Hollywood VFX Expert Phaneendra Gullapalli at AISFM

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AISFM had a Master Class with Mr. Phaneendra Gullapalli, a Hollywood VFX expert, and a member of the team that won an Oscar for the Hollywood film The Curious Case of Benjamin Button for visual effects. Phaneendra  has also worked on visual effects for movies like 2012, Mummy-III, Transformers-II, Tron: Legacy, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief and many more. Students enjoyed the interactive and engaging session with the expert greatly.

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Speaking about his journey from Vijayawada to Hollywood, he recounted how he fell in love with animation & visual effects early on in his life. He kept pursuing his passion inspite of being rejected four times for internships at famous Hollywood studios. The secret to his sustenance and success? He says “One third of your life is spent at your workplace and I didn’t want to pursue something that I was not happy with. I wanted to pursue my passion, so I took up animation. Some people give up after a setback. I didn’t because there is a thin line between winning and losing.”

What level of artistic instincts and capabilities, and how much technical skills should a person have, asked a student to which he said that “it is good to have both backgrounds if possible; artists and technologists together is a good combination.”

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Speaking about the process of visual effects in a typical film, he gave a walkthrough of his role of expertise in the process of filmmaking. He demonstrated how with Halon virtual camera, wherein you shoot your film before you shoot your film live. This method was used on projects like Bahubali, where by this previsualizataion, lot of production cost can be saved as the director can pre-emptively make changes to his visualization, rather than trying out his ideas on expensive sets.

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‘When do you come into the picture?’ was another question posed. “VFX and post production are collaborators right from Stage 1 and on a daily basis,” he said and cited an example of Bahubali, “We would shoot 10 to 12 shots for the scene and Director Rajamouli would pick one for the final scene.”

Talking about the role of a VFX supervisor, he said that he ensures that each scene is shot as per the requirement. “In Mummy III, the green screen was blue instead of green, so it is the supervisor’s job to ensure such things don’t happen.”

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Phaneendra also shared tips and tricks used in the industry and said that to tackle the challenges of lighting conditions, a chrome ball can be used and software like Nuke, Maya or Houdini. Talking about the work culture in Hollywood, he said “the culture is a lot different in Hollywood and there is no hierarchy per se but it is more about the role/job description of each individual on the team.”

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What happens towards the end of a shoot, how does an editor receive the scenes? To this, he said that actors have reference points and so do the VFX artists. “For example in the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, we wanted to show an old man’s body and Brad Pitt’s face, so we shot two different portions of the same scene and Brad’s face was superimposed on it.” He went on to add that directing actors is also a fundamental requirement for VFX artists and said “In Mummy III, there is a scene where the demon is holding a sword, to make it more powerful, we made the hand holding the sword shake, which was the improvisation of the VFX artist.”

Sharing his thoughts on the current entertainment industry in India, which is growing at a rapid pace, he said, “These are certainly exciting times as the industry is evolving with new platforms for storytellers like Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. Example: Mr Rajamouli embraced virtual reality on his last feature film Bahubali2 and you can check it out here http://baahubali.com/vr/

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Content vs Technology, your take on the right balance required to succeed?  To this, he said, “Working on various tent-pole Hollywood feature films I have learnt that story is paramount. Every Hollywood director that I worked with used technology as a tool to create visual experiences that stand out which I believe is striking the right balance.”

What is your favorite movie in terms of animation/VFX and in the ones that he has worked? For this, he shared, “I’ve spend almost two years of my life working on Tron Legacy which is no doubt my favorite feature film till date that I worked on.”

Sharing his thoughts about AISFM and its facilities, Phaneendra said, “I’m impressed with AISFM’s facilities during my tour and believe AISFM is second to none. AISFM is in good hands with Mr. Bala Raj steering the ship with his phenomenal Hollywood industry & academic experience. I hope students will leverage the AISFM’s facilities, resources and personnel.”

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His advice to aspiring professionals in this field, “Focusing on foundations and fundamentals will enable students to adapt to the ever evolving industry and help them be at the forefront at any given time. For example: Virtual Production never existed prior to feature films like Avatar and today it’s pretty much the standard and integral part of film-making process.”

Closing the master class, Phaneendra gave some words of advice, “Job opportunities in other areas like virtual reality and augmented reality are now there to connect to the consumers. If you are up to speed with these latest technologies, then you have more chances. There are lot of applications in diverse areas – like Apple X has IR tech etc. The gaming industry is also garnering a lot of interest, and training in these areas is a good idea.” He further added, “Networking and working hard is very important and of course there is no stopping to your learning curve.”

