Sunday, February 19, 2012

Empowering pro bono for 2012

Its that time of the year again, where I pretend I'm a good guy and bring out the philanthrope in me. I asked my good friend Abe, if I could do a documentary as a pro bono, for his charitable group the Big Bangs Foundation in Dhaka. Sadly, due to other stuff, Abe and his friends weren't able to squeeze in time for that to happen.

As most things happen, I got a wall post on FB, from Shahana Siddiqui, sister to an old friend Ashfaque, part time journalist (although her segments are better than the regular journalists themselves) and full time mom and social worker.....oh, and possibly the most liberal person I know of (she is recently being followed by the government for anti-government bashings showing up on her FB statuses.....I kid you not) asking me for my number. Shortly afterwards, I found out that her friend Ivy H. Russell had made a website dedicated to the women of Dhaka. The website, had information useful to women of all ages, from all walks of life and even help for those to wanted to be anonymous and discuss maternal issues and even domestic/workplace and societal abuse. Needless to say, while I was in such a giving mood, I decided to make the 8 min presentation (having never done one before) for BRAC, the local NGO we love so much. it would serve as a pitch, so BRAC would give Maya the funds necessary to take such an initiative forward.

What followed was a 2 min video, where we would show women, sitting away from each other meet each other, via a "big sister", who would guide them along, until they became self sustainable themselves. It was a 3 hour shoot, with myself directing/dp-ing the 2 mins. No actors, just the people of Maya, including Mrs Russell and the great Shahana Siddiqui herself. The shots were all Fincher-esqe, trying to deal with hopelessness, despair and tragedy, soon blooming to hope and prosperity. I used a dolly, a steadicam and a jib. Marisa (my 7D) and the Frayed Kit, as usual, god I'm love with her......again. No lights, just the ambient stuff from the lounge in Spitfire (local restaurant) where I changed the bulbs to something more brighter (for some reason good restaurants here are very dimly lit).

The later part was an interview segment of Mrs Russell and some powerpoint like slides, where I was trying my best to mess with Motion 3. Bickey Russell, her husband, made it easy for me, since he had a clear idea of what the presentations should look like. I even did some of the music, with a Gladiator like jingle that comes with Logic Pro and then a remixed version of Michael Mann's movie The Last of the Mohicans, mixing it with the orchestral accents from The Real Adventures of Johnny Quest (I know, I'm such a brilliant thief) to get that "we shall overcome" theme.

Here's the video, watch it, learn from it, support it.....please:

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