Archive for June 20th, 2009

I am redesigning my room into an Indian aesthetic because:
1.    I want to pretend that I am in India while in Syracuse and Malta, NY.
2.    Ever since I got back home, I’ve decided my bright pink walls are disgusting.
3.    Simplicity is classy. If you’re going to go crazy, go crazy with colors. Be modest with items.
4.    I’ve finally been inspired enough to create a meditation alter.
5.    I need a place to store the fat stack of Hindi films I purchased… and to make room for the future collection.
6.    It’s all about the low furniture… Koyla and The Royal Challenge… totally, ya’ll know what I’m talking about.
7.    I want utter simplicity and serenity in my life. No more bulky items and excess. Clear it out!
8.    Working on production design references for the set of Prince made me admire the endless possibilities for draping, screen work, and lighting.
9.    Beautiful photos from the trip need to be hung someplace.
10.    My parents say the value of the house would skyrocket if my wall color was “neutralized”.

So here I sit, in bed at 8:30PM from jet lag. India has inspired me to:
1.    Begin learning Hindi.
2.    Watch more Hindi cinema.
3.    Learn more about Hinduism.
4.    Ride the wave, because after all, it is written.
5.    Attempt vegetarianism. It’s all about the spice.
6.    Not take as many showers! You don’t get half as dirty here in the U.S., why waste the water?!?
7.    Keep in contact with worldly, enjoyable people from different countries.
8.    Dance and sing more. Who cares if you’re not that talented!
9.    Grow up and stop counting on others to kill your insects!
10.    Develop quick scripts and shoot them for practice.
11.    Give gratitude to those who have helped this experience happen.
12.    Journal.
13.    Document.
14.    Keep correspondence flowing with fellow SU Bollywood 2009 people and Indians.
15.    Value fresh air.

Any suggestions for my Indian-themed room? Please share. 🙂

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Indian flight attendants are so kind. The flight from Bombay to Delhi was incredibly comfortable. We boarded the plane via the stairs… that was a first! I know, I’m such an adventurer. That was a bit tangential… but anyways… upon arrival in Delhi, we could definitely feel the difference between the two metropoles. Dry heat! My skin was like… “I’m going to start rashing soon if you don’t get me under a tree!” Seriously… it was ridiculously intense sunlight. And then we waited outside while the men determined how they were going to fit 11 Americans and all of their excessive luggage into the bus. Man oh man, I don’t know how we did it, but we certainly did. I must say, besides the lack of steady air conditioning, the ride was quite comfortable for a mangled sleeper like me. I thoroughly enjoy contorting my body into weird shapes while I sleep (ask Hannah)… and this extra luggage allowed for many-a-foot-rest and pillow opportunities. It was excellent. It was quite disgusting at one point though… I had crossed my legs (I was wearing shorts), and when I separated them, there was a river of sweat. Quite the accumulation, I must admit. I’m glad no one else saw it… if you did see it, I’m sorry.

I think the road to Agra was quite the experience. The first time we stopped, well at least when I was awake, was on the side of a road at this restaurant that seemed as though it was in the middle of nowhere. The hippy van had these curtains (you know what I mean), so all of the sudden there was a loud noise outside of Madeline’s window. We looked outside and there was a monkey on the side of our van! I mean, stuff like that just does not happen in Bombay! So the monkey’s owner was encouraging us to take a photo, but we refused because we knew he’d ask us for money. That was just the beginning of the adventure. On the way to Agra we saw an incredible amount of rural life. I can certainly not speak for everyone else, but I absolutely loved the drive. I just looked out the window the entire time. I love grit and texture and rural life. It fascinates me. I am a farm girl by trade… well… kind of… I like to think that I am. I definitely realized how different farming is in such a dry climate. Here in the U.S. our soil and the plants we cultivate cannot last a few weeks without a good rain it seems. I just cannot imagine a more tiresome job than farming in the desert-like conditions of Delhi/Agra.

The fascination I have for rural and gritty lifestyles and stories truly has caused me to lean toward non-fiction, but I’m learning more and more that there is definitely a place for such an interest in the fiction field. As I watch the BBC series entitled Planet Earth, I think of how I would love to create fictional, miraculous stories about real-life things. I realize that Planet Earth is non-fiction, but I love how the filmmakers looked at everyday habitats and presented them using opulence as they searched for the beauty in the natural world. For instance, I would not wish to depict something in an untruthful way, but just in an artistic way where viewers would say “wow, I never thought of it like that.” Some things in nature and in an every-day habitat deserve some attention and deserve to be looked at from a different angle. Let’s face it, filmmakers have points of view, get over it. That is why they are artists. Not all filmmakers have to be objective journalists when their dealing in non-fiction.

In other words, I found a lot of inspiration in Delhi and Agra. What a cool place to create a fiction or non-fiction film. So many ideas flowing…..

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The shooting of the dance sequence that Hannah and I had organized over the initial 2 weeks of the internship was post-poned due to actor injuries. In order to make our internship worthwhile, we decided to create a script and film a short with one of our ADs.

The film is called Soul Dealer and it is about this guy named Dev, which ironically means God, who works in a normal office, lives a lonely life, but has a very strange job: he helps people sign contracts to get into heaven. Let’s just say, with a couple of mistakes, he makes a couple clients unhappy. We were lucky to find an excellent Whistling Woods student to act in it as our main protagonist, and because of a lack of “human resources” and time, Hannah and I acted as the two female roles! It really brought me back to my high school years when I acted in shows! I cannot believe I gave up that part of my life. How sad! But there is always time to reassess your personal situation and change things that you want to be changed. I guess that is what the India trip really taught me. Soooo, you don’t like things going on in your life or habits you’ve created for yourself? So change it and stop complaining.

So, the film is currently shot in its entirety, although we would like to develop one character further. Our colleague Devang will be in charge of shooting the additional scenes after we come up with the addendum to the script. Then he plans to edit it with the assistance of a couple of his artistically inclined friends. He will then send it to Hannah and I and we will attempt to find a composer on the Syracuse campus who could compose an original score for the film. We figure that if it miraculously turns into a decent film, we’ll at least have ourselves covered in terms of copyright issues. I am really looking forward to the end result. I think a lot can happen when you put a final product together with people from different backgrounds. Also, we’re not being rushed like many school projects seem to be, so it’s giving us time to ditch certain ideas and start fresh with something else we like better. I’m just really glad we’ve been given an opportunity to take our time and keep in touch with our friend Devang, and to know that we are working together towards a final product. I feel like I’m in the business on a small scale. If anything, what will come of this project are multiple memories shared with my best Indian friends. Later in life, when we’re producing movies together (Hannah and I have made a promise that we’re moving back to Bombay), we’ll look back at this experience and say not only how amateur we were in those days, but how grateful we are that we created something to show for the early part of our friendship.

So basically… watch out Oscars. Best short film of the year, for sure.

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