The movie was released on September 9, 2011 and it was a big hit. It became one of those few movies which made profits in the kannada film industry in the the year 2011. More info about the movie in the following articles and the links below. Please visit the archived posts on the left for more info on the making of the film.———————————————————————————————————————————————————————- CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE FILM LIFEU ISHTENE ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————-
Songs, Trailers and some scenes
Press and Online activity about this movie!
|Lifeu ishtene Press clips|
|Lifeu Ishtene posters|
Making of the songs in Ladakh
I am sitting at the Delhi airport. It is 3 am. I have a flight to get onto at 5:40am. I am trying to blend with the furniture here at the costa café at the waiting lounge, I have sort of earned my right to sit here by ordering some coffee! Now that I have so much time to kill, let me update you all on the movie Lifeu Ishtene!
I think it was on the November 13th 2010 that the movie was officially launched. In my previous post I had written all about it. 6 months have passed …… Pooof that was fast! It was some journey, I feel so lucky to be here at this moment, to sit here and reminisce the whole thing.
As I was dropping the first cheque I got as a director, I can only remember how scared I was at that time. Scared that I will screw up the whole thing. Once you are officially recognized as a Director, people within the industry treat you so differently. It doesn’t matter how good or bad you are. Just the tag ‘Director’ earns you a lot of respect and perks and stares! It took me sometime to digest that. Internally I was suffering from doubt about myself and on the outside everybody was glorifying my position. I couldn’t sleep, though the shooting date was 3 months later, I kept feeling that I was so unprepared and that I would run out of time. My biggest fear was that I will forget how to say ‘sound camera action’ and that all the people on the set will laugh at me when I fumble on those words. All these fears motivated me to do a lot of home work. I’d sit and plan every minute detail. The veterans used to laugh at my plight and call my preparations silly and waste of time. Though many times I thought that they were right, but I still continued with my madness. I used to draw up storyboards, rewrite scenes, pull out references etc etc. This went on and on!
The script had gone through a lot of change. Now I had to look at my own script from a director’s point of view and within the budget I had. As a writer I had written down anything and everything that my head could think of, a writers job is really easy that way. Once we started hunting for locations, realities started hitting me. An office space in my head is not the kind of office space I was getting to shoot at, it wasn’t bad but it was different. At this point a director has two options, either make fuss and demand for what you want and in the process raise the budget of the film and yet not be satisfied with the final output or step back and look at the available space and see if that could add a creative dimension to the existing script. That’s what I did most of the times and that was my best decision. I think I learnt this art from Makrand Deshpande, he is a theatre director, you’d remember him as the lawyer in the movie satya or the recluse in a song in the movie swadesh. In 2004 I had attended a one day workshop he had conducted in Mumbai. He said that when he enters the theatre on the day of the show, he first sits and observes the space the way it is and imbibes what it has to offer. He then switches on the lights one by one and sees what effect they are creating. He then uses some of those things as a part of his final design for the show. I agree with him. A space has many things to tell in its natural form, it’s a good thing to use it rather than trying to reorder it to some preset idea!!! The whole of December just went in visiting the shooting spots and tweaking the script repeatedly. The script led me to locations and the locations helped me make my script better and better.
Music. The big part of Indian cinema is the music, the songs. Being what I am I was poking my nose into this department too. As you rewrite your script and finalize on the location and the visual feel of the film, the audio aspect of the film keeps playing on the back of the mind. Slowly you’d start knowing what kind of music you associate the film with. As and when I got these musical intuitions, I’d run to Mano Murthy’s house and confuse him. In this process we kept finalizing on tunes and rejecting them. The other two great personalities who were in this process are Yogaraj Bhat and Jayant Kaikini. Mano Murthy would give them tunes and they’d scribble some lines. Mano would get them sung and we all would listen to it in his studio. All three biggies have put in so much extra effort for my songs, they all started sounding new and interesting.
The shooting date was set to March 14th! We had finally arrived at the shooting script. Many improvements were made to the original. The technical team was lined up. After many discussions with my DOP we had finally arrived at the decision of shooting the whole film with hand held camera, a challenge he was ready to take up. Only later we realized how difficult it was, handheld candid form of camera work is not as easy as it seems. But I am glad we decided on that. Veerendra, the asso Director for the film started taking the key position in the whole thing. I’d like to say that without his dedication to the project, I’d have been in a lot of mess. Because of his efficiency I got the luxury to come up with creative improvements to the script and he’d go on and make it happened. The producers were very very accommodating, they not once made me feel like I was a first time director or that they were doing a favour by investing the money. Their faith and trust in me added a lot to my confidence. By the end of Feb I was no more scared of anything, I was way too prepared for what was coming in the following month.
We drew up a schedule. It came up to 35 days excluding 2 songs. When we showed it around, all we got was laughs. None of the seniors believed in it, they all thought of it as a joke. They challenged us that we’d take a minimum of 60 days to shoot the script considering how complex it was. My team and I were a little shaken, we were not given budgets to shoot for 60 days. We had to manage it with in the 35 days. I thought it was possible and so did my team, but when the seniors were against it, we did lose faith in it. Yogaraj then took a look at it and said, it was possible but one had to work really hard to make it happen. So we decided to go ahead with the schedule and take it as it comes. Now I am so proud to say that we did shoot the whole thing in 37 days, 2 extra days because of rains! We slogged and we really pushed the whole team into making it happened. 37 days and 66 call sheets, that’s A LOT of work!
