had to move a large chunk of the story form the middle towards the end to give it a climax for the theatre audience. Screenplay does change at the editing table to a large extent.

img_9798

What according to you makes an amazing cut?
Editing is not about showing off cuts. Probably there are situations and scenes where you show off cuts to make a point. But when the audience is watching he is seeing a movie not cuts, he does not know about cuts. We do use cuts when you want to jerk the audience into something or frighten them to create a certain effect. Predominantly you should not feel a cut and it should just flow with the story.

When our students saw Firaaq, they were surprised with the seemless editing for a topic like riots?
It also depends on the director because she was not trying to sensationalise the topic. She was affected by it and we tried to be sensitive to the issue and not sensationalise it in any way. It was her idea from the start which was to be an emotional experience. It needed that emotion to be carried forward.

It is said that an editor orchestrates the emotional rhythm, how important is the rhythm?
The rhythm is set by the story. So if that is clear to me what is that you want to convey then it helps. If you are working with people like Mani Ratnam, then he is also trying to convey an emotion even in a song, it is not an escapist song. There will be a balance of romance and story and it will not look just like a song. The amount of duration of a particular moment is important to convey a particular emotion. I follow; for every action and reaction there is a particular time. It cannot be a staccato type of editing, it will not seem real. So that amount of time you have to judge and leave. How to make it real and not synthetic is what you can set. If it is a retort, it has to be immediately etc.

In the Talvar climax conference room scene, how did you maintain the cuts?
There is a slight humour in the scene and it is a very unconventional scene for a climax where each team feels their investigation is right. So as a filmmaker we slightly have a tendency if you notice, although it seems objective, to make it look like Irfan Khan’s investigation was probably the real one. So when he was saying his lines ridiculing the others it always required the underline of the others reaction to make him look like he was making fun of them. The fun was the reactions of the others, if not it would not have lifted the scene to the level it did.

img_9832

How tough was it to show the same scene so many times from different perspectives?
That was the biggest challenge in that film for me, to start the story at the same time. Although the screenplay had the structure in place, as an editor the challenge was how much to show and how much to rewind because it shouldn’t get monotonous. So we slowly filtered out the monotony as the edit went on. If you realise the third is a short version because we realised it will not hold good. We just highlighted the points of difference or contention.

What are the job responsibilities of an intern and what hierarchy is followed once a student joins the industry?
The intern should know how to handle the equipment. Probably he/she might not know how to handle an assistant director or director, so he/she will have to observe. If he/she is becoming an editor then he/she has to make his/her own game plan. But if he/she is joining an editor as an assistant, then he/she should watch their workflow. It requires a year at least for them to get used to it.

You rarely use transitions in your films?
I don’t generally see it as a requirement, so I don’t use transitions because I feel it becomes unreal unless I am really trying to tell something. But for pure film viewing I don’t feel the need unless it’s a specific purpose like denoting a passage of eight years. Usually I am able to convey what I want to convey without these effects. For example, the jump cuts in Dil Chahta Hai.

What is your advice for budding film professionals?
Be passionate about what you are doing, whatever discipline you are going to take. In editing you need a lot of patience. You should be aware of where you are going to operate and create a market for yourself. That’s very important, so work towards that and explore that. You definitely have to experiment and try to do something different, so that you can make a mark for yourself. The most important thing is that you have to be clear where you are getting into in the industry, which market and be aware of that industry before you enter that industry.

See the rest of the photos here: http://bit.ly/2baHkgt

 

Khwaish’s dream coming true!

5747

Khwaish, a short film about ‘a man chasing his dreams’, has been nominated for film fests this year across the country. Khwaish has been nominated for Manhattan Short India contest, Navi Mumbai International Film Festival, Slaman Farsi Film Festival, Tehran, Iran, Jagran Film Festival and All Lights India International Film Festival.

Khwaish is set in 2002 when India played against England for the title of the Natwest Trophy and is the story of Karim Khan, a small town guy from a village named Kashti. Karim unlike other small town guys is very different and still hopes of achieving his dreams at any cost. Karim being a big fan of cricket desires to go to Lords to watch the match. ‘Will Karim make it to Lords? Can Karim achieve his goal ever?’, is the rest of the story.

5696

Strangely similar to the storyline of the short film that shows how destiny plays a role, is the real life story of the writer-director of this short film and how destiny brought him to AISFM and how Khwaish was no more a dream, but a dream fulfilled!

Pushkar Vishwasrao, the man behind it all, the writer and director and MA 2016 student of AISFM, writes about the short film, how it came into existence and how it became his graduation film project. Here it is in his own words!

