#Lockdowneffect: Masterclasses and script writing keep filmmakers creatively engaged

As with any industry around the world, the movie trade has been devastated with the outbreak of the coronavirus. With the government-imposed blockade at stake, creativity has now moved from sets and studios to Internet chat rooms. And the filmmakers are running to keep their artistic juices flowing. Fight Club author David Fincher, for example, surprised 450 film students in the UK by taking over the film class at Zoom.

Closer to home, RS Prasanna has been put into action mode. Two days before closing on March 22, Kalyana director Samayal Saadham started a new vlog titled Film Learning in Corona Times. Screenwriting, storyboarding, and shot setup are some of the topics that Prasanna has covered throughout her master classes. For Prasanna, the inspiration to create came from a feeling of powerlessness as a filmmaker.

“Mainly it arose from feeling useless as a filmmaker when so many doctors are giving everything they have at a time like this. So, I realized that I should do something within my community to talk about trade, ”he says, adding that this was the least he could for aspiring filmmakers with time available. This is also a good routine for me. Now I get up and prepare my notes first thing in the morning, he adds.

Balaji Mohan he has jumped on the car by taking advantage of its poetic side. Maari and Vaayai director Moodi Pesavum has been writing short stories since the closing began. I thought it was a good way to keep a positive attitude. This is also the time for self-reflection and introspection. Somehow, artists need to keep doing things to accompany a few and make them laugh or think. There are some stories that do not lend themselves to movies. These bullets are just that, he says.

KD filmmaker Madhumita, on the other hand, uses this time to write. “I have my hands full with two Hindi movies that I am writing, along with a web series. As filmmakers, you usually don't have time to sit down and write. With technology, the writers' room and discussions can still occur. Location is not a problem for me either. KD was written from the sofa in my house in 4 days, recalled the filmmaker. However, the real challenge is reserved for directors with films caught in production, he added. Halita Shameem, whose film Aelay is trapped in post-production, is an example of this.

“While shooting of Aelay has been wrapped up, the lockdown was imposed just before we could get to finish dubbing. We are not able to access the finished files of the hard drives. I do get nightmares about not accessing them, ”Halita says with a chuckle, fresh from the success of Sillu Karupatti. “I use this time to listen to podcasts and watch films, because that usually helps me write new things. But it is tough to move on when so many people are affected, ”she adds.

Movies that talk in New York

Lunchbox filmmaker Ritesh Batra takes a live Instagram every day to talk about film and script writing to engage film students from New York, an epicenter of COVID 19 in the United States.