Srungaram, AISFM Students’ Music Video Premiere Held

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A proud achievement and moment for AISFM, a few of our talented students have made a music video with some of the legends of the film industry. Srungaram is the music video that was premiered on June 10th at the AISFM preview theatre!

The list of the AISFM talented students; music video produced, conceptualised, written and lyrics by Krishna Kiriti (MA – 2), directed by Rahul Jasti (MA – 2), cinematographer & DI Aditya Lolla (MA – 2) and edited by Anil Kumar (MA – 4).

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“Everyone thinks only in one dimension about Srungaram, but there is deeper meaning to Srungaram which we are not aware about, this music video is all about that. We had tried to tell the divine meaning of Srungaram. To understand what actually Srungaram is, do watch the video,” is what the students say.

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The song is composed by famous music director Mani Sharma while it was sung by legendary singer S. P. Balasubramanyam and the cast is well-known actor G V Narayana Rao and Archana Raj.

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The video premiere was attended by famous people of the Telugu industry; Movie Artist Association President Shivaji Raja, Music Director R.P. Patnaik, senior artist Shiva Parvathi, Bahubali Line Producer Devika, Movie Director & Producer PVS Varma, G V Narayana Rao who also acted in the music video and young actors Josh Ravi and Naveen.

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Guiding them ably with sound designing and song mixing was Sanjeev Kumar, Faculty of Sound Design at AISFM; who designed the sound and song mixing for the project. The students said that he was the back bone and a huge support for the project! Kudos to the entire team for a wonderful video!

Watch the music video here:

“The Fall Guy”, Bob Brown visits AISFM

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Bob Brown was at the AISFM Campus addressing the students and sharing his experiences about the time he was working as a stunt man and later a stunt coordinator in a numerous set of Hollywood projects, including both film and television. Bob is also a World Champion professional high diver.

A stunt coordinator is usually an experienced stunt performer hired by a TV, film or theatre director or production company for stunt casting (i.e.) to arrange the casting (stunt players and stunt doubles) and performance of stunts for a film, TV or a live audience. He has been nicknamed “The Fall Guy” as he is known for his high falling stunts.

With a vast number of films, from 1985 to 2017, Bob is one of the most experienced professionals in the business having an experience of over 30 years. He has had a successful transition from being a stuntman, to a stunt coordinator to a second unit director and then a director/producer of his first feature film called “Urban Games”, but he enjoys doing stunts the most.

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Bob started off with an introduction about his field of work and engaged in a Q/A session with the students, speaking about his process as a stunt coordinator, while having different experiences on different films. As he has been in the industry for quite a bit, he follows his set of methods and techniques to get the output required by the director.

Filmmaking being a collaborative process, Bob and his team play a vital part in the sequencing of stunts, ensuring the actor’s safety and delivering the product as per the vision of the director. On the job, he ensures enough rehearsals are done to make the shot seem realistic.

Bob has constantly been experiementing on the move, travelling to different parts of the world and contributing to the process of filmmaking, in a global way. As the job requires a passion for the risk and threat, Bob was always, from his childhood interested in watching action movies and found the movies really fascinating.

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He draws his inspiration for stunt ideas and moves from Jackie Chan. Inspired by video games, playing them gives him a lot of ideas on thinking of a new stunt. With a technical point of view, he does prefer long takes and is also a fan of a scene with multiple cuts, if executed perfectly. As he is also well versed with editing, he endures the added advantage of knowing what he wants, right in his head.

He also spoke about the other side of the industry where a few stunt coordinators can offer a lot but with the risk of safety. Bob has the right mindset for choreographing stunts realistically and safely with the use of the “right” equipment. He also spoke about VFX and it’s relevance in the idea of any stunt. He feels the need of a healthy working relationship with the DoP and the director to be very essential for creating something great on screen.

Sets of videos of his sequences were shown to the students throughout the interaction. You could see the versatility, in his body of work as each sequence had an extra edge to it; from integrating an animal in an action sequence, or blowing up cars, or the kick-punch sequences with an accurate sense of choreography. Speaking about the difference in TV and film, he says, “After a TV sequence, I don’t get that feeling of ‘Oh! I did it!’” He enjoys doing film sequences better as the scale of it is much larger in size, he said.

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Bob believes a stunt is as good as the preparation put behind it. He is also a fan of shooting on film over digital as film is richer and has more texture. Emphasizing on the rehearsals is a key to his success as a coordinator, he said. He was also a stunt double for Jim Carrey and encourages the idea of safety and professionalism.

Talking about his journey on how it was when he started out he shared instances where he donating blood from time to time for a few dollars. With 150$ in his pocket and the willingness to go behind his dream he moved his way up slowly and steadily getting noticed by all the studio heads. His recent body of work includes movies like XXX: The Return of Xander Cage, Pixels, San Andreas, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Lone Ranger, Modern Family, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief and many more.

