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Aasare - Making

posted Dec 22, 2014, 2:13 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Dec 22, 2014, 6:37 AM ]

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Making of Aasare

 ~Bharath Balemane

It had been quite a long time since our award winning short film SeventYn, we had not taken up any major film making assignments.  It was at this point in time, we came to know about Yes Foundation 101 Filmmaking contest. We decided to take up the challenge. Team by2coffeefilms geared up for this task. Rules were simple. Once after registration, Yes Foundation would provide a concept/theme on 15th Aug at 6:00 AM and in the next 101 hours we had to make a social film of 5 minutes length with a team of 7 members and submit it. It was quite an exciting challenge!!

 Preparation (Aug 1st and 2nd week)

After registering the team, we started watching old short films on Yes Foundation website. We got a rough idea on the concepts (Woman empowerment, Child Rights, Everyday Hero etc). Core team started a daily conference call to shortlist few inspiring stories. Idea was to had some good concepts before-hand and we did come up with different story-lines on variety of themes. In the mean time we made a casting call through which we received not less than 25 profiles and thus we created an Actors’ DB. Also, our filmmaking team was fixed; shooting gears, lights etc were booked.

The Challenge

 Day1: 15 Aug 2014 : Pre-production:

At 6 AM we received the concept. And to our utter surprise the topic given to us was “Elderly Care”!! All the storylines we had developed earlier turned futile as we had been given an entirely different theme about which we never thought of.  We had to come up with a new story!!! All of us gathered around 6 AM at Girish’s brother’s (Dr Somasekhar Bijjal) place at KHB Colony which was vacant as family members were out for a trip. We started brainstorming on the topic. Different storylines were discussed and finally by 8:30 AM we decided on the story which was based on a WhatsApp message!!! We split into two teams

  • Filmmaking TeamWe (Shri, Guru, Raghu, me) started fine tuning the script. Started screenplay; added dialogues. Did storyboarding and list of shot division. Started looking at Actors’ database for the roles. Girish Bijjal was the unanimous choice for the lead role. For Mother’s role, I called up Vanajakka who had earlier worked in one of my previous projects. It was a very short notice for her and she had to cancel some of her work to attend the shooting. For the Care-Taker role we called up few and finally zeroed down on Anusha Murthy based on her availability and interest.
  • Production Management Team – Team (Lead by Amaranath V B. and supported by Varun) started calling up Old Age Homes expecting that we might get a location and people for the shoot. But unfortunately most of the old Age home admins declined our request thinking that we were from Media and we might show the pathetic condition of their homes. Few people even demanded money to shoot. Location scouting went till noon and we unfortunately we couldn’t progress any further on this front. In the evening we decided to shoot in the same house where we had discussed the script. Only issue was getting the consent as family was supposed to return in the night. But Dr Somasekhar happily agreed to give his house for next day shoot!!

 Team dispersed to collect the camera, lenses and light kits.

 Day 2: 16th Aug: Shooting

We started shooting at 5 AM as we had considerable amount of scenes to complete in a day. We dint want budget to shoot up due to two days schedule. So the idea was to shoot in a day. It was awesome experience converting a colony house into an old age home and shooting entire day. We had to request few neighbors and elders strolling on the road to be a part of the film J. While I directed the film, Guru, DOP of the film quickly composed and shot the scenes. Shridhar managed Associate direction role along with lights. Actors (Girish, Vanajakka, Anusha) were spot on in terms of their performances. Raghadndra started doing Spot editing which helped us to remove few technical glitches. Mrs and Dr Somashekhar Bijjal and their son kindly agreed to take up a supporting roles in the film!! Amaranath and Varun took the complete responsibility of production management and made sure the team didn’t go hungry!  By 8PM shoot was complete and we had a first draft cut as part of spot editing.

 Day 2.5: 16th Aug Midnight: Editing

We handed over the footages to Harish, editor of the film; he straight away started editing; by midnight he had 2 versions of the film, one a linear version which remained true to our screenplay and the other was a nonlinear version. We had a tough time in deciding the version to consider and after much debate we decided to go for  nonlinear version.

 Day 3: 17th Aug: Music/Dubbing

When I first called up Ajit, music director of the film on day 1 explaining him the story that we had finalized, he had already started working on the tunes; and when we gave him the first cut, he came up with beautiful compositions. We had a tough time in getting the dubbing studio on such a short notice but luckily we got a slot in one of the studios for dubbing. Final cut of the film was ready in 80 hours. Title was discussed and decided as “Aasare” – Support - and we uploaded the film that night.

It was an amazing experience for all of us with a grueling filmmaking experience given the small team we had.  Every one of us enjoyed the entire process thoroughly. We were extremely happy to know that film has made a mark as it has been shortlisted as one of the top 50 Inspirational Films out of 1750 films across India. Given the fact that this film will be showcased across India as part of Yes Banks’ CSR initiative, we believe we too have become Agents of Change. We are looking forward for more such opportunities.