Filmmaking Masterclass with Sriram Iyengar on Production Design, was conducted on May 18, 2019.
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Whistling Woods International (WWI) School of Media and Communication recently hosted famed digital influencer and entrepreneur, Malini Agarwal for an interactive masterclass. In a session moderated by Rahul Puri, Head of Academics at WWI, the founder of the upbeat blog MissMalini described her journey to digital stardom and shared rare and commendable insights on the pivotal role played by social media in today's digital landscape.
Upholding the importance of creating content with a personality and a voice, Malini Agarwal highlighted, "Always remember that you're speaking to real people – this is very easy to forget when you only interact with them from behind a screen. Make it a point to constantly question yourself. You must ensure that you behave on social media the same way you would in person."
While answering to the query raised by a zealous student - How does Malini Agarwal separate her persona from her virtual self, she explained, "When I first started blogging my identity revolved around being a virtual BFF (best friend forever) to people. This made me realise that I was putting myself in a box." She further stated, "Today MissMalini represents global brands, but I always take time to remember that my online and personal identities are distinct from each other."
With the session drawing to a close, Malini Agarwal shared her insights on the way forward for social media, revealing, "The future of the industry is going to be shaped by content. But even though the content is going to be king, there is a severe lack of talented scriptwriters in the industry."
The session came to an end with Rahul Puri presenting a token of appreciation to Malini Agarwal, as the students displayed their appreciation with deafening applause.
Session on Experimental Marketing by Abhilasha Jain – Branding & Business Development Head, Makers Group was conducted on April 17, 2019.
Masterclass with Akshaye Rathi was conducted on April 9, 2019
GMM team film mentoring and exchange programme was conducted on April 2, 2019.
SMC Masterclass with Aarif Malik was conducted on March 28, 2019
SMC Masterclass with Venugopal Ganganna was conducted on March 27, 2019
Masterclass on LGBTQ sensitisation & gender sensitization with Aanchal Narang was conducted on March 26, 2019.
Masterclass with Sudeep Chatterjee was conducted on March 22, 2019
Whistling Woods International (WWI) School of Media and Communication (SMC) hosted a masterclass with the theatre, advertising and marketing maverick, Bharat Dabholkar. As the session proceeded, he discussed finer aspects of advertising and shared rare insights from the domain of media and communication, which left the students inspired and encouraged to pursue a career in the said domain.
The session started with, Chaitanya Chinchlikar, Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, Whistling Woods International seeking inputs on the pros and cons of regionalising English language and the effect it has on overall messaging. Credited for inventing Hinglish as a language, Bharat Dabolkar stated, "I believe that it is more important to make sense while conversing and deliver the correct message. I feel that language is meant to express oneself and as long as the recipient understands the message, it’s all good!"
Bharat Dabolkar attributed for being one of the first to use animation in advertising, i.e., Amul Girl, elaborated on the difference between the advertisements that are direct, in comparison to advertisements that are entertaining. He added, "Advertisement is not fine arts, it is commercial arts. You are selling the product. The messaging of the ad depends on the target group and market. Hence, it is advisable to keep the messaging simple."
Further in the session, while discussing the diversity of Indian language, he emphasised on symbolism to create effective advertisements and cited examples of CEAT Tyres and using a wheel for Chakra Tea. He also prepped the eager students about the various things that may go wrong and how one should counter these issues.
Answering the query raised by a student on what holds more credibility in advertisements – Ad concepts or execution, he stated, "Concept is more important in every aspect." Exemplifying upon this, he referred to his award-winning ad campaign, which was based on the demise of Raj Kapoor, which had the Amul Girl wearing the legendary joker costume with teary eye and smile on her face.
The session marked its end with Chaitanya Chinchlikar presenting a token of appreciation to the guest, amidst a thunderous round of applause from the appreciative audience.
Masterclass with Smriti Nevatia was conducted on March 19, 2019.
Masterclass with Indrajit Ray was conducted on March 19, 2019.
They say legends are not born, they are created. And an opportunity to interact with the ones who portray and bring alive these legends on screen, is beyond ordinary. The masterclass at Whistling Woods International welcomed the celebrated team of 'Ani…. Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar'. The overwhelmed and eager students of the institute bore witness to some rare insights into the making of the superhit film, dedicated to the first superstar of Marathi film industry.
Moderating the session, Anjum Rajabali, HOD, Screenwriting Department, WWI, discussed the various aspects of filmmaking with the cast and crew of the film - Abhijeet Deshpande – Actor, Writer and Director, Subodh Bhave - Actor, Writer and Director, Nikhil Sane, Producer and Actor Vaidehi Parshurami.
While interacting with students, Abhijeet Deshpande, cited personal 'insecurities' to be the driving force to deliver better and set new benchmarks. Further, in the discussion, he emphasised on the effective ways of scriptwriting and added, "Every script has to be rewritten several times before executing it. This is a crucial part of the filmmaking process."
The award-winning actor Subodh Bhave who won the hearts of the audience with his rock solid performance in the film, mentioned how he was convinced by and trusted the "actor in Abhijeet Deshpande and used it as a reference" while playing the role of the Dr. Kashinath Ghanekar. Discussing characterisation with the students, he shared, "Every character is different, there is no methodical approach to it."
Nikhil Sane in conversation with Anjum Rajabali shared the two most important factors while considering a script – personal story experience – how the script appeals to his sensibilities and acknowledging the feedback by the younger generation. Vaidehi Parshurami discussed the challenges faced by her to portray two distinct characters in the film and how she addressed the concern.
The session marked its end with Anjum Rajabali presenting a token of appreciation to the guests, amidst a thunderous round of applause from the appreciative audience.
Whistling Woods International School of Media & Communication (SMC) hosted an interactive masterclass session with a life coach, public speaker and entrepreneur – Anil Srivatsa this week. The social change catalyst, whose career graph has often been referred to be the perfect blend of the eclectic and creative, upheld the importance of organ donation and the benefits it possesses for humanity.
While interacting with the eager students of SMC department, Anil Srivatsa shared the touching story of how he saved the life of his brother by donating his kidney and the difficulties faced thereon. He went on to discuss the negative mindset people usually adopted towards organ donation, and shared, "Saying NO is easy but saying YES is difficult!" Highlighting the perils of organ donation – how women are forced to give their organs for their men, and the complicated legal procedure that one has to undergo, Anil Srivatsa urged future media professionals to utilise the powerful and impactful means of cinema and media to change the perception and spread its awareness in the world.
Israeli delegation visited Whistling Woods International on March 14, 2019.
Charles Rivkin visits Whistling Woods International
Ron Martin from Digital Monarch visits Whistling Woods International
Students of Madhyamdoot visited WWI on March 7, 2019.
Whistling Woods International (WWI) School of Media & Communication hosted Karl Katgara, Co-Founder, Butter Media for an exclusive masterclass today. During the course of the masterclass, he shared numerous tips on generating digital content and elaborated upon his eventful journey in the domain.
The session began with Karl Katgara highlighting the requirements for drafting contents for different genres - Television and YouTube, and how digital has made a 'firm place' in the minds of the viewers. Differentiating between the target audience of television and that of the digital platforms, he mentioned the diversity of the Indian audience and compared them with the European counterparts and emphasised upon the ocean of opportunities that exist in India for various kinds of content to rule! Responding to the question raised by an eager student that content writers do not get paid enough, Karl cited his personal example by adding, "Throughout my career, I have prioritised quality work over money. This was crucial for attaining the required momentum and be noticed in the industry, thereby paving the path for a brighter future."
Karl who has been credited for making the first YouTube laughter channel cited the reason stating, "There were no comparisons, no rules, and no guidelines to follow while working for a YouTube channel. That triggered me to set my own standard and present the content in a manner that I felt would work."
The session ended amidst thunderous applause as Karl Katgara was bestowed with a token of appreciation by Meenakshi CV, Faculty, WWI School Media & Communication. As a piece of parting advice, Karl Katgara concluded, "Read a lot of books and meditate often. These are crucial for personal and professional growth." He further added, "Don't take anything to heart and continue doing what you feel is right for your career. There will be always someone on the upper hand when compared to you. Executing the task diligently and exhibiting hard work is in your court. Do strive to achieve these qualities in life."
Students of Dhanukar College visited WWI on March 5, 2019.
Screenwriting Workshop with Niranjan Iyengar.
SMC Masterclass with Dharmesh Joshi.
Animation Masterclass with Shilpa Ranade.
Filmmaking Masterclass with Rob Giles.
SMC Masterclass with Johan Lidberg.
As a part of Alumni Engagement Month, Parth Navle conducted a session on cinematography with the students of WWI School of Filmmaking on February 15, 2019.
As a part of the Alumni Engagement Month, Sanjay Kumar Patel conducted a session on Editing on February 14 & 15, 2019.
'Manto Revisited' - Whistling Woods International Students Interact with the Team of the Highly Acclaimed Film in a Masterclass
Whistling Woods International (WWI) has always been known to do things differently. Of the many interesting facets curated to offer the students up-to-date learnings, masterclasses with industry stalwarts play a major role to hone their skill set.
Today’s masterclass with team ‘Manto’ was indeed exceptional as the students of Asia’s premier film, communication and creative arts institute got an exposure to the finer and detailed aspects of the critically-acclaimed movie.
The deep, invigorating and soul-stirring session witnessed the ingenuity through which the film was presented to the audience. The guests of the session - Nandita Das (Writer, Director & Producer), Rasika Dugal (Actor), and Sneha Khanwalkar (Music Director) represented team ‘Manto’. The session moderated by Anjum Rajabali, HOD Screenwriting department, WWI, led the students through the thought process that went into making this film and highlighted some rare findings of filmmaking.
Nandita while interacting with the inquisitive students shared, “She always wanted to work with the people, and for the people”. Speaking about her role as an artist who has more than 40 films to her credit, she said, “Art is a very powerful thing. It is something to keep chasing on, to be able to help you improve as an artist. Even after working for so many years, I still learn and evolve with every film." She also emphasised on the importance of research that plays a crucial role in making a film successful.
Rasika Dugal, who is formally trained in acting, discussed the role a film and media school played for her and cited, “Yes, it did help broaden my perspective.” She went on to add, “Everything I know about acting is because of the training I received.” Rasika in conversation with Anjum Rajabali helped identify some key aspects that helps one in evolving as a better actor. She further advised, “You just need to connect well with the character you portray that helps you enact the role better. Also, equip yourself with enough information about the character, to be able to do justice to the role.” She also confessed, she is more of an impromptu actor as that helps her get the essence of the character right.
Sneha Khanwalkar surprised the audience with her music sensibilities and what went in to impart the melodious soundtracks that resonated perfectly with the era shown in the movie.
As the session came to an end, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI presented the guests with tokens of appreciation amidst thunderous applause echoing through the auditorium.
WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL PRESERVES INDIA’S MUSICAL HERITAGE WITH WORLD-RENOWNED ETHNOMUSICOLOGIST, AMY CATLIN-JAIRAZBHOY
Whistling Woods International (WWI) recently hosted world-renowned scholar, filmmaker and ethnomusicologist, Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy as she conducted an exclusive masterclass for WWI School of Performing Arts – Music Department. Over the course of an enlightening session at Asia’s premier film, communication, and creative arts institute, she highlighted the importance of traditional music and shared experiences from her career, while instilling the importance of preserving India’s rich musical heritage in her enthralled listeners.
The session began with Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy elaborating on the nature of her work, which revolves around the breaking of communal barriers through shared cultural and musical experiences. As described by her, “It’s vital that we treasure our art and culture, because they are living historical links to those who came before us.” As the session continued, Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy further captured the imagination of her audience by detailing her latest project – a documentary entitled ‘Music for a Goddess’.
With the session coming to an end, Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy had a personal appeal to make. Reiterating the importance of traditional music and its power as an agent of positive change, she asked that the students to incorporate their heritage into their own work in the future. For as she said, “The only way to keep our traditions alive is through preserving and innovating upon it.” And judging by the electrified atmosphere in the auditorium, her eager listeners were all too happy to oblige.