The students were very interactive and discussed many topics with him and had a witty exchange of opinions. As Bob started out with having no film background and made his way up with sheer passion, he says, “Education always prepares you for what you are up against. It’s great that students can get an education in Film and Media prior to their work, as it makes them ready for it. Like being on a set, and knowing the functionality of it.”

Iha Sharma #TalksRed !

Iha Sharma #TalksRed !Red Fist started as a simple idea. Aman Bhardwaj and Ashwin Rajashekar, the Literary Club representatives, when they’re not joking around and cracking everyone up, actually do have some brilliant ideas; Red Fist was one of them! From a simple idea to a successful college-wide event, it was a rollercoaster ride, one that all Red Fist volunteers would love to stand in line for, for multiple rounds.

Incepted from the concept of open mic sessions, this was a vocal fest propagating free speech and freedom of expression. Solidarity was the foundation of the fest. As an art school, it is imperative that patrons of all fields, be it filmmaking, animation, advertising, journalism or photography, are united and support each other. Not only students, but faculty and staff were also invited.

Our Dean was ever so supportive and with a lot of help from our beloved student coordinator Lyzandra Lewis, Red Fist became such a success. Our chief guest was Bajrangi Bhaijaan writer Vijayendra Prasad, and the event was hosted by the much loved advertising student, Aayush Agarwal.

Red Fist consisted of 7 different events:

Debate, with a twist. In the debate, instead of a conventional for/against a statement rule, the opposing teams were given 2 different films based on the same core topic and genre, and they had to defend their film. The two films were – Company (2002) & Gangs of Wasseypur (2002). With just a very little margin, the team with Gangs of Wasseypur won. The event was judged by the very equipped editing faculty duo of Rima Mazumdar & Amit Prasad.

Poetry Slam, a literary event to its core, it was judged by Padma Ramesh, who seemed to enjoy all of the performances. Vaishnavi Mudaliar from BFA 1 took the 1st position with her extremely relatable poem on best friends.

Monologue, the blend of speech and drama, was judged by Mr. Vijayendra Prasad, who was really moved by the winner BFA 1 student Suman Chowdhary’s performance. An emotionally-charged performance about the complicated relationship that every woman shares with her mother, Suman left those present at the event, teary-eyed.

Singing, an event which needs no introduction had everyone humming along to the performers. Krishna Priya, a first year animation student, wowed everyone with her energetic performance and came first among the 5 participants. The event was judged by the enthusiastic duo of Sanjeev Kumar & Debkanta Chakrabarty.

Standup Comedy, one event that saw a single participant in BFA 1 student Harshvardhan. Harshvardhan’s initiative was much appreciated, and the audience enjoyed a lot.

Lip-Sync, an event popularized by American show host Jimmy Fallon recharged the whole venue with energy as the participants not only lip-synced to their respective songs, but also performed with the audience. This interaction even made the faculty dance along. Mansi Khandekar stole the show among the participants and the event was judged by the colourful personality that is Vivek Pandey.

Open Mic is one event that saw the faculty on stage without any will to leave. Our respected Dean sang on stage twice! Sanjeev Kumar, Samrat Chakrabarty, Amit Prasad and Vivek Pandey, lit the stage on fire.

The Literary Club is elated by the success of Red Fist and with the feedback that we’ve received. We hope to see Red Fist become an annual event henceforth. Ashwin Rajashekar says, “I’ve always wanted to organize a fest in this college. We have been planning since the past four years. Who would have thought changing one letter could make it possible? (The event was called ‘Red Fest’ previously when it had been canceled) I’m grateful to all the club representatives and volunteers for their hard work. This fest wouldn’t have been possible without them. Now, I plan to organize the fest annually, twice. Both intra and inter-college. Let’s hope for the best.” “All the hard work paid off. Despite a few setbacks, the Red Fist team managed to put up a good show. I’m glad we’ll go down in the history of AISFM as the team which organized the first ever fest in college.” added Aman.

Team Members:

Organizers:
Aman Bhardwaj
Iha Sharma
Ashwin Rajashekar
Shubham Jajodia

Debate:
Shivam Sinha
Aditya Adholia
Sagar Kaushik
Abhishek Khapre

Poetry Slam:
Tanya Chhabria
Gehna Maheshwari

Monologue:
S Venkat Narayana Murthy
Anirudh Kompella

Singing:
Thanmayi Dayala
Joysuryo Paul
Joshua Thakur
Raveesh Sood

Stand-up Comedy:
Ashwin Rajashekar
Mithun Soma

Lip-Sync:
Tarun Panwar
Purvangi Ranjan

Lighting:
Akash Subramaniam
Abhipsa Sahoo
Sreyash Myneni
Aditya Adholia

Sound/Technical team:
Rishabh Lalwani
Ashwin Rajashekar
Adharsh
Adithya Vinayaka
Abhishek Kothari

Decorations:
Karishma Kumar
Prema Clayton
Vandana Prabhu
Shubham Jajodia
Sagar Kaushik
Adithya Vinayaka

Special Mention:
Hari Doshi
Raj Anna

Should you get a student job?! Yes!!!

