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Wonderful world

A children’s movie could be an animation film, like the Lion King or Aladdin, or a blend of both animation and real-life filming like the trendsetting Who Framed Roger Rabbit, or a simple story about a child’s life like Vishal Bhardwaj’s The Blue Umbrella and Amole Gupte’s Stanley Ka Dabba.

education Updated: Jan 31, 2012 18:28 IST

The lowdown
A children’s movie could be an animation film, like the Lion King or Aladdin, or a blend of both animation and real-life filming like the trendsetting Who Framed Roger Rabbit, or a simple story about a child’s life like Vishal Bhardwaj’s The Blue Umbrella and Amole Gupte’s Stanley Ka Dabba. A director is chiefly responsible for how successful and watchable a movie is. From research work on a movie, to taking decisions about who stars in it, to scouting for locations... S/he has to worry about everything. For a movie like Avatar, it took James Cameron years to find the right technique to create the wonderful world of the Na’vi. VFX, short for ‘Visual Effects,’ went a long way in making the film a trailblazer of sorts in the world of animation. To make the Na’vi as realistic as possible, faces and bodies were ‘rigged’ – connected to computers, which made the mythical creatures simulate human movement. A lot of photographs and scans of real actors were used and these details were incorporated into the digital characters. It was Cameron’s movie throughout, but more than 900 people across different locations got together to make it the science fiction epic that it turned out to be

Clockwork
4am: Wake up, start preparations for an early morning shoot to be able to catch the best light
4.30am: Arrive at the set, check if everything’s in place, brief actors about what’s required for the day, make them go over their scripts and correct them where they’re going wrong. Discuss make-up and clothes to be worn for the shots
9am: Breakfast on the set
9.30am: Filming begins
11.30am: Problems with faulty camera. Discuss with technicians
1.30pm: Break for lunch
2.30pm: Restart shooting
5pm: Leave set to check out location for next day’s shoot
7pm: Come back and resume shoot

The payoff
You stand to reap gold if your movie is a mega hit. A Bollywood filmmaker earns 30% of the profits of a movie for his direction. A director can always demand money as good as a big star does till he has given hits and made profits. He can become the producer and owner of the film too

Skills/TRAITS
* Excellent creative skills
* Great imagination – to create a world of fantasy or something which can keep children engrossed for hours
* Ability to transfer the (script) writer’s thoughts and feelings to the big screen
* Good with research – in case a period film is being shot
* Good team leader, who can motivate actors, technicians and others on the sets to deliver their best
* Good financial skills. To make a movie within the given budget and ensure finances don’t spiral out of control

Getting there
Doing a course in animation or filmmaking from a top institute in India or abroad helps. Assisting a well-known director later can also give you a good idea of how a movie is to be made

Institutes and URLs
* Films and Television Institute of India (FTII) Pune www.ftiindia.com/courses_main.html
* Whistling Woods International, Mumbai www.whistlingwoods.net

Pros and cons
* Great riches and fame
* You get to do something wonderfully creative
* Fabulous lifestyle
* Failure can bring you down to your knees

Just follow your dreams and have a firm belief in your abilities. Do what you like and never be afraid of making choices Nila Madhab Panda, director of the award-winning movie I am Kalam, based in Delhi