Assignment V took longer than usual due to various factors and most importantly because I wanted to attempt a short film for my final assignment related to wildlife, in my attempt to pursue “Moving Images” as my degree course. A lot of different thoughts and ideas to approach the final assignment led to it taking more time than usual.  With no experience in film-making, no editing experience, and learning everything from scratch was a little overwhelming. My initial thoughts and reflections about it can be seen here:

  1.  https://archnasingh.blog/2018/07/24/initial-ideas-assignment-five-a-personal-project/
  2.  https://archnasingh.blog/2018/10/16/initial-ideas-assignment-five-a-personal-project-ii/

Approach: Since I want to pursue “Moving Images” as my degree course, and my field of work being in the wild, it became necessary for me to attempt something in the same genre so that the challenges and limitations of getting great footage and storyline were similar. To make a film in the wild is more difficult as the challenges of gathering relevant footage become crucial. You have to rely on chancing upon good footage than on creating one. I was fortunate to have witnessed this while I waited for a tiger to wake up from its nap. It also fits well into the theme that  I wanted to build up my film upon.

Ideas/Thoughts: With an ever-increasing decline in our wildlife and other stray, community and pet animals across the globe, due to insensitive people with little  or no compassion, human greed, ever-increasing habitat encroachment in the name of development, insane human population explosion, zero tolerance towards animals, somewhere somehow humanity forgot that these sentient beings are as sensitive as we are in every which way and to treat these beautiful creatures of God with such insensitivity, can only result in a sure shot way of wiping humanity off the planet. We are heading towards it at an alarming pace. More and more people believe that animals don’t feel pain and have no emotions. Dealing with so much insensitivity on a daily basis, I wanted to show that they do experience emotions and suffering just like we do.

Actual Filming: On June 2nd, 2018, at the Ranthambhore National Park, while waiting for a Tiger I was following, to get up from her nap, I came across this heartbreaking footage. Leaving the tiger, I followed this mother Langur for over two hours in what was one of the most difficult footage I have had to document till date. To document an animal in grief and at the same time to respect their privacy, I have filmed this with a big zoom lens so not to invade a very private moment. It was equally difficult for me to film this as it was very emotional and I couldn’t help but cry throughout this sad scene.  As difficult as it was to shoot this, even more difficult was to edit and compress this footage into less than 5 minutes. To watch it over and over again was not easy also.

The link to my short film:  Do animals feel Pain?

 

Conclusion: This short film was created after a lot of editing and re-editing after valuable feedback provided by wildlife filmmakers, my peers at OCA, especially Richard Keys,  whose critical feedback and comments made me better this film. My struggles, my journey, my references to other filmmakers are in the two links that are given above. My colleagues at the OCA  were instrumental in shaping my final decision and their feedback and advice helped me tremendously to arrive at a final conclusion.

All the initial feedback and comments can be seen in the links given above. As always, I welcome your feedback and comments to make me learn and improve my work. Since this is my very first attempt at any sort of film-making, editing or any other areas of ‘Moving Images’, I know this might not be perfect but I hope it does convey my message that animals do feel pain and emotions just like humans do and is my humble attempt to spread awareness at a trying time like this when the entire planet stands at the threshold of an imminent danger.

Feel free to share.

Here are links to articles  carried out for this story:

  1. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6532275/Grieving-mother-monkey-cradles-dead-infant-refuses-leave-side.html
  2. https://www.msn.com/pt-pt/video/desporto/heartbreaking-moment-grieving-mother-monkey-wont-leave-infants-side/vp-BBRtYff
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BAafj–lRW0
  4. https://www.storytrender.com/80622/she-knew-he-was-gone-but-yet-was-not-ready-to-believe-or-accept-it-heartbreaking-moment-grieving-mother-monkey-wont-leave-infants-side/
  5. https://sputnik.kg/video/20181228/1042651376/maymyl-zhanybar-park-kaygy.html
  6. https://sputniknews-uz.com/video/20181229/10381314/Ona-maymun-bolasining-lganiga-ishonmaydi–yurakni-ezuvchi-video.html

