To allow organic growth of the film.

In this film I really want to practice what I preach on my Website ! I want to learn to let go. Not direct as much as allow the film to grow. Like a gardener.

For who says I am right, and who says that what happens is what I decide to happen. If I am right in my feeling that every event has it’s own manifestation, quite separate from my actions, then I must just do what I have to without imposing myself.
Funny though, everyone looks to a Director to be decisive. And what I am asking myself is allow control to slip out of the fingers of my conscious mind into the very elasic safety net of my subconscious. I hope I am not running into trouble, but have to make a film through my own belief system.
I have managed, quite unknowingly, to turn Elizabeth’s story into the story that most reverberates in my own heart. The battle between our mortal and Divine selves. Those of you that have looked at Hindu philosophy, it is all about the raising of your Chakras.
Oh, well. There is so much I want to say with this film, and I know that I cannot say it by being absolutely in control. So I might as well let go. The one thing I do know though. I do nto want to make a definitive film. One that seems to, like a Hollywood film, have alll the answers in a neat package tied up with a ribbon (sorry, I am being unfair to other Directors in my own arrogance), but a film that has only questions.
I think Elizabeth survives only because the film raised more questions than it answered,
Love to u all, pray I do nto stumble in my journey too hard (for stumble I will),

15 thoughts on “To allow organic growth of the film.

  1. Dear Shekhar
    It’s a difficult balance that you’re working to create. Yet if it were easy, someone else could do it. Imposing one’s will is one thing. Being part of the garden, a strong part, is another. Every event has its own manifestation, yes. And you are an event and manifestation, too, a very important one, or you would not be positioned as you are, nor have accomplished what you’ve done.
    (Try to keep your head out of being too in love with your actors, because love is the quickest way to dull a blade, and the lost edge only evident later. This is presumptuous of me to say, I know.)
    All the best and all love to you.

  2. From reading an interview with Heath Ledger it appears that Ang Lee adopted an interesting, hands off approach when he was filming Brokeback. Heath was looking for constant feedback on his performance but Ang didn’t give it – he remained distant and uncommitted. By remaining distant he left Heath to his own devices and this helped him in creating his Ennis persona – a withdrawn, anguished charater who couldn’t express himself. Ang had encouraged this. So behind the scenes the director can influence his/her actors without being too directive.
    I think the sort of actors you have chosen will be well capable of sorting things themselves. You know Cate is going to direct her own play back in Sydney at the end of the year. She may be able to hone her directing skills on the set of Golden Age!

  3. Mr Kapur:
    You mention “the battle between our mortal and divine selves.” Are you familiar with the book, Sacred Contracts -Awakening Your Divine Potential- by author Caroline Myss, in which she explains the journey of discovering one’s own particular spiritual energies or archtypes to help define our mission here? I am currently reading this fascinating and interactive book. My wish for you today is that you will embrace the energy of your seventh chakra! May your trust in your inner divine guidance allow you to, as you say “let go”, inspire the wonderful actors, and grow this magical film.
    Thought for the day: “The oldest wisdom in the world tells us we can consciously unite with the divine while in this body; for this man is really born. If he misses his destiny, Nature is not in a hurry; she will catch him up someday, and compel him to fulfill her secret purpose.”
    Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

  4. Cinema is art. And art is born of soul, not reason. Don’t be afraid to use your spiritual power, to “let go”, as you say. And be sure that it’s going to work because you have all these wonderful actors next to you. The greatest creators work in chaos and I think you are one of them.

  5. It takes a great deal of discipline to be able to stand aside and let a project come to fruition of its own accord. More than I, your typical Type-A control freak, could exercise. More than most directors could exercise, I imagine. I suspect most “Hollywood types” would ask what’s the good of being the director if you’re just going to cede control to whimsy and caprice…but then, they don’t get “it”, do they? 🙂

  6. Dear Shekhar, thank you for the vision and passion to make this film. The first Elizabeth film touched me so much because of Cate’s performance. She is the closest we have had to the real Elizabeth, simply because she has been able to create, thus re-create the character. Our history has been so influenced by Elizabeth’s reign, I feel you have the courage to pay homage to her all these years later. In some way, we get to know Elizabeth better from your film(s). Hopefully you will have a long term relationship with Cate and Elizabeth as the years go by and we can see more sequels in the future. For now I am content to see your latest offering and look forward to it! Thanks again.