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Evade Subrahmanyam fame Nag Ashwin at AISFM

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One of his first short films headed straight to the Cannes, no less! Then his first directorial debut was not just a hit film but was also critically acclaimed. Nag Ashwin, young and upcoming writer/director, had an interactive session with our students.

In 2013 his short film titled Yaadon Ki Baraat was selected for the Cannes Short Film Corner.

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Before his directorial debut Yevade Subramanyam, Ashwin had worked on a few films as an assistant director including on Sekhar Kammula’s Leader and Life Is Beautiful.

He’s currently busy in pre-production of his pioneering bio pic Mahanati in Telugu/Tamil/Malayalam on the life of the late legendary southern actress Savitri.

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Talking about his journey in films, he spoke at length about the hard lessons he learnt shooting in the most unfavorable circumstances in Himalayas with absolutely no vehicles at their disposal. He had to keep the crew & cast morale amidst snow, subzero temperatures, and virtually no oxygen in some places. He shared with students that his passion & only passion for his story & characters could keep him going. Nothing else.

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Our Dean of Academics and Faculty, Direction & Screenwriting, Bala Rajasekharuni, addressing the students said, “Ashwin is a good role model to the upcoming filmmakers, since he’s from a film school and he stuck to his passion while choosing his film subjects. Evade Subramanyamis a classic example of how one can write from their heart and at the same time honor the commercial realities of the industry. A delicate balance, which Ashwin achieved with his debut, which is remarkable. This balance is what we try to teach at AISFM all the time.”

AISFM staff & faculty attend an Enriching Training Session

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Empowering and enriching the lives of, not just its students, but also its faculty and employees is one of the key objectives of AISFM. Helping us with this initiative, world renowned Educational Organization Landmark Forum, conducted a session for AISFM faculty and staff. Landmark introduced their curriculum that trains to access one’s own potential to transform them into extraordinary leaders.

In the first part of the session, B K Shashi Kumar, Landmark the trainer, led the participants by encouraging them to brainstorm about a new opportunity to invent a new possibility in one important aspects of their life. In the second part he covered about the kind of material that’s taught during the Landmark Forum sessions.

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Landmark Education is a global leader in the field of training and development, offering courses and seminars that are innovative, effective, and immediately relevant, in many cities around the world. A fundamental principle of Landmark Education’s work is that people and the communities and organizations with which they are engaged have the possibility of not only success, but also fulfillment and greatness.

HR department of AISFM hosted this session, because, the management believes in providing all-round education for it’s faculty & staff preparing them to face the pedagogical challenges of the present times. Working professionals tend to get caught in their daily mundane routines of predictable job chores, and forget to grow to their fullest potential as human beings and professionals. Hence, the management makes it a point to bring in such educational workshops to campus – which inspire their team to be true lifelong learners.

Sania Mirza & Neha Dhupia visit AISFM

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Interacting with celebrities of all walks of life and learning about their life experiences is an integral part of AISFM campus life. However, this time, it’s an interesting combination of two personalities – one a film star and an accomplished sportsperson together.

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Celebrated international tennis star Sania Mirza and talented and beautiful actress Neha Dhupia visited our campus recently. They interacted with our students at length, spending quality time with them; answering their queries about their life experiences… students thoroughly enjoyed the interactions with both these stars.

Sania Mirza appreciated the film school’s facilities and expertise that helped her with a recording project.

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Neha Dhupia spoke about the importance of learning the craft of filmmaking and shared her thoughts on the value of trained directors and technicians in the film industry. She said, “Some people are gifted, yet they like to educate themselves. The strongest weapon that you can have in today’s day and age is education. A lot of people think that if you don’t want to study then you can be a part of films. But that is not true, because the most successful writers, directors and even actors are the ones who are educated in the craft and that’s what sets them apart from the rest of us.”

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Lauding the efforts of AISFM she added, “AISFM facilities and ambience are amazing. The venue, the sound team, the recordists, I feel like I am at home with family. The equipment is top-class, the technicians are top class.”

Veteran Editor Marthand Venkatesh @ AISFM

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Working with the best, interacting and learning from industry professionals in an important part of education at AISFM. Veteran Telugu film editor Marthand K. Venkatesh who has edited more than 400 feature films, conducted a Master Class for our students.

