Imagine - A john Lennon Tribute

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. 

Imagine_Abijah 009.jpg


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.