As a part of Alumni Engagement Month, Utsab Bandopadhyay conducted a session on editing with the students of WWI School of Filmmaking.
SMC Masterclass with Kautuk Srivastava was conducted on February 13, 2019
“SUCCESS IS NOT AN ACCIDENT, BUT A RESULT OF HARD WORK,” SAID BINDU SHARMA, FOUNDER, VYA NATURALS AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL MASTERCLASS
“Success is not an accident, but a direct result of hard work. Consistency is the key,” said Bindu Sharma, Co-Founder, and CEO of Vya Naturals, at a masterclass conducted at Whistling Woods International (WWI). Bindu accompanied by fellow co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer Hans Vivek, shared rare insights about young entrepreneurship and the challenges it poses in a session moderated by Nisha Chanda, HOD, School of Creative Arts, Fashion Design Department.
Following a round of introductions, Bindu Sharma began the session describing their journey and the meaning behind the brand name, Vya – an acronym of Vimal (pure), Yajas (reverence), Ayush (healthy life). The colleagues then opened the floor to the audience, with the eager listeners posing a host of questions. When queried on their unique selling point, Bindu Sharma said, “From the beginning, we’ve followed a policy of blending traditional ayurvedic knowledge with modern scientific innovation.” A subsequent question brought a global perspective to the discussion and the difficulties of promoting a product in a world of influencers such as Kylie Jenner. Bindu Sharma’s response was direct, “Innovation is about finding a better way of improving the efficacy of the products. That should always remain your key focus.”
As the masterclass progressed, Bindu Sharma highlighted the importance of blogs on her journey as an entrepreneur and the invaluable experience of her earlier corporate role. On a more personal note, she shared her own experiences with skincare, stating, “You need to be consistent in your routine to obtain the skin type you want.”
Vivek subsequently shared his own working experience, stressing the importance of retaining clients as a start-up. When asked about the role played by marketing, he responded, “The key is to make the public unlearn certain facts and then educate everyone again. Never rely on buzzwords.” With the session coming to an end, the duo had a final word of advice for the attendees, “If you choose to become an entrepreneur, do it for yourself.”
As the session was nearing its end, Bindu Sharma and Hans Vivek surprised the audience by sharing complementary beauty products. The speakers were then bestowed with tokens of appreciation by Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI.
Music Masterclass with Jerome Thomas Veleeparambil was conducted on February 11, 2019.
Masterclass with Liz Barry was conducted from February 4-11, 2019
Calligraphy Masterclass with Lalit Mourya was conducted on February 5, 2019.
VETERAN ENTERTAINMENT ICON BRIAN TELLIS ILLUMINATES THE STUDENTS WITH HIS KEYWORDS - PASSION TO PROFESSION, AT THE SMC MASTERCLASS AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL
"Strive to turn your passion into your profession! The only way to avoid falling out of love with your work is to find joy in your chosen task", shared Brian Tellis, a veteran of the Indian entertainment industry, during the School of Media & Communication (SMC) masterclass held at Whistling Woods International (WWI). In a session moderated by Rahul Puri, Head of Academics at WWI, Brian Tellis narrated the journey of his life and the path that brought him professional success and personal satisfaction.
Brian Tellis, Director, Fountainhead Promotions & Events Pvt Ltd, a Dentsu Aegis Network company, began his session by exclaiming, ‘Passion to Profession’. He went on to discuss the various sources that he draws inspiration from - singing in a band to express his love for music; the role of team building in sports; and quenching the thirst for travel by working for an airline company. While interacting with the aspirants, the importance of staying true to one’s values was also emphasised upon, as he cited, "Set your value chain in place. Longer than the cleverness of ideation, longer than virtues, it is your values that will keep you focussed."
Brian Tellis subsequently listed the session’s key takeaways. The first was going on a journey of discovery, in order to discover one’s passion; subsequently making time for one’s passion; learning to chase positivity while accepting failure; defining the terms of your life; staying a student for life, and never losing the hunger for success and achievement. The last, and the most important lesson was to enjoy the journey. For as Brian Tellis advised, "Spend time learning about yourself in order to keep your beliefs and your passion alive. Figure out who it is you are."
The session ended with a round of thunderous applause as the students expressed their gratitude for the life lessons shared by the guest. As promised at the start of the session, Brian Tellis became the first guest to be featured on the official WWI podcast live on www.whistlesandechoes.com.
Fashion Masterclass was conducted with Dinesh Harish Maheshwary.
"Have no fear and follow your heart”, advised filmmaker Rohit Shetty to Whistling Woods International's Students
Whistling Woods International (WWI), Asia’s premier Film, Communication, and Creative Arts Institute, hosted the team Simmba for a special masterclass session yesterday. Accompanying Rohit Shetty, were Chief Assistant Directors Sneha Shetty and Vidhi Ghodgaonkar; Assistant Directors Mayank Tandon, Riyan Shetty, Sanchit and Harsh, who imparted some crucial tips of filmmaking to the students. Rakesh Rajan, Sr. Faculty, Sound Recording & Design, WWI and contributor to Simmba’s sound design was also in attendance at the event and moderated the session.
Following an initial round of introductions, the team took turns to describe their work journey with Rohit Shetty and contributions to the film. While Vidhi began by describing her journey in the industry, Sneha provided a run-through of their responsibilities, from guiding the production team across departments to post-production, branding, marketing, and assorted tie-ups. She emphasized to the students that directors work 24x7 over the course of a film and fixed hours is an unheard concept.
Further interacting with the students, Sanchit and Harsh described the work ethic and drive that Rohit Shetty brought along with him to every production. As Sanchit described it, “As soon as one film ends another begins. Rohit sir is always in production mode for the next film.” While discussing their responsibilities, Mayank narrated how he handled the post-production and managed actors during the shoot. Riyaan narrated how he oversaw the visual effects, promos, and overall distribution process.
Interacting with the engrossed and inquisitive students, Rohit Shetty described how born in a family with film connect, he started his career as a clap boy for the film, Phool Aur Kaante. He listed Manmohan Desai and Vijay Anand as his inspirations in this field and mentioned Jewel Thief as a must-watch for every aspiring director. He also stressed the importance of knowing the role of every department in production, stating “To learn filmmaking you need to be a master of all the departments.” Answering the query of a student on holding the attention of the audience, he advised, “The audience is like a child whose mind is easily diverted. To counter that we have to ensure an interesting story beat every 10 minutes.” He further emphasised the importance of conviction and fearlessness as a director, saying, “Every day is different, and will bring new challenges. How you tackle these difficult situations is the important thing.”
Speaking about the session, Rohit Shetty shared, “It’s a great experience having a heart-to-heart conversation with the students. Every time being here at WWI is like rejuvenating oneself, where you teach something and learn something. I just take all the good energy when I leave from here.”
With the session drawing to a close, Meghna Ghai Puri, President, WWI, said, “The highlight of every Rohit Shetty film is, when at the end, the credit - ‘A film by Rohit Shetty and Team’ appears on-screen. In the simplest way possible, he tells every person watching that his work of art is a team effort. I can’t think of a better message with which to leave the audience.”
Rohit concluded the session with a final piece of advice for the aspiring filmmakers, “Listen to your heart, listen to your intuition, follow your heart, start visualising and you'll be there.”
Concluding the session, Meghna Ghai Puri thanked the guests and presented them with tokens of appreciation amidst thunderous applause by the audience.
Masterclass with Jayant Deshmukh was conducted for the students of Production Design.
Rotary Club members visited Whistling Woods International
Archil Dzuliashvili, Ambassador of Georgia visited Whistling Woods International on November 19, 2018.
Masterclass with Nosipho Dumisa was conducted.
“AR/VR will be the ruling technology in a few years and the scale of its use in digital would increase in India”, said Arnav Neel Ghosh at the 44th Vamrr conference hosted at Whistling Woods International
Virtual Interactive, Experiential Marketing discussed at Vamrr conference held at WWI was based on technology and how it helps the marketing process for companies
As Asia’s premire institue for Film, Communication and Creative Arts, Whistling Woods International (WWI) has always encouraged the use of modern technolgy and it’s unwavering attributes to benefiting current business trends. Keeping this philosophy in mind, WWI hosted the 44th Vamrr conference where the topic in discussion was - Virtual Interactive, Experiential Marketing based on technology and how it helps the marketing process for companies.
Post the initial round of introductions of participants, the first session began with Mithun Panagal, Co-Founder Custom Technologies who discussed VR/MR interaction in a lab experience. His session also focused on the potential of Holographic Chat-Bots and the expenses business could incur with their implementation.
The second session, hosted by Arnav Neel Ghosh, Managing Director, Blippar India, discussed the immersive nature of VR and the development of the right tools for businesses, marketing and today’s startups.
Ashwini Nagarkatti, Category Marketing Manager- Washing Machines, Godrej Appliances discussed how immersive technology has made marketing their products an exciting experience for their consumer-base. Other industry stalwarts like Suchita Phadke, an independent consultant; Rahul Deshpande, Co-founder & CEO, Ethos Digital; Parag Risbhud, Digital Consulting Lead, IBM; Dipankar Mukherjee, Chief - Idea & Innovation, Hypercollective; and Vishal Rupani, Founder, MCanvas were among the large panel of speakers.
Each session helped highlight how important Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are to infusing great marketing ideas and concepts with immersive technology. Not only would it help boost campaign values, but they will prove to be highly attractive to consumers. Although the technology is relatively new to the marketing arena, marketers have been seeing promising results. But one must also consider its purpose, relevance and context while planning any strategy using immersive technology. It is clearly so much more than scanning a code and watching a video play.
By outlining how Immersive Technology is the inevitable future in marketing, these professionals drove home the ideology that this new phase will prove beneficial for customer experience, satisfaction and retention as well.
The 44th Conference by Vamrr came to an end with a round of applause for the speakers and the bank of knowledge they shared. It was followed up by their corresponding vote of thanks to Vamrr and WWI for allowing them to present their perspective on the technology in the marketing space.
Horizon Institute of Design visited Whistling woods International
Journalism Masterclass with Laura-Jane Filotrani was conducted
“Consider short films as a stepping stone before foraying into commercial cinema”, opined Amar Kaushik in a masterclass at Whistling Woods International
It’s no surprise that the students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) are exposed to some of the best names in the domain of filmmaking, animation, media & entertainment, fashion, design, and various other areas. Asia’s premier Film, Communication, and Creative Arts institute host unique masterclasses for the students to broaden the horizon of knowledge, gain first-hand understanding and sharpen their skill set. The latest masterclass welcomed the celebrated director Amar Kaushik; Sumit Aroraa, dialogue writer and actors Aparshakti Khurrana and
Abhishek Banerjee, who shared their thrilling experience of creating the applauded and commercially successful film – Stree.
The session moderated by Anjum Rajabali, HOD, Screenwriting, WWI started with a brief introduction of the team Stree. Speaking about the film, Amar Kaushik highlighted that while rejoicing success, one must focus to understand and evaluate their work and “seek an opinion about the film and what could have been done better.”
Further in the session, while answering about the important factors to be considered during filmmaking, Amar Kaushik narrated his journey in the world of cinema – from the days of him being an assistant director, writing a script to releasing his short film ‘Aaba’, with a mere three-member team. He shared how he conducted an exclusive preview for the directors and producers in the industry, in an effort to understand and evaluate their feedback before targeting commercial cinema. Discussing the importance of short films, he advised the students to consider them as "stepping stones.” He further added, “Making a short film will give you an idea about where you stand!”
While interacting with Anjum Rajabali, Sumit Aroraa narrated his journey of starting a career in the field of journalism and then foraying into scriptwriting through TV. He stated, “I started working with TV and the platform has given me a chance to explore and help me enhance my writing skills.” He further added, “One should always have their goals set and should work hard to achieve them, no matter what!”
As Aparshakti Khurrana conferred about characterisation, he said, “First and foremost, I find out the common traits between me and the character.” Elaborating on this, he added “Like in the film Dangal in which I play the role of a failed sports person, I could relate to it, as in reality I am a failed sports person, hence could portray it well. So, identifying a common ground between the reel and real, helps get the characters right.”
