Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Yolanda's Production Diary from India - A Brief Intro

I've been in India for a day and all I can say is... wow.

But before I elaborate on those three letters, I suppose I should tell you how I've gotten to this point.

It takes a long time to make a film. 'Prisms of Light' began in May 2008 the way all creative works begin - as a seed of an idea that carries the feeling of wanting to be born*

Like all seeds, an idea has to be nurtured before anything can happen. I spent nearly a year researching spirituality in India (my resarch of spirituality itself goes back a lot further), trying to understand what I actually wanted to make - and then trying to convey this in words!*

In March 2009 the film started to become a reality. Myself and three crew mates / friends went to India to research, to develop the idea, and to shoot what we could. We didn't have money or a strict plan - just an idea and a world of passion. India proved to be more wonderful and fascinating than any of us had anticipated, and the little seed began to sprout.

It's over a year since that trip to India, and the film has taken on a life of it's own. That's the great thing about filmmaking, but especially documentary. A good documentary director recognises that they are facilitating the film, not the other way around. (As Alfred Hitchcock put it: "In fiction, the director is God; in documentary, God is the director"). We were hoping to get back to India at the start of March but things have not unfolded as we planned.

Life is dependent on sustainance, and a film's sustainance comes in the form of the energy of the people working on it, and... in form of money. In the latter form, we've had some successes and disappointments. Our crowd funding venture has gone incredibly well, which gave us the initial cash injection we needed to kcik start our production. Unfortunately however, the formal funding we were hoping for still hasn't some through. It's hard, and we're still trying, but because we needed to get to India to shoot the Kumbha Mela, we couldn't wait for this funding to come through any longer. We had to go. To do so, we had to cut our crew in half.

So it's just me and Raja, the director of photography who are out here. I'm doubling up as a producer, and Raj is doing sound. And luckily we have Dipesh, our man in India. This, is what they call "a skeleton crew"!! But... as disappointed as I was about not getting the funding in time, and the reprocussions that it had... I have a feeling that maybe things are working out... the way they're supposed to? Something about this shoot feels right. It feels like things are falling into place. BUT, it all remains to be seen. I will keep you posted ;)


*according to Neil Jordan this is the most difficult challenge for reasonably new directors!

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