Features & Opinion

Green Screen Lab: Diary 9

By Mohinder Singh • Published on August 21, 2012

What you seek is also seeking you.”

And I have been seeking stories. I guess they are also searching for me.

These were exactly my thoughts when I got a call from the Children’s Film Society of India (CFSI) to attend Green Screen Script Lab 2012.

“Would you like to attend Green-Screen script lab for ten days?”

“Ten days?”

Ten days is a huge time away from work/life in Mumbai. I needed time to answer this question. I knew that I would meet a lot of new stories here.

Within an hour, I had decided to come, for it has been a dream to tell a story, to make a feature film. A dream I have not pursued enough. A dream of which I have talked with passion, but never had enough courage to actually go for it. A dream which has kept me awake each time I saw a good film or read a good book.

I had not even applied for this lab, but here I was with the script that I had submitted to CFSI among 18 other writers. Was it destiny or was it the presence of lord Krishna in Bhubaneswar (the venue of the lab), I was wondering. Apparently, Krishna plays a part in my story/film too.

I have never attended a film school or a script workshop and have always wondered whether a story can be manufactured. I have no formal training in storytelling and have always believed in what Kamlesh Pandey told us in one of the sessions here; If my grandmother can tell a brilliant story, why can’t I? (Mr Pandey gave us a talk on ‘why’ to tell a story rather than ‘how’ to tell a story). Tulsidas, Maharishi Vyas or Shakespeare didn’t go to script schools but we have not been able to better them in terms of storytelling.

All these thoughts were in my mind and here I was ready to be probed, to be questioned and to be challenged. For next 10 days, I would only be talking about stories in some manner or the other.

Yesterday, we visited the Konark Temple. I guess we are looking for inspiration to tell stories. Konark Temple is full of stories waiting to be tapped. These stories have not aged and are still relevant in modern times. On the walls of Konark, some mythological animals are inscribed. They look similar to what we have seen in the films like Narnia. What Hollywood is thinking now has been thought by our own story tellers some 700 years ago. Clearly, we have underestimated our ancestors.

Day before, there was a screening of the Italian film Red is the Sky. Beautiful and soul stirring, this film is a story of a kid, who loses his eye sight. But he gets compensated by enhanced hearing senses. It’s a great inspiring tale.

It has been seven days here and honestly I am missing Mumbai. But the script I came here with has gone through a transformation. It has simplified itself. Suddenly, I can see it actually happening. The reactions to the story from peers and mentors have been encouraging and I stand more confident. Feedback from all directions has made me search, seek and explore my story. I think I have something I can hold on to.

Let me end with what Shakher Kapur once said and Kamlesh Pandey cited in his session here…

We are the stories, we tell ourselves.


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