Ram Gopal Varma Blog #123. My Reactions to Reactions

1.What will RGV’s epitaph say?
Ans: Somewhere between “Not a very nice guy” and “Not a very bad guy”.

2. How do you manage to patao women inspite of your craziness?
Ans: Because they are crazier. Ahhhh! I want to make love to God for creating women.

3. My girl friend is blushing seeing your pics.
Ans: Arun, I think I am beginning to fall in love with your girl.

4. Birds and animals get born, reproduce and die. Humans get born, study, do a job, get married, reproduce, take care of their children and die. Except for a few who stand alone and create.
Ans: You reminded me of a beautiful scene from Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged”.

When Dagny Taggart is upset about an idiotic bunch of board of directors interfering in the construction of the John Galt line, Franscisco ‘d’anconia takes her to the window points out to the New York skyline and say, “Men such as on your board could not have created that. The fact that the skyline exists is proof enough that the world runs on the intellectual strength of creators and visionaries and not due to second handers like your board of directors.”

5. Do you remember your first crush? If so who is that?
Ans: My English teacher at St.Mary’s High School. Ahhhhh! I never ever heard her lectures man.

6. One who believes in God never believes in mankind.
Ans: Well said.

7. Instead of giving simple answers, why do you Phoonk some of the comments?
Ans: Because I am kind of Phoonked in the head.

8. I think Rakta Charitra will be a cult classic.
Ans: Yes, it will be and save this text and mail it back to me if the film is otherwise.

9. Is there a possibility of me being a silent observer on the sets of Rakta Charitra?
Ans: Yes, will let you know when and where I will start shooting.

10. Why do you use smoke in many scenes?
Ans: Mostly to cover up bad art direction.

11. I am the one who mostly abused you in the past and I might still do that in future.
Ans: I am touched with and I mean it.

12. In Sarkar Raj when Shanker admits to Anita about killing his brother, there is strange camera movement.
Ans: That’s a trolley forward zoom back shot which was first used to maximum effect by Steven Spielberg in jaws to capture Roy Scheider’s reaction on the beach when he looks at the boy on the raft being attacked by the shark.

When the camera is on a zoom lens and on a trolley as it tracks forward to the actor if you keep zooming out the contradictory movement creates a strange visual effect which can work very well in certain situations.

13. Did you ever after completing the film regret the way you captured a scene?
Ans: Many many times.

14. 15 years back you said that watching your name adjacent to Illayaraja’s names on the poster was the most memorable moment of your life. Do you still feel that or did it fade out with your success?
Ans: It still is because that’s the only time I felt successful, as that visual in my own mind transited me from a nobody into a somebody.  And also once success comes you take it for granted and as a result of that you no longer feel successful. The irony is that now I don’t think much of Illayaraja, but the memory of that moment will be with me forever.

15. Do you give importance to story boarding?
Ans: No, because I do my shot division largely based on the actors performances and you can’t plan that as you will only know it only on location.

16. What is the qualification to be an assistant director?
Ans: You have to understand that in today’s times there is not really any connection between the terms director and assistant director. Because of the word director it creates an illusion that the assistant is training to be a director. The truth is that anybody from an art director to a DOP to a man on the road etc can aspire to be a director on the strength of their imagination and passion whereas to be an assistant director you need more specific training mainly due to the complexities of film technology and production hassles which built up over the years.

In other words what an assistant director needs to know to be a director can be learnt be in one day but to only be an assistant director you have to spend far much more time and have far more training.

17. Is it necessary for a director to have exposure to world cinema?
Ans: Any amount of exposure to whatever helps subject to a judicious use of your time and energy. Having said that I also believe that you can make a great film without any exposure at all. That’s because your film eventually is nothing but your way of telling a story the way you feel it.

18. Birds make a nest. Humans make a house. Thousands of years later, bird still makes a nest. Humans make Bandra-Worli sea-link.
Ans: Fantastic.

19. Most people choose just to ‘be’ rather than to ‘become’.
Ans: Superb.

20. Is Jiah’s character in Nishabd your alter ego which seems to have reflected in her poem?
Ans: That’s a very interesting observation. I never thought of it that way but the fact that I okayed the poem means that it was somewhere in my subconscious. On location I was too busy looking at her legs to be conscious of anything else.

21. Why have you not made any movies on Howard Roark?
Ans: Because Raork is a mind thing and it will be impossible for any actor to portray him or for any director to capture him. For all the influence Roark had on us, if we see him in person we will have problems even with simple things like how he will sit, stand or walk.

22. What is your opinion on Mega Star Chiranjeevi?
Ans: None.

23. Can I know what made you visit Vizag?
Ans: For some film promotion work. I am coming again for Nitin’s Agyaat.

24. I haven’t heard a dishum sound of fighting as realistic as in Shiva.
Ans: It’s not the dishum sound alone. It’s the combination of the realism in the actor’s performance and the atmosphere around which makes the dishum sound realistic. The same sound if you put in a run of the mill action film it will sound as tacky.

25. If you lifted the cycle chase from ‘Arjun’ then didn’t Rahul Rawail use the steadicam first?
Ans: Dumbo. I lifted the idea not the equipment. Also there are no point of view shots of chasing in Arjun.

26. Isn’t there a steadicam in Masoom?
Ans: That’s a hand held shot and the jerky movement makes that very obvious. Also there was no steadicam available in India at that time.

Incidentally for those interested the steadicam caught Hollywood attention first in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘Shining’ and got popularized with Stallone’s ‘Rocky’.

There’s a very interesting story on how steadicam was invented. When Garrett Brown the inventor of the steadicam was jogging one early morning a thought suddenly occurred to him on how come the visual does not shake or jerk when he is running the way it does when you are holding a camera to your eye and doing the same. Then it occurred to him that it’s not so much as the body which causes the jerk but it is due to the cameraman trying to constantly adjust the eyepiece to the eye as he is running. So he thought of a way to avoid the eyepiece and use a monitor instead and place the camera on a hydraulic head, strap it to the body and bingo the steadicam got invented.

27. Is it true that you were a boring serious philosophy reading intellectual guy?
Ans: Yes I was until my success made the same me sound like an interesting thought provoking philosopher tuned maverick filmmaker.