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It's only a journey if you don't leave your heart behind
If you are here, you probably know what this video is about. Else let me give you a brief description about it. This video is a story about 8 another MBA classmates, their reasons to pursue their Masters' degree at Thompson Rivers University and what this Journey means to them. Yes, quite proud to say that this video won the second prize at BC MBA Games 2016 (wont lie, I am a little bummed that the video didn't win the first place. But nevermind, I'll rant about that in another post)
How did this come about?
Mishika Gupta, a close friend of mine, approached me to do a video for the team competing at MBA Games because I have worked with her earlier on a short film/music video (you can view that here). And I took her up on the idea because I thought it would be quite interesting to see how this video would come about and in all actuality, I wanted to find out what this journey and heights meant to me personally.
Scripting? How? Why?
The scripting bit was a little tricky in the beginning, but then I used a flow chart brain storm. A couple of us got together and started working on ideas.
I usually prefer to write things on a big board so that I have an entire picture in front of me. This helps to step out of the box and comprehend the situation, then churn out ideas.
For this video, I used the same approach as someone would with a problem.
- Define the core concept
- Ask how, why, where and what
There is no going wrong with this cycle.
I prefer to shoot early in the morning. The light is nice and soft, the exposure could be maintained without sacrificing the shallow DOF. There were issues with the audio recording as their was no single designated person holding the recorder, but it turned out alright.
- Edit your videos, you'll learn more about your mistakes.
- Designate a person to handle audio recording
- Write the script, have someone read it out loud before the shoot. (believe me, it helps)
- Mix the sound right. (I know, I know., the dialogue does get overpowered by music at times. But it's a learning curve.)
- Get your friends to critique the art. (yes, I received a long love letter from Abijah gupta about the sound mix and framing. I love you too bro.)
- Shoot more.
Some of the best things in life happen by chance and my love-hate affair with chance has been ongoing ever since I first picked up the camera. Perhaps you would be wondering as to how can chance play a big role in creating something? Well, it does.
A few days back Abijah Gupta (a pianist, a friend, a comrade) called me up in the afternoon. I was working on a video for my Ethics class which I had finished shooting that very afternoon with Tatiana (she is just beautiful and her line delivery is amazing).
Abijah's words when he called
Veer (brother), can you meet me at the alumni theatre in 10 minutes? I have a very ambitious project to propose to you.
As soon as I heard the tone in which he spoke, I knew he was upto something. This doesn't mess around when it comes to expressing the seriousness of a matter. So of course I agreed and ran down to the theatre.
When I reached the theatre, I saw him pretty much walking in circles. He was so engrossed with the idea that excitement was pouring out of him. When asked about the project, he only disclosed as little information as
Oh, it will be a music video. Can you guess the song?
Well, then he moves to the piano and hits the first C note and I instantly recognized the song. It was Imagine by Lennon. So there I am standing and wondering as to how to shoot this piece and trying to think as to what kind of lighting I would use, the usual train of thought when it comes to assessing a situation where I have to film. Abijah looks at me and says
Veer, let's shoot this right now. Get your camera and we'll do this right now.
Well, easy for him to say that since I like to plan my shoots. But he convinced me into shooting the video at that very moment. I went back home, picked up my equipment and went back to the theatre. We cleared out the stage, moved the piano center-stage and were ready to shoot using just the fluorescent light fixtures on the ceiling.
I had no idea what I was going to do. I just let intuition take over and started with the first establishing shot of the big empty theatre without any audience. And that is when it struck me that emptiness is what I would have to build on.
The theatre was resonating with emptiness and the sound of the piano filled the void in a very peculiar manner. I picked up a few shots of the emptiness and then moved for close ups of Abijah.
I suddenly recalled how Sviatoslav would always hit the lowest G before starting the performance so as to get the attention of the audience. I asked Abijah to do the same and that is how we came up with the first shot of him lifting his hand. After a while, I just let went on auto pilot and worked with the flow which resulted in this video.
I suppose the biggest lesson learnt is that regardless of what the situations are, you just have to go on ahead and shoot. Shoot and hope it sticks. If it doesn't, well go back to editing and learn from your mistakes. This video has atleast 30 different problems that I can notice, and there would be more when I watch it again over a period of time. But this video also has me at the rawest I have ever been.