Life experiences and social awareness are his biggest teachers, which have sculpted his societal positioning and aesthetics in his edits across genres. A third generation filmmaker, he interacted with the students at length about the learnings of his editing career. More than 80% of his films have been extremely successful at the box office.

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He bagged prestigious Nandi Award as the best editor for films like Tholi Prema, Daddy, Pokiri and Arundhati. He shared his insights into the industry including his personal aesthetic conflicts as a filmmaker and the balance he attempts to strike in his editor-director relationships.

Making his expertise available to budding editors, enlightening them about common editorial concerns and sharing his trade secrets through advice was the crux of his Master Class. While all the students benefited greatly from his session, a few students have penned down their reflections about their learning experience. Read on to find out what our students have to say.

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Mahesh Gaddam, (4thYear, BFA, Editing + Direction Specialization)
“We learnt many important things during the workshop; like: Work flow – Editing the first cut of the film on the basis of just the visual intensity of the rusheswithout knowing the story or having the director guidance gives a fresh approach and visualization.

Repeated analysis of cut in silence (without sound) makes you understand the flaws in the edit. Each key character gets a different pattern according to their characterization, (where we discussed an example from the film Happy Days).

When the film is based on a specific character’s journey, the editor has to focus on that character and emphasis more on his arc. (Here we discussed the film Fidaa).

Edit suite is the “first auditorium” and the footage has to excite the editor.

Over usage of opticals (transitions) is spoiling the content in contemporary film making.”

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Chaitanya Khairkar, (2nd Year, MA, Editing + Direction Specialization)

“The best part about the masterclass was that he was vocal about his thoughts and gave us knowledge about how the real film industry works. He didn’t sugar-coat or mince his words, instead told us about the real commercial side of the film industry. He shared his knowledge about his motivation for cuts, the internal and external rhythm of the scene as well the characters.

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He spoke about the difference in his approach for different films, for e.g. His approach was different for Pokiri than that for Billa; Pokiri was rougher whereas Billa had a more stylish flavour to it. He also shared his thoughts about his recent release Fidaa, and explained how the first half of the film was different from the second half; how the cuts relate to the protagonists of the film, while the ‘Hero’ had smooth cuts, the ‘Heroine’ had abrupt and quick cuts to it and her character was more bubbly and lively, as lightning speed.

He explained his working pattern, where he mentioned that he does not take part in pre-production stage of the films; he avoids listening to the story of the film before the edit, and he does the first cut of the film all by himself not allowing the director to take part in it initially. He also gave tips for the freshers who are trying to get into the industry, and explained the job of an assistant editor.”

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Athul Prabhakaran, (4th Year, BFA, Editing + Direction Specialization)

“Mr Venkatesh believes if everyone does their job to work for the film’s best, then the film will obviously work, any sign for the addition of just aesthetics and not story is not what he encourages. When the edit is first received, he gets his assistants to set up scenes with the good and bad and then comes in to edit. He reviews this finally with the director of the film to completely achieve the perfection the film deserves, sometimes with a lot of healthy arguments and discussions and so forth. He says that the director may stop a personal style from coming in. But it’s never bad to try, only that the final word comes from a director who is confident. The other people who may influence your edit design may be the cast members or the producers who panic and jump to editorial decisions. This may be seen as working for individual characters but not for the entire story.

He thinks commercial action films do not require much intellectual thought into how they are set up. It’s always fast paced with structures that hit marks. Editing films by filmmakers like Shekar Kammula is what gets him going as he gets to explore characters through edits. In Happy Days he set up a style of edit for different characters. In Fidaa the lead character in the girl takes the films narrative pace.

We spoke about silences and how they are really important. As easy as action films are, if they don’t have any silences in them, they tend to get loud and this can be down played with comedic scenes or emotional sequences. Silences, he says should also guide in edits without music or sound designs; they will allow for places that show a lag.”

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Abhishek Khapre, (3rd Year, BFA, Editing + Direction Specialization)

“Mr. Marthand explained his own way of editing films. He talked about treating movies of different genres in different ways. For example, an action film is cut or paced a little faster than something like a “feel good” movie or a family film, which has slower cuts to help the audience absorb the emotions. This, he feels, is a difficult task. An editor should feel the pulse of such films and edit intuitively to bring out the required emotion.

