In Ghai’s cinema-scope

Veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai talks to Parvathi Benu about why he keeps telling students at his film school about getting the visuals right

Published: 12th December 2016 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th December 2016 04:12 PM   |  A+A-

THREE TO TANGO: Meghna Ghai Puri, Patrick Hermand (founder ECV) and Subhash Ghai

Express News Service

Veteran filmmaker Subhash Ghai talks to Parvathi Benu about why he keeps telling students at his film school about getting the visuals right

It is impossible for an Indian movie buff to not know Subhash Ghai. Thought-provoking subjects, engaging visuals and evergreen melodies dominate his films. Be it Taal or Pardes, B-Town fanatics and critics both love his films.

Ghai, founder of Mukta Arts, a production company, set up the film, communication and media arts institute, Whistling Woods International (WWI) in 2006. Now, they’ve opened a design school in Mumbai. On the ocassion, we caught up with a delighted Ghai, who spoke on the importance of visuals and threw some filmmaking tips our way. Excerpts:

What makes WWI stand out from other media schools?
We do not teach but mentor each student. In cinema, right from pre-production, one should concentrate on the aesthetics of visual art, which is given utmost importance here. I’m honoured to mentor young minds through this school.

Is visual knowledge important for an upcoming filmmaker?
Visuals now dominate the industry. So, they should have the power to communicate without sound. They should be loud and clear so that the story is understood. If stills can speak on their own, then why can’t motion pictures?

Where are WWI alumni now?
A few worked on my last film, Kaanchi. Most are working with major production houses in Mumbai.
Compared to when you entered the film industry, is it easier to be a filmmaker now?
Very much. In our time, we had to look at nature and plan how to bring these elements to the viewers. Today, visuals are readily available. Instead of exploring, filmmakers have to select from a myriad of options. To capture the real colour, we had to travel to record them through photographs. That is not the case now.
Visuals are important. Out of curiosity, can you draw?
Yes. I do storyboarding for my films. I can design too. I designed the logos of Mukta Arts and WWI. I have designed my movie posters as well.
As a former member of the censor board, do you think that it is a bit harsh these days?
The censor board is harsh towards certain scenes and narratives, not to filmmakers. The members have been changing since the past 50 years and so has the face of cinema. But the fight continues and will continue as the sensibilities of individuals are different.

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