LATHE – My first short film (and some free stuff for download)

As I mentioned before, I set a personal goal to learn the craft of film-making over 2019-20. As part of this, some friends and I made our first film called “LATHE“. The film is now online for public viewing at the following links:

Vimeo

Youtube

Since we made the short film as an amateur crew starting our journey towards learning the art and craft of film-making, I’ve decided to share the screenplay and storyboards for the same in the hopes that it helps the next enthusiastic crew as a possible starting point / learning curve “shortener”. 🙂 However, before you read the screenplay, we request that you do watch the short film first to avoid spoilers 🙂

About the script and the breakdowns

Since it’s a short film and I knew I’d be shooting and editing it, the script isn’t too formal. I was basically writing directions for the cast and myself (as the cinematographer) as well as for storyboarding.

My frequent comic book collaborator Vinay Brahmania was kind enough to storyboard the script which was more or less what the end result was shot as. We ended up taking out a few shots and adding some B-roll footage to give it a bit of breathing space, otherwise we followed Vinay’s breakdowns very faithfully. 🙂

You can download and read the shooting draft of the screenplay and the storyboards/breakdowns via the Google Drive links below.

Drop me a line if you find the storyboards / breakdowns helpful…. also if you have general crits/comments. 🙂 Would love to hear from you.

The Reality Trilogy

As I had posted sometime ago, I decided to devote 2019 towards learning the art of making short films. Today I wrapped up the screenplays for all three of my planned shorts. Happy with the plan and execution. We already shot the first one and will be reshooting parts of it next week. The second one will be shot mid-October and the last one before end of the year.

I learned a lot by trying to write and make these shorts. All three of the short movies deal with some aspect of reality and I had a boatload of fun trying to write zero budget shorts with cosmic/supernatural undertones, casting them with my friends, and finally trying to get them made.

I couldn’t have done this without the help and support of my friends, co-workers and mentors. So hearty thanks to you all and now down to the brasstacks to wrap them all up.

Chekov’s Donkey

Once upon a time there was a farmer named Chekov who had a talking donkey. The donkey was prone to loquacious tangents and never gave a straight answer to anything. However the farmer loved his donkey and took it everywhere.

One day, the farmer was visiting a nuclear reactor. There was a malfunction and the core started melting down. Everyone was panicking as there was no time to get to a minimum safe distance.

The farmer bravely marched into the reactor room and had his donkey swallow the radioactive core. Suddenly everything was alright and the radiation levels returned to normal.

All the scientists were raking their brains about how this could be possible. The farmer just smiled and said …

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“Whatever happens in vague ass, stays in vague ass!”

Experimenting with simulating watercolor effects

In my digital art explorations, I’ve been experimenting with simulating one of my favorite looks… watercolor on rice paper.

Here’s an attempt made by starting from stock images and then manipulating/merging with some free hand vectors and blended textures.

I used GIMP, Inkscape and a new Huion drawing tablet that I purchased off of Amazon recently.

New Digital Art Pieces

Of late, I’ve been developing on a dystopian near-future Indian sci-fi short story collection. In keeping with that theme (and as part of the world/mood building excercise), I’ve been working on some digital art pieces that try to blend traditional Indian motifs with a cyberpunk sensibility.

Here are two I worked on this weekend. These are really fun to work on. Both of them use royalty free photos from Unsplash and Pexels and then I process them in GIMP to get them to a line drawing like state. For effect, I print them out on an old laser printer I have (which has a really screwed up toner pack and prints them weirdly). I then scan the line drawings back in and color them in GIMP and apply the post processing effects.