Answering the curious students, Abhishek Banerjee cited the importance of chemistry and highlighted that the team should spend time with each other “and the rest comes naturally.”
Speaking about WWI, Amar Kaushik said, “The students of WWI have hands-on experience on passing out from the institute. The quality of students is extremely good, as they are very well aware of the industry. Also they need not start from the basics, which makes working with them enjoyable, as they already know about cinema, from direction to screenwriting.”
The session ended with a huge round of applause from the engrossed students and a vote of thanks by the moderator.
FTII students visited Whistling Woods International
Natayashastra Theory Masterclass was conducted by D.R. Ankur
Masterclass on Introduction to Indian Art Theory was conducted by Abhijit Pohankar
Music Masterclass was conducted by Brian Thomas Lindley, Eric Xavier, Sangeetha Prabhakar, Sudhin Prabhakar, Thomas James Lindley & Vivin Kuruvilla
Animation Masterclass was conducted by Vaibhav Kumaresh on October 9, 2018.
Animation Masterclass was conducted by Debjani Mukherjee for the animation students of Whistling Woods International
One man, many talents - Sudipto Das awakened a philosophical ethos among the students of WWI
Since inception, Whistling Woods International (WWI) has endeavoured to nurture the growth of its students. To enhance the process of learning, a candid yet insightful masterclass with Sudipto Das was organised by the institute for its School of Media & Communication students. Over the years Sudipto has garnered learnings in various sectors, which led him to accomplish himself as an Indian author, IT professional, musician, columnist, a speaker at TED events and a veteran in the semi-conductor industry. In addition, he is also the Co-founder of two start-ups companies - Mindlance Technologies and Insilico.
The session commenced as Sudipto narrated his process of managing his interests in two variant sectors - one that embraced his technological curiosity and the other his artistic passion. He explained how two sides of a human brain controlled the logical and illogical choices. Emphasizing further on this subject he said, “An artist or a filmmaker who is not logical is as bad as a non-artistic engineer.”
While highlighting Indian History as a point of reference for his books, Sudipto revealed about his disinterest in the subject as a child. He mentioned that movies and non-academic novels inspired by historical events primarily inclined him towards the subject. The versatile expert also educated the students about the significance of in-depth research. On a similar note, Sudipto elaborated on the importance and the power of marketing. He said, “Marketing is the answer to reach out to the people. If we don’t market, we won’t be sellable.”
Having shared insights about the process of writing a book, Sudipto also discussed the technicalities involved in launching a book. He advised the students to reap benefits from the technological advancements and move towards launching e-books instead of hard-covers. On making conscious choices, the exemplary writer preached, “Thinking about physical book is a social and natural disaster. So we have to move to e-book or other avenues of media, which are eco-friendly.” Sudipto also counselled the aspiring writers to initially seek an honest opinion about the book from family members or close friends and later reach out to publishers. Lastly, Sudipto encouraged the students to keep faith in their work and not be de-moralised by rejections.
The session marked its end with an interactive Q and A session with the curious learners of WWI School of Media & Communication. With a thunderous cheer and applause, the esteemed guest was felicitated with a token of appreciation.
Animation Masterclass was conducted by Abhishek Singh
“You have to be very honest with your work and always welcome criticism, because you will learn more from it”, shared the legendary music composer, Anandji Virji Shah in an interactive session, hosted by WWI
The prolific Indian music composer Anandji Virji Shah from the renowned duo ‘Kalyanji – Anandji’ has rendered an ocean of iconic timeless songs to the Hindi cinema. The legendary music composer, in a candid session at Whistling Woods International (WWI), shared his valuable insights and experiences with the budding music and film aspirants.
The session commenced with Anandji and Subhash Ghai reminiscing about their initial acquaintance and collaborations. After a stint of heartfelt conversation, the music guru enlightened the students about the technicalities involved in music composition. He explained the key to creating noteworthy music for a movie was to essentially understand its script.
In addition, Anandji discussed the difference between the procedure of music composition during his times and the present era. He said, “In my time the best part was that all the musicians came together and tried different variations.” Highlighting the key aspect of a song, Anandji explained, “Taal is the most important thing in any song and other aspects like location, costume, mood, script among others are also equally important.”
As the session progressed, the versatile musician advised the students to be consistent and curious learners. He encouraged them to follow the mantra, ‘keep asking questions.’ Further, in the conversation, Anandji shared his inputs on the shift of music culture in India - from classical to contemporary.
The session then opened to a Q&A round where Anandji addressed to the queries proposed by the students. As a departing word of advice to the students, the applauded musician said, “You have to be very honest with your work and always welcome criticism because you will learn more and more from it.”
Amidst a burst of applause and cheer, Anandji Virji Shah was presented with a token of appreciation by Subhash Ghai.
Masterclass on editing was conducted by Bidyut Kotoky
Masterclass on editing was conducted by Sanjeev Mehta
“There is no lack of stories in India but there is a lack of creative writers”, revealed Shekhar Purohit in an insightful masterclass with the students of WWI
Rated among the ‘Top Institutes of Influence’ globally by the Forbes India, Whistling Woods International (WWI) has invariably persevered to provide world-class education. With a cutting-edge academia that caters to various competencies - from Filmmaking and Communication to Media and Design, the institute has always strived to add ‘wings of knowledge’ to the aspirations of the talented youth. In a masterclass with Shekhar Purohit, Co-Founder and CEO, TalentNext.com and Director, Baweja Movies Private Limited, the students of School of Media & Communication got an opportunity to gain insights about the real-time talent acquisition scenario in the entertainment industry.
At the session, Shekhar gave an overview of the talent sourcing methodologies adopted by his team at TalentNext. In a conversation with Rahul Puri, Head of Academics, WWI, Shekhar narrated how the online platform aims to connect talents to the casting community and the corporate goals that the platform practices as an establishment. He explained how the company aimed to work with integrity, assure safety and fundamentally focused on educating individuals. Later in the conversation, Shekhar highlighted the challenges he faced to familiarise and build a network of trust for the talents, subscribing to the platform. He said, “We helped the people understand that we are a platform that is a marriage between Naukri.com and LinkedIn”. In addition, he also discussed the different consumption behaviours of users in India and the U.S towards content generated by the entertainment business. According to him, the major divergence was caused due to the quality of content created. Emphasizing the need for quality content in India, Shekhar helped the students to recognize ‘content-creation’ as a next big opportunity in the market.
Talking about attracting the global market in movie theaters or OTT platforms, Shekhar explained the significance of crisp content creation and different content-structures. While forecasting trends and opportunities in the entertainment business, he shared, “I think content is going to be consumed on an episodic basis, in 7-10 minutes.” In addition, Shekhar educated how content-creation, especially for episodic content, is the need of the hour. He explained, “People who write content in our country today were never groomed to write episodic content. Everybody was groomed to write films.”
As an initiative to bridge the gap of quality content creation in India, Shekhar shared details about ‘Mentoring Writing Labs’ which is a joint venture with professionals from the U.S. Through this platform expert writers will mentor talents in India to upgrade their skill set. Commenting on this initiative, Shekhar revealed, “There is no lack of stories in India but there is a lack of creative-writing talent.”
The session marked its end with an interactive Q and A round with the students. With a burst of cheer and standing ovation, the esteemed dignitary was felicitated with a token of appreciation by Rahul Puri.
Masterclass was conducted by Kamaljeet Negi for the students of filmmaking. Kamaljeet Negi is a cinematographer and the DOP for the movie, PIKU.
SMC masterclass was conducted by Aneesh Madani. Aneesh Madani is the Head of Sports Partnerships for Twitter in the Asia Pacific.
“Our commitment to nature cannot be a one-day-event for social media.”- shared the awardee of ‘Indian of the year 2017’ in a heart-to-heart session with the students of WWI
Bestowed with the award - ‘Champion of the Earth’ by The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Afroz Shah is globally-applauded for conducting the biggest beach clean-up. In an educative session with the students of Whistling Woods International, Afroz narrated his personal journey, and experiences about his initiative to address the marine crisis.
Discussing the motivation behind taking up the environmental crusade, Afroz a lawyer by profession, briefly mentioned about his preliminary impetus. He further shared how the beauty and serenity of the blue sea has always enchanted him. However, after shifting to his sea-facing apartment in 2015, Afroz faced the harsh reality of an affected marine life due to the abundant trash accumulated at the shore. Revealing the ‘call to action’ moment, he said, “Instead of complaining about the situation, I acted upon it.”
Talking about his exemplary approach to this global crisis, the ocean-lover educated the students about the significance of understanding the country’s history and the path the role-models of earlier eras followed. He enlightened, “I chose to adopt what happened 70 years back. The journey should begin with what our forefathers did.” Later, Afroz also exchanged his global observations and encounters that further boosted his conviction to protect the nature.
On a similar note, the activist expressed the relevance of discussing ‘marine debris’ with the students of a film, communication and creative arts school. Afroz emphasised the need to be a holistic individual irrespective of one’s profession. He vocalized, how the youth of the country has tremendous power in making a positive change; hence pointing out the need to understand, that, nature and country demand time. Further, in the conversation, Afroz also shared the setback he underwent during this journey and how he overcame the hurdles by accepting and working on his failures.
On this inspiring note, Rahul Puri, Head of Academics - WWI, announced the initiative WWI would undertake in collaboration with Afroz Shah for the beach clean-up. Rahul Puri also declared the establishment of a plastic-bank to monitor conscious usage of plastic and eventually make WWI a plastic-free campus.
The session then opened to a Q&A round where the students in the audience proposed their queries. During the Q&A session, Afroz Shah stated, “Our commitment to nature cannot be a one-day-event for social media.”
Comparing his motivation for cleaning litter to a date, as a departing thought Afroz said, “As long as the beach and oceans don’t get clean, I will continue with the date.”
The session marked its end with applause and cheer as the esteemed guest was presented with a token of appreciation by Rahul Puri.
Music Masterclass with Sairam Iyer was conducted on August 28, 2018
"Always define success for yourself." said the impeccable producer, director and writer, Anubhav Sinha at Whistling Woods International
Applauded for his work in films like ‘Dus’, ‘Ra.One’ and ‘Tum Bin’, among others, the Indian film producer, director & writer, Anubhav Sinha has always strived to project distinctive concepts through his movies. With his recent creation, ‘Mulk’, he has showcased a real-life story that narrates the struggles of a Muslim family in India, who fight to reclaim their honour after a member of their family takes to terrorism. For the masterclass conducted at Whistling Woods International, Anubhav shared his experience and knowledge behind the process of making ‘Mulk’ with its protagonist & actor, Taapsee Pannu.
During the session moderated by Anjum Rajabali, HOD, Screenwriting – WWI, Anubhav shared his mantra for being consistent in the film business and said,“Always define success for yourself”. He further provided insights about the brave idea he wanted to depict and thereafter the challenges he faced. He narrated how experts from the film fraternity had apprehensions about his idea, but it was his strong conviction the led him to create ‘Mulk’ just the way he had envisioned.
Further, in the conversation, Taapsee Pannu shared an artist’s point of view and inner thoughts about her character in the film. She described how fortunate she felt to play a protagonist that had a voice of a secular Indian. She also explained her initial intimidation, with the responsibility of voicing a strong character amidst other prolific actors in the film like Rishi Kapoor, Prateik Babbar, Rajat Kapoor, and Ashutosh Rana among others. Talking about the unexpected success and critical appreciation ‘Mulk’ received, Anubhav said, “I was not surprised by the positive response, but by the enormity of it.”
In the latter part of the session, Anubhav highlighted the importance of team-work and shared how each crew member had an equal contribution to the movie. He said, “The biggest task is to find a team who believes in the story in a manner the director envisions it.” As an advice to the budding directors, Anubhav added, “As a director, you need to realise, it is not only about you; it is about the whole team.”Further, Taapsee enlightened the students about the methods and process she followed for depicting her exemplary character. She said, “I had to connect a bit of my own personality with the idea. But majorly I drew my confidence from the script and the story.”
