A much too formal description of the film:
“Maximum Metropolis” is an experimental film that aims to encapsulate a variety of responses one could have to urban Bangalore.
The audio design of the film is a coalescence of sound recordings and original musical compositions. Some of the sounds were created utilizing and manipulating the sounds of objects that one finds in the quintessential Indian urban space—plastic bottles, staplers, pill bottles, to name a few. Also in the mix are ambient sounds of such spaces; schools, supermarkets, urban and suburban neighborhoods.
The composition is comprised of three movements:
The first, “Cat in Concrete” is a microcosm of that sensation one sometimes experiences when overwhelmed by the cacophony in an urban space. The movement conjures up a domestic cat, lost in the terrifying concrete jungle that is the city of Bangalore.
“Sweaty Uniforms” transposes the listener to the quieter public urban spaces, to the schools, to the parks, and eventually settles into the sunset of the day.
Preceded by a brief conversation with an elderly man, “Family Bonfires” celebrates the more pleasant, more private moments of an urban lifestyle; the moments born out of human interactions. Chats, arguments, laughter, contact and song. Human voices are the key instrument here, but they have been reversed, for what is being said is less important here than how it is being said.
Just to keep myself occupied this summer, I’ve been occasionally trying my hand(s) at animation. Both these clips are simply quick experiments–I had no idea what I wanted to end up with when I started, which is pretty evident. I was just having fun animating stuff.
The first is a stop-motion animation test. I spent exactly 35 minutes animating and about the same amount of time putting it all together. (Click here for more stop-motion.)
The second is a piece of 2-D animation. Now this one, I really had no idea what I was doing. I began with some bizarre Pokemon-esque reptile and went to cell division and trees growing and all kinds of weird places. All in a day’s work.
I dunno. I hope to do something more substantial and meaningful this summer, but these were just fun.
This short film was thought up and animated by my immensely talented friend from college, Azra Sadr, whose work you can see more of here. The film tells the story of a lonely boy who befriends a cat that crosses his path. While the its company ends his loneliness for a while, the cat eventually leaves him. While initially disheartened, the boy comes to realize that life has more happiness to offer him.
My role in this project was simply associated with the original music, which I composed and arranged on FL Studio, using the VST Edirol. I tried, within the short running time, to create leitmotifs associated with characters and events, and avoided using sound effects by having the music do the job for me, much like the classical Disney shorts.
A compilation of some of my attempts at stop-motion animation and other special effects, from when I was 9 to 19, inspired by the work of special effects wizard Ray Harryhausen, who died March 7th at 92.
While many filmmakers brought me into film, Harryhausen was the first to bring me behind the scenes. He has left us a great deal of inspiration, and will continue to have a profound influence on anyone who has the good fortune to come across his work.
This video accompanies an article I wrote for the Far-Flungers section of RogerEbert.com. In it, I write about Ray Harryhausen’s distinguished career, how it has influenced the film world and how it has made an impact on me and my life. I also write a little more about the clips in the video above.
An animated tribute to my hero, filmmaker Steven Spielberg. You’ve probably seen the films featured in this movie already, but if you haven’t, you really should.
Rotoscoped frame by frame on Adobe Flash CS5, composited and edited on Sony Vegas Pro 12. Backgrounds created on Adobe Photoshop CS5. Music by John Williams
This short film was featured in one of my pieces for the Far-Flungers section of RogerEbert.com, along with an article in which I explain my admiration for Spielberg and the reasons why I consider him my hero. Amazingly, Spielberg happened to see my short film there and hand-wrote me a letter in response. He ended his letter with these words: “I’ll be looking out at the horizon to see where next you will emerge– and impress.”
For more on this film and the letter, click here.