Friday, January 8, 2016

As the daily 10 AM struck, we headed to the preview room, the room that allows us to watch our films and discuss beyond. We finally settled as Tara Douglas proceeded to explain that we’ve been exploring how sand could be used as the medium and that today, we shall explore some eccentric narrative styles, which allow us to use a certain medium to its potential extent. And hence, the day opened with a  varied inspiration, provided through some of these wild experimental films:

A Colour Box Len Lye
Available from:
- Norman McLaren
Available from:
(1940) Norman McLaren
Available from:
A Phantasy in Colors
(1949) Norman McLaren

 Spheres(1969) Norman McLarenAvailable from:

Lines vertical (1960) Norman McLaren
Available from:

Free Radicals (1958) Len Lye
Available from:
Len Lye

When we ended with the screenings, my usual battle of reasoning with the medium again struck me hard. I remember having major discussions with people regarding the same. A friend of mine once told me that the value of a technique or material is only recognized when, in our current state, we are unable to explore our narrative (be it a painting, a symbol or a film) and succeed to realize that the intent can only be satisfactorily conveyed by moving on to the next medium/style/technique or material, through trial and error. This always supports me through the needs and wants of using a style that supports and gels with my narrative just as a building gels with its function, a thin line where as form follows function, function follows form.
After a short tea break around 12 PM, we settled back in the lab to discuss how we can finally get our project on full swing today. Groups were divided, the few on sound, the few on animatic, the few on story boarding and the few to begin animating with sand on the two provided setups. I, am a part of working on the sound and the background score, as well as this blog entry.  Sound is a very lovely part to work with. Considering it gives a film at least a 50% of its value, it has to be developed with as much a thought. How and what sounds are used, and where do are used, enriches any experience. Being a musician myself, I keep sound in high regard.

Tribal music is interesting, the source of their sounds make up for the signature of their tribe. We were listening to it constantly to see how it could be manipulated to be put into the film, giving it the feel of this Kom tribe story. The rest of the sounds, like the footsteps, the ambient, the mattered animals, were collected using a free source on internet. As the animatic without sound took its shape, the sounds were added on.

Meanwhile, I had been trying to contact a senior from Manipur, to get more info on the tribal sounds, because internet only has so much information. He isn’t from the Kom tribe but did promise to get me in touch with one of his friends. I’m really excited about this.

As the day was coming to an end, I walked in to the sand animation room to just see how it was going on. A lot of progress was made, and it was fun to watch, to see sand moving on its own is a delight! The beauty of sand lies in its shape morphs, and that’s how the narrative had been developed. It is tough though, sand, to maintain its shape as we proceed on to animating. It has a very powdery texture that is hard to handle. Oh! And the joy of being messy! We need a lot of precise tools to control sand, from a paint brush to a sieve, from just a tiny pinch with fingers to a credit card or an ear bud.
I’ll just end here exclaiming that the project finally proceeds on full swing! A late entry hopefully made it worth the wait.


Shanthala Setty

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