Sunday, July 25, 2010

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010

Story
This story is about a woman whose husband has gone for a Navy mission. The woman belongs to middle upper class and lives alone in a metropolitan city apartment. While the husband is away on the mission she waits, staring from the window at the hustle bustle of the city.
Meera is 29 and she has many yearnings like any other woman of her age. But now since her husband is not around she has given up all hopes for living. The wait becomes too long for her to handle. There is social pressure on her to start a new life which she is not ready for. She goes through mental conflicts and finally becomes so feeble that her decision making changes her course of life.
The story revolves around three phone calls, one from her husband saying he is leaving for the mission, other from the navy HQ saying his ship is missing and the search is going on and the last one from her mother who brutally tells her that there is no hope for her and she should start a new life looking ahead of him.
Also she dreams of going to her husband which gets completed with an abrupt end. This conflict is in her head, whether he will come back or not. What she feels is the reality was actually not there. She says she strongly believes that her husband will return but somewhere at the back of her head she knows that he won’t.
Cinematically the film runs in loops, a shot of her dancing under the fan repeats and the twist is revealed at the end when she is hanging from the same fan. Metaphorically the fan represents her life revolving at the same place at different paces.
After the call from her mother, Meera feels very scrawny and on receiving the letter from the Navy HQ, she decides not to open it. She senses it will be a bad news, so she gives up her life before knowing what’s in the letter.






Screenplay


We hear someone switch on the fan; black screen slowly fades out from the centre of the fan and the title of the film appears.
Cut to the digital clock showing date and time going very slow.
Cut to - A woman is standing at the window looking at the hustle bustle of the street which is losing color slowly and fading off.
Suddenly she gets a call, it’s her husband on the other side of the phone who tells her that he has been promoted as the chief of the naval operations and he is to leave for a mission to rescue the mother ship that has been hijacked by the pirates.
Cut to a top shot of the woman dancing under the fan and smiling at the camera. Camera zooms in the centre of the fan and flashbacks of her dancing merrily with her husband at the same place come into view.
Cut to the digital clock moving fast, the dates also change rapidly and the fan sound becomes louder.
The fan is suddenly switched off as the phone rings again. She hurriedly picks up the receiver. The call is from the Navy HQ, Mumbai who inform her that the ship that her husband was on, has been missing. The search orders are given and they are sending their men at the sea now. They appease her by saying there is nothing to worry and they will keep informing her as soon as they get any news.
Cut to the Top shot of the woman going round and round looking up at the camera. Slowly increasing her pace.
Dream-The woman is running on the surface of the sea towards a ship. Her husband is waving at her from the ship.
Suddenly she wakes up only to realize her husband is not beside her. She spreads her hands around on the other side of the bed and breaths harder. Slowly tears flow from her eyes.
The clock is beside her.(time lapse as the camera focuses on the clock). Then the camera zooms out to bring in frame the same scene. The woman is just staring at the fan, lying on the bed.
Cut to flash backs of their marriage and good times.
It fades back from the fan as she sits up and feels restless. She breaths hard and sobs and throws the pillow to the camera.
The woman is sitting on the sofa holding her head. She is sweating and is breathless. She gets up and her hand reaches the switch as puts it on and then she moves the regulator to increase the speed. Cut to the fan going faster. She feels little better as sits down again.
Cut to the phone ringing. This time it’s her mother on the other side who tells her that she should come back to her since she is all alone which makes the woman angry and yell at her. Her mom starts crying. The woman is silent then, just listening to her mother who tells her bluntly that until the government certifies that he is dead you will not understand and that there is no hope left for her. Suddenly the bell rings.
Cut to her feet walking towards the door.
Cut to the door. The door opens and she stretches out her hand to receive an envelope.
The camera focuses on the envelope which says it’s from the Navy department. It zooms out a bit and then cut to a still shot of the woman’s hands holding the letter and shivering.
Cut to a mid shot of her holding it and just blankly staring at it, eyes blood shot red.
Fade from the eyes to the black screen. We hear the fan sound going louder.
The scene opens up with the woman’s reflection on the glass window. The fan sound goes softer and we hear footsteps, and then door opens and the room light is switched on.
We see the woman hanging from the fan. She is dead. The room is silent. Everything is still, only the woman is rotating from the fan.
Slowly fades to the dream-The woman is running on the surface of the sea towards a ship. Her husband is waving at her from the ship. As she is nearing the ship she realizes he is saying no, don’t come here. She stops and the ship vanishes.
Black screen
The scene opens up with a long shot of the room and zooms in to the unopened letter lying on the floor beneath her.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Operation Parakram