Moreover, each character is also treated in different ways by Mr. Marthand to bring out their characteristics. He gave an example of keeping two frames of lag for the hero, two frames of lag for the heroine and maybe 4-5 frames of lag for the antagonist. This creates a difference each time the character is seen on screen. He also talked about using different transitions and optics for different characters, e.g. dissolve for some, speeding up the footage for some, and using straight “visible” cuts for others.

Lastly Mr. Marthand talked about knowing the demography the movie will cater too. This may change the editing pattern. If the movie has a famous cast, then the editing pattern may change for a commercial movie as it has to cater to a specific audience. If the cast is not that well-known then the editing pattern changes along with the expectation of the audience.

Overall Mr. Marthand held a productive session and gave an insight into the Telugu film industry and the job of an editor in the industry.”

Master Class with Veteran Film Writer Akella

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Master classes are always looked forward to, by our students. For it is the value that the master class setup brings; all students benefit from the master’s comments on a subject and get expert advice, while still learning the finer nuances of their art. They also help students network and plan their future career development.

This time it was a Master Class by the veteran and versatile creative artist and film writer, Akella Venkata Suryanarayana, popularly known as ‘Akella’; who is a film writer, film director, TV writer, TV director, stage writer, stage actor and director.

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Akella has written more than 200 short stories in all leading Telugu magazines and many of his stories were translated into various Indian languages. He has also written more than 30 novels and he was credited with “Yuva Magazine Chakrapani” award, “Visala Andhra” award, “Vijaya Monthly” award and “Andhra Prabha Novel” award. His most outstanding novel “Dharmo Rakshathi Rakshithaha” was translated into French. The celebrity drama writer has written more than 40 plays, playlets and traditional plays (Padya Natakam). His theatre plays won 13 State Nandi awards.

The Master Class was attended by great enthusiasm by our Acting and Fundamentals of Film Direction (Telugu) students. Interacting with the students, the writer-director spoke at length about the importance of a story, screenplay and dialogues. He laid emphasis on the importance of characterisation, behaviour, body language and emotions for actors and how it is essential to read books to gain more knowledge and perspective.

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Bala Raj (Dean, Academics), who was present on the occasion, also shared his valuable inputs about the film industry and the importance of hard work and dedication to one’s craft.

The Master Class offered our creative and motivated students an opportunity to gain valuable insights into the working of the writing and directing fields of the film and television industry.

“Don’t Prove a Point, Do it for Yourself”, says Swapna Ashok 

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On the occasion of International Women’s Day on March 8th, well-known TV host, writer, singer, journalist and radio jockey, Swapna Ashok came to Mayabazar, AISFM campus for a very engaging, interactive and lively session, which was held exclusively for women.

Currently managing editor of Telugu news channel Sakshi TV she started her career in TV anchoring with TV9 (Telugu) and has done popular shows like Shara Maamule. She later moved to radio as the regional programming head of BIG FM 92.7 and hosted interview shows including Dil Se and Close Encounters. She comes from a family who have coincidentally been associated with radio; her mother Jyotsna was a FM radio presenter known for popular programme JAPA 4 and her maternal grandmother was Radio Bhanumati of All India Radio, Chennai fame.

Starting off on a high note she posed a question to all the women audience and asked ‘what does Women’s Day means to you’. Answers from the students and staff, ranged from been given the freedom to make their choices in life to taking their own decisions. Talking about her experiences of working in the media industry, she said that “Media is responsible for the influence it can impart to the society at large as we are in a sensitive profession” and went on to speak about the role of media in shaping society.

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To the question ‘What is empowerment to you?’, some of the students raised valuable concerns that they face while been part of society at large and noted that change should start at the grass root level to make a difference. “Creative when rearranged is reactive and we need to think of different and creative ways to deal with various scenarios,” she said and added that “If you want to do something or bring about a change, do it for yourself but don’t do it to prove a point to others.”

The session ended on a charged note where a select few voiced their opinion about the need of the hour and what message needs to be conveyed. “Respect individuality”, “Teach boys from childhood about how to respect women”, “Teach girls to be strong and empowered” were a few of the messages that struck a chord. Swapna concluded the session with the message that self awareness is required for women to be empowered and said “You define, you decide, you choose!”

