Friday, June 08, 2012

Short, and bittersweet.

So I made this short film.

'Engine' was entered into a contest organised by humaramovie, where the main draw was a brief mentoring session with either Anurag Kashyap or Imtiaz Ali. The film did not win the prize, but it did get a special mention (as a worthy rival to the winner). All teams worked to a common theme: the girl and the auto-rickshaw. I re-edited the film slightly after the contest was over. Feedback, as always, is welcome.


Anonymous said...

Annie, I really enjoyed the film. Very bittersweet. I loved Trishlaa's sexuality. Also, your preoccupation with auto-rickshaws. Just one place where I saw a minor hitch is in the sound mix during the auto chase scene. It's too loud.

Muzammil Karim said...

Nice film. Enjoyed the characters and the your presentation. Keep it up!!!

BombayZack said...

Good example of what's clear on the page, not necessarily so smooth on the screen.
Wish I could give you constructive feedback -- i.e. a proposed solution -- but I can only observe that the inter-cutting undercut the feeling. There's a way to do inter-cutting in which you sustain and even build emotion (the murders in Coppola's Godfather come to mind), but it's easier said than done. Especially if you are going back-and-forth between present and past. You risk deflating the build up with each switch.
I think it has something to do with dialogue. Inter-cutting works best, perhaps, when it's a stream of visuals. Inter-cutting dialogue, especially between times, is a bit of an intellectual challenge for the audience in that it engages them on a mental level first, then, possibly (if there's time and attention left), on an emotional level. And that's the challenge you set out for yourself: You were telling an intellectual story but wanted an emotional impact. Perhaps sequencing the scenes differently might have made a stronger impact. But, I tend to doubt it. I think this is simply a case where you needed to trust the strength of the image more...and maybe that comes only with experience. Being a writer, you know and trust words to have a certain power...knowing and trusting images to carry your narrative, or to connect elements, takes...well, time.
Sorry to focus on this one aspect. But, for me, it's what makes the difference between a nice film and a profound one.
All that said, I thought you did a stellar job with mood/tone, performances, theme, dialogues and casting. Congratulations! (And admiration for continuing to push yourself to explore different media of storytelling.)

Annie Zaidi said...

thanks batul and muzzamil.
zack, you are probably right. words continue to matter to me most, though i am writing in another medium. perhaps a mental shift will happen after i've tried doing more of this. and thanks for the feedback.

mridula said...

Your characters sound so true to life and the dialogue is fast paced in terms of shifts in tenor - as it should be to have an impact in a short film. The earlier comment is probably right about interleaving dialogue and needing more emphasis on visuals.

After our exchange about the new work you are doing I came over to look for example of the same and am so pleased to see this. Very satisfying on many levels - personal of course takes precedence. Always so proud of you.

Yusuf Kirmani said...

I tracked this little late, but Good one. You can make a 3 hour feature film. I keep reading you, there is lot of stuff, which can be converted into any art film.

Tweets by @anniezaidi