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Do you think it is worth getting a job while you are still studying? It’s a question on many a student’s mind, but should you really be considering taking on a part-time job? The question of whether to get a job while in college is one of the toughest decisions a full-time student has to make. The answer to it is a big ‘Yes’! There are definitely more benefits beyond the regular pay checks. Here’s more!

Earn more than just money
Students not just earn a decent amount of money for their small expenses, they also gain valuable experience through a part-time job. It will be a blessing and a merit to have a job if they can find something in the field they are studying; what’s more it will look good on their resume.

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If not in a field they are studying about, students can also get paid to do things they love; like teaching swimming or aerobics or music. This will not only serve as a break from the school load but will also provide some extra cash while doing something that you love.

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Thanks to the ever-changing and volatile job climate, it is always better to have an edge over your peers. Given a choice employers will choose someone with experience; and for those without prior experience their employability factor is almost non-existent. It is an unsaid belief that a part-time job will increase the chances of a student’s employability. While that holds true, it would be better if the experience was relevant.

Can I postpone the student job?
Maybe not! Employers are always on the lookout for students and like to hire them as they can be paid less due to their inexperience. Positions such as tutoring, acting, interning in a company of your field will help.

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Is it worth it?
The answer is a resounding yes. A big Yes!!! It gives you first-hand experience and teaches you about the working world, which is very different from that of a student. The working hours teach you about commitment and punctuality; deadlines help develop your ability to work under pressure and most importantly it eases you into the working life rather than throw you into it once you graduate. The biggest plus point?! Earning your own money gives you independence. There is no greater sense of self-achievement or satisfaction than when you can buy your own things.

What job should I get?
The best option is to apply for a job that is a stepping-stone to your long-term career. If you are studying to be a lawyer then join a law firm, so you can learn to deal with the cases and build a relationship with the seniors. Want to be a director, then don’t do odds jobs but rather get a job on a film set. Jobs such as bartending may be a good way to earn extra money, but its better you go for a position that will provide invaluable experience for your future career.

Should I work for free?
It depends on where you are working! If it is a regular company, weigh the pros and cons and then decide. If it is a reputed company and promises a job once you graduate then sacrificing the pay can be beneficial in the long run, because job experience is getting valuable these days. If it is an NGO or charity, then Yes, you should work for free. Do your bit for the society and give back by working for free.

What if I don’t like it?
The answer is plain and simple, quit. Maybe this is a sign and it will help you choose the specialization you want. Many times, students study for what they believe is their dream job, only to realise that it was a wrong choice. It is the perfect opportunity to see if the industry you’re studying for is everything you believe it to be. If it turns out to be what you want, then great; but if you are studying for a job you may never come to like, then quit the job and make necessary adjustments to your studies. It is better to do it now than graduate with a degree that can only get you a job you will come to hate!

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There are a lot of great reasons on why getting a job while you are still a student are good, here were just some of them. If you wish to take a year out after your studies, the money you earned while doing a student job will be the greatest reward you could give yourself after years of hard study and work. There is no reason that there is anything wrong with doing a part-time job. If not for anything, it could be character building and a good way to dive into another social circle. So, start looking for one, right now!

Editing decoded, from the master himself!

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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.”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Marathon runners inspire!

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Marathons are rightly considered to be one of the most difficult physical challenges that a person can undertake, and requires months of preparation and dedicated training for the running to be a success. Once someone dedicates themselves to running, whether as an avenue to have more energy or simply live a healthy lifestyle, it becomes a habit.

What could possibly motivate someone to take on such a gruelling task? What would drive someone to jump out of bed in the early morning hours and run for countless miles before most people even hear the alarm go off? Well, for some of us here, its sheer satisfaction, a sense of achievement, pushing one’s limits and much much more, at the end of the marathon. A great achievement indeed!

AISFM was duly represented at the Hyderabad Marathon; while some participated in the half-marathon others did so in the 10k and 5k run. ‘Life’s a marathon, not a sprint,’ for these few individuals who have successfully completed the marathon! Here’s what they had to say about what the marathon means to them and what they felt after completing the marathon.