Master Class by Sunitha Tati, Well-Known Film Producer

Sunitha Tati, well-known film producer in various regional films, conducted a Master Class for the students at AISFM. Sunitha comes from a background of executive producing movies under Guru Films Pvt. Ltd. She has worked with industry bigwigs like Daggubati Suresh Babu and Gautham Menon. As the session started, Amala Akkineni, AISFM Director, addressed Sunitha Tati, by introducing her to the students and welcoming her to the campus!

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Sunitha was born and brought up in Vijayawada and completed her bachelors degree in business management from George Mason University and went on to do her PG course in filmmaking from New York University. Starting off about her story, she mentioned how her education in New York prepped her in being on set and understanding the functionality of each technical aspect involved in the process of filmmaking. Considering herself a “storyteller”, she feels the need to convey a story is necessary for any filmmaker to execute an idea and depict it on screen.

With an experience in working for T.V and film respectively, she understands the difference between the two mediums and advised the students on how they could pave their way in making their career in either of the two. Engaging in an interesting Q/A session with the students she covered various areas of discussion in film and the current industry dynamics онлайн заявка на кредитную карту. Talking about each student’s favorite director, different tastes and different movies, she made the interaction informative by sharing her personal experiences with the essence of professionalism.

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Before starting out in the Telugu movie industry, she worked in TV 9 (Telugu) as well as Radio Mirchi. In her stint at Ramanaidu Studios she worked as an assistant director for various movies including Malliswari, Jayam Manadera and Nagesh Kukunoor’s Hyderabad Blues. Apart from movies, she is an active Rotarian and trustee & founder member of Support Cancer Awareness Foundation, a NGO based in Hyderabad.

Art direction decoded!

Famous art director of Indian films, Rajeevan Nambiar visited AISFM campus recently to hold a Master Class on art direction for our MA1 students. His journey began doing art direction for ad films and television serials, before being given the opportunity to work in a feature film for the first time through Ameer’s Mounam Pesiyadhe (2002).

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Soon after, he won acclaim for his work in Parthiban Kanavu (2003), before associating with Gautham Menon for the first time in Kaakha Kaakha. Since then, he has become a regular feature in the director’s ventures. He has worked for English, Hindi as well as many other regional films, including Shaithan, Ek Deewana Tha, David, Framed, Mounam Pesiyadhe and Manam.

Rajeevan’s session was an interactive Q&A class rather than a regular lecture, which is one of the reasons why students enjoyed it so much. From scribbles to photo-editing, everything regarding designing for a film was covered by him, after which he went on to speak about his experience working for films and ads, while answering students’ questions.

Rajeevan gave some very useful pointers to our MMBA students on how to work with tiny spaces for shoots on low budgets and yet make the set look good on camera. He told them how different types of fabrics, foam board cut-outs and techniques like shadowing, camera angles etc. can be used by them to create certain illusions desired by them. Indian skin is the hardest to work with for an art designer, since only few types of colours and few hues of lights compliment it, a quick fix for this too was given to the students; by him.

When asked what differences have come forth between art direction over the years, he mentioned how, during 1979 and 1998 movies were shot outdoors more, rather than inside studios. According to him, that is when the concept of art direction as a whole had its downfall. Before this time period, the art directors managed everything, but now directors give their inputs and art directors build on those inputs with their out of the box ideas. This combination is what makes the films better these days, he said.

He spoke at length about the different ways the camera can be cheated. For example, using paint for creating effects of marble/granite for the walls or using prints of the desired design on matte/textured papers can be used as cheats. The only thing that matters is their usage, he said. The number of shots the prop is used for, the time period of use and the number of people handling it helps determine which method is used for building. He spoke of how, for example, a church is first designed in the studio, and only after its approval is the location selected. An entire 3D walk-through of the set is done before a location is finalized for the actual shoot. This not only saves the filmmakers money, but also a lot of time and effort as well.

As the final aspect of the class, Rajeevan told our students a little bit more about set designing; what costumes are worn, what the tone (colour) of the film is, what themes are used by the director, and all that determine the set that the designers have to build. He also spoke about the differences between feature films and advertisements and said, “Ads are more specific when it comes to their design while feature films need a lot of research. These are the two aspects that differentiate them; every other thing is the same.”

When one of the students spoke of his ideas that were called ‘out-of-the-box’ and ‘bizarre’, he quickly jumped in to say that in the end, when it comes to the rules and boundaries of design, there is nothing that is right or wrong. The only thing that matters is whether it works for the film or not, he said.

