It’s the week leading up to Feb 14 and there is a rush at the local Sony showroom. Weird, I say. In these times of recession I don’t see any discount offers on this premium brand nor do I see any heart-shaped TVs on sale. Still…
I pop in out of curiosity hoping that Sony is going to have a distress sale on its Playstations. I jostle in through a crowd of fork wielding individuals. They are all dressed in a colour very close to red (saffron or orange I think). I guess this is a new way of celebrating a pre-Valentines bash. I got to get myself one of those colours. Mom always said I was a loner and I got to get into good company. These guys seemed pretty nice (they didn’t poke me with their forks but poked a few of the store girls) and confident, I guess it wouldn’t hurt to be a part of this club.
The orange guys (as I will call them henceforth) are checking out various cameras. Are they getting ready to shoot the next episode of ‘Mysooru Mallige’? A thrill goes down my spine. I check out a camera next to one of the orangies. He is fumbling with the viewfinder and I help him use it. He mutters thanks and then asks me if I can teach him to shoot the video. Sure, I say.
The orangy buys the camcorder and along with the rest of the group moves to the nearest park to test the camcorder. I was wrong all along, these are nature lovers. They buy me a packet of aloo bondas on the way. Man, these guys are real sweethearts. Nearly everyone in the group has a camcorder. I guess they have some major shooting schedule.
They want to test running shots and rapid shots while handling the zoom function. For a trial run they make the smallest guy in the group sit down next to a lazing cow in the park. The guys then hide behind a bush, far away from the scene, and film the couple sitting at the other end. I help them use the viewfinder and zoom in to the cow chewing cud. The orangies are excited. They make the small guy sit at various angles and in various positions along with the cow, till they are sure they have a hang of the entire long-distance camera handling process.
What they needed next is a running shot of the two mammals. This is what I call the ‘Blair Witch Project’ shot. You jump out of the bush and run towards the couple while keeping the camera focused on them all the time. There is a lot of rapid camera movement involved, but I help them reduce this by making them clasp the camcorder with their ‘lungi’ to avoid the camera slipping from their grasp. So far so good. They get the complete shot and zoom in on the couple. The cow moos and gets up to chase them away.
The leader of the group clasps me by the shoulders and thanks me for teaching them to shoot on their camcorders. Why don’t you join us for the Feb 14 shoot, he asks me. I am excited as hell and I immediately acquiesce to his request. It’s going to be a busy weekend. I will be filming across the city non-stop. Watch out for me, they say I may be on TV too.
P.S. Someone just sent me this report to help me understand what’s going on.