What freedom means to different cinema craftsmen
As many as twenty-four crafts feature in the film industry and each has its own importance and limitations. From direction to cinematography to publicity design to stunts, cinema would be incomplete if it isn't for the synthesis of all these crafts.
IANS finds out from these professionals what freedom means to them as India celebrates its 67th Independence Day.
Tamil director R.S. Prasanna believes freedom is enjoyed when one has the power to disagree.
"We all fight for absolute creative freedom but even creativity today has limitation. I believe cinema is one medium that allows you to create dialogue and debate, but unfortunately we are being constantly banned for our actions. I need the freedom to disagree verbally, but not to ban or stop someone from expressing through cinema," Prasanna said.
"A film like JFK was not banned by the system even though it received stiff criticism. That film created dialogue and debate. We need that freedom," he said.
For National Award winning editor Praveen K.L., time is equivalent to freedom.
"Freedom to me means more time as an editor. I need the freedom to look at a film from my perspective. In essence, I need the freedom to cut a film first and then show my director how I have analysed the film. This freedom helps in adding a second analysis to the final product," said Praveen.
Cinematographer Richard M. Nathan has another definition of freedom.
"In my profession, success defines freedom. If you're successful as a technician, you can demand the kind of freedom you want and directors don't mind giving it. I personally believe freedom is acquired, but not given to you," he said.
"I'm seven films old now and I know for a fact that the freedom I enjoy today is far better than what I had initially," he added.
Composer Mahesh Shankar feels freedom is to collaborate and exchange ideas.
"I want the freedom to interpret a scene or situation musically. I want the freedom to sit with my director and collaborate to achieve a common goal. By collaborating, we are on the same page and even if we face differences, we can sort it out by exchanging ideas," said Shankar.
"For a scene set against a rural background, I can't have techno music. I need the freedom to convey this to my director," he added.
For subtitlist Rekhs, who wrestles with challenges every day, it is about acknowledging talent in all spheres.
"Freedom as a subtitlist to me means just not releasing a film, but providing good subtitles. Announcing the fact we have awesome talent in all spheres, including subtitling and dubbing. And India is not only Bollywood, the southern cinema exists too," she said.
Publicity designer Eswar, who has crafted over 2,000 film posters, said that this aspect is as important as music or any other department for that matter. "As a poster designer, I would enjoy freedom when I can proudly say that even my work is attributed to the success of a film," he added.
Lyricist Sirivennela Sitaramasastri said: "Freedom means to merge Telugu literature with film songs in such a manner that our younger generation appreciates the richness of the language. I would love to have the freedom to do that because as of now not all directors are open to the idea."
As an associate producer, freedom for Dhananjayan Govind is "to produce content which we believe is worth and good to share with the audience, and able to reach out legitimately without any hindrance to them and achieve commercial success to encourage producing more such content."
Dubbing artist R. Haritha, who has more than 240 films to her credit, says freedom is "when our contribution is not merely not counted by the number of hours, but by the effort we put in. I want freedom to demand that people acknowledge us by our effort."
(Haricharan Pudipeddi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
(Posted on 15-08-2013)