Thursday, July 25, 2013

What does it take to be a success in film and television production? Learn from the Dream Team

Time Out Bengaluru, our city's best "local magazine", has published in its most recent issue some top-notch features that will be of great interest to the many young people out there who are keen to make a mark in film and television production.

In the cover story titled "Crew Control", the magazine's staff writers have profiled eight young professionals who are "working behind the scenes".

Here's the full list from the Time Out website:


Anand Gandhi talks to Time Out about creating a conducive environment for films like Ship of Theseus to thrive in

In development

Shaan Vyas tells Time Out about getting creative with film production

Getting it write

Time Out talks to Sita Menon, one-third of Bollywood’s best writing team

View finder

Siddarth Diwan is both idealistic and pragmatic about being a director of photography in the era of the big studio, finds Time Out

Taking the shot cut

Dipika Kalra’s editing chops place her in an illustrious line of women film editors, says Time Out

Art conditions

Sonal Sawant tells Time Out that she might not have been mature enough to assume production designer duties for her first film, Lakshya

Of sound mind

Anthony Ruban talks to Time Out about the finer aspects of on-location sound recording and giving films their aural identity

Cast system

Anmol Ahuja acts as the perfect bridge between directors and actors, writes Time Out

Click on each of those links NOW.
UPDATE (August 2, 2013): Commitscion PAROMITA CHAKRABORTY (Class of 2007), a senior producer with MTV in Mumbai, commented via e-mail:

"Being successful in the constantly evolving entertainment industry is something that deserves recognition and acknowledgement"

The success stories in the "Dream Team" section (incidentally, "Dream Team" was the name of a show I was working on for NDTV Imagine Showbiz in 2008) sure made me nostalgic. Such articles are always great sources of inspiration for freshers! Whether you are born with a silver spoon or you pick up interesting and relevant information from the internet, being successful in the constantly evolving entertainment industry is something that deserves recognition and acknowledgement. You are successful, I respect you. Our methods of making a mark in the industry might be different, but I respect you nonetheless.

Yes, I can relate to the stories in "Dream Team"... but I could relate more to Commitscion Afreen Rahman's article for two reasons: first, I too handled similar projects as a fresher, and, second, television production is very different from film production. I have worked on two films, but I'm not a pro. However, TV is my life — not in terms of "I love TV so much, I will die if I don't work here", but as in "TV is the love of my life." :). I have done it for way too long — I wouldn't know what else to do with my life.

I know I'm sounding a little unlike my usual enthusiastic self, but I think that comes with age and experience. :-) When I first became a production professional in 2006, I was starry-eyed about this industry: I liked everything I did, and everything that I learned thrilled me. Every day was a new day. But over the years, I've mellowed. And I've also seen the industry mature... change, brick by brick. For good? For bad? Who's to tell!

My book of "Secrets to being successful in the TV industry" still contains a few rules and attributes that I consider to be "must-haves". And then there are those dispensable ones. But that discussion's for another day, when we meet, we sit, we greet, and we talk. :-)
  • Back in November 2010, Paromita Chakraborty had written in The Commits Chronicle (No. 54) about her experience at MTV:
A roller-coaster ride at MTV

I joined MTV as producer in June this year. And, trust me, life has been an absolute roller-coaster ride! The general belief is that people working in television channels have a relaxed life, with huge responsibilities but not much to do that could be considered physical or mental labour. Even I was under this impression. Which is why I had not taken up jobs with MTV thrice before!

But this time it seemed to be the right thing to do.

How thankful I am to God for the decision! How glad I am to declare that all popular beliefs are not always true... not at least regarding MTV. Here, there is no dearth of shows, no dearth of ideation processes, shoots, and edits.

So far, I have worked on Stunt Mania 2, MF101, Making The Cut 2 (shows being aired/off air) and, right now, it is Splitsvilla 4. There are a few more original projects that will be telecast in the next one year.

When you work in production houses, you accept the fact that you do not take the final call regarding the creatives in a show. You do as you are told to by the channel. But now, since I am the 'channel', I get to decide the creatives for any show in my kitty. I can't tell you what a relief that is! Just the fact that I do not have to accept stupid ideas, insane logic, or any kind of mediocrity in a show that I handle, makes me feel on top of the world. Good, bad, ugly
whatever it is, I'm solely responsible. The accolades and the brickbats all are mine :-) It gives me such a kick! And it gives me so much satisfaction to see my ideas being translated into shows. I am so glad that I have joined the right company at the right time.
  • And here's a music video produced and conceptualised for "MTV Raw" by Paromita Chakraborty:

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