AISFM launches Corporate Role Play workshops

AISFM_Fiirefly_38AISFM faculty Nitin Mane, MFA (USA) & Bala Rajasekharuni, MFA (USA), who is also the Dean conducted a workshop of Corporate Role Play at Firefly Creative Studios, Hyderabad.AISFM_Fiirefly_32Bala and Nitin blended various actor training methods to bring out the hidden talent of the team members, accommodating a variety of personalities and their own unique modes of expression. AISFM_Fiirefly_26Every creative exercise concluded with a briefing on how those techniques can be applicable effective tools for self development and team building in any setting, be it home or the work place. AISFM_Fiirefly_16Using humor as a medium to engage the group, the instructors walked the participants through a process of profound learning, yet, making it fun to spend their Saturday morning for. AISFM_Fiirefly_13The workshop is one of the recent initiatives of AISFM outreach programs, which has started with a summer intensive teaching methodology workshop in collaboration with Critical Education Academy, Los Angeles.AISFM_Fiirefly_8AISFM believes in creating an ongoing synergy between its in-house academic expertise and various societal settings in the outside world.AISFM_Fiirefly_18

A post apocalyptic road drama

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He has his aim set high, with a bag of short films already to his credit! Pursuing his passion and making his dreams come true is Athul Prabhakaran, Bachelors in Fine Arts student of AISFM. The ardent filmmaker made his first film with a webcam even before he hit his teens and has worked as a writer, director and editor for his nine short films in three languages. All set to make his 10th project, a post apocalyptic road drama called ‘Zaman’, through crowd-funding, he is all gung-ho about starting the shoot soon.

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Here it is in Athul’s own words about how the whole experience has been; from ideation to jotting it down on paper to bringing the team together to crowd funding to scouting for locations to finally getting ready to start the shoot!

The initial idea for Zaman came to me five years ago, when I was trying to justify a script with as minimal number of actors within a story that judged the existence of God in a world devoid of humans. I didn’t shoot it then for various reasons, and I’ve constantly been revisiting the idea, adding something valuable every time I do so.

Last summer, a friend and I were brainstorming for an idea after scrapping a sci-fi project that we were planning for months. I pitched Zaman to him, and he loved the idea. We spent the rest of the day structuring the story that would serve as the backbone to the film being made.

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“The film begins with Tawhid, a survivor who has seen the world crumble. A widower traumatised by losing his wife to the catastrophe. Tawhid is threatening to take his life and then a mysterious radio broadcast from a small community calling themselves “The Farm” plays. They claim to have resourced electricity and food. The film follows his quest to survive in a world devoid of normalcy that traces his transformation in the face of adversity. On this journey he encounters a 60 year old woman, her dog and a few other survivors who make for an eventful and thought provoking road drama, which all ends with a shocking twist.”

After college reopened, I pitched it to my fellow collaborators at AISFM. Everyone seemed to love the idea and this prompted me to start out on the screenplay. Zaman was co-written with Isha Thota, with whom I share writing credits on one other film, Take Your Gangster to Work.

As the screenplay took shape, it was very clear that everything was obviously on a much larger scale, a lot of things that we took for granted in a smaller shoot, in terms of times taken to say – complete a script, or even lock on the camera, took much longer than anticipated.

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Earlier short films were made on a much smaller budget – where the biggest argument about “investment” was who’s going to buy the batteries for the Zoom recorder. On Zaman it was a whole different ball game, so from what started out as a film that would require a minimal use of actors, grew into something that needed Rs. 5 lakhs to be effectively realised the way we envisioned.

Zaman will be photographed by Akash Subramanian, my first roommate, a genius of a friend and a brilliant collaborator who has a good eye for framing. The next person who is a very important part of the film actually helped me write the treatment of the film that I paraded around to certain members of the faculty and potential collaborators. Ashwin Rajashekar. My sound designer.

The film was crowd-funded on fueladream.com, where it was funded a 123%, which means we overshot our target goal. I’d really like to thank all my funders, a lot of people really pulled together – friends family, and some unknown philanthropists. Many of which were out of the blue, the support has really been overwhelming.  This got us a lot of publicity, where we were featured in three newspapers – The Better India, Hans India and The Indian Express. This really helped with the additional funding and really created some good buzz around the film. And yes, it was also very flattering.