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11 thoughts on “Assignment Five – a personal project

  1. My goodness Archna what a beautiful, moving film. Personally I have always felt that animals do feel pain and can express emotion but what my wife and I were really touched by was the empathy shown by the other monkey to the mother, what a lovely, tender moment. I think you have produced a great film that does say something to those who think animals are emotionless and reinforces it for those that do think they have emotion. Wonderful.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Jonathan and a big thank you to your wife for watching and taking the time out to give me feedback. Yeah, that was the most special moment – something that made me bawl even more while I was filming it. They are just like us – creatures of God. Thank you once again, Jonathan. I appreciate it so much. My warmest regards and thank you to your wife.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. Oh Archna. How incredibly moving. I feel sad witnessing the intensity of her grief. Her grief is palpable. She is clearly a mother that is stricken and does not want to accept that her child has died.

    Your videography is fantastic. The introduction is entirely appropriate and creates an anchor, providing a context into humanities treatment and subjugation of animals, and the excuses used in order to do so.

    Such a powerful video Archna, and although painful to watch, I am very grateful to have seen this. Thankyou.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Richard. Am truly grateful to you for being a solid support system throughout the making of this and for always taking the time out and sharing precious inputs and feedback, thanks to which it has reached where it has. I have received a very positive feedback from my tutor and some great advice on how . to make it more punchier and crisper and I will be doing a Skype session with him your morning and know his thoughts better. I will post the feedback then. I am so happy to have finished the FiP finally and it is a wonderful feeling. Thank you so much Richard.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Brilliant – so strong, but also emotional. Definitely shows that they do have emotions and feel pain. I can understand how it must have been difficult for you to watch and re-watch when editing- however you have done it justice and conveys the message you wanted.
    Well done

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Dave. Yes, it was difficult and I did get to a stage where the tears dried and I had watched the footage so many times as to not invoke more reactions after a certain point. I guess that was one of the reasons that I took so long to finish this. I guess that will be a tough lesson to learn – to be a film-maker, one needs to get in control of their emotions. Much appreciated Dave. Many thanks and warmest wishes for a great X-mas and the coming year. Cheers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Archna,
    I am so sorry not to have responded earlier. I noted the post, as with others I have yet to respond to.
    You have produced an amazingly powerful and professional film, with your characteristic thorough research, consultation, and continuous review.
    I find it almost unbearable to watch. Whilst the mother is comforted briefly she is all too soon left alone. I am of an age able to recall when it was thought “best”to remove a dead human baby from the mother immediately. Nowadays this seems unimaginable, but I refer only to 50 years ago.
    Having always had animals in our family we know very well thatmany species feel physical and emotional (although I am not sure about the stick insects we once housed when our children were small.)
    Observing wild birds in our garden I am equally sure they too feel such pain. When nestlings fall to the ground in the spring this is very obvious to me.
    Many congratulations Archna. An amazing final assignment. Well done indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Sarah for your feedback. It’s most valuable and appreciated. It’s just so sad to believe that many humans still believe that animals don’t feel pain or emotion and this was my first attempt to make a film, with my limited knowledge about editing, etc. Thank you so much, Sarah, I do feel relieved and accomplished now that FiP is done with. Look forward to learning the next thing and get better at filmmaking. Much love and warn wishes.

      Like

  5. Wow, as a debut piece of work this is truly astounding. A very moving film. The footage of the parents and the dead baby is very emotional and makes the message clear in itself. But you have added to that by putting it in context of politicians. And the soundtrack is just right, quite calming and balancing the emotional power of the footage. It’s all very well put together. I can see you will go great guns in the degree course. Inspirational.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Chris, for such generous comments. Thank you indeed. I feel very encouraged and motivated by all your comments and feedback and am inspired to move ahead in my learning. Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a great New Year.

      Like

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