The session then marked its end with a Q & A round where the esteemed guests addressed to the questions asked by the students. The session ended with Meghna Ghai Puri, President - WWI, felicitating the dignitaries with a token of appreciation.
'Stay true to your thoughts and stay determined’- advised the applauded writer, Juhi Chaturvedi in an interactive session hosted by WWI
Applauded for their synergetic partnership, director - Shoojit Sircar, producer - Ronnie Lahiri and writer - Juhi Chaturvedi; have contributed several exceptional movies to the Indian film industry. With creations like Vicky Donor, Piku, Pink and October, the trio have proved their excellence in portraying strong concepts with an exceptional storyline. The creative trio shared insights discussing the filmmaking process and their recent movie, 'October' with the young aspirants of Asia premier Film, Communication, and Creative Arts institute, Whistling Woods International (WWI).
The session commenced as Shoojit Sircar shared the thought process behind the creation of his well-recognised movies - Vicky Donor and Piku. During this conversation, Anjum Rajabali, HOD - Screenwriting, WWI, who moderated the session, helped the students attain a glimpse of the confidence and determination Shoojit possessed while projecting unconventional stories. Later, Juhi discussed how concepts related to mainly health and relationships gave her a drive to ideate and write a script. She also mentioned that these concepts were naturally understood by both Shoojit and Ronnie, owing to the circumstances and personal experiences they had encountered in their respective lives.
While Shoojit and Juhi shared knowledge about the creative domain, Ronnie discussed his role and responsibility as a producer. He also mentioned how the production house had a ‘development fund’ which allowed writers to share various ideas and scripts that would then be shortlisted by Ronnie himself. The trio further also discussed in brief about budget management, choice of star-cast and ways to battle pressures. While doing so, Shoojit said, “Cinema is an expensive medium. As a director, it is extremely important to understand and take responsibility to recover the money.” In addition to this, Juhi revealed the methods of dealing with writer’s block and explained how thorough research had helped her add emotional and cultural authenticity to the script.
The session then opened to a Q&A round where the esteemed guests addressed to the queries proposed by the students. As a departing word of advice to the talented aspirants, Juhi Chaturvedi said, “Just stay true to your thoughts and stay determined.” To this Shoojit Sircar added, “Cinema should be practised with a lot of calmness, passion and leisure. So be patient and believe in yourself.” The session marked its end with a thunderous applause as the talented team of October were presented with a token of appreciation by Anjum Rajabali.
Flame Demo session with Samit Shetty from Autodesk was conducted for Animation students specialising in VFX, on July 31, 2018.
“Your journey in life should be enriching. Don’t follow others… Carve your own path”, advised the prolific director Shashank Khaitan in a candid yet insightful session at WWI
Dhadak, a movie that carved an emotional niche in the hearts of the audience showcased the zeal and creativity of director-writer, Shashank Khaitan. The highly appreciated movie struck a chord for its unique storyline and the strong messaging that it imparted. Whistling Woods International (WWI) invited Shashank with debut protagonists Ishaan Khattar and Jhanvi Kapoor, along with Sohel Sanwari (Sound Recordist) and Varun Machhar (Assistant Director) to interact with the students and share their noteworthy experience.
Shashank, an alumnus of WWI, cited the reasons to create Dhadak, an adaptation of the iconic Marathi movie ‘Sairat’. He mentioned in brief about his state of mind after watching Sairat and the emotions it evoked within him. He said, “I felt a connection with the movie. I felt the need to tell the story with my perspective and I was certain about it.”
Further, in the conversation, the talented actors, Ishaan and Jhanvi explained the methodologies they undertook in order to stand true to their characters in the movie. Talking about language and dialect adaptations Jhanvi said, “We kept reading the script over and over again, which helped us expand our vocabulary. Also, Shashank is familiar with the dialect, so we would follow his guidance. More than the language, it is the nature and demeanour of the people that we tried to extract.” To this, Ishaan added that their visits to Udaipur, diligently practicing, observing and interacting with the locals helped them in bringing finesse to their overall characters.
In the latter part of the session, Sohel Sanwari and Varun Machhar, also the alumni of WWI, shared technical knowledge and details that they incorporated to execute the movie in the way it was envisioned by Shashank. Sohel discussed how the local flavour of Rajasthan was incorporated by capturing and translating the on-goings of the surroundings into sound. In addition to this Varun, Shashank and the actors discussed at length about the emotional and technical aspects of the highly applauded climax scene of the movie. Varun also shared how delighted he was to work with Shashank and quoted a statement that this talented director once told him, which was, “I treat my AD’s like potential directors and not as my subordinates.”
The auditorium was brimming with energy, as the students got an opportunity to clarify their doubts about the various aspects of filmmaking. As a departing advice to the students, Shashank Khaitan said, “Don’t follow anybody else’s journey. We all come with different skill sets and experiences. So, stay honest with yourself and be you.” The session marked its end and the esteemed guests were felicitated with a token of appreciation and a thunderous applause.
“Never give up on your idea, no matter how challenging it is”, said the director of Nude, Ravi Jadhav in an interactive session with the students of WWI
From directing the National Film Award-winning movie, Balgandharva to the highly applauded comedy, Balak-Palak, Ravi Jadhav’s contribution towards Marathi cinema has been remarkable. With his new movie, ‘Nude’, Ravi portrays the story of a mother who undertook the art of nude modeling with a sole purpose of educating her son. Ravi, along with actors Kalyanee Mulay, Chhaya Kadam and producer-costume designer, Meghna Jadhav graced the platform at Whistling Woods International (WWI) to share their experiences and valuable insights with the students.
The session began on an inspirational note as director, Ravi Jadhav discussed his strong zeal to stand against the constant censorship and ban on creative works of art. Talking about his idea behind creating a movie based on real-life experience, he said, “It is during my education at the J.J School of Arts that the concept of ‘nude modelling’ caught my curiosity. I would constantly wonder about the lives of those models and how they portrayed immense courage to pose undressed.” Further explaining the process of direction, Ravi said, “My team and I spent a lot of time on research and pre-production. We interviewed the real-life nude models and picked universal points from their stories.”
On similar note protagonists of the movie, Kalyanee and Chhaya shared with the students the challenges and inhibitions they had to overcome in order to stand true to their respective characters. Chhaya mentioned, “Adapting to the role of Chandra was not easy for me. Observing people in my surrounding with a resemblance to the character helped me show the real life of Chandra.” Kalyanee added, “I was extremely thrilled when Ravi shared this idea with me. I believe projecting a strong concept like this is the need of the hour.” Further discussing the unconventional idea of the movie, producer-Meghna Jadhav enlightened the students about how it was crucial to help the society diminish negative connotation associated with nudity.
Later in the session, Ravi Jadhav discussed with the students about the special attention given to details like the colour scheme, choice of dialogues and costumes, to execute the idea subtly. The leading cast and Ravi also educated the students about the importance of team-work. Ravi said, “There were scenes in which the actresses were projected nude. For sensitive depictions like these, it is crucial to maintain strict security so as to protect the photographs or videos from being leaked. I was very fortunate to have a trustworthy team who understood the intention of the concept we were striving to project.”
On these thoughts and advises, the session marked its end with a Q&A round. Post this the esteemed guests were felicitated with a token of appreciation.
The officials from Quebec visited WWI to explore opportunities between Quebec and WWI.
Acting masterclass with Kunal Rao on June 8, 2018 from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm. Kunal Rao is a stand-up comedian.
Acting session for professional practice with Inaamulhaq was held on May 26, 2018 from 2:00pm to 3:30pm. Inaamulhaq is an Indian actor and screenwriter who has appeared in Bollywood films, including Filmistaan and Airlift.
Acting Masterclass with CINTAA officials was conducted on May 22, 2018. Suneel Sinha and Amit Bhel conducted this masterclass.
Daniela Ciancio, the internationally acclaimed costume designer shared insights about ‘The Fundamentals of Costume Design’ in a masterclass for Fashion students at WWI
Born with an intense creative flair and the fire to excel in the world of fashion, Italian costume designer - Daniela Ciancio shared pioneering tips with the students of Whistling Woods International’s (WWI) School of Creative Arts – Fashion department. The informative session was curated to educate the students about the fundamentals of costume designing especially for the film industry.
The celebrated artist who has been bestowed with the prestigious David Di Donatello (Italy’s Academy Awards) twice, narrated her journey of costume designing for the film and television industry. She meticulously explained to the students the process of costume designing through the film ‘The Exception’, for which she received praises and appreciation from far and wide.
In the session, Daniela highlighted the importance of understanding the brief of the project and delivering according to the need of the script. In addition, she explained how “costume designing is not merely confined to fashion and clothes, but the job primarily revolves around imparting sensibility and adaptability to relate to the actors, the location and most importantly the emotion that a movie aims to project.” According to Daniela one of the key factors to be a successful costume designer is to ‘Research’ well and stay up-to-date with development details.
Elaborating on the technical aspects of design, Daniela advised the students to closely examine the personalities of the actors in order to create garments that are ‘made-to-measure’. She also mentioned that a costume designer should not only be confined to create garments but also bring together an ensemble look, which caters to conceptualizing hair, makeup, and accessories.
While sharing information about her work in a TV series, the talented designer spoke about the significance of understanding the culture of the country or location while designing ensembles. She enlightened the students by stating “that costume designing is justified when it a combination of creativity and intelligence.”
The session marked its end with a Q&A round, where the talented designer responded to the queries of the students. She was then felicitated with a token of appreciation and thundering applauses at WWI.
Screenwriting masterclass with Tejaswini Ganti & Abhijeet Deshpande was conducted on May 17 & 18, 2018.
Colour Space Journey Masterclass was conducted on May 15 & 16, 2018. The masterclass was conducted by Andy Minuth who is a Film Light Colour Workflow Specialist
“Everything in life revolves around storytelling” said advertising maverick, Sonal Dabral at the first masterclass conducted for Whistling Woods International’s School of Creative Arts
Whistling Woods International’s (WWI) School of Creative Arts hosted its first masterclass with Ad Guru, Sonal Dabral, Group Chief Creative Officer & Vice Chairman at Ogilvy India. In an interactive session with the students of WWI, Sonal cited life experiences and various nuances from the world of design and advertising.
The session moderated by Milindo Taid, HOD, Visual Communication Design, witnessed Sonal shared, “Everything in life revolves around storytelling. Whether it is a product design, TVC, digital ad or a billboard, everything is about telling a story!” He further added, “Storytelling is extremely important in today's day and age, as it’s prerequisite to tell a story that would connect with one and all.”
While narrating about the various facets and different techniques of storytelling, Sonal praised Rajkumar Hirani for his contributions to the ad industry. Further discussing the topic, Sonal touched upon a few commercials, which have left a lasting impression on our memories. He also mentioned how real life references play an invaluable part in advertising.
The inquisitive students raised their queries pertaining to advertising and Sonal answered them all. He encouraged the students to build a strong portfolio and stressed on attaining practical exposure through internships. He also emphasized to the students that there are no shortcuts to hard work and perseverance, and one must follow the same to attain success. He also highlighted that curiosity often rewards one well in this creative profession.
Whistling Woods International has always been a forerunner in maintaining the right balance between practical exposure and traditional methodology through its unique teaching approach. Through these masterclasses, the students get an opportunity to learn from the best in the industry, seek clarity and attain real-life experiences from the very start of their career, which undoubtedly brings out the best in them. The institute has maintained high-quality and standards of education, and these masterclasses resonate the same.
Speaking about his experience at Whistling Woods International, Sonal Dabral, said, “I am very happy to be present at Whistling Woods International. The inquisitiveness of the students showcased was very impressive. I’m confident that they are on the right track to success.”
Masterclass with Harsha Khanna, Senior Creative Director at Wizcraft International Entertainment was held on April 25, 2018.
“Everything in filmmaking is a conflict. And conflict is beautiful”, shared the team of Trapped at Whistling Woods International
‘Trapped’, penned by Amit Joshi and Hardik Mehta; directed by Vikramaditya Motwane, is a survival thriller inspired by Amit Joshi’s real-life experience. In a rather candid session with the students of Whistling Woods International (WWI), the talented trio shared invaluable knowledge and various insights on filmmaking.
