Friday, 1 June 2012

Film Making for Promising Kids

While the country was immersed over the strike for the hike in petrol prices, I was among a bunch of creative heads, doing something unrelated altogether … so where was I? I was at Promise Personality Development Centre for Children at Pimple Saudagar, Pune to deliver a workshop on film making along with my friend Krithika Krishnan to the little ones. Though I had my own doubts on our performance and our ability to rejuvenate the class, I must say I had a fantastic time with the kids of Promise.
            We both entered into the centre and were immediately received with smiles and polite greetings. I saw that drawings of the children were plastered over the walls and that made me dive into my own pool of childhood memories. Back in US where I did my schooling, everything that we drew, created, and wrote would be displayed in the corridor, proudly boasting the work of growing minds. The other side of this coin was what it added to the children. If it weren’t for someone encouraging my scribbles and believing in me back then, I would’ve never gotten so far now. And that was all I wanted to do at this workshop. I just wanted to believe in them, and whatever fantasies they were conjuring in their minds. ‘Last exciting workshop – Film Making’ was sketched onto their white board and I honestly hoped I lived up to that expectation.
            When we started off with a power point presentation, approximately 25 eyes stared at me. Out of that, 20 were those of little ones, wide with awe and innocence. We went according to plan; Krithika briefing the technical, history, parts and genres of films. I tried breaking that down into things they can relate with, things that would make it easier for them to understand what we learnt just a year back. I think I won over Ronak when I explained about the Dark Night Trailer; the lad who was a statue before nodded his head and zeal filled into his eyes.  I don’t know if it worked, for some of them I was not able to win over…talk about strong personality! But by the end of the presentation in 45 minutes, majority of them were charged up and ready for the activity. The children were going to pick out a concept, write a script, conduct auditions, direct it, edit it and cherish the film as their first movie making experience ever. I feel good saying it right now also! I won’t get into how we executed it, for we did just fine. I could however like to share my views on the workshop.

What makes these kids so adorable is that they are modest, but filled with talent. I remember myself saying to my little script-writer Renuka: ‘your concept is say an apple… you have to make it into a script. It can be a green apple, a red one… but not a-’ ‘orange?’ came the answer. I laughed silently inside for she grasped. When defining the one liner with Finding Nemo example, Kush stood up confidently and impressed us with his one liner, suddenly making filming seem like a cake walk. Madhur took our autographs and that was my third one for the day, in my life. It made me glow inside all the while. All the kids were amazing, though I’m not able to recall their names, I mean it when I say they were little angels who certainly made my day!! What an experience to teach kids, knowing that you are putting something into their heads at least for a few hours, knowing that you’re changing something in them!  Does this mean I want to become a teacher? Don’t know… does this mean the workshop is going to turn them into film makers? Don’t know… but do I want to look back on this day after many years and be glad I took this opportunity to believe in them? YES!! 

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