5666

“This was not just another short film for me. It was my graduation project and it was also my passport to get into the industry. So I had to think of the story which was very different from what my colleagues were making, so that I could stand out from it. Being from a cricket background there is always a special place for this game. The story of this film revolves around an old man who is a big cricket fan and wants to go to Lords to watch India’s cricket match. This story didn’t strike me overnight.

Frankly speaking this was the dream of my uncle, who is a 70-year-old neighbor and is a big fan of cricket. He always discussed cricket with me because he saw me playing professional cricket since my childhood. So one day when I was thinking about the project and what story I should work on, this story idea came up. This was very close to my heart and I thought of working on this story.  

5681

Even though I had made short film,s before I was a bit nervous before going for the shoot. This was our Graduation Project and our future depended on this. This film gave me and my team a lot of confidence and it also showed us where we stand after two years of studying filmmaking at Annapurna International School of Film and Media.

We faced a major hiccup when on the first day of the shoot in the early morning at 5:00am we came to know that our actor who was coming from Bombay has been hospitalized due to some medical issue. We had been given only five days for the shoot and the first day was cancelled due to this problem.

5659

Now we had only four days in hand and we needed an actor who could speak Marathi, as my script was in Marathi. Finally our Acting Faculty Yashraj Jadhav agreed to do it as he is a Maharashtrian, but on one condition that he should be left by 4:00pm as he had acting classes. We agreed to it and started shooting the next day and by God’s grace we completed the shoot in four days time.”

Pushkar had worked as an Assistant Director on ad films in Mumbai and also as a freelance casting director on ad films for a couple of years in the industry. And it was while working with his seniors in college that he was swept away by this art form. Says he, “I too wanted to be a part of this form and tell some stories about human emotions, that people can relate to and empathise with. Hence while chasing my dream, my destiny got me here to AISFM and today I am doing my graduation film which follows the theme of “Chasing Dreams”. Being a student of AISFM I was exposed to how the industry works. We also got an opportunity to meet stalwarts from the film Industry and their inputs have really helped us and are still working as we consider what each person has said and how different their point-of-view is from ours.”  “I’m currently working on a screenplay for a Marathi feature. Let’s hope for the best and I hope it will reach the public very soon,” he signs off.

7799

Grad Film Fest 2016 photo for keepsake! The crew of Khwaish with Chief Guests for the evening;
(Standing L-R):
Swaroop Naini, Pranav Ramani, Nidhi Doshi, Sudeep Patil, Pushkar Vishwasrao, Rachna Deshpande, Akhil D Manu, Mustafa Yusuf.
(Seated L-R): Dean of AISFM Mr. Bala Raj, famous actor Mr. Sumanth, young star Mr. Akhil Akkineni, famous actress Ms. Lakshmi Manchu, popular story writer Mr. Gopi Mohan and well-known director Mr. Kalyan Krishna.

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

The trusted friend, the partner in crime, the inner voice or just the comic relief; whatever their role might be, they’re a very important part of the film. Every hero needs his/her sidekick. We present to you a list of sidekick duos from everybody’s favourite Disney/Pixar films!

  1. Olaf & Sven

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

The adorable snowman and the goofy reindeer from Frozen are the perfect sidekicks. Olaf’s character has a “big role to play representing the innocent love in the scale of fear versus love” says the director of the film. He is first seen as an inanimate snowman during Elsa and Anna’s childhood, and later on when he is recreated by Elsa during ‘Let it go’.

Sven is a carrot loving reindeer who has dog like traits. He is Kristoff’s best friend, conscience and sleigh-puller кредитная карта росбанк. With a childlike outlook on life, he makes a perfect companion to Olaf, who holds a similar personality, allowing the two to bond rather easily.

  1. Flounder & Sebastian

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

Sebastian is the royal court composer who is given the task of looking out for Ariel by the king, her father. He is, at most times, grumpy because of Ariel’s stubbornness. Flounder is the total opposite of the crustacean. He is Ariel’s companion for all her adventures in the deep blue. He might be one of the most stressed sidekicks to have been created by Disney, while Sebastian is probably the one with most mood swings. Whatever the case may be for the two, they do not think twice when it comes to helping Ariel when she is in danger.

  1. Genie & Abu

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

According to Disney’s official description, Abu is Aladdin’s pet monkey, who is obsessed with shiny items. Unlike his owner, Abu doesn’t steal for survival, but because he is a kleptomaniac. However he may be on the outside, he has a soft heart and is one of the most loyal and compassionate sidekicks. Genie on the other hand, is an all-powerful spirit residing in a magical oil lamp hidden within the ‘Cave of Wonders’, meant to only serve the “diamond in the rough”. His character is known to break the fourth wall, which is seen when he mimics people from the real-world, outside the universe in which he resides.