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Zaman is my first major short film in terms of vision, filmmaking and storytelling. It will be shot in the last two weeks of December and a short second schedule in January to finish post production for an April screening at AISFM’s Student Theatre, something that the AISFM management was very helpful and eager about.

Crew:
Director – Athul Prabhakaran
Chief Assistant Director – Shivam Sinha
Original story – Athul Prabhakaran, SJ Nitesh Sabharish and Isha Thota
Screenwriters – Athul Prabhakaran and Isha thota
Cinematographer – Akash Subramanian
Associate Cinematographer – Abhipsa Sahoo
Gaffer – Sreyash Myneni
Sound Designer – Ashwin Rajashekar
Assistant Sound – Joshua Thakur
Production Designers – Mahesh Rambhatla and Nidhi Kohlatkar
Line Producer – S. Venkat Narayana Murthy
Production Assistant – Sasmit Parkhe
Crowdfunding and PR Manager – Preksha Trivedi

Take a look at Athul’s pre-production video for Zaman: http://bit.ly/2g70Rwf

Rangmanch’s Holi, a colourful triumph!

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AISFM’s theatre club, ‘Rangmanch’, staged the Hindi adaptation of Mahesh Elkunchwar’s ‘Holi’, an iconic Marathi play at Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan, Basheerbagh. Over 400 people turned up for the play and the student event was a huge success.

Harshad Dinkar Fad, representative for ‘Rangmanch’ – An AISFM Theatre Club and an AISFM MMBA III student in his own words jots down the journey of the stage play, from conception to finish, capturing its every essence in its truest form!

Witness this wonderful drama unfurl; pre, during and post, in front of you with his words!

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When the clubs were revamped at AISFM last semester before the summer break, the newly elected representatives for Theatre Club, that was me and S. Venkat Narayan Murthy, had a clear vision of starting the new academic year with a grand theatrical performance. Our vision was supported by other clubs and most importantly Dean Bala sir, who suggested on staging a play that included various performing arts thus involving several clubs in the production. As exciting as it sounds, all the clubs agreed upon taking up this challenge. The theatre club was named ‘Rangmanch’ and we were set to paint the world of theatrics!

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After a lot of brainstorming the club representatives decided to adapt a critically acclaimed film into a theatrical play. Unfortunately, the producers of this film denied us the permission citing the reason that they themselves were in the process of adapting it for stage. By the time this notification came we had already adapted the first act. With such little time left to prepare, Dean Bala sir came to our rescue and suggested we stage Mahesh Elkunchwar’s ‘Holi’. An iconic Marathi play from an iconic playwright, our responsibilities were multiplied to showcase a quality production. It was difficult to find the English or Hindi adaptation of this play and hence I asked my parents to send the original Marathi script from Pune. It took a good three days’ time to translate and adapt ‘Holi’ into a Hind-English play. The adapted script for ‘Holi’ was finally locked. It was time now to build a team.

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From just me and Venkat at the beginning, ‘Team Holi’ eventually went on to be a 42 member troupe! ‘Rangmanch’ conducted its first auditions, where we found some actors with great potential. Most of these actors were completely new to stage acting and excited to explore the medium.

‘Holi’ is a play based on a hostel where everything was as paranoid as any other hostel till something beyond paranoid happened. A group of college students gather at a hostel room to express disappointment over not getting a holiday for Holi. What begins as a fun-filled hoopla amongst friends slowly turns into a revolt and then into something outrageous.

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In all there are 19 characters in the play. The backstage crew, sound team, lights team, costumes and makeup team, finance and marketing team together took the number of cast and crew to a whopping 42 members! To manage these 42 people for three weeks and maintain co-ordination was the primary challenge we faced. At times, to maintain discipline we had to take harsh decisions like replacing the actors. A few contretemps here and there but talking about issues freely and finding solutions collectively was key to keep a healthy environment during the rehearsals. It was wonderful on the part of all the cast and crew members to do rehearsals for three long weeks after six to seven hours of a gruelling college schedule. On our side, Venkat and I tried to keep the atmosphere as fun-filled and enjoyable as possible. We all danced, did some funny exercises, meditated and laughed together. Everybody’s graph of performance in all departments only showed an upward mark.