The session witnessed Amit Joshi narrate his personal experience of being locked in his apartment and how the situation created various conflicts within him. Further explaining how these inner conflicts led him to write Trapped, he cited, “Everything in filmmaking is a conflict and conflict is beautiful.”
Adding on, Vikramaditya shared the minute details of the storyline, the choice of location and the right characterisation, which played an essential role in the making of the critically acclaimed movie. He explained how the movie proved to be a metaphor, considering the protagonist ‘Shaurya’(Rajkumar Rao) survives in the chaos of a metropolitan city yet finds himself alone and isolated. Vikramaditya also mentioned that the aim of the movie was to portray, a ‘never give-up’ attitude with subtle references.
Sharing the process of creating a screenplay, Hardik Mehta mentioned how Amit and he brainstormed for hours and tried to incorporate different perspectives. The most interesting learning element for the students was the purported ‘method-writing’ that Amit Joshi undertook. He described to the students how he would put himself in the actor’s shoe in order to imagine and create a realistic storyline.
Further, in the session, Vikramaditya also enlightened the students about the importance of a production designer and how cinematography is hugely dependent on them. He elaborated, “It is not always about the light but also about the texture of the wall, the colour of the sofa and the little elements that production designers bring about.”
The session marked its end with a Q&A round, where the team of Trapped willingly answered the queries of the students. The talented trio of one of the finest film of all time were bestowed with a token of gratitude by Anjum Rajabali amidst thunderous applause of appreciation.
Masterclass with Sushma Gaikwad, Co-founder Ice Global, Director, Wizcraft Mime on April 11, 2018 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.
"The concept behind the film, Newton was to focus on the power of a common man...", shared the talented director and screenwriter, Amit Masurkar of the critically acclaimed film at WWI
~ The interactive session witnessed the team of Newton impart their invaluable advice on different aspects of filmmaking to the students of Whistling Woods International ~
"I don't see myself smarter than the audience, hence I don't assume", said Amit Masurkar in an engaging masterclass with the aspiring filmmakers and creative professionals of the Indian cinema at Whistling Woods International.
The film forum moderated by Anjum Rajabali, HOD, Screenwriting, witnessed Amit narrate the film's ideation process in detail. He went on discussing the importance of characterisation, which added a distinct appeal to the film. What followed was an interactive session as the stalwarts - Mayank Tewari - Screenwriter, Swapnil Sonawane - Cinematographer and Shweta Venkat Mathew - Editor shared specific details about filmmaking.
While discussing about editing, Shweta Venkat Mathew, cited the key elements that brought out the substance of the film. She emphasized how the actors along with the shoot locations governed the pace of the film and lent the realistic feel to it. While talking about cinematography, Swapnil mentioned the various camera techniques that were adopted whilst shooting the film. He added how the lenses used for the cinematography of Newton were an amalgamation of the age-old cooks anamorphic and the new methodology master anamorphic, to creating a unique effect.
The concept behind the film, Newton was to focus on the power of a common man on the day of the election. The team discussed how they ensured the content be presented in a simple way to make the film relatable and less complex.
While detailing on scriptwriting, Amit shared about the usual technique that he often adopts. He shared, "I take a blank piece of paper on which I begin by putting down all the attributes, visuals I see related to the theme. Then I move on to sketch the characteristics of each character." He also reasoned why Bastar was chosen as the location for the shoot. Considering multiple political celebrations in the region, Bastar appeared to be the ideal location for the mood and screenplay of this film.
While speaking about his experience, Amit remarked, "It was wonderful interacting with the students of Whistling Woods International. I am amazed by the level of dedication, the keen interest showcased and the minute details brought out by the students of the institute."
The session witnessed its end with a token of appreciation being presented to the guests amongst thunderous applauds from the students.
Guest Interaction with Alphonse Roy, DOP of the movie ‘Raid’ on April 6, 2018 from 4:45 pm to 7:00 pm.
Masterclass with Vinod Janardhan, founder of Team Rustic on April 4, 2018 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.
Initalising an era of equalisation, trio Devashish Makhija, Siddharth Anand Kumar and Jishnu Bhattacharjee talk about their path-breaking movie , Ajji and the process of its making in a session with the students of WWI
"Imagery does not come in writing. It comes in re-writing" said Devashish Makhija, director and screenwriter of the movie,Ajji. After being a part of movies like Black Friday and Taandav, Devashish led his research to explore dimensions in Indian cinema that were still untapped by adopting true-to-life storytelling approach.
While narrating the importance of research in moviemaking, Devashish mentioned that while a lot has been spoken about people creating conflicts against religion and gender, very little has been done about it. This is what led him to make the movie, Ajji, which shows how a helpless protagonist – the 60 year old grandmother, given her constrained situation rises up to serve justice in a way of equalization, for her granddaughter who has been raped. When inquired about what component made the movie one-of-its-kind, Devashish responded, "Ajji has a subtextual layer to it. It is an original adaption of the fable - The Little Red Riding Hood."
In relevance to the unconventional idealogy and need for educative cinema, Siddharth Anand Kumar the producer of Ajii and Vice President - Films & TV at Saregama India Ltd. added, "Independent films in India are largely disorganised." He also further explained, that for indie cinema to be viable, filmmakers need to make more of them for the audiences to reflect and develop a liking. During the session quite a number of inputs were shared by cinematographer of Ajji, Jishnu Bhattacharjee. He re-counted his experiences and challenges of shooting through hand-held camera. When enquired about his raw and organic finesse, Jishnu said, "When directing hand-held, go by your instinct. Just be prepared to shoot. Yes, there is a plan for shooting. But not everything goes according to the plan."
This session marked its end with a Q&A round with the students. Some departing teachings from Devashish Makhija included him emphasizing upon team work, effective communication and creating an ‘one-body-two-souls' relationship, especially with the DOP. The whole team was then bestowed with tokens and applauds of appreciation.
An Unconventional Hindustani Rom-Com that Successfully Broke Stereotypes - Qarib Qarib Singlle!
The terrific trio Tanuja Chandra, Gazal Dhaliwal and Eeshit Narain offered valuable life lessons and detailed, raw perceptions of filmmaking in a session with the students of WWI
“Past is not something you really need to forget. Maybe embrace it and it will show you a new spectrum of life”, said Tanuja Chandra, the director and co-writer of the movie, Qarib Qarib Singlle. A detour from the cliché – Qarib Qarib Singlle is undoubtedly one of the most conversational and progressive movies of 2018. The masterminds behind this creation, Tanuja Chandra (Director and Co-writer), Gazal Dhaliwal (Writer) and Eeshit Narain (Cinematographer) in their conversation with Anjum Rajabali, HOD, Screenwriting, Whistling Woods International(WWI), brought about a very contemporary and fresh vibe, which led the students to stay captivated about the filmmaking process.
Initial part of the session unveiled the plot of the movie where Anjum Rajabali posed questions to Tanuja Chandra on her choice and belief in an unusual storyline of this kind. To which she said, “In today’s middle-youth where there is a held back love but the environment of dating apps and everything leads you to meet people and yet there is a kind of holding back, this juxtaposition to me is very interesting.”
In the same direction Gazal Dhaliwal added that one of the major reasons that gave the element of realism was that both Tanuja and her, wrote the script keeping the overall cinematic experience in mind and did not only focus on story-writing. Later during the session, Eeshit Narain educated that good cinematography cannot always be achieved by following the rules. Especially with this movie, he depicted his conceptualisation to Tanuja with photographs of his childhood travel to the places where the movie was to be shot instead of storyboards or shot divisions.
This talented trio depicted a strong sense of team work and reliability. With other educative visual techniques and narratives about filmmaking this is something that the students are likely to take home with them.
As Gazal Dhaliwal rightly quoted, “Tanuja always gives a lot of space to her collaboraters. She is extremely giving and extremely receiving at the same time”. This statement left students in great admiration and awe about the magic that team work could create.
With a tinge of humour and lessons from the trio the session ended with a Q&A with the students.The whole team was then bestowed with a token and applauds of appreciation.
“Coming to this institute is so nostalgia. It's a different feeling to be on the other side now”, shared director-writer Mrigdeep Singh Lamba at Whistling Woods International
Is it easy to make people laugh? How easy is comedy as a genre to project on the screen? How important is timing for a comedian? The gifted team of the movie Fukrey Returns while conversing with the students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) offered specifics and intricacies that went into making the film a blockbuster success.
The writer and director, Mrigdeep Singh Lamba and the talented actor, Varun Sharma cited their unique story of living up to the audience's expectations owing to the triumph of the prequel. The spontaneous actor mentioned, "The real fukrey is Mrigdeep. He epitomizes a perfect mix of all the characters portrayed in the film."
Discussing characterisation with the students, Mrigdeep elaborated on various real-life experiences that he sought. He stated that while the first film was more realistic, the sequel was presented with an imaginary approach. He went on elaborating how dialogues played a crucial role in the film. Mrigdeep shared instances of him penning down the conversation with the co-writer Vipul Vig and using the same as the script for the movie. Commenting on his journey from an assistant director to a mainstream director and scriptwriter, he accentuated that focus and determination to succeed plays a huge role in achieving one's dream.
Explaining the significance of comic timing, he shared, "Comedy is really difficult, you have to go with your gut feeling. There are some amazing jokes, but they don't get through. Some get better, while others fall flat."
While highlighting the various steps that the actors took, Varun, stated that impromptu improvisation, qualitative research and good chemistry between the actors helped them present the characters in a convincing way. Addressing a query raised by a student about the overall growth and development that an actor needs to follow, Varun quoted, "Nailing a particular genre isn't a thing I do. Keep doing something all the time - be it theater, ad films, watch different movies, etc. All these lead to the overall growth of an actor."
Commenting on the masterclass, Varun said, "It's always wonderful to come to Whistling Woods International. I am very thankful to the institute for hosting us. It was wonderful interacting with the inquisitive and talented students. These sessions are essential for the students learning process and while interacting with the students, I could relive my own journey in this domain." Mrigdeep added, "I was present for a masterclass post the release of Fukrey and now coming back feels good and it's wonderful interacting with the students. Coming to this institute brings back nostalgia. Just a few years back, I used to ask questions. It's a different feeling to be on the other side now."
The informative session ended with the guests being felicitated by Chaitanya Chinchlikar,Vice President, WWI, with a token of appreciation amidst thunderous applause.
“Self-Conviction is the Key to a Successful Script”, Shared Zeenat Lakhani While Interacting with the Students of Whistling Woods International
Is there any specific formula for the success of a film? What does it take to convert a great idea into a good script? What role does self-conviction play in executing a good script? The essence of good script writing and much more were discussed by the director and scriptwriter of the film, ‘Hindi Medium’, Saket Chaudhary and co-writer Zeenat Lakhani at the film forum and masterclass held at Whistling Woods International (WWI).
Saket, who have contributed to critically-acclaimed films like, ‘Pyaar Ke Side Effects’ and its sequel, ‘Shaadi Ke Side Effects’ conducted an in-depth session highlighting the essence of scriptwriting. He went on to share his personal experiences - what attracted him towards cinema, his struggle with storytelling and how he learnt from his mistakes. He shared, "I have been writing since school. However, during my stint at Pune University, I took membership at Film Archives and that's where my interest in cinema grew."
While discussing the various genres of scriptwriting, the talented director mentioned, "Writing screenplay is tough, however writing comedy or horror is tougher" as the writer receives ‘very straight feedback’ from the viewers. However, while writing other genres, one can still ‘take a bit of levy’.
He also mentioned how the movie Ashok’s failure provided him tremendous learning opportunities. The ill performance of the film made him realize, "I want to be a director only if somebody gives me a good script. I realized that nobody will give me a good script, so I need to learn how to write a good script."
Zeenat Lakhani, co-writer, while sharing various nuances of scriptwriting mentioned, "Hindi Medium did well, but we do not have a formula for films success". She emphasized that how she took reference from real-life situations while drafting the script. She added how self-conviction plays the most important role in scriptwriting. She added, "You need to be convinced of what to write, you need to believe in it……you are the first audience of your script…you need to enjoy it, however, even a minute doubt gets amplified on screen and the onus falls on the scriptwriter."