  1. Maximus & Pascal

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

Pascal is Rapunzel’s chameleon roommate in Mother Gothel’s tower, while Maximum is a Palace horse who at first has a tiff with Flynn Ryder, but later befriends him, thanks to Rapunzel. The duo were created to add comic relief to the film and also act as companions, in whatever form they might be, to the two leading characters. The duo later go on to become ring bearers to the couple at their wedding, in the sequel to Tangled. Pascal and Maximus were very well received by viewers and critics alike, and have even been called ‘scene stealers.’

  1. Cogsworth & Lumière

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

Cogsworth and Lumière are two of the helpers many at Beast’s castle, who get turned into a clock and a candelabra respectively, when the castle gets cursed many years ago. Lumière is kind-hearted, liked by all, and has a very charming persona, while Cogsworth is bossy, serious and prefers to abide by the rules stated by the Beast. The contrasting personalities of the two, combined with their loyalty towards the Beast is what makes them well, them!

  1. Timon & Pumbaa

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

A meerkat and warthog friendship might seem like a weird thing for us, but it sure is not in the world of Disney! The two find Simba and save him when he was a cub, and the three remain best friends for life. When somebody says ‘Hakuna Matata’ one automatically relates this to The Lion King; this is all thanks to the duo Timon and Pumbaa. They teach Simba to not worry about little things in life, and live life to its fullest; something we all can learn from the two.

  1. Jaq & Gus Gus

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

Cinderella would not have been able to do over half the things that led to her getting the prince of her dreams, were it not for her little helper-friends Jaq and Gus Gus. Jaq is shown to be the somewhat leader of the group of mice. He is sharp, brave and loves troubling the house cat, Lucifer. Gus Gus on the other hand is Jaq’s best friend; he is compassionate, but rather dim-witted. He is the main target of Lucifer, who prefers Gus Gus out of all the mice because of his plump size and slow speed.

  1. Ray & Louis

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

A jazz-loving alligator and a romantic Cajun firefly pair up to help Tiana and Naveen in Disney’s Princess and the Frog. Despite his size and ferocious appearance, Louis is a gentle giant with a heart of gold. He is very fond of his trumpet and his dream is to become a famous jazz singer and perform in front of a human audience without scaring anyone. Friendly and helpful, despite being the smallest creature in the movie, Ray has the biggest heart. Some of his loves include music, singing and entertaining guests of all kind. The firefly was also shown to have no real fear.

  1. Flit & Meeko

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

Flit is a ruby-throated hummingbird who is a friend of Pocahontas, along with Meeko, a racoon. Meeko is sly and loves stealing from others, which is rather annoying for Flit. Meeko is Pocahontas’s confidant. The duo adds much-needed excitement and fun to the film, and without the two, the film would have been a tad boring. Flit and Meeko prove that everybody needs a hummingbird and a racoon by their side.

  1. Baloo & Bagheera

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

Bagheera is like a guardian for Mowgli while Baloo is like more like a getaway in Disney’s The Jungle Book. Bagheera is presented as level headed and intelligent, while Baloo is presented as aloof and carefree. In spite of his loyalty to his “bare necessities”, Baloo is not above abandoning morals and disregarding the safety of others for himself, or what he believes in. The juxtaposing between the two characters allows Mowgli to combine the traits of both his companions and succeed in defeating Sher Khan.

Special Mention

These Sidekicks are no sidekick!

Seven Dwarfs

Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy and Dopey are the seven dwarfs. They take pity on Snow White when she tells them the story of how she got into their home, and they allow her to stay on the condition that she would take care of the house in their absence. The dwarfs save the protagonist’s life time and again, indirectly foiling the Evil Queen’s plans to kill her, which is why we feel they deserved a special mention despite not being a ‘duo’.

Welcoming a new batch at AISFM

IMG_8994

A new dawn, a new beginning, a new set of enthusiastic students ready to learn and grow here at AISFM. The AISFM Students Orientation 2016 was held at N Convention, Madhapur. AISFM Director Amala Akkineni gave the inaugural address and urged students to work hard and realize their dreams. Mr. Shobu Yarlagadda, film producer and the co-founder and CEO of Arka Mediaworks, a film production company known for its works exclusively in Telugu cinema, was the Guest of Honor. Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, Secretary, Information Technology, Electronics & Communications Department, Government of Telangana, was the Chief Guest.

