KJ Singh, the renowned Sound Engineer / Producer for many leading music directors and bands in India visited ‘Digital Academy – The Film School’ to share his experiences with the Sound Recording and Engineering students on the future directions of the recording industry.
Mr.K J Singh has won the Pro Sound Systems - AES India Awards 2006 and 2007 for Mixing/ Mastering the Best Recorded Film Soundtrack for ‘Tere Bina’ from the film Guru, and ‘Tu Bin Bataye’ from the film Rang De Basanti, both composed by AR Rahman. He was nominated for the Best Song Recording for the filmSatya for the Lux Zee Cine Awards in 1999. He has also won the Best Sound Design FILMFARE award for Omkara in 2007.
Mr.K J Singh began his workshop by sharing his early days of his career where he used to use true analog gear and his nostalgic experiences working with one of India’s leading sound engineer / producer, Mr. Daman Sood, who is the Head of Sound Department in Digital Academy. He then explained the revolution and advancement in modern music production and the concept of MIDI by demonstrating the Apogee GiO and its application as a guitar interface for Apple’s Logic Studio 9 and Mainstage 2 with total access to incredible sounding guitar amps and effects in a single foot controller.
Mr. Singh added, “Even though technology has been changed, all new digital recording platforms are designed in such a way that helps engineers like me who come from the analog days to utilize most features of an analog recording device in a contemporary fashion” that he validated by demonstrating Apple Logic Pro’s ‘varispeed’ function to track instruments.
He also emphasized on the role of mobile music production/playback devices and how it will mold the future of music making with the introduction of devices like Apple’s iPad where an artist can virtually bring the reality with the touch of a finger.
He was shown the new 5.1 surround sound studios at Digital Academy - The Film School and was very pleased by the facilities and equipment that the students were getting the opportunity to work on.
Kiran Deohans, the renowned Cinematographer of "Jodhaa Akbar", "Aks", "Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham" giving lecture to students of Digital Academy-The Film School.
Imtiaz Hussain, the writer of Films like "Parinda", "Is Raat ki Subah nahin", "Ghulam e Mustafa" and "Vaastav" giving a lecture on Screenwriting to students of DA-The Film School with a focus on writing for Gangster movies.
Shibani Bhatija, Writer of "fanaa","Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna", "kidnap" & "My Name is Khan" giving lecture on Screenwriting to students of Digital Academy.
Sajid Khan, Film maker of "Heyy Baby", "Darna Zaroori hai" and "Housefull" visited Digital Academy - The Film School to share his experiences with students of Cinema.He commenced by talking about his personal journey where he spoke about his obsession about watching films and owning the best Home Theatre money can buy....he said that he and his sister struggled a lot during their childhood, for they did go through a lot of financial problems...He said that he a poor rich kid because he never had enough money but he did have the best home theatre at that time. He spoke about his love for new film related technology especially the latest home theatre at his home and very happily said that he lives in a home theatre...
Speaking about his personal life, he shared that the only reason he has not got married is because he cannot love another human being more than Cinema. He did have a few relationships.Sajid mentioned that he rather make a film which is given no stars by the critics and is a box office hit rather than make a film that gets appreciated by the critics and is a commercial flop. When he was a critic, he always criticised films as a viewer.
He said that the greatest high he had experienced was when his film "Housefull" ran for many weeks. He along with his editor, Akshay Kumar and Ritiesh Deshmukh and other star cast went to Chandan Cinema in Juhu to experience the audience's reaction on the 20th day after the release. He said that for a Director, there is no greater high than seeing the audience enjoys his/her Film.
He advised students never to download movies from the net because it kills the experience of watching it from an original DVD and also it very unfair to the Producer and the industry overall.
Speaking about Actor's, he said that the reason Manmohan Desai could make many films in a year was that he would lure the Actor's of that time with money which would in return get him the dates. Today's Actors think very differently. They are very professional and committed. They are all looking forward to doing good work and building a brand for themselves by working with talented Directors.
