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How to be a smart filmmaker

Published : Aug 27, 2016, 11:14 pm IST
Updated : Aug 27, 2016, 11:14 pm IST

A workshop in the city will teach aspiring filmmakers how to shoot a film like a pro with a smart phone camera

Still from Tangerine, which  was shot on an iPhone
 Still from Tangerine, which was shot on an iPhone

A workshop in the city will teach aspiring filmmakers how to shoot a film like a pro with a smart phone camera

With time and technology, cinema has become much more democratic — you don’t need expensive instruments to make your dream come alive. Today, entire films can be shot on mobile phones. Last year, American filmmaker, Sean S. Baker shot his feature Tangerine on an iPhone 5.

“Filmmaking on Phone” is a workshop that can teach film aspirants to learn everything they need to start on with their first project — all one needs is a phone with a good camera. Rahul Datta, a filmmaker and founder of the company Starving Artist Films, will be conducting the workshop. “We are as good as the tools we have and most importantly how we use them. Film- making on the phone is a skill set, that allows you to turn your phone into a powerful tool for communication and expressing your ideas,” says Rahul. “The participants should expect a deeper understanding of art, technology, the human condition and how communication through films is going to shape us in the future,” he adds.

From Cinématographe Lumiere to iPhones, filmmaking has come a long way. But how is filmmaking with phones different from other kinds of filmmaking Rahul explains, “It’s not, it’s just a more practical way for communication and story telling.” For Rahul, film making on the phone started as a personal project. “I was trying to work around the very basic editing features and limitations of the phone, I was trying to create exciting visuals and stories just like I do with my expensive cameras and lenses in the studio. In the end, I realised that film-making is not “dependent” on the limitation of software or hardware but your own very imagination,” he says.

“When I was growing up, I studied to be a sailor and worked and moved on to work on an oil tanker for six years of my life, I discovered films very recently, my approach to films is that of a practical filmmaker. Making films on the phone is very exciting it’s reinventing a tool you are familiar with and carrying everywhere — as an analogy it’s like turning your washing machine into a wormhole for time travel,” says the 32-year-old, who has been working as a filmmaker for the past few years.

Rahul will be travelling to the city from Goa, where he is currently based. “After the workshop, I am travelling to Leh to shoot a film,” he says. A year ago, he quit his sailing job to become a full time filmmaker. “Having conducted workshops in all major cities in India and conducting lectures in educational institutes has allowed me a unique understanding of the medium and pushed me to initiate the structure of my findings and learnings in the form of a book,” he explains further.

Even for those who wouldn’t be able to attend the workshop, he shares some tips. “Stop watching TV to allow original ideas for visualisation to get activated in your head, unlearn what you ‘think’ you know, and do not make the mistake of falling in love with your own work,” he concludes.

Today, 11am to 2 pm, At Dr Bhau Daji Lad Mumbai City Museum, Dr. Ambedkar Road, Byculla E Age Group: 15+ Charges: Rs 200 per head Material: Participants are required to bring along their own smart phones. No tripods allowed inside the Museum. For registration email at