25 May 2002: The Indian military leadership has been directed to hold back a major offensive operation planned against Pakistan in the first week of June, top officials said.

Prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee told the military at the meeting of the cabinet committee on security on Thursday after returning from Jammu and Kashmir to delay its so-called "degradation operation" against Pakistani defence positions in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.

Military officials said that Vajpayee told them in characteristic style to "wait" a little longer.

Vajpayee said in Kashmir after visiting frontline troops and hospitalised victims of the Kaluchak massacre that the sky had cleared but lightening could fall.

The degradation operation has been conceived to disable Pakistan's capacity to fight a "cohesive, responsive, and defensive" battle in the area of Indian offence (See Special Report, "India to degrade Pak military along LoC," 24 May 2002).

The operation will precede a military offensive and would involve complete destruction of a large military zone 50 square kilometres or more in size using artillery, missiles, rockets, fighter aircraft and even tanks.

Officials said that the degradation option is more or less closed with early monsoons forecasted for northern India in the first week of July.

"There is perhaps a small window of opportunity in June still left," a senior official said.

"If that is closed, we begin the long wait for the next campaigning season."

The army has already deployed newly-acquired military hardware for degradation operations.

New equipment include the US gun-locating radar ANTPQ, Israeli Searcher 1, Searcher 2 and Hiron UAVs, Israeli anti-infiltration sound sensors, and the Russian multi-barrel rocket system SMERCH.

Multi-barrel rocket systems were enormously effective during the Kargil War.

The degradation operations were designed to be part of Operation Parakram III launched after the Kaluchak massacre.

The Indian Army had commenced impressment of vehicles for the impending war with Pakistan under Operation Parakram III.

"This has been put on hold," an official said.

The Indian Army has also delayed certain strategic manoeuvres in the Punjab plains.

Indian Navy sank our vessel-Wed Nov 26 2008

A Thailand-based fishing company has claimed that the pirate ‘mother ship’ the Indian Navy destroyed in the Gulf of Aden last week was one of its deep sea fishing trawlers and was being hijacked by pirates when it was blown up by INS Tabar.

The Navy was flooded with queries after Wicharn Sirichaiekawat, manager of Bangkok-based Sirichai Fisheries, told local reporters that the warship hit the company’s Ekawat Nava 5 vessel which was being chased and attacked by pirates. He said a crew member was dead and 14 werestill missing.

Sirichaiekawat said the incident came to light after one of the crew members who survived the battle between the Indian Navy and the pirates was rescued by a passing vessel and dropped off at Yemen. The company had earlier reported that one of its fishing vessels went missing in the Gulf of Aden on November 18, the day the Indian Navy destroyed a pirate vessel.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Rough Shot breakdown

Scene 1
The scene opens up with close-up shot of the reflection of a woman’s silhouette dancing (going
round and round) on the window of a dark room.
Camera slowly zooms out and fades to black screen.
We hear the fan sound only.

Scene 2
Location – Inside an apartment
Day light from the window
The Camera pans through pictures of a married couple, flower vases, and candles on a wooden
showcase. (We hear laughter, giggles and conversations between a young man and a woman.)
Cut to- A young woman standing on the window, from the back. (Mid shot).Next to the window
is a calendar showing the year 2007. (Still camera)
Cut to- The phone ringing. (Close up)
Cut to- The woman’s face with a growing smile. (Emotions change)
Cut back to the phone. The woman hurriedly picks up the phone.
Close up shot of her face smiling. Her husband is on the other side
Husband- hey honey! So sorry to have called you after so long. How are you my love?
Cut to a wide angle shot of the room while she is talking on the phone.
Wife- Good.
Husband - I know you are upset, but it’s confidential so I can’t tell you where. Well I called you
up to say that I have been promoted as the chief of the Navy operations. Okay! I will call you up
later... Country calling. And love! Don’t worry, I don’t know when but I will be home for sure.
Cut to - close up of her holding the phone. (Still camera) She keeps holding the phone and
slowly keeps the receiver back.
Slowly fades

