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Making of Moggu

posted Jul 22, 2011, 9:59 PM by Vivek Shivaprabhu   [ updated Jul 23, 2011, 11:45 PM ]

The idea of ‘moggu’ struck me at the most implausible of the times. It was 2:30 AM and I was struggling to get sleep. My mind was having a free ride and it was hard to stop it from roaming and thinking about various things. There is no dearth of news in the papers about the child being victimized sexually in one or the other parts of the world.  May be this thought was playing at the back of my mind sub-consciously. Then it occurred. How about a short-film on this concept? This being a sensitive subject, I thought the best way to communicate would be in an abstract way. It was very clear in my mind as to how this should be done. 

The very next week-end Bharath and I were travelling to Kukke Subramanya in a bus. That was when I put forward the concept and the idea of execution.  He seemed to have liked it and the idea of a person taking a demonic form by depicting those two horns was given by him. Then the concept and how it should be executed was discussed in a team-meeting which was approved by all the members. 

Day of the shoot:

All we needed was a focus-light to get the shadow effectively, a lotus bud, plastic-horns and a screen (we used a new white lungi) to project the shadow. Everybody assembled at Bharath’s home with the required things. In the living room, we set up a screen. I was to direct and manage the cam. Bharath was designated to enact. Vishwanath and Shridhar had to assist in holding and managing the screen. Amar was to synchronize the timing of the emergence of horns on the person without being conspicuous on the screen. The challenge was to get the image of the shadow as sharp as possible in the limited space and also we had to make sure that no shadow of the persons’ other than the protagonist’s would appear on the screen. I fixed the position of the cam and we moved the focus-light back and forth from the screen, asked Bharath to change either his position or stance or sometimes both to get the best possible view. After a bit of struggle we finally managed to get the positions of everything and everybody in place for me to shoot. I had decided to shoot the entire sequence in a single shot. I gave instructions to Bharath as to how to enact. One other challenge we had to face was that the timing of emergence of horns on the protagonist’s head had to sync the act as well as the position where it appears on the head. Also we had to make sure that neither the long handle on which the plastic-horns were attached nor Amar who was holding it would make their presence felt in the form of shadow on the screen.

Since in most of the cases the offender would be a relative or known person to the child, I wanted this and the transformation from being a guardian to an offender to be conveyed effectively. Accordingly, I suggested Bharath to play the role. After few retakes we were able to get something which looked satisfactory on camera when we played-back. We then wrapped up the shoot. But on the editing table we found that end-product was not good enough. There was couple of glaring anomalies (in terms of setup) which went un-noticed while shooting. Bharath n I decided that we would re-shoot. On the date of the re-shoot team members couldn’t make it due to unavoidable reasons. Since we both knew what had to be done, somehow, we were confident that we would pull-off on our own.

Day of the Re-shoot:

This time we decided to setup the screen in the bedroom.  We fixed the screen firmly on both sides which almost covered from one end of the wall to the other leaving a small gap at one of the sides just enough for a person to pass through to it. We decided that Bharath would handle the camera and I would enact. Bharath fixed the position of the cam at one side of the screen and later made sure he got the position of the focus-light and myself correct on the other side of the screen keeping in mind all that had to be considered. The plan was to start the camera rolling and he would then make his way across the screen onto the other side without disturbing it and hold the handle with horns just in time while I enacted. We got the whole scene right after couple of retakes. There was almost no work as far as editing was concerned since it was shot in a single take without cuts. Only we had to add the titles and record the background score which we did with the most unlikeliest of the things - rolling pin and board (ಮಣೆ ಮತ್ತು ಲಟ್ಟಣಿಗೆ)!! In hindsight I feel that the background score hasn’t come as effective as we would have liked it to be but yeah without it the video would have been incomplete.

Thus one more video was added to B2C portfolio!

~Guru
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