I hate Video monitors

Kedar asked me if I encourage my actors to look at Video monitors. Actually I really hate video monitos, and if the producers did not insist, I would never have them on my set. . I never watch them personally and believe that it is waste f time for the actors to watch them. The only time I do watch them is when I am using a steady came or a device where I have not been able to look thru the camera, such as a remote controlled crane. The pictures you see are probably one of those devices. Or maybe I am trying to persuade an actor away from the monitor ! I make films for the adventure of it, and to be able to judge a shot only by looking at video monitor rather than a larger more all encompassing instinct. takes a way the thrill of film making….


To me the adventure of film making is why I make films. Otherwise you are making a commercial. So I never watch a shot through a video screen, but stay as close to my actors to almost will them on to perform and live their parts. I also believe that directors who sit behind their monitors as scenes are being shot, are disconnecting from a larger more spiritual form of connecting with the process.
They are separating the consciousness of their art thru hiding behind a cloak f technology
shekhar

7 Responses to “I hate Video monitors”

  1. kedar says:

    dude…
    scintillating way to put it…
    there are few purists around us now a days…
    best wishes for TGA…
    is it going to release in India simultaneously?
    take care…tata…kedar…

  2. imphaldiary says:

    It’s the first time I am reading first hand of a fimlmaker’s opinion and his day to day work life. I have lots of admirations for your movies, from Masoom to Bandit queen, not to mention Elizabeth. In my book you are up there among the top. So, I am glad I have found your blog, giving me a chance to know the person behind those masterpieces. I know I am boring you but I just had to say it. Thanks for your petients.

  3. kedar says:

    hi dude…
    which film stock you used for TGA? and why?
    and also for your other films? are you always too cautious while choosing your stock? should one worry too much about it or just rely on the cinematographer to make the proper decision?
    did you ever use two different stocks for the same film?
    kedar

  4. kavitha says:

    “…trying to persuade an actor away from the monitor…almost will them on to perform and live their parts…”
    “…they are separating the consciousness of their art thru hiding behind a cloak f technology”
    Your approach seems more aligned with the process for live theatre(?). Also, your views reflect a very eastern sensibility of the *purpose* of performance art. Natyashastra (the treatise on Indian dramaturgy) defines the goal of performance art to be not merely entertainment or creative expression, but enlightenment, expansion and elevation of consciousness – of the actor and the spectator, the benefactor and the beneficiary. The former, through the brilliance of his/her performance evokes *rasa* in the audience, the *essence*, or enduring sentiment beyond the senses…the collective rasa vibrates back to the performer to evoke greater rasa. The two then become engaged in a rasa-based dialog and experience, continuing till the duality of experience is cherished on a spiritual plane.
    By virtue of being closer to the art of dance, I recognize that dancing for the camera is, and evokes, a very different experience than dancing for a live audience, for both the performer and the audience. The medium of film disengages the artist and the audience from the rasa-based dialog. The duality of experience is compromised, each experiencing their part in their independent space & time. Now, the artist has to be “aware” of the technique of the medium, and its inherent limitations, in addition to immersing oneself in the character. Given the suggestive (vs. obviously elaborative/graphic) nature of classical art prescribed in the NS, the artist relies heavily on good framing of posture, movement, facial gestures etc. appropriately for the camera, so that the right flavor, mood, subtle nuances are captured in a way that maximizes the experience (rasa) of creative expression for the beholder.
    Extrapolating this to acting (beyond a live theatre environment)…
    In “persuading an actor away from the monitor”, are you not, as director, limiting the actors’ potential to touch the audience, by disengaging their understanding of the boundaries within which their performance/dialog/creative expression is literally framed? How do you converge eastern sensibilities of performance & expression, with actors whose training is presumably rooted in western dramatic concepts?

  5. Joe says:

    The great Yes is for med by those many ‘Nos’- Kazantzakis. I am sure you are on your way to the Academy Awards as I see only you as a potential filmmaker from India for the same.

  6. Sameer Kohli says:

    I agree with you. Video monitors are a handicap most of the times! As an assistant director, for me it was an excuse to be lenient. Needless to say, I realised it later. As a director, I find that video monitors stop you from closing your eyes and imagining.
    Way long back, when I was young, my physics teacher told me: Friction is like a Necessary Evil (“N E “). It was my first exposure to the concept of “N E”. And it is rare that I feel for something as a “N E” because in my sub-conscious, everything is a necessary evil! So for something to qualify as a “N E” in the “pronounced” sense of the term (kind of giving a knighthood!), I think Video Monitors are amongst the seven wonders.

  7. Yingchuk says:

    Hey Shekhar
    first of all, I am a huge fan of you. And yes, you are very very lucky. I think you are doing great as a filmmaker. do you by any chance, offer undergrade students to work with you or assist you. i mean, i am sure you don’t need much of assisting, since you are sooo…talented. but, you know like given a student an opportunity to experience what’s it like to be in the real life of film business and filmmaking. If yes, then pleaseeeeee e-mail me back or comment on your page and i will keep checking your website for future updates. Thank you

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