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:
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: