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Making of a Travel Film: ...On A Journey...

posted Oct 17, 2012, 1:26 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Oct 18, 2012, 12:32 AM by Unknown user ]

A journey that was not thought; a journey that was not planned finally culminated with us travelling close to 400KMs in a day with memories to cherish for a long time to come.  It was on Oct 1st, just a day before we embarked on this road trip that we got to know about the competition organized by WorldNoMads.com from Face Book. Rules were simple. At max two people (one role to be played by Film-maker and other a Presenter) have to bring out a 3-minute travel video.


Once we had made up our mind that we would throw our hats in the ring, the first and the only task we did was to rent a Canon 50mm f1.8 lens for a day. We knew from our past experience what this lens could do with respect to the quality of the film. Apart from this we packed cameras, additional batteries, tripods along with other things like umbrella, snacks and a road-map of Karnataka.

We hardly had time to think through deeply about the concept and were not sure how we wanted to bring the video on screen since the last date for submission (October 15th) was too close to our comfort. Even on the day of the journey on Oct 2nd (A national holiday on the eve of Gandhi’s birth Anniversary) just before we left early in the morning at 5, we were unsure of the idea and were thinking that this could literally mean ‘our kind of adventure’ if we successfully pull it off!! What we were sure though was the place(s) we intended to travel.  They were Shivanasamudra to start with followed by Talakaadu and finally to conclude our journey with a visit to Somnathpura.  


Though we had decided about the places to be visited a day before, we were clear in our minds on one aspect. That is to not to follow and create a regular travel-video where in the presenter is seen interacting with the local people and explaining about the significance of the place(s) since this information could be gathered from the internet. The video had to be something different. As mentioned earlier, we started at 5 in the morning. As we were travelling we were still engaged in discussing the story-line and how we would like it to be presented. An idea, though blurred, hit us just when we hit the NICE road. We thought we shall narrate a story of a person on a road trip and his inner transformation along with the journey. This is something that both of us liked instantly. We changed the style of the film and shot around three hours of footage to include thoughtfulness of the presenter, his journey, photography, food, depicting the culture, country-side, river, temples, waterfalls and interaction with people. Some shots such as the one celebrating Gandhi Jayanti at one of the rural schools, I riding on a bullock-cart, the Cauvery protest by the people by blocking the roads and burning tires were so impromptu ones. We had never imagined and thought to have such footage. We just went with the flow keeping the concept at the back of our mind! That is the beauty isn’t it especially when we think of the nature of the assignment we were on?? We were completely exhausted from a day long travel and filming, riding, acting, planning and coordinating at the same time. We completed the shoot and wonderful trip after 15 hours of non-stop travel!!

Travle Film Poster

Bharath began editing the film. We had so much of footage that he was quite confused what to add and what not to while editing!!  A day was spent just to select the scenes that would suite our theme. And in the next 3-4 days he was able to make 7-8 revisions of the video. And finally a day more was spent to make the film more crisper to fit it to 3min. Fortunately, Bharath had access to one of the albums of Vishwesh Bhat in a Kanfusion style (Blend of Karnatic and Western music) and he decided this would be the b/g score of the film. The modulations in the ragas would blend in with the visuals and thought that the rise in the alaap specifically at the end would give a perfect ending to our travel film – i.e., A sense of “Realization” – He got in touch with Vishwesh for his consent and he wholeheartedly agreed to use his creation. Music bit was taken care of. In the meantime, I started to work on the narration-script. We didn’t have any footage to show that the protagonist was busy and frustrated with his hectic life. We didn’t have anything to depict his show his state-of-mind (Frankly we didn’t have the time to fit in all that in those 3min even if we had shot it). But it had to be told nicely.  There in lied the challenge for me. I think I was able to nail it with the first two lines. For me, the best lines of the lot are “I want to quit ordinary LIFE…” and “I want to LIVE LIFE”. Later, I was able to write few random lines as to what he desires, what he intends to do after quitting.  The lines just flowed. We chose some lines to suit the visuals and re-arranged according to the screenplay.  Once satisfied, we quickly recorded the narration. It took another two-three days to complete the film with further 3-4 more rounds of fine-tuning in editing after getting the feedback on draft version from some of our family members/close friends.

In hindsight, it scares us even now to think how we managed to pull it off without having anything concrete in mind!! Thanks to the competition, we were able to create what we believe is a nice film. The whole experience was surreal to say the least. We hope you enjoy as much as we have enjoyed being part of and in bringing it to you people.

PS: We would like to take this opportunity to apologize to  rest of our  B2C members for not involving them in this video in any of the tasks!! We wanted to strictly adhere to the rule of the competition which said that not more than 2 people should be involved. Also, we wanted to test if we can shoulder the whole responsibility of film-making of this magnitude on our own!! I think we now know!!
All in all two of us covered ~380 Kms on a bike trip. Route: (South-East Karnataka, India)
Bangalore -> Kanakpura -> Sathnur -> Malavalli -> Shivanasamudra -> Talakaadu -> T. Narsipura -> Somanathpura -> Malavalli -> Maddur -> Ramnagara -> Bangalore
~ Gururaj Bagli