Speaking on Actor handling, he spoke about his experience with Akshay Kumar. He said that Akshay is very gifted with a knack of comedy. He always knows what antic or situation performed by him will get a reaction from the audience. He said that many a times, after an Ok take, Akshay would suggest another one with an improvised performance. On the editing table, Akshay would prove to be right.
Sajid said that shooting on the set is the easiest thing to do.The difficult portion is the planning, which is very time consuming and the most important thing any Film Maker should do.
Kartikeya Talreja, Director, of the film school said that it was wonderful knowing the first hand experience of a film Maker especially from a man who is so obsessed and passionate about Films.
Sajid was very happy visiting Digital Academy - The Film School and with the students who were very enthusiatic a similar passion for the medium.
On the occasion of announcement of it second year of the Post Graduate course in Films and Television by Mumbai University in association with Digital Academy - The Film School at it's Kalina Campus, the guest of honour, Saurabh Shukla, the renowned Film Maker, Actor and Scriptwriter spoke about the wonderful world of Cinema. .
Speaking on the topic of " Careers in Cinema ", Mr Shukla said that to be a Film Maker, one should obviously know the art of Direction but should acquire knowledge of all aspects of Cinema or at least have the working knowledge in areas of Cinematography, Writing, Editing, Acting and Production Design. He recalled his own days as a student in Delhi when he was studying for his M.Com when he was trying to be a " Nobody " He said that that was the time when he sensed a certain calling towards theatre and dramatics.He said that he was never formally educated in anything that is part of his profession.Those days, he said, when I look back, I worked very very hard but it was not work....everything that I did gave me a lot of joy...Every morning , after waking up, I felt the eagerness to go to the theatre for rehearsals, I read and analysed a lot of literature..and tried to analyse great works to the best of my ability....but had I been formally trained, I would have gone further and at a much quicker pace.Mr Shukla said " The greatest thing that formal education gives you is a way, a much richer scientific and methodical path. I never had an opportunity that you people are getting now.
He said that the if a person is talented and works sincerely, he is bound to be successful in the world of Film and television which could not only pay very well, but also give enormous satisfaction and recognition. As a parting note, he said that in the journey that the students were about embark upon, he suggested to make the best use of all that they will get and wished the students all the very best .
Ashok Mehta, one of India's most celebrated Cinematographer with acclaimed films like Bandit Queen, 36 Chowringhee lane etc visited Digital Academy - The Film School to speak to it students on the Art of Cinematography. Mr Mehta did touch upon his fascinating journey from a canteen boy in a Film Studio to becoming one of India's most respected Directors of Photography in current Hind Cinema today.
Upon being asked by one of the students on the working relationship between the Director and the Cinematographer , Mr mehta replied " It is important that the Director & Cinematographer communicate with each other. The Director should explain what he requires & wants to achieve in the scene. As long as the communication channel is open between them there is no reason why they will not be on the same page. At times some Directors are unable to express themselves. So the Cinematographer should probe him to find out what he exactly wants. Some Directors give total freedom to the Cinematographer to shoot the scene. The style of functioning differs from one Director to another. But it is essential that they both communicate, through whichever means, in order to understand each other."
The students were delighted to have such a big personality from the industry who has really worked his way up to achieve a status which very few can reach.
Digital Academy – The Film School, Mumbai had the privilege to have the renowned Filmmaker Mr Ketan Mehta of Mangal Pandey, Mirch Masala fame address the students on the world of Cinematic storytelling. Mr Mehta spoke on his own fascinating journey which began with the making of his first Film Bhavni Bhavai, which won many awards and brought him a lot of critical acclaim worldwide. He told the students that he had a lot of trouble arranging finance for the film and with a lot of difficulty he arranged three and a half lakhs to produce the film. He said that he just wanted the film to happen no matter what and did not sleep till the film was finally made. He said that in this field, passion is the greatest driver .