Scene 3
Cut to a top shot of the woman going round and round looking and smiling at the camera. Slowly
increasing her pace…. Fade to black screen again. Tablas and other Indian string instruments
play as the back ground sound and the dim evening light fills the room.

Scene 4
In the bed room
She wakes up in the morning, only to realize her husband is not beside her. She spreads her
hands around on the other side of the bed and breaths harder. Slowly tears flow from her eyes.
The clock is beside her.(time lapse). Then the camera zooms out to bring in frame the same
scene. The woman is just staring at the ceiling, lying on the bed.
Repeat scene 3 again but this time the lighting is darker and the sound is louder than before.

Scene 5
On the dining table
Cut to- long shot of the woman putting two plates and pouring two glasses of wine.She has a
wide smile on her face. There is a small anniversary cake on the table. Close up shots of her
hands pouring the wine and to her face, slowly the smile transforms into a depressed look. Fades
to black screen.
Scene 3 is repeated again and this time the lighting is much darker and the sound is louder than
the previous times.

Scene 6
(Same shot as before) The woman is standing on the window, from the back. (Still camera)(Mid
shot).Next to the window is a calendar showing the year 2010.
Cut to a close up shot of the phone ringing and the woman’s hand come to pick up the receiver.
Cut to the back of the woman talking on the phone. It’s her mother on the other side.
Mother- hello Monica! How are you? Hope you are taking care of yourself.
The woman nods her head and acknowledges.
Mother-Today your daddy met JC again. You know he really likes you since your college days.
You should go out with him sometimes. See, he is a nice guy and you are a young beautiful
girl. Why do you want to spend the rest of your life waiting for someone who has not bothered
to inform you of his absence? I don’t know why you don’t want to believe that he might have
died. It’s high time the government should send a confirmation of his death. Then only will you
believe that there is no hope left for you.
Just then the door bell rings.
Cut to the woman face. She is angry and she has tears flowing from her eyes.


Comment
Hi Nilisha

Thanks for keeping to time. I think you need to work on the script more in light of the research you have done and the conversations that you’ve had with Jaishri… Consider what it may be like to experience the hopes, fears, anxieties and frustrations of not knowing where one’s loved ones are and how they are doing.

The other issue is the cultural setting – is it India, overseas, rural, urban? Is there a historical moment e.g. the Kargil war or the 72 war with Pakistan? In India the navy has not been as involved in active combat as the army and air force. These questions are worth considering. Also remember that the defense services no longer send letters about someone’s death. On the other hand many defense families are well supported through a network of fellow officers and their wives and usually sensitive news is brought by a fellow officer and his wife.



Also, I have a suggestion and it may or may not work so see how you feel: you could consider using one device repeatedly such as newspaper headlines about the naval mission with specific dates from 07- 10 or the ringing of the phone with different people on it- husband, mother, naval HQ…

Best wishes

Jyothsna

story

This story is about a woman whose husband has gone for a Secret Naval mission. The woman belongs to middle upper class and lives alone in a metropolitan city apartment. While the husband is away on the mission she waits, staring from the window at the hustle bustle of the city.
Meera is 23 and she has many yearnings like any other woman of her age. But now since her husband is not around she has given up all hopes for living. The wait becomes too long for her to handle. There is social pressure on her to start a new life which she is not ready for. She goes through mental conflicts and finally becomes so loose that her decision making changes her course of life.
The story revolves around three phone calls, one from her husband saying he is leaving for the mission, other from the navy HQ saying his ship is missing and the search is going on and the last one from her mother who brutally tells her that there is no hope for her and she should start a new life looking ahead of him.
Cinematically the film runs in loops, a shot of her dancing under the fan repeats and the twist is revealed at the end when she is hanging from the same fan.
After the call from her mother, Meera feels very scrawny and on receiving the letter from the Navy HQ, she decides not to open it. She senses it will be a bad news, so she gives up her life before not knowing what’s in the letter.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Gloomy Sunday -Original, Hungarian Version