Welcoming the students into the folds of AISFM, Amala quoted our former President of India and renowned scientist ‘You have to dream before your dreams can come true’, and said “each one of you today have had a dream and you have taken a step towards that dream. And here at AISFM we have only one objective, to help your dreams come true, whether it is becoming the next generation screen writer, sound designer, editor, cinematographer or any revolutionary new age professional in film and media. We are here to support you. ”

IMG_9041

Talking about how difficult it was earlier to get an entry in the film industry she said that it was either a privileged individual or a person who joined as an apprentice and spent decades learning about the profession on the job; later on these courses were available aboard and only those who could afford could have access. “Our founder Late. Akkineni Nageswara Rao brought together Annapurna Studios and Film and Media Education Society to start AISFM with a mission to be a global leader in media education, because he understood and recognized the need for this education,” said she sharing thoughts on how AISFM came into being and added, “Driven by collaborations with world-wide studios and an increasing global audience, there is no better time than now to be a part of this industry.”

AISFM Dean Bala Rajasekharuni said that traditionally a school is supposed to be a place of learning and realizing and pursuing your dreams, but the conventional education system, knowingly or unknowingly has done the opposite. There are passionate teachers and passionate students but there has not been until recently a platform to share the passionate subjects in school. “Your generation is blessed with a major shift in the educational world, that arts and media have occupied the center stage. Make a promise to them and you, that you will do beyond your best and realize the value of your foster parents, your teachers, here who will equally care for you and listen to them, so that all of us can facilitate a fantastic learning experience for you and you will go out and make AISFM proud.”

IMG_9022

Shobu Yarlagadda, who has produced the path-breaking and brilliant movie Bahubali: The Beginning, which recorded the highest grossing Indian film within India, addressed the students and shared his thoughts on how important it is to give your best always. “You are definitely at the right place and at the right time. Everything is changing rapidly including the way we produce films. There are a lot of opportunities, a lot of possibilities being thrown up for all of you to express your creativity and find your place in this film and media world. I say you are at the right place because you have come to the this institute where I see that there is very committed management, experienced faculty and the unique thing is that is, that it is connected to one of the big studios in the country, which means that you will get a lot of exposure to practical work which will prepare you well for real-life scenarios,” he said. He added, “Nothing comes easy, you have to give it your best shot, that’s when you walk out a winner. Wish you success and make this institute proud.”

Jayesh Ranjan too echoed the same thoughts about students been at the right place and said, “You are very very lucky in some ways. There are millions of young people in the country today who have been denied such opportunities. The opportunity to reach this level of education, the opportunity to come to a world-class institution, to interact with the best in the profession is an opportunity that very few people get. So, let us use this opportunity to not just enrich your own self by learning new things, by excelling in your craft; but at this time in your life itself, start thinking of how you can contribute back to the society.”

IMG_9321

Later alumnae of AISFM, Keerthika Rajaram, HR Manager, Firefly Creative Studios and Sasindhar Pushpalingam, who are realizing their dreams in their chosen fields shared their learning and how AISFM helped them get closer to their dream.

The orientation session continued with an ice-breaking session for the new students who had a good time getting to know each other, thanks to the activities. Parents of the students then interacted with the faculty and got to know about the school.

See the photos of the day here: http://bit.ly/29FGQKE

Watch the complete video of the interesting session right here:

Beauty and the Beast over the years

featured

The tale of loving somebody for who they are and not for their physical appearance is what French novelist Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve’s fairytale, Beauty and the Beast taught all of us. Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont rewrote the story and published it, giving us the story that we hold dearly. Our childhood would seem a little incomplete had this story not been made into the Disney animated film that we all love. This version, thought the most popular, is however not the only adaptation of the tale. With Emma Watson and Dan Stevens starring in the latest version of the fairytale, we thought we’d take a look at the different adaptations of ‘Beauty and the Beast’!

  1. La Belle et la Bête (1946)

belle_et_la_bete_1946
This French version of the traditional fairy tale, written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont in 1757 was directed by French poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau; the film stars Josette Day as Belle and Jean Marais as Beast. This was the first film adaptation of the story. The set designs and cinematography were intended to evoke the illustrations and engravings of Gustave Doré and, in the farmhouse scenes, the paintings of Jan Vermeer.

  1. The Scarlet Flower (1952)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
This film is a 1952 Soviet feature-animated version of the tale. The film is an example of the Socialist Realism period in Russian animation, which lasted from the 1930s to 1950s; it featured heavy use of ‘rotoscoping’ as well as a focus on adapting traditional Russian folk tales. Nearly all of the character animation was first performed by live actors or animals and then traced by the animators. It was restored at the Gorky Film Studio in 1987.

  1. Beauty and the Beast (1962)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
This was the first English language adaptation of the tale! The film was directed by Edward L. Cahn and starred Joyce Taylor and Mark Damon in the lead roles. The film was shot in Technicolour and was a “fairytale for everybody – no messages, no menace,” according to the film’s executive producer, Edward Small.