The informative session ended with Anjum Rajabali, Head of Screenwriting at WWI felicitating the team of Hindi Medium with a token of appreciation amidst thunderous applause.
Masterclass with Nimrat Kaur, Samar Khan, Vinay Waikul & Sudeep Nigam on February 28, 2018 from 4:00pm to 6:00pm.
Guest Interaction with Priyanka Singh was held on February 21, 2018 from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm.
SMC Masterclass with Raja Sen was held on February 14, 2018 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.
Guest Interaction with Dr. Pratap Rughani was held on February 14, 2018 from 2:00 pm to 5:00 pm.
"The Future of the Indian film industry is right here and the future is bright!" Said Vidya Balan during her interaction with students of Whistling Woods International
~ The gifted team of the movie, Tumhari Sulu in conversation with the students of WWI offered specifics and intricacies that went into making the film a blockbuster success ~
Did Tumhari Sulu break barriers of heroism being gender specific? What were the key highlights of the 'best-marketed film' of 2017? How did the film come alive from the words narrated in the script? The students witnessed rare insights of filmmaking and much more from the talented team of the film as the first master class of 2018 was held at WWI.
The lead star of the film Vidya Balan accompanied by the director Suresh Triveni, Producers Atul Kasbekar, Tanuj Garg, and Shanti Sivaram Maine shared their experiences of working together to create a film that could resonate with the Indian household perceptions. The masterclass was moderated by Rahul Puri, Head – Academics, WWI.
A veteran, Vidya highlighted, "It's always great to come back and interact with the gifted bunch of students of Whistling Woods International and it's a great feeling to see that the future of the film industry is in good hands."
While discussing the characterization, she mentioned the similarity between the reel and the real life, and how she could connect with the lead protagonist as she herself has always been an eternal optimist. She further added that the magic behind a good script lies in minute details and the role that an observant director plays in showcasing it on screen.
While interacting with the students, Suresh Triveni shared the day-to-day experiences of his growing up years, which lead him to conceive this script. His advice to the students, ''You are accountable for your own dreams. Keep a balance in your life and never compromise on your dreams and passion."
Atul Kasbekar, retorted ''The concept of heroism in today's time is changing and I believed that with this film there was a hope to find a hero in the lead protagonist, Vidya Balan, and inspire women from various walks of life.'' He also highlighted that students who aim for a career in film production should know the essentials of marketing a film. While answering one of the questions from the intrigued students, he emphasized on how to market a brand effectively without making it look like a forced-fit. Producer, Tanuj Garg, further added promotion outreach through brands give an added benefit as it helps connect with the target audience. His advice to the students was, "Never say no to humble beginnings and always experiment with different things in life."
This masterclass offered great learning experience as the students got an opportunity to inculcate valuable lessons encompassing various aspects of filmmaking. The session concluded with the team being bestowed with a token of appreciation by Rahul Puri and Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International.
SMC Masterclass with Fraser Scott and Sheena Chohan on October 25, 2017 from 10:30 am onwards.
Masterclass with Shashank Khaitan was on October 13, 2017 from 10:30 am onwards.
Datta Dave, Founder - Tulsea Pictures, conducted a Masterclass for the students of WWI School of Media and Communication.
Fashion Masterclass with Geetanjali Bahel was conducted on October 9, 2017. Geetanjali Bahel is the founder of Tan Base.
“Travel exotic and live simple,” said popular travel blogger Kaushal Karkhanis to the SMC students at Whistling Woods International
~The guest speaker spoke about his journey and shared some inspiring anecdotes with the School of Media & Communication students ~
The students of School of Media & Communication (SMC), Whistling Woods International (WWI) participated in an engaging and informative session by Kaushal Karkhanis, the famous travel blogger also known as the Exotic Gringo. The masterclass commenced with Kaushal sharing his success story, which began with him taking a bold step of quitting his well-paying job as a designer at Microsoft.
Kaushal has been an inspiring role model for many young bloggers in India. He spoke about making the move out of the corporate sector to pursue his passion of traveling around the world. His first solo trip was to Goa, where he spent 4 months. However, his trip wasn’t akin to how most tourists travel around the state. He met and lived with the locals. While visiting a place or country, he lives like a local, this is how he prefers to travel. He also never visits the famous tourist attractions in any country where he travels. He shared, “Travel is about people first and place later. Meeting locals always helps you discover the city more.”
In addition to sharing tips about being a world-class traveler, the blogger also spoke at length about creating an interesting blog. He stressed on the importance of quality content on the blog as opposed to the number of followers. Kaushal shed some light on two of his most important principles: persistence and dedication, which have contributed in bringing him success in the field. While enlightening the students on the principles of blogging, he spoke to them about the errors he made and the challenges he faced, when developing his blog.
He concluded the session with an important advice to the students, he said, “Focus on fulfilling your responsibilities and prioritizing, in whichever field you work in the future.” Speaking about his experience at WWI, he shared, "I am happy to be here and connect with a group of young and enthusiastic students. I wish them luck for their future endeavours."
The masterclass session ended with a thundering applause from over 300 students in attendance for the session at WWI.
Homegrown trio manifests their winning spirit at Whistling Woods International
‘Stay true, stay relevant and stay unique, no matter what media platform you are in’ - Homegrown trio Mandovi Menon, Varsha Patra, and Varun Patra share their success mantra with the students of Whistling Woods International (WWI)
How can one convert a creative idea to a sustainable business model and carry that forward with passion and confidence? Can the voice of the youth of India be transformed into a profitable business plan? The terrific trio - Varsha Patra, Varun Patra and Mandovi Menon of the young and dynamic - Homegrown, answered these questions and much more while interacting with the students during the School of Media & Communication (SMC) masterclass at WWI.
While responding to the inquisitiveness of the students, the Homegrown team elaborated on the business model they have adopted. The focus on creating unique, authentic content was well accentuated as the need of the hour. Business strategy, as one of the most important factors of success, was also distinctly emphasized upon.
The captivated students were thrilled when the Homegrown trio reassured that their out of the box idea may very well pan out as the next big business venture. Mandovi, Varsha and Varun broke the age-old difference between the marketing and editorial team by highlighting that the creative editorial idea can be converted into a good profit making and vice versa. As Varsha Patra, CEO, Homegrown placed it, “We have come up with a creative agency and an event agency only to support the ideas we want to present editorially.”
Varsha further opined, “I didn’t expect such enthusiastic crowd and so many intellectual questions from the students. My experience has been really fantastic.”
Mandovi Menon, Co-founder, Editor at Homegrown said, “We have been a part of quite a few discussions before, but never expected students to come up with such thoughtful questions! For the industry which is dynamic and constantly changing, the practical education that Whistling Woods International is providing will prepare them for the real world.”
Varun Patra, Head of Marketing, Homegrown was also of the same opinion “It was a great experience to interact with the students and share our insights into what we have been doing over the last few years. This is my second session with the students of Whistling Woods International and I think it is one the best institutions for pursuing creative education for various reasons. Be it the regular or the guest faculties, the campus and the opportunities that the students get to experience is a great learning process.”
The masterclass was indeed an informative session for the students of WWI. They learnt how to pursue their idea with passion and determination.
“Script is just words on paper!” - Writer and Director of Mukti Bhawan, Shubhashish Bhutiani and Producer, Sanjay Bhutiani share their ‘unconventional’ way of filmmaking at Whistling Woods International's campus
Mukti Bhawan is not a film about achieving salvation, it’s about the celebration of death! The narrative was emphasized upon at the masterclass held at Whistling Woods International (WWI). The unique and rather dark subject – death, has been brought to light in a relatively unusual way. How people who are certain about their readiness to embark upon the journey to the other side, choose to attain moksha by going into seclusion for 15 days, is what the movie depicts.
The acclaimed father-son duo, the young and energetic Shubhashish Bhutiani and the ace Ad-man Sanjay Bhutiani, shared the thought process behind the making of this film. The discussion varied on different aspects of filmmaking like the unconventional subject of the film, unorthodox way of presentation, uniquely different cinematography and numerous innovative ideas.
How were the Bhutianis different in the making of the film? They did succeed in breaking quite a few archetypes associated with filmmaking. Shubhashish elaborated on the necessity of the script being ‘fluidic’, as it underwent modification, thereby, adhering to the need of the hour. Emphasis on real time research that Shubhashish undertook, that is, referring to Facebook accounts of people for the characters of the film viz-a-viz the challenges of execution in the outdoors by the young crew was also discussed.
Speaking about the occasion, Shubhashish Bhutiani, Writer and Director, Mukti Bhawan said, “I’m really excited and happy after interacting with the students of my age group who have seen my film. I used to be a film school student and the opportunity that WWI is providing through the masterclass is very crucial for film education. WWI is catering to the need of the hour as it's very important for the students to know the process, difficulties, challenges and achievements of filmmaking.” Further reinstating the reason for making a film on a rare topic, Shubhashish said, “This movie is about people who get so busy in their daily life, that they lose touch with their loved ones and the people around them.”
For the students of Whistling Woods International, this session on the film, which has won both national and international accolades, was a truly a one of a kind experience.
SMC Masterclass with Rana Barua on August 23, 2017 from 11:00am to 12:30pm. Rana Barua is the CEO of Creativeland Asia Group.
“WWI alumni are thorough professionals & extremely disciplined”, said director Alankrita Shrivastava on her experience while working with them on ‘Lipstick under my burkha’.
Whistling Woods International (WWI) hosted director Alankrita Shrivastava, and the cast and crew of the acclaimed film, Lipstick Under My Burkha for an engaging film forum session. The session was moderated by well-known screenwriter & HOD – Screenwriting, WWI, Anjum Rajabali. The visiting team shared their experiences while making the film. The director along with the members of the cast, Aahana Kumra and Plabita Borthakur, shed light on the filmmaking process and how the audience perceive films that convey a strong social message.
Also, gracing the stage at the masterclass were the WWI alumni along with other crew members, Rohit Chaturvedi, Costume Designer; Akshay Singh, Cinematographer. The WWI alum members comprised of Aahana Kumra, Actor; Rahul Badwelkar, Sound Designer; Abhinav Agnihotri, Sound Editor; Dhruv Parekh, Assistant - Sound Editor, Akshay Patil, Sound Recordist and Tushar Seth, First Assistant Director, who also interacted with the students, while reminiscing their early days at WWI. It was a proud moment for WWI as an institute to see it’s alumni grace the stage as industry guests, leaving the present batch of aspiring filmmakers inspired.
While interacting with the budding filmmakers at WWI, Alankrita Shrivastava said, “During the course of writing and directing a film, filmmakers often become the audience and the critics. As filmmakers we are free to engage in material that speaks to us, which further helps us make a good film.”
She also shared instances from the film and how she fought against all odds, while patiently waiting for the film to hit the silver screen. She admitted, “I can never write for the audience. If something connects to me, I will go ahead and write it for myself. I cannot think from the audiences’ point of view.” She also discussed about how she chose the title of her film, which didn’t involve any culture or sub-culture, and confessed that the title of the film was metaphoric for her.
The session culminated on a high note as Meghna Ghai Puri (President, WWI) thanked the guests and felicitated them with a token of appreciation.
Masterclass with Amin Sheikh on August 9, 2017 from 11:00 am onwards. Amin Sheikh is a Social Entrepreneur & Author of Bombay to Barcelona.
~ The popular filmmaker candidly shared his experiences, learnings and knowledge during a film forum masterclass at the institute ~
Acclaimed Indian filmmaker Karan Johar was welcomed with a loud cheer as he entered the auditorium of Whistling Woods International (WWI) for a film forum masterclass. The masterclass was moderated by Rahul Puri, Head of Academics – WWI, who posed questions to Karan Johar, with regards to his filmmaking and specifically about his recent film - ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil.’ The director spoke at length about his approach and the processes involved in the making of his films & specifically about ‘Ae Dil…’.