He then spoke about his film Mirch Masala, how literature influenced the the story and screenplay of the film and how just the art of listening to people around him during research inspired him to have a better ending as compared to the original story.He then spoke of his blockbuster with Aamir Khan, " Mangal Pandey - The Rising ' and the difficulty while doing research that went in the making of the Film. He said that very little is known about Mangal Pandey and most of the records availible are by British people. There were also controversies surrounding the contribution of Mangal Pandey in the Mutiny of 1857. He said that the most important theme that surrounds all his films is the sense of freedom and he always chooses stories of his films that revovle around it. Upon being asked by a student whose query was that his upcoming short student film had a well etched plot but the character did not have a defined character arc, Ketan replied that there is nothing wrong in breaking the rules but we must know the rules first....
The students were delighted to have such a session with such a renowned Film Maker and were very inspired with all his advice and wisdom that he imparted.
Paresh Mokashi , Writer, Director of the Marathi film " Harishchandrachi factory " or " The factory of Harishchandra', India's entry to the Oscars, while on a visit to Digital Academy - The Film School, surprised the students when he said that he had never assisted any Film maker before he started making this film and also revealed that the first time that he ever visited a Film set was for this debut film of his. He had been part of Marathi theatre for a long time as an actor, writer and Director . He said that the greatest two qualities that any Film Maker should have apart from the know how of the technique of Film Making is clarity of mind and stubbornness. He said that most of what he learnt about Film making was by seeing films, many made by the masters of Cinema. He said that he did spend a lot time watching the treasures of world cinema in the National Film Archives in Pune and it is by watching these films that he enhanced his visual sense and knowledge. He said that this is what helped him have clarity of mind as to what he wanted the film to look like and this was most of the battle won. If a Director is confused, then the crew will take over the decision making and ultimately the look of the film will reflect that. Once a director knows what he wants, stubbornness helps in sticking to his decisions.
Speaking about the film's journey, he said that patience is a necessary quality in this business. He said the the budget of this period film was about 3.5 crores , an unusually high figure for an Indian regional film whose recovery in the box office is very difficult. He said the when he selected his crew, all of them ie the cinematographer, costume designer etc had never done a single film independently before.After the wait for finance of almost three years, he was the only person in the crew who was making his debut...all of the other technicians were experienced by a few films...
Paresh then spoke about research he had to do for a period subject such as this. The film concentrates about a period in the life of Dadasaheb Phalke, the father of Indian cinema, when he made his first film " Raja ( King) Harishhandra". The entire story deliberately was chosen not to be a biographic but about the time when Phalke was Directing and producing his first film. It was also given a humorous touch because Mr Phalke, according to many sources did have a good sense of humor. Research was an exciting part of the process because not only the city and costumes looked different, also the sound of the rickshaws operating then had to be sourced and or produced to get as close as possible to the original.
Speaking on the Oscars, he said thet I am not surprised the my film did not make it to the final list of the Oscars as the final five were much better than my own film.He was happy to inform that the next film revolves around an archaeological treasure hunt and is linked to the journey of the Pandavas in the Mahabharata .
TThe students were very enlightened by the visit of Mr Mokashi and after being given a tour of the Film School, Mr Mokashi was delighted with the facilities of the school, its vision and objectives of creating visionary Film makers of tomorrow.
Anil Sharma, the Director of the block buster "Gadar : Ek Prem Katha" gave an interactive lecture to students of Digtal Academy - The Film School. Mr Sharma,spoke about his earlier days in the Film Industry and said that it was he perseverance and patience that helped him succeed. He narrated a story about how he signed Rakhee for a thousand rupees which incidentally he had borrowed from his Aunt....and his rise began from " Shradhanjali ".
He also shared his experiences from "Gadar : Ek Prem Katha " that it was a screenplay inspired from a true story and the trials an turbulence's and joy's he faced as a Film Maker during the making of it.
He lamented on the fact that he is now tagged as an action film Director said that it is ironical that he never had flair of watching action films and even today he only sees clippings from action films and not the whole film ever. He is a great fan of comedy films and is desperate to make one but is getting no Producer for the same.
