Tête-à-tête with iLEAD pass out student turned film director Shilajit Dey
One of iLEAD’s most visually brilliant films among the many churned out by iLEAD Production in the last two years is Bapu. We spoke to iLEAD pass out student and film director Shilajit Dey on the making of this film.
The Story: A visually impaired patient at a hospital expresses his wish to see his icon, Mahatma Gandhi aka Bapuji to a curious visitor who observes him daily from the building opposite to the hospital. The film shows how creative efforts and flawless planning of this visitor creates a magical set up to surprise the blind man, the day he regains his eyesight, the day when Gandhiji was born, October 2nd.
1. What was the inspiration behind the story?
PS Group is involved in the business of Real Estate. A person spends his savings of a lifetime to purchase a property, getting a house is like a dream come true for that person. I needed a story that would represent PS Group, a story which is narrating a person’s dream come true, something on the lines of PS Group’s effort to make dreams come true for many individuals. In this story it is the blind patient’s dream to see Bapu.
2. What were the biggest challenges that you faced while making Bapu?
Common challenges a film maker faces ranging from working with a cast which includes an aged person, making him work for a 24 hour shift, blindfolding him for a long duration, persuading a child actor to devote some of his sleep time for acting at night to working with a massive crew, transporting iLEAD Production furniture to the shoot location.
3. What techniques did you use to create the visual magic of Bapu?
Everything ranging fromVFX to storyboarding techniques and many more techniques were used. No one understands the final output during the process but we had all the shots pre-decided, sketched and calculated. We coordinated with each and every team member from makeup artist to lighting, casting director to costume designer to chalk out the timing of the shots, the colours of costume in each shots, the light scheme, the different lenses to be used by the cinematographer for the various shots, dress to be worn by actors for various shots, expressions to be given by the actors in various shot and much more.
The sequence of the shots during the edits was never the same, sometime we will choose the 20thth take and sometimes we would choose the 18thtake of a shot. This can be confusing to actors so everything had to be preplanned and conveyed to everyone in the team. So the planning is very important.
4. What are the three most important factors that you consider before making a film?
The director’s life should be focused completely on the film, the life of each member in the entire team should revolve around the film and when they sleep at night they should think about nothing else but the film.
5. Which is the most difficult part of Production Management?
Making the writer absorb the story and coordinating with him or her, making your own dream everyone else’s dream and accordingly transforming the entire concept into a film - this has to be performed by combining the hard and soft materials.
Soft materialsare concept, script or music and hard materials are everything from food, conveyance, transporting props, resisting bad weather, art material, costumes etc. Streamlining these things in one place is the biggest challenge.
6. How long does it take to complete the post production work a film?
Creating the visual magic through VFX and fine tuning a film in the post production for the final product takes time.
7. Are you offering internships at iLEAD Production? In which departments?
We are ready to offer so many internships that I myself will not have to do any work myself. Jokes apart, we are offering internships in every department and all are welcome provided they suit the role.