He gave multiple suggestions and advice to an auditorium full of aspiring filmmakers to be better at their skills and also help them grow as unique individual professionals in the Film & Media industry. He specifically recommended a special exercise for the students of acting, in order to enhance their acting skills.
He advised budding filmmakers, saying, “It is extremely important to be with the times. Relevance is something you can aspire, chase and acquire, if you keep your mind open to suggestions.” While interacting with the students he encouraged them to trust their instincts and make films that they believe in. He further added, “Nothing fails like success. When in failure you contemplate and strive to become better. However, success comes with a lot of baggage. When you meet success, make sure to acknowledge it and move on. Those who become arrogant with success tend to go down with it. The ability to move beyond success will come with recognising what you don’t know and not what you know.”
He shared anecdotes from his filmmaking journey, from being an assistant director in Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge to writing-directing, producing & distributing blockbuster movies. He also shared his immense love for Indian film music and candidly admitted, “I am obsessed with and only listen to Indian film music.” He also mentioned that this love was the seed that enabled him to work with music directors to create the many much-loved melodies in all his movies, which bear a stamp of his love for music.
As expected, the students had several questions for him. Karan Johar patiently answered all the questions and shared a lot of his experiences, which will greatly assist the students as filmmakers & even beyond as people. While he has been visiting Whistling Woods for masterclasses quite often, every time he visits, he wishes that there was an institute like this when he was starting out as a filmmaker and rues that he had to learn on the job. He spoke about all the Whistling Woods alumni that he has enjoyed working with, including the writer-director of the highly successful ‘Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhaniya’ and ‘Badrinath ki Dulhaniya’, Shashank Khaitan and the editor of ‘Ae Dil…’, Manik Dawar and a whole lot of other Whistling Woods alumni who are working at Dharma Productions.
Wishing the students best for all their future endeavours, he asked them to make the maximum of their time at WWI and step out to create their mark in the media and entertainment industry.
Masterclass with Mayukh Goswami in FOUNDATION HALL 1 from 4.00 am to 5.30 pm.
Masterclass with Indu Mirani on April 26, 2017 from 11:00am to 12:30pm. Indu Mirani is a Bollywood journalist.
Cinematography Masterclass with Mitesh Mirchandani on 12 April, 2017 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Mitesh Mirchandani has worked as a cinematographer for the movie Neerja.
“Give failures a big hug! To appreciate sunshine, you have to face rains,” said Alia Bhatt during the masterclass at Whistling Woods International
~ Director of ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, Shashank Khaitan along with his actors, Alia Bhatt, Varun Dhawan and Sahil Vaid shared the tricks of filmmaking and acting with the students ~
Roaring applause filled the auditorium at Whistling Woods International (WWI), when alumni actor-director Shashank Khaitan, actor Sahil Vaid along with Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt graced the stage for the masterclass at the institute. The team of ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’ immediately took to answering engaging questions put across by Rahul Puri, Head of Academics at WWI, who moderated the session.
The masterclass witnessed all the three actors and the director sharing great insights about filmmaking and acting. While Varun Dhawan revealed his process to tackle a challenging character like Raghu from ‘Badlapur,’ Alia Bhatt revealed how she makes the decision to select a script. Shashank Khaitan and Sahil Vaid also stressed on the importance to keep learning something new on a daily basis.
Addressing the students, Shashank Khaitan said, “Never consider yourself to be a struggler. I have never considered myself to be a struggler because I am constantly learning. You can only be a struggler if you are not engaged in learning something new every day.”
Sharing acting tips with the students, Varun Dhawan said, “Never curb yourself. Let people think you are mad and crazy. This is one advice that I have received from most of the actors in the industry.”
Both the lead actors, Alia Bhatt & Varun Dhawan expressed their complete faith in Shashank Khaitan as a director. When they saw his passion for ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, they knew it would be something magical.
During the interaction, Alia Bhatt also shared how she dealt with times when her films didn't perform as expected. “Give failures a big hug because to appreciate sunshine, you have to face rains. After all, we only see rainbows after the rains. The joy is in falling, picking yourself up again and charging ahead”, advised Alia to the students on ways of dealing with failure.
On the occasion of coming back to his alma mater, alumnus Shashank Khaitan said, “This visit has made me very nostalgic and I want to thank all my faculty members, as I believe it is because of them that I am here today.”
He further added, “Whistling Woods International, greatly helped me in exploring my talents and giving me the right resources and the perfect platform that further enhanced my talents.” The students congratulated the team on the success of the movie and thanked them for such an informative session.
Masterclass on Narrative Strategies with Anik Ghosh on 6-7 April, 2017 from 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
“If a Man can do it, then even Women can,” said Radhika Mukherji while interacting with the SMC students of Whistling Woods International
~The guest speaker spoke about her entrepreneurial journey and shared some experiences from her life with the students~ The students of School of Media & Communication (SMC), Whistling Woods International (WWI) participated in yet another engaging and insightful session by Radhika Mukherji, Founder of Happydemics. Happydemics is a company that was launched with an aim to discover and deploy artistes who deserve recognition. The masterclass commenced with the success story of Radhika, which began after she became a mother of two.
During the session, Radhika spoke about the ethos of Happydemics in detail and how she and her husband Shaan, decided to give back to the music industry by creating this unique platform. She further shed some light on the importance of time and self-management in an artist’s life and advised the students about the importance of soft skills along with the academic degrees. On the conclusion of an eventful session, Radhika told the audiences about how Shaan has played an imperative role in her entrepreneurial journey and always motivated her to follow her dreams.
Addressing the students she said, “Nowadays it's not really a challenge to become an entrepreneur, there are many VC’s in the market to support your idea. If you are confident about the start-up and you think your idea is great, you should definitely go for it.”
Speaking about her experience at WWI she said, "I am happy to be here and connect with a group of young and enthusiastic students. I think you should have the ability to put forth your idea but also balance it by respecting your seniors. I see a lot of potential in the students of WWI, and I wish them luck for their future endeavours."
“Content is the brick and content distribution is the wall; they go hand-in-hand in the world of digital media”, said Sameer Pitalwalla while conducting the SMC master class at Whistling Woods International
~Sameer Pitalwalla interacted with the students at WWI and introduced them to the digital world ~
Whistling Woods International (WWI) conducted yet another insightful master class for their School of Media & Communication (SMC) students with Sameer Pitalwalla, CEO & Co-Founder of India’s leading digital media company, Culture Machine. Founded in 2013 by Sameer Pitalwalla and Venkat Prasad, Culture Machine is a Digital Media company whose mission is to use technology to create great digital brands that people love. By combining cutting edge technology with great content, Culture Machine currently runs some of Asia’s largest digital media brands and also licenses its core technologies to advertisers, media companies and agency partner’s world-over.
Moderated by Chaitanya Chinchlikar, Vice-President, WWI the masterclass commenced with Sameer’s journey and the establishment of Culture Machine. He shared some experiences from his eventful journey and introduced students to the digital world and content creation. Towards the end of the master class, he emphasised and explained the need of content in the modern era, and how it gives each brand a unique identity and helps them to identify the target audience. He gave examples of niche brands like Blush and Being Indian, which coincided well with the topic of the masterclass. While interacting with the students, he advised them on usage of content across various platforms, and how a video can get viral solely on the basis of its distinguished content.
Talking about the event at Whistling Woods International, Sameer said, “I had a wonderful time interacting with young media aspirants. It is always a pleasure to meet the youth, as it is a great opportunity to understand their mind-set. I hope I was able to provide insights on the industry to the students present for the session. Lastly, I would like to wish them the very best, if they wish to initiate their own venture in the future in the digital world.”
Baggit founder Nina Lekhi interacted with the students of Whistling Woods International
~The guest speaker spoke about her journey and shared some instances from her life with the students~
The students of School of Media & Communication (SMC), Whistling Woods International (WWI) participated in an engaging and informative session by Nina Lekhi, Founder, Baggit. The masterclass commenced with Nina sharing her success story which began at the age of 16 years.
Nina has been an inspiring role model for many young women entrepreneurs in India, and around the globe. She shared her entrepreneurial success journey that started by making 'thellas' and now owns Baggit, a 100-crore company. Speaking about her recently launched book, 'Bag It All', Nina also explained about the flounders she went through while writing the book, and how her family and friends always motivated her to write. A strong believer of 'beauty without cruelty', she shed some light on the most important feature of her brand, which makes it the only 'Vegan' brand in the market. Concluding the commemoration, she, also advised the students to have a zest and zeal in the work they do in the future.
Speaking about her experience at WWI she said, "I am happy to be here and connect with a group of young and enthusiastic group of students. I believe passion & determination drives you to work harder and smarter everyday. If I can do it, I believe even they can. I see a lot of potential in the students of WWI, and I wish them luck for their future endeavours."
'A Billion Colour Story' received standing ovation by 400 students of Whistling Woods International
~Director Padmakumar and producer Satish Kaushik, addressed the filmmaking students at the special screening of the film “A Billion Colour Story”, held at the WWI campus ~
Whistling Woods International (WWI), hosted a special screening of the highly acknowledged short film ‘A Billion Colour Story’ for their filmmaking students, followed by a masterclass. The acclaimed short film has swept many international awards at the BFI London Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival, owing to its qualitative content and portrayal of realistic characters. The masterclass commenced with a standing ovation by the audience when the director of the movie Padmakumar, producer, Satish Kaushik, and the lead actor of the film, Gaurav Sharma arrived on stage.
The acclaimed film director Padmakumar, threw light on some of the key technicalities of filmmaking while sharing his one-of-a-kind experience of shooting the film in black and white. Renowned director and producer of the film, Satish Kaushik, also shared some instances of working on the film and producing it. The actor-director duo was seen sharing a very close and affectionate bond, which turned the masterclass into a memorable and interactive session for the filmmaking students.
Talking about his experience on making the film, director Padmakumar said, “I think a story can be told in a simple yet appealing manner, and still have the potential to touch a million hearts at the same time. I intentionally made the movie in black and white, so that the audience could imagine colours instead of being just a passive viewer.
Talking about WWI, he said, “I think WWI is an amazing platform for the aspiring filmmakers. I really hope that the students had a good time watching a different kind of a movie. I would like to give a small piece of advice to the students and tell them that you don't have to go abroad to hunt for fancy locations to shoot, if you have an amazing script your film will definitely be loved and appreciated by the audience.”
Commenting on the same, Satish Kaushik said, “As soon as I heard the story, it touched my heart and I instantly asked Padmakumar if I could produce the movie. The way he was planning to shoot the movie with only 3 lenses really appealed me, but I also believe that good filmmaking skills and a strong script can do wonders. I am very happy and proud to be at WWI, and share all the experiences I have gained while working in the film industry and at FTII. The students here definitely have great potential to become successful filmmakers.”
Masterclass with Vikrant Pawar - Head- Live Entertainment, Disney Entertainment (India) Ltd. on February 22, 2017 from 11:00am to 12:30pm
Masterclass with renowned Entertainment Design Consultant, Sayantani Raybardhan Deb on February 15, 2017 from 11:00am to 12:30pm.
Masterclass with actor and YouTuber Gaurav Gera on February 8, 2017 from 11:00am to 12:30pm.
"THE MOVIE PINK WAS TO BE TITLED 'NO' INITIALLY," CONFESSED DIRECTOR ANIRUDDHA ROY CHOWDHURY, TO THE STUDENTS OF WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL
‘Pink’ Director Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury, who was at the helm of one of the most successful Hindi films of 2016, addressed a group of enthusiastic students at Whistling Woods International as part of a filmmaking masterclass on February 7, 2017. Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury provided interesting insights into the making of a film which acquired both, critical and commercial acclaim. The session, which began with the screening of ‘Pink’, also saw the presence of Ritesh Shah, the writer of the film. Sharing his story-telling experiences with the students, Ritesh also spoke about the technicalities involved in scriptwriting, and how to effectively weave story ideas to cater to the demands of a particular script. The session ended on an interactive note with an interesting Q&A by an active audience, who were left inspired by the end of the masterclass.