He really congratulated Digital Academy - The Film School for it's great contribution in the world of Film and TV education.
Raju Singh, the acclaimed National award winning background music composer of the award winning films like "Chandni Bar" and "Page 3" gave a very inspiring lecture to the students of Digital Academy - The Film School on background score for Films and Television.
He stressed on the infinite possibilities when composing about back ground scores and also stressed on the importance in acquiring knowledge of good music by a Film Maker, for him/her to decide on the musical piece which one should use for the scene or a signature tune of a soap...
Talking about his Mentor, the great Music Director Shri R.D. Burman, he said that panchum dada was highly innovative for he always thought out of the box and was not afraid to experiment with sounds and the source from where he could possibly get them. He gave examples of how Dada obtained certain foley sounds by gargling and some but making a hole in an earthen pot and then playing from a cello string which he passed through it.
The students were very inspired and enlightened by Mr Raju Singh thought process about the world of Sound Design.
Film Maker Rohit Jugraj, Director of "James" and "Superstar" discussing “Contemporary World Cinema and its influence on celebrated Indian Film Makers with the students of Digital Academy – The Film School.
Ms. Nasreen Munni Kabir the achiever of the Women of Achievement Award in Arts & Culture (1999) is an Indian-born Television Producer, her work includes the 46-part series “Movie Mahal”, “In Search of Guru Dutt”, “Follow that Star” (a profile of Amitabh Bachchan) and Channel 4 series such as “How To Make It Big In Bollywood”. She has also written 9 books on Hindi Cinema including LATA IN HER OWN VOICE, GURU DUTT A life in Cinema and more, interacting with the students of Digital Academy – The Film School.
Mr. Mushatq Sheikh the Writer-cum-Fashion Choreographer-cum-Author,who has scripted various Films, namely “Om Shanti Om”, “Hey Baby”,“Ashoka” and is also the Author of “ Still Reading Khan”, a book on the story of Shah Rukh Khan’s journey to stardom, sharing his experience with the students of Digital Academy – The Film School.
Omi Vaidya, the noted Actor, who had the entire nation in splits by essaying the role of Chatur or Silencer with utmost ease shared his experience with the students of Digital Academy – The Film School.
He got nostalgic and spoke about his own days as a student while attending Film School in the US. He gave the students a lot of insight about the real world when he spoke about his experiences while working with his co-stars Aamir Khan and Director Raju Hirani and the wonderful team of “ 3 Idiots”.
He spoke extensively about hard work that he had to do for getting into the character of “ Chatur “. Having being trained in the art of Editing and other avenues of Film making, he also gave the students advice on making better movies. At an ending note, he had the entire audience into splits when he once again delivered his famous speech of “ Chamatkaar “ and more. He was extremely impressed with the faculty, facilities and students of Digital Academy – The Film School and said that he will not be surprised to see the next generation of acclaimed Directors and Technicians very soon from here.The Actor nurtures a dream of being a Filmmaker in the future as the job of a Director may not be glamorous but very satisfying. He does not want to get typecast into the same category but is game for interesting roles.
This newcomer is sure a Promising actor and is here to stay for a long time with his innate acting skills and talent.
Prominent Filmmaker R.Balki, with crtically acclaimed Films like “Paa” and “Cheeni Kum” to his credit, shares the experience of his journey as a Filmmaker with the students of Digital Academy – The Film School.
Award winning dialogue writer Pathik Vats, of the acclaimed film "Sarfarosh" starring the celebrated theopian Amir Khan,discussing the art of writing dialogues for films at Digital Academy-The Film School.
Darshan Jariwala, the National Award winning actor giving a lecture on " The use of Emotional Memory while playing characters" to the students of Digital Academy- The Film School.
Vinta Nanda distinguished Writer-Director-Producer of the historical " Tara " fame shares her valuable insights with the students of Digital Academy – The Film School.
Mr Swanand Kirkire, Lyricist-Dialogue Writer-Singer and one of the most versatile personalities in the Film industry, having won the National Award for Best Lyrics in 2007 for the song Bande Mein tha Dum from the film Lage raho Munnabhai, visits Digital Academy-The Film School.
