By Aditya Savnal. Posted on August 30, 2015
Director Raam Reddy shot into the spotlight, when his film Thithi won the Golden Leopard (For Filmmakers of the Present competition category) and Swatch First Feature Award (Prize for Best First Feature) at this year's Locarno.
Raam began his filmmaking journey by making several short films. One of these short films Ika (Feather) was showcased on the second day of BISFF 2015 at Suchitra Film Society, Bengaluru. The film narrates the adventures of two kids who make a camera with a video cassette and decide to shoot a film with it. Ika in a way reflects Raam’s early passion for filmmaking and love for cinema. The film has a natural tone that reflects in all aspects of the film, including the performances. The film had won awards at several film festivals including Palm Springs International Film Festival and Mumbai Film Festival.
Post the screening Raam spoke about his journey as a filmmaker and why he feels short films are an important medium of filmmaking which every budding filmmaker must explore.
Raam also shared several insights on the making of the film during this session. It was surprising to know that Ika was made with a 2 member crew of Raam and Ere Gowda (who has co-written Thithi). It took them 10 days to shoot this film as they had to shoot it in the evenings, when the kids were free. As a result it took 10 days to shoot and Raam edited the film himself.
During the course of the talk, Raam also shared some valuable insights on why filmmakers must make short films. We have summarized below some of the key insights shared by him.
Every filmmaker must have a unique voice. For it is this unique voice, that will make you and your films stand apart from the several other films being made.
Everyone has a certain style of filmmaking and genre which they enjoy working and creating stories around. The genre should suit your style of filmmaking. Unless the genre excites you, your films won't click. It is this liking and preference towards a certain genre, that will help to bring out the best in you.
Always make a film you truly believe in and are convinced about. Do not listen to others unless they have some really valuable inputs to offer that will help you to make better movies.
Sound design plays an important part in movies. And it is essential for every filmmaker to understand this to make better films. One must how learn how to achieve a great sound design for your film and how you can use it effectively in your film.
Quentin Tarantino once famously remarked 'When people ask if I went to a film school, I tell them that I went to the films'. Raam also shares a similar opinion and says that watching the right films helps you learn a lot about filmmaking. To cut it short, watch more films.
This we believe, was the most valuable advice given by Raam in this session. One can become a much better filmmaker by making several short films. Your several attempts to make short films will help you and your filmmaking skills to evolve. It doesn’t matter how good or bad they turn out to be. It doesn’t matter if you falter. What matters is whether you made an attempt to learn or not? And making short films is surely one of the best ways to hone your filmmaking skills.
These surely are some inspiring words and should give young filmmakers the much needed encouragement to make short films. Raam made several zero budget short films before he made Ika and Thithi. And that helped him immensely to become a better filmmaker.