Mauleenath Senapathi, full-time faculty of Direction, who also attended the session said, “Art Direction as we filmmakers recognize, is a vital aspect of filmmaking. As a subject of study Art Direction is particularly relevant for the students specializing in Direction and Cinematography. The significance of the master class conducted by ace Art Director Rajeevan has to be seen in this context. Rajeevan’s oeuvre of works across different genres of Indian cinema is evidently significant. Going by my observation and discussion with the MA 3 students following the master class, they have immensely benefited from this session. Art direction incidentally was one area which found less focus so far in the film course of the institute. As the MA 3 batch is approaching their mise-en-scene exercise where art direction plays the pivotal central role, this master class will go a long way in sharpening the concerned students’ understanding of the relevance of art direction and what it can creatively offer students, for them to explore cinematically in the projects that lies ahead.”

The evolution of animation since the reign of Reiniger

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Rita Baukrowitz and Andy Giorbino

Charlotte “Lotte” Reiniger, born 1899, was a German film director and the foremost pioneer of silhouette animation. Her passion for cinema and precision in work left a lasting impression on everyone including Walt Disney, who took her to Hollywood.

Reiniger made over 40 films in her career, before passing away in 1981.

To mark Goethe Zentrum’s 10th anniversary and the Hamburg – Hyderabad partnership, a guest lecture on Reiniger was held at AISFM recently. The speakers were Rita Baukrowitz and Andy Giorbino.

Rita Baukrowitz is the Head of International Programming at Kinemathek Hamburg. She studied ethnology, sociology and journalism at the University of Goettingen with an emphasis on theory and practice of ethnographic film, movie and documentary.

She was employed in various fields of visual arts and film. Since 2001, she’s been working as a Research Associate for the Cinematheque Hamburg and is responsible for programming, press and public relations at the cinema Kommunales Kino Metropolis, Hamburg.

The lecture began with a screening of Reiniger’s first silent animated feature, The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926) accompanied by live music composed by Andy Giorbino.

The guest lecture mapped the evolution of animation films in Germany from 1926 till today

Rita spoke about Reiniger’s animated film, Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed or The Adventures of Prince Achmed. This was the first feature length animation film of Germany (65 minutes), about a prince who is given a flying horse by a cunning wizard and is sent off on an adventurous trip.

On the trip, he meets Aladdin, battles demons and befriends a witch, all to win the heart of a princess. Rita screened a few stunning sequences from the film and spoke about the techniques used by Reiniger back in 1926.

Rita spoke about how each silhouette was cut by hand with a nail scissor. She threw light on how Reiniger manipulated each joint of the characters to create movement. Rita also spoke about the restoration of the film and how each frame was tinted with color.

“Apparently, there were over 200,000 shots before the editing was complete and the film took almost four years to be made,” said Rita.

“Reiniger found inspiration to make this film from a shadow puppet show that she had seen and so she used the same shadowing technique in the film,” informed Rita.

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One of the founding fathers among the musicians of a Hamburg based avant garde music and experimental ‘New Wave’ scene (“Hamburger Schule”), Andy Giorbino composed live music for the film, years after it released.

The music in the original was provided by Wolfgang Zeller. But Andy’s arrangements combine both a live act and a pre-recorded electronic soundtrack. The composer then showed a clipping of ‘Prince Achmed’ with the sound that he used as a background score, and how it differed from that of the original composer.

Andy Giorbino demonstrated the software that he used for composing the piece of music and spoke about how he gives a different acoustic identification for each animation.

“For all scenes that included the flying horse, I’ve used the flute. The flute is a very compelling and fluid instrument. It took me an entire month to compose the background score,” revealed Andy.

“I did not want to refer to the music originally used for the film in 1926. I wanted something original. So it was a tough task,” he said.

A composer who follows all genres of music ardently, Andy knew well the impact of music in Hindi films. “Music plays an intricate part in Indian films. It forms a very strong bond between the visuals and audience,” he said.

Andy then went on to reveal his Indian inspiration. “I have been inspired by Indian music. In fact, I did use some elements in films that I composer for. I call it the ‘Indian’ shots,” he said, with a laugh.

Meanwhile, on the filmmaking front, Rita was mighty impressed with the talent coming to the forefront in Indian cinema. “People love Bollywood music in Germany. Indian cinema is much celebrated there.”

Showed her appreciation for indie filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, she said, “Anurag is an amazing and talented filmmaker. I had invited him to Hamburg recently as part of the Connecting Cultures Festival. It was a great experience.”

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