Aparajito - 10/10 - Satyajit Ray

Gloomy Valentine

refrence

video

Research









Hi Nilisha

That’s a lot of research – well done. I’m glad you’re talking to Jaishri. You need to now filter out those aspects of your research that can feed into your ideas for the script and story board. Good luck.
Jyothsna

Monday, July 12, 2010

Nilisha Khanna - Review meeting Notes – 8th July,’10

Review Panel- Ramana , Vijay Sarathi, Jyothsna

Feed back-
My 1st Diploma Project Review was really beneficial. Certain points that came up during this meet helped me open up and think from a wider perspective.
• The subject I am focusing on is a very sensitive one so I need to get involved deeply and handle the issue carefully.
• To tell an authentic story I also need to keep two things in mind - how the story is told and its presentation.
• I have to think of questions like - What is the woman going through? Is she just alone, which is why she is waiting for him or is she really lonely? How do I show the conflict within herself and socially? How could I contemporizes the issue and not make it cliché since the subject has been done several times. How do I incorporate my research in my script? Her emotions and feelings need to be clear in my film as I need my audience to feel sympathy for the character.
• I need to work on the dialogues and also think of the different endings for my story.
• I have been told to refer to films like: Roja, Kala Pani and Someersby apart from the other references I already had.
• I have also been asked to talk to our counselor Jaishree , who has done a lot of research on the loss and grief when someone close dies. She could also suggest me to meet other people and read articles.

Deadlines-

12th July’01 - I have to submit research papers after interviewing women who have gone through such traumas in life, reading articles and books and watching films.
15th July’10 – I have to submit my final script which will incorporate the research I had been doing.
31st July’10 – I have to finish pre- production. (Animatics with sound)

Review feed back- Jyothsna

Review Meeting for Nilisha Khanna 8/7/10
Panel Ramanna, Vijay, Jyothsna
Nilisha has thought through the storyline very carefully and has story boarded it but she needs to rethink it in the light of this meeting.
Advice
• Meet Jaishri Iyer to understand issue of loss and understand the dilemmas associated with not having tangible evidence of the death of a loved one
• Ask Jaishri for suggested reading(s) on the issue- look up accounts of loss and waiting on blogs of pilots’ wives, army wives
• Contact War widow’s association to get written accounts
• If you consider doing interviews with people who have lost someone be extremely careful of ethical, emotional issues with asking people to recount stories of loss.
• This subject has been done in films and on television before – consider the how your telling will be different. Avoid making it gimmicky/clichéd as the subject is a very sensitive one
• Explore the concept of ‘viraha’ (loss, grief) in classical dance
• Dialogues currently don’t sound authentic so avoid entering areas which you are not familiar with. Emotional dramas in a family can take many forms and these need to be authentically represented.
Final jury will ask for how well this project has been executed and how the learning on animation has been demonstrated.
Questions to consider:
What is going on for this woman? What does it feel like to be in her shoes? That needs to be clear in the film.
For the audience to feel something of what the film you need to be sensitive to the issue and each frame should reflect the feelings of the woman.
We’d like to see and 3 to 4 page ‘journal’ based on your research into the issue (12/07/10) and a script by 15/07/10. End of July final animatics with sound need to be ready.
Films to see: Roja, Kala Pani, Someersby. See these films not from the point of view getting ideas for your own film but to understand how various directors treat this subject differently.

Friday, July 9, 2010

DIPLOMA PROJECT PROPOSAL

A young woman expresses herself through dance while she awaits her husband’s homecoming. Her past lingers on; and she struggles to prove to the world that her husband had promised to return one day. The wait takes longer than expected and she gives up before the happy ending.

Logline
I would like to explore the raw emotions and terrible complexities that a woman goes through, while her husband is away serving the Nation.