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Meanwhile, the Dance Club choreographed an energetic performance that would open the play. ‘Aarambh’, the Events Club was constantly co-ordinating between various departments while maintaining the finances. Rohit Tkar from the Music Club was going to be the lone ranger giving live score to the play. Photography Club covered the practice sessions and also took the responsibility to cover the entire event on the D-Day. The marketing team put up posters across the city and tickets were up for sale on BookMyShow.

AISFM funded the auditorium fees and equipment. Our academic co-ordinators Ms. Abhigna, Ms. Lyzandra and Dr. Vijaya Raghava were of utmost help throughout the process. We partnered with ‘Ksheersagar Sweets’ as our associate partners and Aayat Productions as our printing partners. Everything set; ‘Rangmanch’ was ready to go on the ‘manch’ of Bhartiya Vidya Bhavan Auditorium!

19th of August, 2016. Nervous excitement. Stakes were high. First ever theatrical performance by AISFM. First ever Rangmanch performance. First ever grand event in the presence of our Dean and AISFM Director Amala ma’am. It was a day marked with the most appropriate use of nervous energy by 42 individuals collectively. Without any frenzy, the crew and cast reached the venue with all the required properties and equipment. After the lights and sounds settings, we did a final rehearsal and the team was ready to deliver!

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To our delight, more than 400-strong audience turned up for the show. Mrs. Amala Akkineni, our Chief Guest for the evening and our very own Dean Bala Raj sir arrived. It was encouraging to see some of our lecturers and officials from administration sitting in the first two rows. With such a massive turnout for the show and fire to give a memorable performance, Holi was performed. All the hard work and penance of three weeks was seen in every action and reaction on and off the stage. The play had three change of scenes where the complete stage was changed from one location to another. As the lights went off the crew had just 20 seconds to change these settings in complete dark and they, unbelievably, were on point every single time. Practice indeed makes a crew perfect! We were blessed with a wonderful audience who were responsive to everything that went on the stage. Listening to their applause after every scene was thrilling!

It was an emotional moment when the play got over and the entire cast and crew stood there to bow in front of the audience. Surpassing all hurdles and striving for the best at every moment, we finally delivered. And the audience loved it. What more does an artist want? To see the smiles on the audiences’ faces, to see them delighted, to see the effect your performance has caused in their eyes, is all the accolades and love won. Dean Bala sir and Amala ma’am presented us Directors with a shawl. It will remain as one of the highlights of my life and Venkat’s too. Truly humbled by this beautiful gesture! It was a shawl that not only recognized the efforts we put into bringing this entire act together from scratch but also a reminder of the responsibility we shouldered into making things only better and better from here. There’s always scope for improvement and we will only go forward from here. There is one thing I always told the cast and crew, which we again proved at the end of this performance, “Success is easy, all you need to do is hard work!”

As for ‘Rangmanch’, we are not a club anymore. We are family! 

Don’t miss the action! See more photos here: http://bit.ly/2bLgzia

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Who says women aren’t funny?!

Women in comedy

 

  1. Amy Schumer

Women in Comedy

Amy is a stand-up comedian, writer, producer and actor. Not only does she write comedy sketches for TV shows, she has also written a film (Trainwreck). She has her very own sketch comedy Inside Amy Schumer that is becoming popular by the day. Apart from this, Schumer has also acted in a bunch of films; she also has a book coming out this year called ‘The girl with the lower back tattoo.’ Talk about multi-talented!

  1. Whitney Cummings

Women in Comedy

Whitney Cummings began her career by starring on MTV’s prank show, Punk’d. Later she went on to create two multi-camera, live-audience sitcoms, Whitney and 2 Broke Girls, which were received well. The latter recently got renewed for 6th season. Cummings also took part in several stand-up comedy shows right from the beginning of her career.

  1. Mindy Kaling

Women in Comedy

Not many know the fact that Kaling is actually just a stage name that the comic adopted. Her birth name is Vera Mindy Chokalingam! She is known for the sitcom The Mindy Project, which was not only created by her, but also saw her as the show’s main lead. At the age of 19, she worked as an intern on the show Late Night with Conan O’Brien. Kaling is also the author of two of New York Times Best Sellers.

