My journey with films started when I made a couple of 1-minute shorts for an online film festival towards the end of 2008. After that I progressed to make a couple of 3-minute ones and then finally a 6-minute film, all within zero dollars. After that, in a very ambitious moment I thought, what the heck… let’s make a full-length feature now! After all, the math was simple. If I could make a 6 minute film in zero dollars, why not a feature! And thus was born, Mausams.
I immediately started working on the script which is highly inspired by all the colourful characters and situations I have come across in my life. I still remember how I was sitting in a cinema, supposedly watching a Hindi movie, but paying zero attention to what was playing on the screen and instead working on my own film’s script in my head. That was more than a year ago.
Today, as I write this note, Mausams is in the thick of post production work and well on track to release in Summer 2011. FYI, we are past zero dollars from a budget standpoint but still well within the micro-peanut budget category for feature films.
So what did it take to make Mausams? From the auditions to rehearsals to wardrobe sessions to multiple takes, from having members of cast and crew disappear during shoots to finding unexpected help from overseas for post production work, from shooting for 16 hours at a stretch to not having a weekend to relax for months, from back breaking scheduling exercises (given the huge team’s work and personal commitments) to everything going wrong the last minute in spite of all that planning, from getting chased away from shoot locations by jobless guards to shooting with 80 people at a go in an auditorium, from having to ensure that passersby do not to look into the camera to praying for the rains to stop for outdoor shoots, Mausams has been nothing short of the biggest roller coaster ride ever.
And it has reached this stage only because of the overwhelming passion, enthusiasm and hard work of the motley bunch behind it. Except for our 20-year old cinematographer, every single person in the Mausams team has a full time job and this film was put together over whatever spare time they could choke out of their already crazily busy lives.
Together, we have tried to make a simple entertainer, a relatable slice of life that hopefully brings a smile. We have had a great time making it and we hope everyone has a great time watching it.
- Shilpa Krishnan Shukla