How did I shoot the film? How many mistakes I made? How I have creatively covered up those mistakes? How am I editing and working towards the release of the film? I will write about all of that in the blog when I find time but for the time being I am planning for a 2 day workshop on filmmaking. Want to pass on the learning while its still fresh in the mind. So register for the workshop and be the first ones to know about all the goof ups and how we covered up and how the movie is getting made. mail to sowmyadance(at)gmail(dot)com for more details on all of this!
Is there a hole in the pot?
In 2007, I watched a lot of movies and read a lot of screenplays and because I was consciously looking for a medium other than theatre to tell my stories and express my thoughts, films sort of kept me interested. And very early into it I wrote few scripts and was super happy with myself. I thought all I needed was a Producer and I would show the world what film making is! There is a saying – half filled vessels make more noise.
And then I met Yogaraj Bhat, and of course I was throwing my weight around and looked down at him as a silly film maker who made a stupid commercial film like Mungaru Male which audience were going all gaga about. So the first few days of meeting him in the office, I was simply feeling like I am a very smart guy and I was there to help him out! As days progressed, the reality started to hit me! I realized how stupid I was and how much I knew nothing about making a commercial film! With in the first few months I had decided that I was not going to think of directing a movie for many years to come! I am glad I struck to those decisions.
Lagori took up the whole of 2008, and then Manasaare the whole of 2009 and Pancharangi, the whole of 2010 (almost). It was 3 years of learning the art of COMMERCIAL filmmaking from yogaraj. And trust me it is difficult. It is scary. It is something you’d always want to run away from. Commercial film making is not really art, yes to an extent it is, but in art, a maker does what he feels like and displays it, it doesnt matter how the viewer perceives it. The viewer is free to reject it and the maker can simply ignore that response. But in commercial films, the maker still does get to say what he wants to, BUT, he must say it in a language that everybody can “easily” understand! Good or bad, thats the reality. So the responsibilities of a commercial film maker is to ‘guess’ what and how people will like to see his story and then make it. 8 out of 10 times the film maker’s guess goes wrong! Many people will not agree to this, but I can very confidently say that they are the people who have either never attempted making a commercial cinema or will ever want to. They will all be making the kind of film which they love to make and a small community of people will be able to appreciate it. I was someone like that till I tasted the success of a commercial film. Before you think the taste I am talking about is money, let me clarify that there is no money in commercial cinema in your early days! The taste that I savoured was that of telling a story to people of all kinds and getting them to react to an illusion, to a lie that is projected on the screen. That is one hell of a kick, no amount of money can make you feel that, no amount of awards can put a smile on you when you are asleep. And that is why I chose to do commercial cinema, the kind of cinema that reaches every corner of the state, that is seen by the most intelligent to the most innocent, that is seen by both the classes – the ones that pay 250 for a ticket and the ones that pay 20. How do you make a product that can touch the hearts of so many different people! Now thats a challenge and thats why I am taking it up.
While making Manasaare and Pancharangi, I was scared to death. All those stupid talks about making a film back in 2007 mademefeel so stupid. I had decided to quit. When people asked me when I was going to make a movie, I’d keep blaming it on the producer whom I never found, but deep inside I was happy that I didnt have a producer, I would get all the sympathy and I dont even have to face the audience! Secretly I was comfortable being in that state. Things changed on the 13th Nov 2010. Manjunath of KK films heard my script and he fell for it. Next day he came to our office and booked Digant and me to make the film under his banner. I was still thinking it was simply formal talks and nothing was going to happened. But suddenly he pulled out two cheque leaves and paid both of us an advance! Thats when it hit me, and it hit me BIG! It was happening. I have to now make a MOVIE! I have to say ‘sound camera action’. I have to figure if what I am telling is entertaining the people or not. I have to be responsible for the huge amount of money that will be spent on this movie. I am not kidding when I say that the few seconds that took the producer to hand me over the cheque, seemed like hours, everything was moving at 96frames/second speed. Before the cheque came to my hand I even thought of calling this off and running away. As soon as the deal was done, I felt like I was carrying a huge boulder on my head, infact, I am still feeling that, my mind is telling me that I must leave this stupid blog and go work on the script, do some work related to the movie! The weight of this boulder would go away sometime in august next year and I’d miss it then.
All the aspiring directors must be thinking I am so lucky and that I must be so happy and feeling great. Trust me, it is just not like that. I am scared! I am feeling like I am preparing for a nude parade and loads of people are waiting to laugh at me! Ya… but I am up for that I am not scared about failing, I am simply holding myself responsible for the 2 hours that every audience member is going to sit in a dark room and see things at 24 frames per second. I simply want him and her to look at each of that frame with a big smile on the face. To go back home and remember stories from his/her life and celebrate it. I want my producers to get back the money they are investing on me. I want to make yogaraj feel that his faith in me didn’t go wrong! Anything else that comes will be a boon!
3 years ago I was a half filled vessel making a lot of noise…. I am not making so much noise these days…. hmmmm why is that!!!!??? Has the vessel cracked and is everything gone!? Hope not.