Saturday, August 29, 2009

What Is Mass Communication???

Lets start from the basics. What is Mass Communication?

Come on! Its easy enough and you don't have to peep into a Wikipedia to get it! ;) Just by breaking down the two words, you can say that it involves communicating an idea to the masses, or the people or society as a whole. And Mass Media is that particular media which is used to convey the said idea to the people.
So in a nutshell Mass Communication involves the study of Mass Media. And Mass Media takes various formes to convey information to an audience. Examples of such media would be newspapers, radio, television and even cinema films! And those who graduate from Mass Communication collages take such career paths such as:

Public Relations,
Event Management,
Film Directing,
Acting and ,

For those of you who have just passed out of Class XII and want to get into this field, and for others: be rest assured you are making a great career choice! Mass Communication with its assorted career fields is where the action is. Its a vibrant, glamourous world! You'll face constant challanges that will summon out the best from you. Life is never "boring" here :)

Most of you may ask next "What Skills we need to succeed in Mass Communication?"

Fair question! Here is a list of some of the skills you'll need in you do intend to take Mass Com as your career choice :

High People Skills,
High Sales Skills,
Very High Communication Skills,
High Ability To Synthsize,
High Creative Ability,

Additionally, you must be a very hard and deligent worker. As rewarding as it is, Mass Comm. jobs may be stressful for some. So don't just jump into it. Research, research and research! And then as you find that this field is what you are looking for, then congratulations on this worthy choice! :)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Interview - DOP Shirsha Ray

Shirsha Ray consciously opted for cinematography as his career as he realized that cinema too could be a medium of communication.With the first still photograph that he shot when he was in 3rd year of college,he made through FTII,Pune.He found himself to be a lazy assistant (as he says) after he passed out and made his mind to work independently as 'Director of Photography'.He came back to Kolkata to work for 'Ek Je Acche Konna',which fetched him his first award.Since then there has been no looking back for Shirsha Ray as he started working for 'Jara Brishtite Bhijeche','Faltu' and 'Home Delivery'.Recently he finished working as the DOP for the upcoming Hindi blockbuster - 'Alladin',starring Amitabh Bacchan.

1. What was it that lured you to consciously opt for cinematography as a career option?
When I was in 3rd year of college,I started taking interest in photography.My first exposure to cinema was in 1994,when the film festival was held in Kolkata.Earlier I used to watch movies but it was just like watching movies for entertainment then,but in 1994 festival I saw few movies...I remember watching 'Journey' and it was then that I realized that cinema could be a medium of communication.My journey started.I started taking interest in reading about films.Even then I didnt decide of stepping into the film industry but by then I found cinematography to be the most interesting aspect of film and it really did appeal to me.Then I started taking interest in still photography.By the end of 1994 I had decided that I will opt for cinematography.That's how I made my way to FTII,Pune.

2. How were your early days like?
Actually what happens in the institute is that the 3 years you are in there,you are not exposed to the practical field.You learn your job when you pass out.In the institute you know how and what to learn and those 3 years are the formative years so that you are receptive to things around you and then the learning process starts.Initially,it is always difficult to get into the industry.Like everyone else,I too started in Mumbai.Usually what happens,after passing out one catches a practising senior and becomes his assistant.Even I assisted one of my senior but somehow I felt that I was not a good assistant.Then I thought of starting on my own.That was the time when I came back to Kolkata.I spent 6 months in Mumbai.When I came to Kolkata,initiallly I didnt know anybody from the industry but then slowly I started getting work-mostly television work and then I started off with commercials.Then in 2000 I got my first film,'Ek je Acche Konna'.It gave me my first award also and from then onwards I have been working successfuly.

3.You being an FTII pass-out,do you think that institutionally trained cinematographers have the best piece of cake?
No,I dont think so.Even if one is institutionally trained,after passing out the initial days are always difficult for one to get through steadily but if one has a vision and creativeness,then after those tough yet crucial days of struggle,one will always be able to place him firmly in the industry.

4.The face of cinema has experienced a drastic change-technically,technologically and dramatically.What is your take on this topic?
Yes,it has.We have few blockbusters every year and now films like 'Wednesday' and 'Mumbai Meri Jaan' where a lot of money is not put but it is the content which draws attention.These films doesnt vary much in their technical aspect.What varies is the scale.These are shot in four to five locations whereas the blockbusters have a series of locations down the list.Dramatically it might have a difference but technically and technologically these films are no less than any blockbusters.

5.Do you think comparing Bangla films with Hindi movies is right on the part.Is the comparison needed at all?
In hindi movies there is a wide variety of subjects but in Bangla films what I think personally is that there is a lack of variations and subjects.This is one thing that I can point out but other than this I dont think that any such comparison is needed.

6.Tell us something about your upcoming venture -'Alladin'.
'Alladin' is a big film I am working in.Big as in terms of starcast,techniques and technology.I shot this film for 160 days wuth a budget of 60 crores.I worked with Mr.Amitabh Bacchan and it was a real good experience working with him.When I was on the first day of shoot with him and was looking at him through the lens,for a split second I could'nt believe my own eyes that I was actually shooting him.Working in Alladin has been really an excellent experience.

Interviewed by;
Rakasree Basu
B.A. Hons in Media Studies (2nd year)