Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Expanding horizons for Goan talent

Expanding horizons for Goan talent

Published on: September 1, 2010


Tenets of acting remain constant irrespective of the medium – TV, theatre or films - says actor, Vipin Sharma who is in Goa to conduct a workshop on acting and script writing at the International Centre Goa, Dona Paula.

The workshop is part of a series of workshops planned for this year that will prepare and provide local talent with the opportunity to get selected in major upcoming film projects to be headed by both Vipin Sharma and Sanjay Chouhan, well known names in the Indian film industry.

Vipin Sharma, a graduate of the National School of Drama, New Delhi, and the Canadian Film Centre, Toronto has acted in many movies like ‘Karthik calling Karthik’, ‘Tare Zameen Par’. While Sanjay Chouhan has written many TV serials and scripts for films like ‘Dhoop’ ‘Maine Gaandhi Ko Nahin Mara and ‘Big Brother’.

Says Vipin: “When I came to Goa I was overwhelmed to find beautiful places still unexplored. My second visit during the IFFI made me take the decision to make a film involving Goan talent.”

After collecting some invaluable human stories the duo want to write a screenplay by involving Goan screenplay writers, which will then be shot into a feature film.

“The screenplay will focus on the 50th year of Goa’s liberation. Through workshops participants will trace the history of Goa bringing forth important milestones achieved by the people of Goa through their struggle to maintain their rich heritage, signifying the celebration of the triumph of the Goan people and their ancestors,” says Sanjay while speaking about the project.

After the introductory workshop, a workshop of a longer duration will be held in the coming few months. The screenplay lab will consist of 15 to 20 actors and a few budding writers interested in storytelling, who will meet regularly at various stages of the project. Vipin informs: “The complete hands-on approach during this lab will help us explore various aspects of acting and story telling in a modern context, mainly connecting it to a Goan life experience.” He said further informed that there was a need for serious and passionate actors and screenwriters for the workshop.

“We don’t want to miss out on the talents in Goa like that it happened for the film ‘Poltodcho Munis’,” says Sanjay.

In a tête-à-tête with The Navhind Times, Vipin Sharma informed that they wanted to show the real Goa for which Goan actors and scripts written by Goans would be considered. They plan to make this feature film by IFFI next year.

Speaking about TV and other mediums as a platform for highlighting issues, Vipin says: “Acting in TV serials is not taken seriously. In this medium, acting is akin to working in a factory. There is hardly anytime to think. Actors are not given importance and they are just used as props. It is the camera that zooms in and zooms out, which contributes to the dramatic element. In a television series, acting is controlled by the channel and in turn by the producer.”

He says that good actors don’t prefer to act in television series. They prefer films as they get more time to interact with the director and to get into the character. On a comparative note Vipin adds, “Acting is not taken seriously in serials and storylines are more like B- grade movies. They are usually money making proposition and it is mostly new comers and older actors who opt for the medium.”

Television is a powerful medium to transmit messages believes Vipin. However, he feels that the medium is not exploited appropriately and has reduced to the situation where the main priority is to sell soaps. Since television is a medium accessed from people’s drawing rooms, it is an effective medium to narrate stories as a storyteller.”

Vipin opines that documentary films do not get the importance they deserve as a result of which such filmmakers are given shabby treatment, when in fact, insists Vipin, such documentaries are a great medium through which various important social issues can be reflected. “It takes a lot of struggle for any artiste to make it in the film industry,” says Vipin adding, “The film industry mostly prefer theatre artists as this saves a lot of time and money.”

Sanjay Chouhan sharing his experience as a script writer explains the hurdles that have to be overcome if one wants to make a mark in the Mumbai film industry.

Sanjay informs that in comparison to Hollywood movies, Bollywood movies have a definite interval point, which is the crux.

Sanjay says: “Every writer and director wants to explore a good story. A story is said to be good only when the viewer can relate to the emotions, drama, etc, and be thoroughly engaged by the film.”

Sanjay shares his view on the advancement of new software used in script writing: “Softwares can only aid in writing a script in its standard format, but the idea still has to come from the head and heart.”

He signs off with, “Scriptwriters should sell their own stories.”