In recent years my dream has become to make movies at some point in the
distant future, though to be honest, in my heart of hearts, I feared it to be an
idealistic vision rather impossible to fulfill. The problem, of course, lay in my lack
of familiarity with the gradual process and collaborations that produce a
film—how on earth should one begin a project and what resources would one
need? My time at SOC films gave me exposure to that process, opening it up for
me so I can finally think of film making as a series of executable steps rather than
as an impractical goal.
From the very beginning of the internship, I found myself playing a role in the
making of a feature film from its preliminary stages. Following Sharmeen’s
instructions, I plunged into research on the movie’s topic, drawing up timelines
and lists of people to interview, and organizing photographs, newspaper
clippings and footage from decades into the past so they could be delivered for
the next step to the editor. The hard work culminated in an exhilarating trip with
the film crew on which I could observe another step of the process: shooting the
interview. As I helped the meticulous DOP’s shift around tripods and fix lighting,
I became privy to the many considerations that go into framing and sound
quality. And in watching Sharmeen carry out the interview, I understood the skill
required to engage a person and keep them on the right track in their stories for
a documentary movie.
I watched many more interviews, this time transcribing them for the editor’s
ease—which I now know is actually a necessary part of the documentary
film making process—and got to dip a hand into a bit of editing myself, to make
the subtitles for another movie. In the friendly office environment where all this
work was undertaken, I could get a sense of what integral roles others played to
make SOC films operate, and that really added to my experience.
Now walking away from that well-rounded experience, having been given the
opportunity to genuinely help out at SOC, my own dreams in filmmaking no
longer feel so reserved for an impossible future.