I am staying at Iru's. She is out at work and there is no one at home.
I am experiencing Mumbai in rains after two years. What an experience!!! I am at home.
I have never had to make a powerpoint presentation in my 14 years of work life to tell people 'look at me, I am a such visionary'. It felt odd. Why do you have to stand on a dais and explain what a wonderful person you are to get an award?? It made me squirm.
But I did it anyway. I had reached till here and if this is what it takes to win it, so be it.
There were five finalists. 2 from Delhi, 2 from Mumbai and 1 from Hyderabad. The judging had been delayed by an hour. All five of us sat in a conference room, waiting for the other person to speak. Me and Phani got into a conversation. He is from Hyderabad. They are into high end CGI for Tamil & Telugu films. All of us were doing something on our own. Something new, something risky. We had a bond we shared. The bond of being out there in the market where nothing comes free.
Pranav from Enlighten Film Society (I am a proud Enlighten Socitey ex-member by the way) had made no PPT. I was mighty impressed. He was the first one to go in. He walked back with a handful of DVDs and looked at all of us. We looked at him to give us some tips. He smiled and said, "Be prepared to feel like an Indian Idol Contestant". We didn't know how to interpret that. Was there going to be a Good Cop/Bad Cop Judge or was there going to be emotional drama?
I was the next person to walk in. It went well but for the Long term Revenue Model aspect wherein they differed from my opinion on how archival footage from Documentaries/Corporate films/AVs or thesis/research films can of be future monetary importance. 'A collective database of ethnographic films into a Videopedia as a revenue source' is something which got discussed into length and how it was different from National Film Archives, Qwiki or Youtube.
All I know is that if today someone came to me and said, "I have unedited footage of how Nariman Point was reclaimed from the sea in the 1940s ", I would be willing to pay a handsome price if I were a TV Channel.
Or if I take my footage of 'Gulzar Ji' reciting 3 of his unpublished/unreleased poems, out into the market, I am sure there will be buyers for it.
Today is tomorrow's history and people pay to get a part of their history back. Money might not grow on trees but it is definitely hidden in the roots. I believe High Definition Video Archive (not cinema but pure documentation/research video bank) does have some future.
The winner will be announced on the 20th at the Awards Night.
All in all a very very positive experience. It helped me organize all my business strategies in an extremely methodical order. I never knew competitive spirit can make one's resolve go stronger. I couldn't sleep last night wondering what would be my next step. How am I going to make it more foolproof. Who could help me? Who are the people I am going to meet the moment I get back to Delhi?
Three prominent Judges looked into my eyes and spent twenty minutes wanting to know my dream. They wouldn't have done that if they didn't see something in there. They had a few genuine queries. Now it is upon me to take care of them, awards aside.
Raindrop is looking at the world through this window that just opened up.