Shoojit Sircar, director of many famous movies like Vicky Donor, Piku, Madras Cafe visited the campus for giving the guest lecture at Kshitij 2016. In his guest lecture at TOAT he described his journey of life, from a person who left his studies at graduation
level to the person we all know as Mr. Sircar.
Talking about his school life he said that when he was studying in high school he faced scarcity of money and thus started playing football, which later played a very important role in his life. He had no interest in films until he watched the movie Pather Panchali directed by Late Mr. Satyajit Ray which completely changed his perception about films and film industry. He became a great fan of Late Mr. Ray and watched all his films. He believes that Late Mr. Ray’s movies are still a source of inspiration for movie makers.
As the lecture proceeded Mr. Sircar talked about the condition of theatre and his experience of
theatre life. According to him, in our country theatre is not a place where you can earn money and simultaneously run your life. In his own words “You would skip lunch, you would skip dinner, go for group singing somewhere to collect some money, but if you have passion then you can thrive upon every situation of your life.” He worked in theatres for four years. He said that working in theatre did not give him money but gave him discipline and encouraged him not to compromise in any situation. While working in the theatre, he met quizmaster Siddharth Basu and started working with him in his quiz show. After 3-4 months he got an offer from Mr. Basu to work as an assistant director in a film with Mr. Pradeep Sarkar. As Mr. Pradeep Sarkar is a very well known director, who has directed films like Parineeta and Mardani, he happily accepted the job even when he didn't know how to handle a camera.
He said that He had always believed that we all are creative.
There is an art inside everybody. Somebody has some music in him which compels somebody to do something, to say something and that is art. Working with Pradeep Sarkar he realized his potential. Later on he became the chief assistant director with Dibakar Banerjee and Jaydeep Sahni (script writer of Chak De India).
Then he went over with the story about how he entered in the world of film making. Luck favoured him and he got the opportunity to direct an advertisement of Dettol company in the context of world cup football. There his interest in football and lessons from the game came into play. He said that he had no knowledge about film making but he knew football and so he started working on it with Mr. Jaydeep Sahni. That ad created a great stir in the industry and thus paved his path to the world of film making.
Focusing on 'JUGAAD ', which he learnt in the assistance of Pradeep Sarkar, famous as a director of below the belt movies Mr. Sircar shared some of his memories of the films Vicky Donor and Madras Cafe. While he was making Vicky Donor, he did not have sufficient budget to build a complete set for the wedding scene in the movie. So he went for 'Jugaad'. He went to a real big fat
wedding site and requested them to let them use the pandaal after marriage and leave everything as it was after they are done with the function and thus shot the wedding sequence of Vicky Donor. Similarly for the scenes of civil war in Madras cafe, he waited for the Navy Day at Cochin, Kerala and took shots of navy helicopters which were used in the movie.
At the end student asked some questions about his films and how he got such brilliant ideas. He answered each and every question very smartly and enthusiastically. He said that film making is simpler than love life. It is the pure reflection of our lives and observations . Before making Piku he had seen many Dr. Chaddas from Chandni chowk to Zuhu Chaupati. Some scenes from Vicky Donor were the cinematization of his own life.
Then he had a rapid fire round where he chose FC Barcelona as his favourite football team, Hollywood as the favorite movie spot, Lionel Messi as the favourite football player, Platoon as the Best movie and IIT Kgp as the best IIT.
At the end he addressed the potential filmmakers and urged them to be observant and resourceful and then concluded his lecture after which professor Bhargav Maitra gave him a token of love and honor from IIT Kharagpur family.