WORKSHOP AT RAM RAHIM TEKKRO
Yesterday we went to Ram Rahim Nagar for an elaborate filmmaking workshop of 4 hours with film enthusiasts who would literally translate to volunteers and teachers at the Manav Gulzar centre in the Tekkro. Ram Rahim tekkro is a unique place, it is the only large slum here where Hindus, Muslims and Christians have been living in peace and unison for 40 years since 1972, a rare site here, and did not even rise up against each other during the 1992 riots. The only problem lies in the fact that it is a very large slum and far from everything in physical distance. The inhabitants are from all over the country that came here looking for work and work in the markets nearby. But the community has progressed largely under the help of the volunteers who take care of the centre and have multiple activities carried out. They have a computer centre which teaches basic computer skills and the main centre has classes up to 9 which is incredible considering they started off with classes only till standard 1.
Nonetheless, we went into the centre and this was the first time we were holding a filmmaking workshop with details on pre-production, production and post-production and how simple the process really is if you keep an open mind. We started with the usual, explaining the logistics of filmmaking with the process of making a cup of tea and showing a couple of films. We then went onto the nitty-gritty’s of filmmaking. We conducted certain exercises on scripting, then went into lensing, the different types of shots, how to keep your camera steady and basics of lighting and sound. Then we put them into groups of four, asked them to choose a topic and made them go out and shoot for 15 minutes. When they came back, we took one group’s footage on serving people water and taught them the basics of editing on windows moviemaker.
It was an enriching experience seeing them take interest and pride in seeing their work of only 3 hours turn into a film worth watching.
At the end of the session we asked whether any of them would consider making a film for “YES! i am the Change”. A couple of them raised their hands in sincerity and we knew instantly that we had added a list of enthusiastic film amateurs to our wagon.
However, the highlight of the day came when the participants were writing their small acts of kindness on the board and Shamshaad, wrote in Urdu. It wasn’t about having added another language to the English, Hindi and Gujarati that we had witnessed before, but the fact that the essence and diversity of this community truly came out in the beautifully written script we don’t get to see so often nowadays.