Mr. Ashu Trikha has directed films like "Baarbar" ‘Deewanapan’, ‘Alag: He Is Different...He Is Alone...’ & ‘Sheesha’. He has done Special Effects in movies like ‘Chal Mere Bhai’, ‘Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya’, ‘Hawa’, ‘Chote Miya, Bade Miya’ & more.
Mr. Ashu Trikha began the lecture with the trailer of his film ‘Baabarr.’ He showed many versions of the trailer, each revealing a different facet of the film. Discussing the use of the songs in his film, he said, “Songs are a very effective tool to make the narrative progress and popularize the film… it creates valuable recall…” The students asked him why he had chosen to use an item number in his film; in response he recounted the experience of being in Lucknow where he witnessed stage shows of the kind that had been picturized in his film. Acknowledging what the students were thinking he said that the song was a necessary part of his film because without it a large chunk of the movie would get usurped leaving the movie unfinished and incomplete.
Speaking from the experiences of his thirty one years in the industry, which spans across animation, television work and corporate films, he said, “The key to succeed in the industry is to be flexible… the process of Filmmaking is all about adapting…” He emphasized the importance of a ready & complete script before shoot, by saying, “If people write a script on the shoot or post shoot then they are digging a grave for themselves....” He said that in the film ‘Tera Jadoo Chal Gaya’, a song sequence had been added that came after the scripting and even the shooting process, resulting in making the scene look inconsistent, emphasizing this he said, “Fitting something into a script makes it lose the seamlessness…”
Elaborating on the process of story writing he said that many times it is easy to narrate a story within twenty minutes but once an attempt is made to write it in seventy scenes, the narrative becomes evident and clear. Highlighting this he said, “On the scripting stage you don’t interfere with the taking of the film…at that stage you are only looking to see what you are saying through the film…” He advised the students to move onto the shots and visualization of the story after the writing process is complete, after which they should extensively brainstorm to breakdown the script. He said that when it comes to casting it is essential to look for faces that can add a charismatic nuance to the film but warmed them against choosing someone who might overpower the character. He discussed the various stereotyped characters that exist and suggested an efficient tool for writing characters, he said that the most important attribute of a character should be a flaw as that makes him human and audiences can relate to him.
On being asked about the role of audiences in the making of a film he said, “It’s absolutely unpredictable…almost impossible to know what will work for the audience…but I’m still a student, albeit a senior one and I have spent more time communicating with the audiences…so I can adapt intuitively”. He said that the success of a film depends on many things and said, “The only thing that is not in your hand is the success of the film…what you have to do is make a great film…something you are proud of…” Since there is no real formula for success, he felt that as Filmmakers one must constantly reinvent and rediscover oneself, elaborating this he said, “If the passion is not there, then don’t get into this profession…it involves a lot of hard work and rejection… if you do stick with this then it is very important that you try new things relentlessly… otherwise there will be no drive to make films…the greatest thing about Filmmaking is that you can never go wrong, it can only be more effective or less effective…”
He discussed the ‘spoon sequence’ in his film ‘Alag: He is Alone…He is Different’ from a Special Effects point of view- describing in detail, the intricate process by which the sequence was shot. The sequence required an upright spoon to attract spoons from all over the cafeteria where the sequence was shot. He described in detail how a magnet was used from below the spoon to move it and how it was hung with fish wire to keep it upright. Conversing about the techniques involved in chroma key he said, “If I put a blue screen behind me and a 1000 watt Tungsten light in front of me then you will have a spot on the screen…now video doesn’t understand color, it only understands the corresponding digit, so in an unevenly lit background, some parts will be keyed out and some not…”
In an industry where Producers are more interested in the stars involved in the film than the story telling, he spoke out about Industry procedures & about the difficulty of producing Art, which is always at odds with Commerce. He also stated that corporate production houses have increased the amount of transparency in the Film Industry. He concluded by saying, “In spite of working with the medium for twenty two years, I’m still learning…still trying… so don’t stop…there is a lifetime of film studies for you all…”
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