  1. Grace Helbig

Women in Comedy

Grace is an actress, producer and author and also is the creator and host of the YouTube channel it’sGrace as well as the podcast Not Too Deep with Grace Helbig. She authored two comedic handbooks, Millennials Grace’s Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up and Grace & Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It. She created and hosted the 2015 comedy/talk show on the E! television network, The Grace Helbig Show.

  1. Melissa McCarthy

Women in Comedy

McCarthy first gained recognition for her role as Sookie St. James on the television series Gilmore Girls. Her talents were brought out to the public light by the show Mike & Molly. McCarthy achieved further success and fame for her breakthrough film role as Megan Price in the comedy film Bridesmaids. She has starred in other major films apart from this including Spy that came out this year. In 2016, Forbes named her the second highest-paid actress in the world earning $33 million.

  1. Lilly Singh

Women in Comedy

Better known by her YouTube name, iisuperwomanii, Lilly is an Indo-Canadian YouTube personality, vlogger, comedian, actress and rapper. Since beginning her channel in October 2010, her videos have received over 1.4 billion views with over 9 million subscribers to her channel. She shot to fame for dressing up as her made-up parents Manjeet and Paramjeet, who also have their very own social media handles and fan following. She has received an MTV Fandom Award, a Streamy Award and two Teen Choice Awards to date in her career, and is coming out with her very own book.

  1. Wanda Sykes

Women in Comedy

This voice artist was first recognized for her work as a writer on The Chris Rock Show, for which she won a Primetime Emmy Award in 1999. She has had a very successful career in film, voicing characters in films like Barnyard, Rio, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Ice Age: Collision Course (which also starred Lilly Singh). She was named one of the 25 funniest people in America by Entertainment Weekly.

  1. Kristen Wiig

Women in Comedy

Kristen Wigg shot to fame thanks to her stint on SNL (Saturday Night Live). Much like McCarthy, she too broke into comedy with the help of the Los Angeles improv group, ‘The Groundlings.’ Wiig received seven consecutive Emmy Awards nominations and has been nominated for an Annie Award for Voice Acting in a Feature Production for her work on Despicable Me 2.

  1. Tina Fey

Women in Comedy

This actress, comedian, writer and producer is best known for her work on the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live. She also starred in 30 Rock and had character roles in major films like Mean Girls, Muppets Most Wanted and Sisters to name a few. Fey has received eight Emmy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards, five Screen Actors Guild Awards, and four Writers Guild of America Awards and was nominated for a Grammy Award for her autobiographical book Bossypants, which topped The New York Times Best Seller list for five weeks.

  1. Jenna Marbles

Women in Comedy

Jenna Nicole Mourey, more commonly known as Jenna Marbles is an American YouTube personality, vlogger, comedian and actress. As of May 2016, her channel has over 16 million subscribers, making it the seventh most subscribed channel on YouTube and the top channel operated by a woman! The funny story behind her pseudonym is that Mr. Marbles was the name of her dog when her videos went viral. She also released a brand of dog toys called Kermie Worm & Mr. Marbles.

Time for Theatre at AISFM!

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With a new year beginning for the new set of students joining in at AISFM, life is full of learning and fun. What makes it even better is when you are having fun while learning! Students get to discover newer things and experiment with things that they had only read or heard about before.

Yet another feather added to the AISFM cap that nurtures students’ careers as much as their dreams, is that it is now into theatre! Yes, you heard that right!

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The theatre club of AISFM, in collaboration with Rang Manch recently held auditions for their upcoming production, Holi, that is set to be staged soon this month. This would be the first ever college production in terms of theatre for AISFM. Auditions for the Student Production were held recently where students donned their acting hats and set the ball rolling with their acts of theatrics.

The play with a message is a wee bit different from the rest of them and is a 24 actor play and comprises students from the current MMBA, BFA 1, BFA 3 & BFA 5 batches. Who got through, who didn’t, what is the play about, what message does it convey, is for you to wait and watch! Keep in tune to find out soon. For now, take a look at the Students’ Auditions here http://bit.ly/2atOwmN