Blogs from Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, Asia - page 4


Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai » Elliot's Beach February 3rd 2013

FEB 3, 2013 Tambaram to Vedanthangal I planned to see the birds before sunrise. So on this day, I woke up at 4 in the morning (you may call it as a midnight). After freshen up, left from TBM around 4:45 AM & reached Vedanthangal at 5:59 AM. I win, still the sun is sleeping, but not the birds. At-first, went for a hot Tea in the nearby shop. The temperature is not more than 18 -20 deg C, that country made boiler tea sweets good (Sweeeeet). Much prior to my entry, thousands of birds are going out of the sanctuary. Oh! did it afraid of seeing me, no comments....go ahead. Entered into the park, sorry its a sanctuary. (Status of "National Park" is higher; whereas a "sanctuary" is lower.). This d... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 29th 2013

Dear Grace and Mag, The over night train form Kerala to Chennai wasn't too bad considering the only tickets left were 3rd class. There was a teeny compartment with 6 beds three on each wall. It was cosy but quite good. When we got to Chennai it was sooo busy at the station and it was huge so we couldn't find our hotel taxi. We ended up paying twice but hey, we got there. Didn't really like Chennai much although I am really glad I went there to see the contrast. Stayed in the hotel most of the time though because going out was a bit of a hassel but the pool was dirty and really small. Inside the hotel itself was really nice though. Some of these negative views are probably because I was beginnning ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 23rd 2013

We attended the lectures in the morning with the Prasad students. The first one, by Uma ma'am, was about religion and the role it plays in society. It was a comfortable and meandering kind of lecture, more of a discussion. At the end, I didn't feel there had been much of a specific point, other than just to open lines of communication. After a chai break, the second lecture, by professor and cinematographer Sunny Joseph, was about different kinds of space in cinematography. He showed some examples of films with these kinds of spaces, like deep space, ambiguous space, flat space, and limited space. I realize there is so much more to learn. At lunch I had butterflies in my stomach because Jayshree was coming with Nandini, also in the film, and they were going to ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 22nd 2013

We are finished. Except I think we have to fix something with the credits, but we are done. We met at 8:30 this morning, and worked til maybe 7. Shweta had to leave at 6 because she had a show. She is a professional whistler and a singer. It was so painful today to cut more. I thought it was hard yesterday. We adopted a method, between Raj and myself, that when we disagreed, when one of us left the room, the other one directed Shweta to make the changes that we wanted. And if the other person didn't notice when they came back, those changes stayed. We knew more needed to be cut, it was just so hard to do it. I think this could be a slightly longer film. But directors always think so. ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 21st 2013

First I am so relieved that we've been given another day to edit! But I can feel the stress starting to set in with everyone. It is so so hard to cut at this point, tensions are running a little higher than usual, and we're all feeling it. Pradeep and Teja (producer) have been so kind and respectful, just popping in once in a while to say hi, Raj and Shweta have been dedicated, especially Shweta! What patience! I get frustrated with Umila at times because she hangs out with all the different groups and people, and just comes back and says, "Why did you cut the sound and put space? That is so weird. So she's just going to talk and then stop? It won't sound good." And it is frustrating to try to explain ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 20th 2013

My question is, how will we finish this by the end of tomorrow? It is not possible. I really like having a group for the purpose of working through ideas, and having sounding boards, but it takes so much longer to edit! I feel it will be worth it in the end,but if it was me alone, I would watch things again and again and again, and Shweta needs only to watch things once. Then she wants an answer about which clip to use. Really? How does she store all that info. Add to this the fact that my dear Raj came super late and then left super early to work on "The Making Of" credit animation, so I didn't feel like I could make decisions without checking with him. Our film was an hour last ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 19th 2013

We went to the academy this morning. Who knew that just leaving for 5 days would make returning feel like coming home? Pradeep had logged and captured our footage, and Shweta was already at work naming the clips. Here we go! We were not allowed to do any actual editing until we had watched all our footage and submitted our final structure to the professors. Shweta hadn't seen the footage yet, though she was there on set, and since some group members didn't show up forever, it was hard to get stuff done because I didn't want to step on anyone's toes and take too much creative control, especially since I have a codirector. We submitted the proposal, they accepted it, and we went back to the editing lab. I was so happy that Shweta had ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 18th 2013

The focus of the day for me was not what we actually did. Yes, we visited the shore temple, a beautiful limestone couple of monoliths, with features that have been pitted and erased of detail by the harsh sea air. Yes, it was beautiful. But for me, the focus was that I had a small existential crisis triggered by an audiobook I listened to on the bus, "Beyond the Beautiful Forevers." It describes the lives of people who live in the slum just outside the Mumbai airport, which was actually "founded" by immigrants from Tamil Nadu, who were construction workers working at the airport. One moment of the book I found particularly painful was the description of a little boy who worked as a trash collector. he'd then separate the recyclables. One day as he put ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 17th 2013

We took a bus for 30 min. (We joke that everything is 30 min, but in reality is always longer.) We left our hotel in Pondicherry, and arrived at Auroville, the intentional community, that describes itself as "an emerging international township dedicated to the ideal of Human Unity." A path led us past a self-cleaning water treatment system, through trees, with sections of shade built for comfort, to this utopian villa of all kinds of people. I saw women in burquas, backpackers with dredlocks, locals in local clothing, and elderly couples in sandals. We stopped in for a 10 minute informative video, which had me chomping at the bit to get inside to magical golden globe half a km away, start concentrating or meditating or whatever, the interior of which is painted white with white carpet ... read more

Asia » India » Tamil Nadu » Chennai January 16th 2013

We got on our bus this morning (which is emblazoned with "GLORY TO JESUS" across the front windshield) and headed towards Pondicherry. After 4 hours of travel, we stopped at a temple, though we didn't go inside, so we could do some more shopping in the plentiful shops and stalls along the street. I got some tiny clay pots that you are supposed to put a bit of oil and a cotton wool wick, so they can burn like they do in the temples. We got back on the bus for 2 hours, headed for a river bank where we could apparently wade inside. However, it turns out the bus driver took a wrong turn and wasn't able to take us to this particular riverside park, because the bridge for vehicular travel was a few km ... read more

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