  1. Beauty and the Beast/Die Schöne und das Biest (1987)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
This was an American/Israeli musical film, part of the 1980 film series Cannon Movie Tales. It is a contemporary version of the classic tale of Beauty and the Beast. The movie was shot in Israel and popularized the taglines: “The monster they feared was the prince she loved” and “The classic fairy tale about seeing with your heart”

  1. Walt Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
This was the 30th film in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series and the 3rd in the Disney Renaissance period, and the 1st English language animated version of the film. The Disney version also names Beauty “Belle” and gives her a handsome suitor (named Gaston) who eventually plots to kill the Beast. What many do not know about this very popular version of the film is the fact that Walt Disney first attempted unsuccessfully to adapt Beauty and the Beast into an animated feature film during the 1930s and 1950s!

  1. Blood of Beasts (2005)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
How would Beauty and the Beast be if it was set during the time of Vikings?! Well, Hollywood has an answer for that in the form of the 2005 film Blood of Beasts. Freya (Beauty), a warrior and the beautiful daughter of a Viking king, is held prisoner on an island castle by a Beast who has been cursed by Oden. The film however has received negative reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes rating it at 24%.

  1. Spike (2008)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
Spike is a gorgeous and haunting meditation on love and death, childhood and fantasy. Director Robert Beaucage’s adaptation can be described as a dark fantasy version of the film set in modern times. The plot of the film goes like this: Through a series of dreamlike images, a girl (Sarah Livingston Evans) and her three friends find themselves stranded in a dark and surrealistic forest by someone; or something (Edward Gusts) who has obsessively loved, watched, and waited for the girl ever since childhood.

  1. Beastly (2011)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
Yet another modern rendition of the film finds its way onto our list. This Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer starrer is also said to be loosely based on Alex Flinn’s supernatural novel of the same name (2007). It tells the age-old tale in a modern-day New York city setting. The story places the basics of the original fairy tale in the context of a contemporary American high school. The film also features Neil Patrick Harris as Kyle’s blind tutor and Mary-Kate Olsen as the girl responsible for cursing Kyle and causing his subsequent transformation.

  1. La Belle et la Bête (2014)

Beauty and the Beast over the years
This is a Franco-German romantic-fantasy version of the traditional fairy tale. Written by Christophe Gans and Sandra Vo-Anh and directed by Gans, the film stars Léa Seydoux as ‘Belle’ and Vincent Cassel as ‘Beast’. The film was nominated for the People’s Choice Award for Best European Film at the 27th European Film Awards. It also received three nominations at the 40th César Awards, winning Best Production Design.

  1. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (2017)

beauty_and_the_beast-2017
Emma Watson and Dan Stevens starrer is the next film to join the long history of film adaptations based on this fairy tale, stretching back to the earliest days of cinema. Principal photography began at Shepperton Studios in May 2015, and ended on August 21. The film is to be released on March 17, 2017, in standard, in RealD 3D, and IMAX 3D!

Words of wisdom from the Panda!

Panda

Words can inspire and words can destroy. Words; innocent and daring at the same time, can become good or bad in the hands of those who know how to combine them well. Quotes are those that can inspire you and motivate you, like no other, at times of despair and frustration.

In the recent past, Kung Fu Panda 3 was one movie that really touched the chord with many for its beautiful and inspiring quotes. The Dragon Warrior is as popular in this part of the world as he is in the West. While the previous movies concentrated on ‘Po’ discovering himself as a warrior, the latest one was about him reunited with his Panda family and how he has to become a mentor and channel his inner ‘chi’ to save the world.

We selected a few of the movie’s inspiring quotes for you to read on a day where you need some inspiration.

blog_01     
Every one faces a difficult time at least once in their lives. It’s important to be good at what you do and be willing to do new and different things in life. Expand your capabilities by becoming a mentor.

 

blog_02

There is no such thing as a good time or a bad time to make the right action. The only time is now, so act on time and save yourself the ache later.

 

blog_03

Practice makes a person perfect. Be ready for improvement and for adopting and changing your way of thinking when you face a challenge. Only then will you be ready to change, improve and grow.

 

blog_04

Be your own unique self and trust your individuality. Be the best version of you rather than imitate someone. It’s good to get inspired but work towards being the best of you. Your uniqueness is what will make you stand apart.

 

blog_05

You are the one you can rely on and trust. Keep faith in yourself and be yourself. Be confident and stop following the herd and keep yourself motivated. Remember, there’s nobody else in the world like you, so take pride in being different.

 

Some more quotes from the movies, for you to think and ponder!

“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift… that’s why they call it present” ― Master Oogway

“Your story may not have such a happy beginning but that does not make you who you are, it is the rest of it, who you choose to be” ― Soothsayer from Kung Fu Panda 2

“There are no coincidences in this world.” ― Turtle in Kung Fu Panda

“Oogway: There are no accidents.
Shifu: [sighs] Yes, I know. You’ve already said that twice.
Oogway: That was no accident either.
Shifu: Thrice.”