  7. dear shekhar,
    as the song goes – there’s a time to hold and a time for letting go…
    trust ur heart and it will tell u which is which.
    i completely agree with kellie. it will take a lot of discipline. and i wud say, a lot of balls to attempt what you are trying. it is really awesome that u r trying to sow the seeds of organic thought and collaborative creative expression in a field that is conditioned to yielding hybrid made-to-order market regulated entertainment products…
    i am sure, u will succeed in taking the challenge head on and experience the “freedom” of ‘organic creativity’ and ‘artistic expression’ that u are seeking.
    watched u speak on hardtalk extra yesterday. ur conviction is rock-solid and ur understated confidence is electric.
    i too share the belief in the potential of eastern-influence on the future of global media and entertainment. i am sure u feel the vibes when u visit india (especially indian metros)… the atmosphere is charged and there is a sense of imminent revolution…
    however, one part of me feels that all the buzz and all the excitement is not going to be enuff… unless the vast chasm between india (living in the few cities) and bharat (rest of india, like the place i come from) is bridged. i believe that only media has the power to bridge this chasm and i get frustrated at the superficial, downright dumbing down of indian media…
    i believe that the major portion of the future potential that we so believe in lies with bharat. unless bharat becomes part of the shining india… the huge potential will be just theoretical…
    and this applies to rest of the eastern hemisphere as well. the disparity between the globalized and the marginalized is a huge cause of concern for me as a… for lack of any other appropriate word…future entertainment product designer… be it writing books, graphic novels or making films, conceiving games…
    one day i am talking to ashutosh (gowariker) who is so doing what i feel is the right thing… an evolved thinker… and the next day, i am interning with the writer / director of the film that earned 70 crores at the box office last year… ashu’s work barely breaks even in commercial terms… and the other dude smashes the ‘road-barrier’. his solution is to offer an escape from the issues that plague the very people who make it possible for him to get his 2 crore per film… amusingly, both come from the same background. one from a middle class maharashtrian family and the other from mohammedali road…
    as of now, i am trying to learn the tricks of the commercial side… going against my conviction just to understand the working of the ‘escapist’ side of entertainment… but i never feel at home this side of the court…
    i know these are two sides of my own dichotomous persona… the internal contradiction of being an indian from bharat… i am trying to merge these two into an organic whole…
    and i believe, i have an even higher goal to attain – to evolve from ‘an indian from bharat’ into a ‘rooted global citizen’… how do i do this?
    did u / do u ever feel this dichotomy? how do u make sense of this…?

  8. Dear Mr.Kapur,
    I,m not sure this is the correct place to post this but, having my interest sparked by your commitment to making this film,I have read a number of books on both Ralegh, Bess Throgmorton and Elizabeth. I may be a bit premature in asking this but how will you equate the age differences of these three to the actors portraying them? There was a nineteen year gap between Elizabeth and Sir Walter (Elizabeth b.1533,Sir Walter b.1552).Ralegh was thirteen years his wife,s senior. Miss Blanchett is actually five years younger than Mr.Owen while Abbie Cornish is twenty-two years his junior.I am interested in knowing how you will approach this challenge.I hope you don’t consider me out of order in asking this but I am really intrigued by this film.Thank you for taking the time to write the diary.It adds something extra and allows an insight into the mechanics of film making and makes a very good read!

  9. Dear Shekhar,
    I understand and emphathize with you and the inner struggle you’re enduring. Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that you have two award winning actors working on this project; that aside, they’re excellent at their craft, how far could you possibly stray off the mark?
    Go with your gut instinct! I will amend what I said before, with your guidance if you let your actors instill a bit of themselves into their characters, they will shine!
    Warmest Wishes,

  10. tushar..
    People say “go with the flow”, which really annoys me…I say fight the current and swim upstream – this is harder but makes you stronger -the other way offers the line of least resistance however – this is the dilemma which faces artists when considering “commercialism” and experimentation at the risk of being unpopular..
    Both approaches have their merits – to elaborate, if you go with the flow you end up in the great ocean – fighting the current is unnatural and strenuous and can finish you off with very little to show for it – salmon do it in pursuit of something in demand – a mate – at the end of the day it’s a matter of choice, I suppose…
    In some ways, Shekhars dilemma (if he has one) is similar – pursue an original / elusive line and risk the film alienating the viewer, or go for a more populist approach, where it is more accessible (the studio’s agenda)- to fight your corner or let go and allow the film to breathe and become itself, whatever that may be…

  11. ravi swami
    I think your both apporaches point has top merit. Being a good leader means being able to both go with the flow when that’s appropriate, and fighting the current when that’s appropriate. Being a leader is about having good judgment about oneself, as well as about other people and things, recognizing and working with one’s own limitations, as well as those of other people and things. And it’s about motivating people to do their best and beyond. I think this is what Shekhar has done in the past. It is one of his greatest gifts, and a hard thing to do well.

  12. Dear Mr.Shekhar,
    That is a very interesting concept. Let’s see what happens to the movie with this. In fact, I believe that all good writers/directors wait for their work to take its own shape.
    Being overly manipulative, in my opinion, reeks of disrespect for the characters, and events in the movie.
    I’m still not sure,to what extent control (or lack of it), works, or is needed. If the movie is unleashed to grow on its own, will it become a monster which is too big for you to control? Or will it organically take a shape that you were never interested in? It’ll be interesting to see what happens! Please keep us updated on this!

  13. dear ravi,
    thanks brother. i get what u implying. ur words are signposts for the salmons.
    i beleive, going with the flow does not imply an external ‘flow’ but an internal ‘flow’.
    going with the flow (unfortunately) is quite often misconstrued as one easy way to absolve oneself of all responsibility.
    however, i believe we all have our internal flow. i go with the flow… means i march to the internal rhythm that the universe has gifted me with, much like a salmon has his upstream path chosen for him…
    but at times, i am sure, even a salmon must be wondering, why am i making my own life difficult. i am sure, they get their signposts, just like ur post here and realise what their destiny is…
    thanks again.
    i will create my corner and then fight it.

  14. Shekhar,
    If you don’t stumble along the way (to any degree) you may well miss something. For stumbling doesn’t mean you’ll fall, more that you gain a different perspective at an unexpected moment.
    So I say, stumble away. It could well return something favourable.
    All the best,

  15. Sir,
    Its a Dream Comes True.
    I am Research analyst working on Entertainment Industry in India, Sir i need you inputs and views on Film industry in India, its corporatization more over how about new concepts like Online Movie Rental Industry slowly picking up, what difference and value addition it will make on audiance.
    Sir can i have your personal E-mail Id.
    Plz honour my Request
    Ankur gupta

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