Project brief
Through the tale of a woman I want to look at the feelings of those families who send their sons, brothers or husbands on missions for serving the country.
My neighbor’s son was selected for Navy, and left home for the same at a very young age. His parents were proud of his career. I remember them bragging about him leaving for a huge mission for the country. The family was not given any other information for two years. Then suddenly, out of the blue the news came that his ship had been missing for 7 months, this devastated the family. Apparently there were search operations being carried out for those men. It’s been 17 year now and it’s the same information they get from the department. Hope is their fuel; the parents are still waiting for their son to return.
Men who are serving the nation are at constant emotional war with themselves and their close ones but they choose their duties for the state over their family. But here, I wish to study the conflict which drives the sentiments of the woman who is in depression while waiting for her man’s homecoming.
Being a wife of a soldier itself has many battles of its own. They agonize to the peak that their husbands will never return back. Several brides don’t see their husbands for years after their marriage. Sometimes the wait is too long and the consequences are uncanny. Sons and daughters forget their fathers face and the families go through a rough time.I am very sensitive to unexpected situations so I also want to explore the repetition of letting out her feelings through dance which will demonstrate unusual emotions trailed by different events that take place every time.
I chose this matter for my diploma film not only because I am personally moved by it but also to illustrate the saga of eerie wait as an artist to the world.

Why?

I knew about my neighbors absence for a while now but it was in the last two weeks that I realized how much pain the family is in, while the son was away to serve the country. The proud parents now had been waiting for their son for long years. The couple has renounced every desire to live but still they wait eagerly.
There can definitely be no rationalization for the love they had for their son and the agony they are going through now.
As I progress with my research on the psychology of waiting wives I get lost in the purpose of this film. This subject is not just filmy to me but the fact of emotionally involving in it is the main reason why I would like to continue taking it forward. I don’t want to show the fault of the departments who keep the families in the dark but it is exactly what caused this disturbance.
Through my film I am not leaving a message to the audience but make them wonder in awe while I take them on a journey.

Approach
Narrative
Cinematically I would like to keep this film in a loop. The same scene of the woman dancing will follow through after every event. The silhouette of this dance reflecting on the window is the reaction within the woman to the events that take place while she waits for her husband.
I want the narrative of the film to pull back the audience and sympathies with my character’s reaction and speculate why she gives up, just before the happy end. ‘What happens next?’ and the twist at the end should keep the audience’s interest intact.

Visual style
The film will be done in 3d digital format in addition to compositing. The entire film will take place inside an apartment and all the props will be modeled within the software.
With this kind of subject it’s hard to find references of films in the Indian techniques of animation. I want to style my character as a modern Indian woman. She is a simple housewife who, with the trauma of waiting has grown thin. There are dark circles beneath her eyes and a dull look on her face.
Though I will texture the props in chirpy colors but if required, with the lighting I could make them dull to create drama. I want to explore different lighting techniques in various scenes as the mood changes. Mostly it will be in the day but while the dance I want to play with back or rim light for the intensity of her emotions.
Sound
In my film I would like to bring out the isolation strongly and concentrate on the sound to enhance it. Since the pace of the film is really slow the music will be soft. I will use ambient sound and will avoid the lip syncing the dialogues to reduce the effort and yet retain the quality.
References
Readings

The waiting years by Fumiko Enchi
Someone I love, died (helping child grieve) - illustrated
A love story starring my dead best friend- by Emily Horner
Animator’s anonymous Blogs,
Short video clips and discussions
Sameerkulavoor.com for style
Diary of a mad woman
Movies
IndependenceDay Children of men
Pearl Harbor
Brief encounter- David Lean
Border- J. P Dutta
Two women- Vittorio De Sica

Learning outcome
By the end of this project I wish to study a lot of things beyond the software exploration itself. Till now I have not worked with emotions much as it was the tricky part, but now I take up the challenge to explore that. I would like to connect with my character and put in my emotions into it while I understand the subject and the medium.
Technically I also yearn for simple movements and impressive key frames. But truly I want to work under pressure to keep in mind the deadlines and achieve the desired results in the given time.