“We do not wash our pits in the pool of sacred tears” ― Shifu

“There is no secret ingredient” ― Mr Ping, Po’s father

“You must let go of the illusion of control…” ― The Turtle

“You must believe!” ― The Turtle

“Legend tells of a legendary warrior whose kung fu skills were the stuff of legend.” ― Kung Fu Panda.

blog_06

Did you know?

  • Did you know that Kung Fu Panda 3, was inspired by a real village and real pandas in China? Actually, this village was inspired by Mount Qingcheng, located about 70 km northwest of ‘the hometown of real pandas’, Chengdu.
  • Qingcheng is also one of the ancient cradles of Taoism in China. The mountain is lauded as ‘the most peaceful and secluded mountain under heaven’ and was added to the UNESCO World HeritageList in 2000.
  • Before the filming started, the film crew travelled to Chengdu many times to meet the baby pandas in Giant Panda Breeding and Research Base and collect material.
  • “You cannot help linking Mt. Qingcheng with the Panda Village in the movie, when you see the beautiful scenery of the mountain,” said director, Jennifer Yuh Nelson.
  • Tourists have an option to see these features of the movie’s culture in reality at Chengduand follow in Po’s footsteps to explore the beautiful area and get close to the delightful pandas.
  • There are popular Kung Fu Panda tours for inspiration including Panda tour to original sceneries of Po’s hometown, Chengdu historic tour with Mount Qingcheng and Giant Pandas, Yangtze River and Golden Triangle Tour!

Wow! That was one inspiring movie, in more ways than one!

The bare necessities of animation!

blog_header

Ah, the magic of Jungle Book! It is such that it transcends across generations, genres of art or mode of cinema-telling! This classic story by Rudyard Kipling continues to capture the attention of everyone. Whether it was the age-old archetypal book, published in 1893 or the most recent movie version, which has only one actor to its credit in it; the story is truly a marvel and a perfect example of what classics are made of!

The latest offing features a live-action Mowgli and digitally created animals, a feat of magical animation and technical brilliance. Director Jon Favreau pooled various animating techniques into a faultless, exquisite experience of the jungle. In fact, the animals look so realistic that it is hard to believe that they are, but, computer-generated animals! And by the end of the movie, the animals’ seem as natural as their fur, hide or feathers. The new live action remake is the latest in a long string of reboots, six in total!

The movie recorded a massive $103.6 million opening weekend and has grossed a worldwide total of $776.2 million so far! Talk about appealing across all genres, this one sure hits the mark!

neel-sethi_blog01

The new ‘Mowgli’
The young child actor, Neel Sethi, barely a teen yet, holds the movie strong on his shoulders. The little one who landed a breakout role as Mowgli in the classic tale had also starred in Diwali (2013) earlier. He was selected for the role of Mowgli among thousands who auditioned across the globe.

Did you know that Neel had read the book just before the audition and after reading a part of it; he liked it so much that he bought it from a book fair? Makes us wonder, what would have happened, if he didn’t like the book!

The actor who was born in 2003, the same year that the 1967 film’s direct-to-video sequel The Jungle Book 2 (2003) was released, loves playing football, basketball and baseball and his favourite actress is Priyanka Chopra in real life and Baloo the bear is his favourite character from the movie in reel life.

Unknown details about the latest sensation in Hollywood, here are some interesting ones:

  1. His favourite dish is Lobster Ravioli.
  2. He can throw a perfect spiral with the football that Bill Murray gave him.
  3. His favourite TV show right now is
  4. He can eat all three Hagaan Daz bars that come in the pack, in one sitting!
  5. Uptown Funk is one of his favourite songs.
  6. When he is not in the concrete jungle of NY, he loves being in the Berkshires.
  7. His favourite car is the Lamborghini Countach 25 Anniversary Edition in red!
  8. He got to fly on Mickey Mouses’ private jet.
  9. He has over 100 apps on my cell phone, and he uses almost all of them!
  10. He loves school and hopes to be a dentist one day.