Ustad Zakir Hussain, a classical tabla prodigy of the supreme order, recently visited Digital Academy–the Film School. The students of the academy were more than delighted to have an exhaustive genius Hussain with technical knowledge of Sound Recording and Engineering. Hussain blessed the students with his golden words and the students were all thrilled to experience a life time opportunity and were all ears to the maestro. Hussain also recorded at the institute. “It was an auspicious event for Digital Academy to have the legendary icon at its premises.” says Kartikeya Talreja, the director.
Mahesh Nair,Director of Film "Accident on Hill Road" and acclaimed documentary maker interacting with students of Digital Academy-The Film School.
Renowned Bollywood Media Publicist Dale Bhagwagar at Digital Academy- The Film School,Mumbai
Renowned Director of movies like "Jannat" & "Tum Mile" Mr Kunal Deshmukh held a guest lecture on the topic Filmmaking at Digital Academy-The Film School.
Renowned Music Director Mr Shamir Tandon held a guest lecture on the topic of Music in Cinema at Digital Academy-The Film School.
Renowned Film and Television Actor Mr. Benjamin Gilani,conducts an interactive workshop at Digital Academy-The Film School.
Renowned Film Actor Mr. Boman Irani, who has acted in films like 'Munnabhai MBBS', 'Lage Raho Munna Bhai', 'Khosla Ka Ghosla' etc..visited Digital Academy-The Film School for a guest lecture .
Renowned Filmmaker Mr. Piyush Jha, who has made films like 'Sikandar', 'Chalo America' & 'King of Bollywood' visited Digital Academy- The Film School for a guest lecture on Filmmaking.
Renowned Writer & Director of movies like "D","Sarkar","James","The Stoneman Murders" Mr. Manish Gupta held a workshop in Digital Academy-The Film School about storyboarding & scripting.
Renowned Writer & Director of the upcoming film Baabarr, Mr.Ashu Trikha holds a lecture at Digital Academy- The Film School on the topic of Special Effects & Direction.
Vinay Shukla, renowned Indian Film Writer and Director of the film Godmother, which won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Hindi (1999) addresses the students at Digital Academy-The Film School, Mumbai..
Renowned Production Designer & Art Director, Samir Chanda who has worked on movies like Ghajini (2008), Omkara (2006), Rang De Basanti (2006), Makdee (2002) and winner of numerous State, National & International Awards visited Digital Academy- The Film School, Mumbai.
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National Award winner Mr. Sanklap Meshram speaks to Mumbai University Students about careers in Cinema.
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Mr. Anurag Kashyap,one of the most versatile and prolific filmmakers in contemporary hindi cinema speaks to Mumbai University students,about careers in cinema.
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Award winning Filmmaker Mr. Neeraj Pandey speaks to students at Digital Academy-The Film School.
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Mayank Shekhar-Acclaimed Film Critic Mayank Shekhar addresses the students of Digital Academy-The Film School.
Saurab Shukla -Acclaimed actor,writer,director of films like "Satya",Salaam-e-ishq" etc. gives a full day workshop to students of Digital Academy-The Film School.
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Sanjay F. Gupta-Cinmeatographer of films like "Singh is King","Welcome" etc...gives a guest lecture on cinmeatography to students of Digital Academy-The Film School.
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Guinness book of world record holder Mr. B.P.Singh takes a workshop on steadicam at Digital Academy-The Film School.
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He has received the Maharashtra Government Award for Technical Excellence for being the first Indian to be granted a U.S.Patent in Motion Picture Technology in April 2005 and the Western India Cinematographers Association's Special Award for Contribution to Film Processing Technology. He was the technical advisor for the Marathi film Shwaas which won the National award in 2003 and was India's entry to the Oscars. He is, *Patel* India's Managing Director.
The Cinematogrphy students were also taken to Patel Labs to explain the whole process in detail practically.