Monday, 22 October 2012

The Show Must Go On

I have been hearing this phrase since I was a little boy - “The Show Must Go On”. As I grew up, I understood its meaning but didn’t really agree to it. Over the years I watched many different “shows” some of which earned my admiration and others my disdain, I wondered why must the show always go on.

What is the need for a show to go on if it’s really bad? What if the team behind the project has run into real difficulties, why should they make a superhuman effort just so the show can go on? These and other such questions came to my mind and for some time I decided the age-old maxim was not correct - the show must go on but only if it deserves it.

And then, I stepped into the filmmaking arena myself. In a very small way, I started doing the same things that all these filmmakers and TV producers and stage directors had been doing for years and years.  And...I started to learn!

In the short time I have been doing this I have learnt many new things. Lots of technical things, of course, but along with them some deep, philosophical things as well without which I doubt if anyone can become successful in the film industry.

One such thing is the real meaning of the expression - The Show Must Go On!

A film project, even a short film with no budget to speak of, involves many people. While the motivation and skill of these people varies greatly they do have one important thing in common - the project. They work together and give it their best to finish the project successfully.

Regardless of the worthiness of the project itself a lot of hard work goes into the project. There are undoubtedly difficulties on the way but they must be surmounted because giving up means letting down so many people. That’s one reason. There are others.

No matter how bad a show might be, if it gives rise to one cameraman, one director, or one writer, who in his/her turn goes on to make great works of art in the future, the show deserves to go on. And this is usually the case. I won’t cite examples because there are way too many, but we all know that good actors, good technicians or good filmmakers have come up from bad failures before.

A film is a work of art, it may be turn out to be a bad film but in the process of making it, it may teach some very valuable lessons to its makers. We all learn by making mistakes and during the course of one bad project one inexperienced director may step on the path to be the next Spielberg.


For me the expression has very personal and alas tragic meaning.

When my first project “The Third Angle” was underway, I received news from home that my father had suddenly passed away. I have no words that would justify my emotions at the moment! I was very close to my father and this without the shadow of a doubt was the darkest, bleakest day of my life!

To make matters worse, my family lives in India and I was here in the UK. There was no way I could get there in time for anything!

To make matters still worse, I had second auditions scheduled for that night and my team had been working hard on the pre-production. The morning and afternoon hours were spent in a state that I don’t want to describe here but when coherent thinking returned I weighed my choices. I could cancel the project or I could go ahead with it.

I should mention that the project was on a very tight deadline in order to finish it before BFI deadline for short films for the London Film Festival 2011. My absence, since I was the writer and director, would hurt the project.

At that time, I began to realize many things at once.

I realized that I could not let my whole team down for my private grief, not to mention the actors we had already selected and the ones who were coming to audition tonight.

I realized that my father would have seriously disapproved of backing out of my commitment to these people.

I realized that I myself needed this project in order to keep myself distracted and keep my sanity.

I realized that not only I would have to carry on with the project, I could not even tell anyone about my private problems.

The post is getting long, let me conclude in brief. We had auditions that night and selected the remaining actors. I only told my friend Elaine, who was my first AD on the project and a close friend, that I would have to travel to India for a week and why. Elaine took care of rehearsals in my absence and I came back in time to start the filming.

We had many more problems with that project, but ultimately we finished it, I did post-processing on it myself and posted the DVD to BFI London Film Festival on the very last date!

Yash Chopra - The King of Romance - Passed Away

Yash Chopra, prominent Indian filmmaker, passed away this Sunday evening in a hospital in Bombay.

That single sentence is easy to read but it’s not easy to digest! The impact of this one fact is immense! Yash ji was not your normal run-of-the-mill film director - he was a creative genius and a bold trend-setter.

Some of his great films included Deewar, Kabhie Kabhie, Trishul, Veer-Zaara, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom,....the list is long. So many of these are in my all-time favourites list.

He made more than 50 Hindi films and most of them were extremely successful. I think his genius was in his style, he could portray any subject in a larger than life manner and still connect with the common man. He was a true merchant of dreams.

Yash ji sold many dreams to the Indian audience worldwide over his 50 years long career. I don’t want to type out the list of filmfare awards and the honours he won in country and internationally, the internet is full of those facts. I didn’t know they had named a railway station after him.