Little known trivia about the movie:

  • The film released in India on April 8th, a week ahead of its U.S. debut, to pay tribute to the Indian environment of the film/novel. The film released in 2016, to coincide with the 49th anniversary of the original Disney animated classic masterpiece The Jungle Book(1967).
  • In the 1967 version, King Louie was an orangutan; in this film, he’s a gigantopithecus, an ancestor of the orangutan whose range is believed to have included parts of India. This change in species was made to make the film more fantastic and since orangutans are not native to India.
  • While the film is a live-action adaptation of the 1967 version, the filmmakers decided to include elements from the Rudyard Kipling novel to make the film more adventurous and dangerous.
  • The talking animals in this film were created using animal behaviour, then having the actors copy those movements in motion-capture VFX. All the locations in the film are computer-generated VFX.
  • The CG character Baloo is so large and furry; he took almost five hours of rendering time per frame.
  • Ben Kingsley described Bagheera as a militant character; “He’s probably a colonel, he is instantly recognizable by the way he talks, how he acts and what his ethical code is.”
  • Remote jungle locations in India were photographed and used as reference for the jungle environment in the film.
  • Whilst the animals are all native to India, Ben Kingsley is the only voice actor to be of South Asian origin as he is ethnically Anglo-Indian.
  • The wolf pups in the film are named after motion capture actors and other crew members.
  • Giancarlo Esposito who voices the wolf Akela, was featured in a commercial for the video game Destiny (2014) where he narrated a part of the poem ‘The Law of the Jungle’. This poem appears in Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Second Jungle Book’.
  • Actor Neel Sethi said that since he never actually worked with real animals’ onset during filming, director Jon Favreau would on occasion stand in for where the animals would be present, one most notably as Sher Khan lunging out from the tall grass.
  • Despite not being a musical, several songs from the 1967 animated film, including ‘The Bare Necessities’ and ‘I Wan’na Be Like You’ were included in this film. The songs from The Jungle Book(1967) appear as bits of dialogue in this film. Kaa speaks ‘Trust in Me’, and Baloo sings a bit of ‘The Bare Necessities’.
  • Actors Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber’s sons Sasha and Kai make their film debut in the movie as little wolves! Director Jon Favreau’s children also appear in the movie.
  • The sounds you hear when Mowgli goes underwater when on Baloo’s tummy are generated through high powered underwater speakers made by oeanears.

Take a look at what goes on behind the scenes and how animation comes alive on screen!

Things you didn’t know about Star Wars!

There are movies and then there are ‘cult’ movies, like Star Wars! It’s one of the first, if not the first, film to achieve a cult status and is considered a cult classic with a cult following. It’s known for its dedicated, passionate fan base, with an enthusiastic set of people who engage in repeated viewings, quoting dialogue and dressing up like its characters. Why, there’s an entire global group of people who dress up as Stormtroopers called the 501st Legion.

Star Wars is more than a cult, it’s hailed as the best sci-fi lit made in Hollywood. No other franchise purely created for the screen has managed to consistently trigger popular imagination like this movie has.

Even though the first of the series, made by George Lucas, released way back in 1977, it continues to intrigue, enamour and capture film-goers attention even now, with more prequels releasing between then and now. We have some not-so-known facts just for you here about this cult classic.1

  1. Harrison Ford was paid $10,000 for his performance in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.
  2. Peter Cushing, who played Grand Moff Tarkin, found his costume boots so uncomfortable that he wore slippers during many of his scenes.
  3. The sound of the TIE Fighter engines is actually the sound of an elephant call mixed with the sounds of a car driving on wet pavement.4
  4. Steven Spielberg made a bet with George Lucas for a percentage of the Star Wars films, which has earned him millions of dollars since.
  5. While shooting the scene in the trash compactor, Mark Hamill held his breath for so long that he burst a blood vessel in the side of his face. They had to adjust framing while shooting the rest of the scene to avoid showing the blemish.
  6. Luke Skywalker was originally going to be named Luke Starkiller, and retained the name up until the film began shooting.
  7. The Jawa language is actually based on a sped-up version of the Zulu language.
  8. Quechua is the language Greedo speaks, which is a South American language.9
  9. The star ship that became the Blockade Runner seen at the beginning of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope was the original design for the Millennium Falcon.
  10. Yoda’s species has never been named and neither has the word ‘ewok’ been said out loud in the Star Wars.
  11. Yoda was originally going to be played by a monkey carrying a cane and wearing a mask.
  12. During the evacuation of Cloud City, you can see an extra running with what appears to be an ice cream maker. The extra has since been given an elaborate back story, and the supposed ice cream maker is meant to be a database of contacts within the Rebellion.13
  13. Bossk’s, bounty hunter, clothing is a recycled spacesuit from Doctor Who.
  14. Luke’s light saber in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi was originally going to be blue to match the light saber he lost in the previous film, but George Lucas was worried that it would confuse audiences, and thought a green light saber would look better, so he made the change.
  15. At one point, Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi was going to be called ‘Revenge of the Jedi’ and there were actually trailers and posters produced with the original title.16
  16. Many of the buildings constructed to be used in shots of Tatooine are still standing in Tunisia and some of them are still used by locals.
  17. No physical clone trooper outfits were actually produced for the films. Every clone trooper seen in the Star Wars films was created with CGI.
  18. The communicator Qui-Gon Jinn uses is actually an altered Gillete Sensor Excel women’s razor.
  19. While filming light saber fight scenes, Ewan McGregor kept getting carried away and making the sounds of the weapon himself, which had to be removed in post-production.20
  20. Mark Hamill was in a bad car accident before filming started on Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, causing severe facial trauma. The scene in which Luke Skywalker is mauled by a Wampa was added to account for the scarring on his face.