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I have been a passionate runner since the age of 11 years and I was introduced to marathons in 1984. Since then I have been participating in majority of the marathons conducted in India. It gives me a great feeling to be a part of these marathons. It keeps me going great guns in life.

Participation in marathons is one part but running as such is a great sport. Running not only helped me to keep myself physically fit over the years but also taught me to be disciplined, motivated and remain with high energy levels throughout the day. If you remain physically fit by cultivating the habit of running, then you will automatically develop mental toughness to face all changes in life. My advice to students is that they should make running as part and parcel of their daily curriculum for a healthy and longer life span.

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This marathon, in particular, was like testing myself if I still could go without proper training because honestly I didn’t put in enough of what it takes. But the sense of self-achievement that you get after the finish line is worth all the pain for me. And mainly the positive energies of the sport are all that I need to keep going there.

The feeling of completing the marathon was Happy Pain! It’s like you want to dance with joy, but you just can’t. But the next thought that comes to mind is that I need to work on my stamina and run faster the next time. I am running the Bangalore half-marathon in October and aiming for a finishing time of 2.45 hrs!

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This was my first marathon and long-distance running race. Firstly, I am not a long sprinter and I can’t run for long distances. But I just wanted to push my limits and that is the reason I participated in this marathon. I couldn’t finish in the top places but I could complete the race. I am happy that I performed my best and finished the race with 54.35 timing. From now on I will run every marathon possible so that I can improve myself more.

The post marathon feeling was awesome! The best part of the marathon was the participation of handicapped people, they inspired me a lot. I questioned myself that ‘if a disabled person could do that much, then why am I afraid of long runs.’ This marathon gave me the confidence and inspiration for my future races. And I am very thankful to the college for their support.

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It was great experience! Although this was my first time participating in a public event, it gave me a nostalgic feeling running with kids and people whom I’ve never met before. Running alongside physically challenged people inspired me a lot. I would like to ask people I know to get into marathon running every year. It felt like an accomplishment when I finished the marathon and I have set a time limit for myself for the next time I run in a marathon.

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I felt that the marathon is similar to life; people sweat it out to reach their goals and at a certain point they even think of giving up. But after reaching the goal without shortcuts, without giving up, that exhilarating feeling cannot be expressed in words! This was my first 5K run and it was quite a good experience. Many people participated in the run and some of them were handicapped who were definitely the inspiration for many others. When my friends asked me about my weekend, I gave a good reply rather than the usual ‘just another lazy weekend!’

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It was a great experience to run in the Hyderabad marathon, as it was my first one in Hyderabad. Marathon for me is a day to get social, enjoy the moment, music and fun. I was U-19 cricket player and used to train hard and go for 8km runs daily. Unfortunately I couldn’t continue cricket further and after coming to Hyderabad I stopped training. I was short of time and came up with excuses daily for not going for a run. All I needed was a start and this marathon helped me on that. I enrolled but I was worried as I had lost my stamina and I was not sure if I could complete the run. But as the marathon started, the moment was awesome! With everyone cheering and the music, it gave me the energy and I completed the 5km successfully with a timing of 26 minutes. It makes me feel proud to complete the 5km run especially when I lacked the stamina.

With the push that I needed with this marathon, I have started running again and am going to KBR Park daily in the morning. I wish to join the 21 km in the next marathon. I’d suggest that each and every one should start running because it’s good for health and fitness and it makes us feel active and energetic for the whole day.

Khwaish’s dream coming true!

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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.

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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!

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“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.  

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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Graduation Ceremony of Filmmaking Short Course

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Bringing them one step closer to their dream of pursuing their passion, was the graduation ceremony of our 2016 batch for the filmmaking (FFM) short course that was held at AISFM recently.

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Popular director, screenwriter and film producer Maruthi Dasari who is known for his films like Ee Rojullo, Bhale Bhale Magadivoy etc. was the Chief Guest for the ceremony and was welcomed by our Dean, Bala Rajasekharuni and our COO, Krupakar Reddy.

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The well-known director shared his views and experiences of filmmaking and discussed the method of filmmaking while interacting with the students, who were eager to learn and absorb as much knowledge as possible, with delight.

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The students eager to explore and learn about the finer nuances of filmmaking joined this quick but comprehensive short course and realized their dream. This course provided hands on training in professional filmmaking at an introductory level and students explored the complete process of digital film-making during the course period.

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They learnt the technical aspects of filmmaking, fundamentals of visual storytelling, how to develop a short film script, pre-production of the short film, casting, fundamentals of direction, fundamentals of cinematography, fundamentals of editing and sound design. The culmination of the course was when the students in groups of five made a 5-minute short film as their course-end project.

Take a look at the Graduation Ceremony photos here http://bit.ly/2aJ4zN4

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