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Shooting for the stars

Gopakumar Karakonam
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Challenging job: Those interested in filmmaking, should have a passion for photography, aesthetic sense or artistic talent, visualising ability, communication skill and ability to handle people; a film shoot in progress. Photo: PTI
Challenging job: Those interested in filmmaking, should have a passion for photography, aesthetic sense or artistic talent, visualising ability, communication skill and ability to handle people; a film shoot in progress. Photo: PTI

If filmmaking is your dream career, it is better to choose direction or cinematography course offered by leading film and television institutes in India. You should have a passion for photography, aesthetic sense or artistic talent, sense of responsibility, visualising ability, communication skill and ability to handle people and teams and be prepared for hard work and extensive travelling.

Filmmaking involves acting, direction, production, cinematography, scripting, sound designing and recording, visual mixing, editing and so on. If one has artistic and technical skills and the ability to express one's ideas, filmmaking is a good option.

The director and his team of assistants are responsible for all creative decision-making involved in filmmaking, including those connected with the script, cast, location, camera, rehearsing and direction. The director works closely with the cameramen or the cinematographer.

The cinematographer has to visualise and compose each scene in consultation with the director, and he has to decide on camera angles and keep track of the ‘takes'.

For direction, knowledge of cinematography, audiography and editing, professional education and training is essential. There are institutions offering professional courses. Postgraduate degree/diploma courses require a bachelor's degree in any discipline as the minimum eligibility for admission. The following prominent film and television institutes provide quality education:

The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, an autonomous institute under the Union Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, offers three-year postgraduate diploma courses in direction, cinematography, sound recording and sound design, editing (all these four courses have 14 seats each); two-year PG diploma in acting (28 seats), art direction and production design; one and a half-year certificate courses in animation and computer graphics; one-year PG certificate course in feature film screen play writing (14 seats each).

Bachelor's degree holders in any discipline are eligible for admission to almost all these courses. For three-year PG diploma in sound recording and sound design, one should have studied physics as a subject at the Plus Two level.

FTII also conducts some television courses in direction, electronic cinematography, video editing and sound recording and TV engineering (12 seats each). Graduates in any discipline are eligible for admission to these one-year PG certificate courses. Candidates should have studied physics as a subject at the Plus Two level for admission to sound recording and TV engineering course.

The selection to the above courses is based on a national-level aptitude/ entrance test and interview. The entrance notification can be expected during March every year. The test will be held during May or June. Address: Film and Television Institute of India, Law College Road, Pune - 411004; website: www.ftiindia.com.

The Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata, is another prominent autonomous institute under the Union Government that offers three-year full-time residential postgraduate diploma programmes in direction and screenplay writing, cinematography, editing and audiography. Graduates in any discipline from a recognised university are eligible for admission. For audiography course, one should have studied physics at the Plus Two level. Total seats: 40.

Address: Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, EM Bypass Road, Panchasayar, Kolkata - 700094 (website www.srfti.gov.in). The selection is based on a national-level entrance test, followed by interview, and orientation test.

MGR Government Film and Television Institute, CIT Campus, Tharamani, Chennai - 600113, offers three-year diploma courses in direction, screenplay writing, cinematography, film processing, sound recording and sound engineering and film editing courses.

All these courses have 14 seats each. Eligibility for direction, screen play writing courses is a degree in any discipline.

For cinematography, candidates must have passed the Plus Two examination with physics and chemistry or should have a diploma in electrical and electronic or electronics and communication engineering. SRM Sivaji Ganesan Film and Television Institute, Chennai, under the SRM University, offers three-year B.Sc. film technology (BFT); one-year diploma in film acting for students who have passed Plus Two. The BFT course teaches the fundamentals of direction, cinematography, editing, sound recording, graphics and animation, art direction and film producing and marketing.

The School of Arts and Aesthetics under the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, offers M.A. degree in arts and aesthetics, interdisciplinary study of visual, cinematic and performing arts.

Graduates in any discipline with at least 50 per cent marks are eligible for admission. The selection is based on an all-India level entrance test and interview. (www.jnu.ac.in)

The Mass Communication Research Centre, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; Anna University, Audio Visual Research Centre, Chennai, and the Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication, Pune, provide training in video and television production.

Gopakumar Karakonam

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