New-age career options

New generation, new choices, new gadgets, new learnings and new career options. What was amiss until a decade ago or what didn’t even exist until recently is now the latest and newest career options for this generation’s young and charged individuals who are gung-ho about anything that catches their attention.

Something that has changed the world drastically was the internet and now is the social media; adding a whole new world of possibilities and jobs. These modern jobs have now spread and become a part of the upcoming trend in the job market. What’s more, these top-tier careers offer great salaries, low stress and great job growth!

Here is a mix of some of the newest, popular and trending career options; the world has to offer, right now.

app

App developers
Who doesn’t own a smart phone nowadays, forget the regular one? Everyone! Considering the surge, mobile revolution is huge and the wave of app development with innovative and creative ideas is on the rise. App development companies now exist within the country and so do talented and quality app developers, churning out the newest of ideas, oops app!

creative

Web creative writers
This is one profession that has the highest potential to reach the highest exposure and wider audience. The best part, it need not be within the confines of an office. There are people who work from home for this, people who freelance and people who regularly go to work, for putting their wordsmith skills to the task. All one needs to do is write well and the world is but a virtual one here!

photographer

Wedding photographers
Weddings have, are and always will be the most extravagant, eye-catching and memorable affair in the country. Gone are the days, when the guests wished the couple and stared blankly into oblivion while the photographer stoically took the photos. It’s now the age of candid wedding photography, theme wedding photography; you name it and you have it.

Reviewers
You have an opinion, you share it and get paid for it. Many companies, especially the online ones, pay people to review restaurants, hotels, gadgets and other things. Because it makes a difference in their online rating and because people like to check the reviews of anything before they buy, eat or indulge themselves. 

Social

Social media handlers
The virtual arena of the internet is yours as much as you can take and social media has the biggest and brightest chunk of it all. The most trending, happening, attention-grabbing things, all happen to be in the social media sphere. Everyone who wants to be someone or someone who wants to let everyone know are on social media. This growing popularity has led to the rise of social media handlers who are in high demand for marketing products, companies and much more in the digital space.

digital-marketing

Digital marketers
Digital marketing is another area that is fast emerging as one of the popular options in the age of the modern corporate era. It helps companies stay ahead and above the rest by utilizing the commercial perspective of modern digital media. Borrowing a lot from the functions of traditional marketing, this platform continues its upward trend. With more and more companies shifting their focus to digital marketing strategies, there is lots of scope in this industry.

hacking

Ethical hackers
Ethical hackers do it the right way, legally too. They are paid to hack company accounts legally so that the organisations can identify the flaws in their systems and take necessary and adequate measures to rectify them. Ethical hacking or internet security is a job for those who love to spend hours on computers and have a penchant for software.

Webdesign

Website designers
The whole wide world now exists in the web, too! Everything is taking a digital form and practically everyone wants their presence on it. That’s where web designers come into the picture, creating the perfect ‘space’ for the customer depending on their needs and of course the price!

blog

Bloggers
It’s one of the latest and most popular, erstwhile hobbies, jobs on the corner that is growing. It is a hobby no more, it is now officially a full-fledged career option and the next big thing in India too. Not just restricted to popular topics like food and travel, it can be about anything you think should be out there in the blogosphere. All it needs is originality, ingenuity, creativity and of course credibility. That’s the power of the written word!

Image consultants
Image consultants do everything they can to keep the image the way it is supposed to be. They work for people in the show business and offer guidance in everything to make the public image absolutely spotless. You need to have a knack for the finery of life to take up this as a career path.

Stand-up comedians
This one’s for the comedian in you, albeit the great one and a professional one at that! No pun intended! These professionals are not just tickling senses and offering a hearty laugh with their witty jokes but are also pocketing good money. Although at a nascent stage, they do have their share of audience. Who doesn’t want a good share of laughter?! 

graphicdesign

Graphic designers
This one is a classic example of combining art and technology perfectly! This art and creativity job has found popularity among job seekers since graphics today are a part of practically everything we see, buy or sell, be it a commercial advertisement or buying a product.

So, these new-age careers may not come with set guidelines but they definitely have the perks and added advantages of independence and job satisfaction. So, identify your passion and hit the road less travelled!