Filmmaking often attracts people from different fields and 32-year-old Umesh Amshi is the latest to be bitten by the filmmaking bug. He has given up his job as an English lecturer at a college in Bengaluru and has turned director for his film called Lipstick. "I have taken a six-month break from my job at Reva First Grade College to concentrate on filmmaking," says Chetan, who comes with no previous experiences of making films. "I have done a six-month course on direction at the Kanfida Film Institute, Bengaluru in 2007 and have also been attending film festivals, whenever they happened in Mumbai and Bengaluru. For many years, I had developed a habit of watching old films in different languages. I also got exposure to filmmaking by observing people on the sets, through one of my friends, who is an art director in Mumbai. In general, I believe I am a keen observer of society. All these factors have probably come in handy and resulted in me helming a film today. This has also helped me choose filmmaking as my career," he further explains.
As far as his debut feature Lipstick is concerned, we are led to believe that it a female-centric topic. However, more importantly, for Umesh, Lipstick is all about colours. In this film, he chooses to explore the lives of youngsters, who come from various places and make Bengaluru their home. Lipstick is a symbolic title and a kind of satire on society. Bengaluru is colourful but not everybody's life is full of hues. For those who struggle here, life is black and white, which are also a part of the colour palette. Also, people whom we think have a colourful life might be in constant trouble. This is all I can reveal about my story right now," he says.
He has released a few posters of Lipstick which reveal some interesting facts. Designed in a pop style with the title in reverse, the posters are modern and highlight objects like a gun, a bottle and the distraught face of a woman. "I prefer not to tell the story through characters or faces, but with the objects and situations, which forms the crux of the film," he says.
Although he is making a film about the city, Umesh is not referring to any particular incidents. "It is my own imagination, and something, which I have penned down after a lot of observations. I have spent almost two years researching the subject. I started work around 2009 and came up with a story in 2011. However, till today, my script is being updated because I encounter new incidents in my everyday life, that make me keep changing my ideas to suit the present times," he says.
Apparently, Umesh used to loiter around Commercial Street and MG Road after sunset for hours. "Since I was a lecturer in KLE and Reva College, I was able to observe the behaviour of young girls. I have also visited a few places in the early hours and realised that they are a lot of young girls, who have a buzzing life at sunrise. I never interacted with anybody and would walk on the footpaths to observe these people. I sometimes overheard their conversations. which added dimensions to my story. All I realised is that in a city called Bengaluru, there are too many worlds. For example life in Basaweshwarnagar, cannot be the same as that of people residing in Shivajinagar, in Dasarahalli and in other parts of the city. Observing the city and the people has been an life-changing journey for me so far," he says.
Lipstick will be crowdfunded by Umesh’s friends and new faces will play the lead, while some established actors will play the part of supporting characters. "The hunt is already on and we will finalise the star cast by December 10," says the debut director who plans to roll from December 31, "It will be a montage shoot, where we will capture the celebrations that usually takes place on New year's eve. Our shoot will actually start from January 1 2015," he says.