The Beginning of an Explorative Journey
Films & I: The Road Not Taken
Art, has always been an integral part of my being in my quest for the inner dimensions of the soul. At that, painting was always my preferred and chosen medium for the expression of my pursuits. However, using films as a tool for expression of art is something that was absolutely new to me. My exposure to films has always been limited to watching commercial, star-studded films for their entertainment value alone. I had never realised it for the potent medium it is, for manifestation of thought or art. Not to mention, that I had never really been interested or even tried to venture into the technical aspects including the who, what and how, involved in ‘film making’. So, it would be apt, if I say that ‘Film making has selected me and not that I have selected it’.
My accidental journey along the path of film making began in Jun 2014 when Dr Mathew Mullasseril Alex, who was and is my mentor in my spiritual explorations, introduced me to Mr Anil Kumar, a director from Kerala who had around 40 movies to his credit. Anil, it so happened, had approached Dr Alex with a request for help on the content of a spiritually inclined movie that he was working on. Dr Alex is a compendium of knowledge when it comes to matters of spiritual nature and given the vast amount of research, he has done in that field, he can talk for hours together on a given topic. It is up to the one listening to gather the input that they are looking for. So, while Dr Alex agreed to the request, he wanted me to sit in through the discussions so that I could assist Anil at finding what he was looking for.
We met at my office and to begin with, Anil narrated the story that he had been working on which was about ‘transmigration of the soul’. It was a beautiful story and what made it even more evoking was the way in which he narrated it, full of emotions and empathy. One could really make out the level of involvement or connection he had with the story. It was a vivid experience that left me completely mesmerized and I felt connected to the story. Being an artist, I couldn’t stop myself from sketching the various characters of the story that evening. The process intrigued me to visualise the way each of the character would pan out as the story progressed. That was probably my introduction to scripting, though I didn’t know what it was back then. Our meetings and discussions regarding the story continued for another month, during which we exchanged a lot of ideas and did a lot of visualisation and discussions about the characters. Anil was also impressed by the character sketches that I had made. These sessions also gave me a chance to get a hands-on experience at scripting and I drew very close towards the subject. Before I realised, I was fully submerged into it. Aspects, such as the very high levels of creative thinking and the details into which one has to get into while visualising scenes and dialogues challenged my creativity and I enjoyed every part of the process. Since, the script was in English, as it was intended to be an international film, we had it sent over for the process of Script Doctoring to Mr Geoff in France. The intricate details into which these script doctors get involved was another aspect that intrigued and surprised me. For example, Geoff asked me to include the name of the tree that found mention in the script more than once, which he felt would otherwise confuse the reader.