All I want to do is pay my tribute to the great dreammaker and tell you that he was a great inspiration, definitely to me, and probably to a huge number of filmmakers all over the world.

He will be greatly missed.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Our Web Series - Excuse You!

So, we released our first web series a couple of weeks ago. It's called Excuse You and you can watch it on our YouTube channel:

It's a comedy based around a London restaurant and its crazy staff. We release one new episode every Monday. So far, there are 3 episodes.

Here's the direct link to the first episode:

If you want to keep up with the series, Subscribe to the channel.

Of course, we like it when people click Like on the videos as well. ;)

I have kept the videos enabled for embedding, so if you'd like to share the episodes on your Facebook page etc., feel free!

On-set photos from Web2

This was the second shoot of our project "Web series 2". A few photos for you to enjoy while the series is in production. In the meantime, you can start watching our Web Series 1 which is titled "Excuse You". Just look in our channel videos -

Monday, 4 June 2012

Trailer - M3 - Make More Mistakes

This is the trailer to G7's upcoming film "Make More Mistakes". The story is about a young man, Sam, who finds a device that has the power to  "undo" mistakes. The film features some interesting moments from his life as he learns to apply this new superpower to the problems in his life. What happens in the end is something he never expected, the device changes not only his life but Sam himself! 

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Filmmaking is a team sport!

I say that from my personal experience. G7 Productions is a film production enterprise. But it's unlike any other film company (we think so). The fact of the matter is that it's very unlike a film studio or film production company in the way it's structured. The whole G7 Productions comes from an online group where people join in order to learn filmmaking. No, it's not an institute, it's just a group of people who are all interested in learning to make films and we do this not by sitting in class rooms and studying "the visual medium" we just go out there in real world and make films!

We have no money, there are no multi-million dollar budgets for our production. There is nobody who pays our salary. We also don't make any money from it. Then why do we do it? One word - Passion!

For reasons of our own each of us is passionate about making films. So we indulge in this hobby of ours in our spare time and make films on a budget that's practically non-existent. The films we make are usually short 3-5 minute films. For almost all films our target is to finish them and send them off to one film festival or another.

No, we are not stupid. We know that making a film on such a low budget and expect it to be selected in a prestigious film festival is almost silly. But we still do it, for two reasons.

1. Making a film with an international film festival in mind forces us not to compromise on quality and strive for excellence in each area of film production.

2. We know that with each film we finish, the quality of our output keeps getting better and the day will come when our films will be shown on the big screen as part of let's say BFI London Film Festival or Virgin Media Shorts Festival.

Filmmaking is slightly different from most hobbies. If your hobby is drawing you can simply pick up a sketch pad and start drawing. If you like to sing, all you need is a good microphone or a bathroom with the door closed. Not so with making films. You cannot make films, not high-quality ones, all by yourself. You need a crew and a cast.

Making a film, even a one-minute long film, takes a lot of organization, a lot of hard work and the sweat of the skull. This is where the group comes in. In the group we team up and work on different projects. While I have been in this group I have written scripts, worked as a cameraman, I have acted, worked as a clapperboy, and directed. Direction is my first love, I enjoy it a lot.

On the outside, it looks like the director has it all, he controls everything, he runs everything, he gets credit for the film!

The real story is slightly different! For want of a better comparison, I'd say that the director of a film is like the captain of a ship, without the support of his crew he is nothing. On a set, a director can accomplish a lot if his crew is professional and works together as a team.

Here I am using the word professional for attitude rather than being paid or unpaid. I am privileged to work with people who have this attitude, who know how to work as a team and who motivate me to do better just by doing their best in their role.

Whenever I think about it, I find it better to be working with people who turn up on the set on a Sunday morning not because it's their bread and butter but because they are passionate about it and enjoy doing it, even giving their spare time for it!

I have just finished a shoot today and I must say there is NO better feeling then saying "Pack up!" at the end of the day with a warm satisfaction in your heart that you accomplished something today working as a team towards a common goal!

Let's make some magic!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Saturday, 31 March 2012

Meet The Boss - Reed Film 2012

This short film is our entry for the Reed Film Competition 2012. We made this in record time, 8 days from conception to first cut.