“You play God that is the most difficult task and the most exciting”
Kiran Rao, the director of Dhobi Ghat, has indeed made a mark in the industry with her debut film. She knew from the very beginning that film making is all she wanted to do. In conversation with her she reveals what film making means to her.
“I think I’m here to talk about films as that is the only topic I can talk about with confidence”. She went on to talk about the history of the art of film making. Humans in general feel the innate need to express themselves and make the world aware of their existence. They have always felt the need to create an identity for themselves based on their thoughts. It is the outcome of these needs that takes the shape of various art forms. Let it be painting, singing, poetry and even photography and film making.
Today there are numerous genres of film making, art house films, avant-garde films, ad films, documentaries etc. “Film making is a unified process” she says. It involves five stages, the first on being the development stage. It is the beginning, the birth of an idea. If this is not there then there would be no films made. The idea is then written as a story, it is given a basic structure and broken up into scenes and chapters. This stage involves giving the story a colour, a perspective, and an angle keeping the audience in mind.
“You play God that is the most difficult task and the most exciting, living your dream, living your work, living your art”
The next stage is pre-production, this involves selection of locations, casting, budget and all the technical aspects of the film are decided. The technical aspects include visual texture (cinematography), costumes, sound, choreography etc. Each of these technical aspects is divided into separate departments. The whole unit of the film is finalized.
The next stage is production; this stage majorly depends on the preparation and planning done in the previous stage. Production takes place within a set time limit, limited resources. One gets to see their characters in live space. This is the actual making of the film.
The fourth and the most important stage is post production, here the main player is the editor. The editor has to carry the burden of meeting expectations of not only the film unit but also the audience and the censor board.
“Editing is mining your own material” she says. It involves compiling all the loose scenes, characters. All the unwanted or extra scenes and characters are removed. After the editor is done with his job the final cut goes to the sound designer, he decides which track goes where. He decides on the ambience track, effects track.
After all this is done the film is ready and now comes the final stage-Distribution. A film distributer is usually a company or an individual responsible for releasing the film for theatrical viewing or home viewing. This again is a time consuming stage, depending on the production house of the film, the actors, the label, distributers purchase the film.
On asking her why she makes films, she smiled and said, “The reason to make films is to make films, it is the process that matters nothing else”.