Speaking about the film, Aniruddha Roy Chowdhury said, "Pink was not only about philosophy, but also about consent law. We did borrow a lot of characters from our daily life. Initially, we tried to make it in a documentary format to bring out the real emotions. In retrospect, we are very happy and proud that we managed to communicate the correct message through the film." Speaking about his experiences of addressing the future filmmakers of the country, Aniruddha said "I am so glad that students of WWI watched the film again today and had such unique perspectives and questions to pose post the screening. I wish them all the best, as they all prepare to become bright future filmmakers of our country.”
Whistling Woods International hosts first open conversation for filmmaking students with director & writers of Dangal
Whistling Woods International (WWI) organised yet another masterclass to provide valuable industry insights for its filmmaking students. The masterclass was graced by the presence of the director and writers of Dangal, the biggest blockbuster of 2016. The movie has gained exceptional commercial and critical acclaim while inspiring and touching the hearts of audiences.
Director Nitesh Tiwari and writers, Shreyas Jain and Nikhil Mehrotra addressed the WWI students and shared the behind-the-scene experiences that went into making a good and unusual film. The trio also threw some light on the various technicalities of filmmaking, especially on the aspects of narration and characterisation. The Dangal team infused energy and gave a light-hearted touch to the interaction. They also shared experiences from their past in their advertising as well as film careers.
Commenting on the occasion Nitesh Tiwari said, "It was indeed an honour to address a batch of intelligent and enthusiastic students. I recalled and relived all the moments we had while shooting the film. The students at WWI are quite mature, which I sensed during the interaction with them. I have one thing to share with the aspiring movie makers of WWI - writing for films is not as complicated as it seems. I remember finalising Dangal in just two drafts, and rest is history."
Shreyas Jain, writer of Dangal said, "When someone said that a citizen from Dubai stood up to salute our national anthem during Dangal, my heart was swelling with pride. It is the best compliment I have received so far. I think my efforts have turned out to be fruitful as I wrote this unconventional yet challenging movie."
Nikhil Mehrotra, Dangal writer further added, "It is necessary to realise the objectivity of a particular scene and character while writing a script. A character deserves to be in a film only if the purpose of the film is served. Being at WWI is indeed a pleasure, and I hope we have inspired the students, the future filmmakers of this country."
"Capture as much as possible. Never edit your film, while the shoot is still on”, advised Rajesh Mapuskar while addressing the filmmaking students at Whistling Woods International
~ Ashutosh Gowariker& Rajesh Mapuskar, addressed the students at a special screening of the film Ventilator, held at the WWI campus ~
Whistling Woods International (WWI) hosted a special screening of the blockbuster, path-breaking Marathi film ‘Ventilator’ followed by a masterclass for the filmmaking students. Ventilator is acknowledged for being one of the most successful Marathi films of 2016, owing to its qualitative content and realistic characters.
Acclaimed film director Ashutosh Gowariker, who turned an actor for this film, threw light on some of the key technicalities of filmmaking while also sharing his one-of-a-kind experience as an actor. Director of the film, Rajesh Mapuskar also shared his experiences of working in the film industry, thereby spending quality time with the students. The actor-director duo seemed to share a very close and affectionate bond, which turned the masterclass into a memorable interactive session for the filmmaking students at WWI.
Ashutosh Gowariker confessed, “When I was reading the script, after two pages, I stopped looking at it from an actor’s perspective and started reading out of genuine interest. It was also interesting to see how a movie of 2 hours can be shot in such a short span of time. But I think, sharp filmmaking skills and knowing your script can do wonders.”
Commenting on the occasion, the director of the film Rajesh Mapuskar said, “Filming a movie with 116 characters itself is an incredible experience. What’s even more exceptional is the journey that goes behind the process. Ventilator is very personal and close to my heart. Somewhere in the script, in the characters, my own personality and life is being reflected.”
While imparting knowledge, he stated, “This film is the product of my 48 years long life seeking good stories and the child of a very hardworking set of people. I sincerely hope the aspiring filmmakers at Whistling Woods International enjoyed it.”
Masterclass with Jorge Arriagada on January 20, 2017 from 12:00 noon onwards.
Jorge Arriagada is a famous European Film Music Composer, who has worked in Europe, South America and Hollywood, where he scored the last unfinished film by Orson Welles, commissioned by Paramount. He has worked with directors Raúl Ruiz, Miguel Littin, Oliver Assayas and Barbet Schroeder, precursor of the French New Wave.
Masterclass with Jens Fischer on January 20, 2017 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.
Jens Fischer is a renowned cinematographer and the son of mythical cinematographer Gunnar Fischer, who created the look for many of Bergman's black and white masterpieces like "Wild Strawberries". Jens Fischer has become a master in his own right, creating the look for films like Oscar nominated "Under the Sun". He was also the operator when his father shot Jacques Tati's last feature. Jens Fischer has won both the Silver and the Bronze Frog, two of the most prestigious prizes in cinematography.
Masterclass with Roshan Abbas – Managing Director, Geometry Global Encompass Network on October 19, 2016 from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Film Forum with the team of Kapoor & Sons on October 18, 2016. Screening at 2:30 pm followed by guest interaction from 4:30 pm onwards.
Interactive session with Avinash Arun – Director, Killa & DOP, Masaan on October 17, 2016 from 10:30 am onwards.
Masterclass with Surya Narayan Rao on October 12, 2016 from 3:00 pm onwards in Foundation Hall-1. Surya Narayan Rao is the Head of Business for Hungama Digital Services.
Keeping up to its commitment to excel in forging the new generation of actors, Whistling Woods International (WWI) students witnessed an insightful masterclass session yesterday with the National award winning actor, Rajit Kapur. Preceded by one of the iconic films, ‘The Making of Mahatma’, students engaged with the actor touching upon the nuances and technicalities of the film.
Rajit Kapur, famously known as Byomkesh Bakhi to many, shared the challenges faced in his life in the pursuit of becoming an actor and his perspective towards life after being one. He urged the students interested in acting to become more passionate and sincere about it as a profession, which will eventually help them to express themselves better on stage and in front of the camera.
Rajit, also an established theatre actor spoke to the aspiring actors about the dynamics of various mediums in reaching the audience. The students were enlightened not only about the world of filmmaking and actors, but also about life. Rajit shared a few memorable experiences of working with his co-actors from the film & theatre fraternity. Packed with a lot of zeal and valuable learnings, Rajit Kapoor ended the session leaving the students with several thoughts to ponder on back home.wards. Rajit Kapur is an actor and director for Indian films and theatre.
The auditorium of Whistling Woods International (WWI) echoed with applause as the students welcomed Amole Gupte, the creator of Taare Zameen Par, Hawaa Hawaai and Stanley Ka Dabba, films that have touched the hearts of the audience. The students had the great fortune of having him amongst them to discuss his process of filmmaking.
Gupte shared his experience by talking about the immense success with his first film and then moving on he stated that he has also experienced a lot of failure. He said that he has seen his efforts crumble. But, he never gave up. He inspired the students by telling them how he created Stanley Ka Dabba against all odds, armed with just a 7D camera and a budget of less than 2000 rupees per day.
There has always been a certain message that he has been trying to convey through each of his films. In Stanley Ka Dabba, he tried to throw light on child labour, their struggles and hardships. He expressed, it is the society that has created prejudices, which creates barriers for the gifted people. There is no disability for art.
All his films have been children-centric. While answering students’ queries about his experience in dealing with children, he said that he never took the script to the shooting location nor did he dictate to the children on how to perform, instead, he let things take their natural course. He quoted, “The situations of life at some point make us act. Therefore, within every individual, lies an actor.”
‘Don't limit yourself’ is what Gupte said as he convinced students that a person should create his own film from writing to directing and should not stop at a particular part of the process. He also said that no one should have ownership over something, both in personal as well as professional life.
“Everything has its own beauty. Keep your eyes and ears open to discover the magic”, he advised the students. He asked the students to be open-minded and explore. He left the students with an encouraging message that all you need is a paper and a pen to create something beautiful.
Guest Interaction with Mukesh Chhabra and F The Couch Team on August 26, 2016 from 4:00 pm onwards
Masterclass with Mukesh Sharma on August 24, 2016 from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. Mukesh Sharma is the Director General of Films Division, Mumbai and Additional Director General for Doordarshan (WZ & CRD).
Shooting Badlapur with cinematographer Anil Mehta on August 18, 2016 from 10:00 am onwards.
Retelling stories with Omung Kumar & the Team of Sarbjit at Whistling Woods International
After the success of his second directorial venture, Sarbjit, Omung Kumar was at Whistling Woods International (WWI), along with his team, to enlighten the students about the art of filmmaking. The team briefed the aspiring filmmakers on various aspects of the film. When asked about the process of making a biopic, Omung said, “It’s like weaving a thread through the incidents of a person’s life and tying them together, taking the liberty of adding elements only to fill the gaps and never forgetting to stay true to their story.”
Omung also spoke about the efforts the actors put in by adding, “Randeep Hooda lost 18 kilos in 28 days. And for reliving the character he actually wrote letters and stayed in a dark lonely place for hours to get the feel and mood of the character.” Students were inspired with the dedication of the actors.
Utkarshini Vashishtha, the writer of the film said that she built major part of the script upon the conversations that she had with Sarabjit’s youngest daughter, Poonam. She mentioned, “The 18 year old daughter of Sarabjt, Poonam, came through and shared each and every experience of hers on remembering her father only through a couple of pictures and the stories told by everyone else. Little things that Poonam had shared, helped in creating emotional scenes for of the movie.”
The discussion led to the technical aspects of making the film. The students learned about the processes involved in the set designing, sound, and cinematography. The common learning from all the three was being in sync with the director’s vision of the film. In the words of the director of photography of the film, Kiran Deohans, “His vision matched so perfectly with mine that there was no way that I wouldn’t do this movie.” He also gave out his secret on lighting used on the set, “I’d rather call it ‘realistic’ lighting than natural, it all depends on the way you use it.”
The production designer, Vanita Omung Kumar, told the students about the difficulties faced while choosing locations and creating the set. She said, “The ageing process was apparently the most challenging task for us, from the characters to the decay of the set.” The sound designers, Parikshit Lalwani & Kunal Mehta explained how difficult it was to dub few months after the shoot, when the actors were completely out of their character and to get them back into it.
The students were grateful to the entire team of Sarbjit for such an enlightening session and thanked them with a token of appreciation.
Masterclass with Afrida Rahman Ali on August 10, 2016 from 3:00 pm onwards. Afrida Rahman Ali is a broadcast journalist and a news anchor
Celebration of National Handloom Day through exhibition cum introduction of Handlooms and Textiles of India on August 8, 2016 from 4:00 pm onwards. Guest interaction with ace fashion designer - Bhamini Subramanium.
Stalwarts from the events industry came together at Whistling Woods International (WWI) to launch a unique book titled, STAGED!, co-authored by Deepak Choudhary and Sapna Gupta Navneeth. The evening witnessed the presence of event gurus like Sabbas Joseph, President - EEMA and Director - Wizcraft International Entertainment; Manish Gandhi, COO & Executive Director - Asian Business Exhibitions & Conferences Ltd.; Martin Da Costa, CEO - Seventy Event Media Group; Mohomed Morani, Director - Cineyug Group of Companies, Vinit Karnik, Business Head - ESP Properties and Ajay Mago, Publisher, Om Books International. The book not just offers exciting stories live from backstage but also important insights on the size of the industry and the scope of its engagement from these event gurus who have shaped the business of live events in India, from its inception to the current form, over the two decades.
The book launch was followed by a masterclass on event management at WWI, which saw an action packed venue with students of School of Media & Communication, moderated by Rahul Puri – Head of Academics, WWI. For the first time ever leading event gurus came together to share knowledge about event management and its fast-paced industry in the digital world. The panel discussion focused on trends of the events industry, event management as a growing career option and its endless possibilities with respect to scale and the need for events in every aspect of life.
Rahul Puri, Head of Academics, Whistling Woods International, said: “The masterclass on event management held today at WWI has given the students an insights and overview of the events industry and benefits of a professional career in this field. We at WWI, encourage learning of students in different off-beat careers as a part of their curriculum, which gives them a better exposure when they step in the industry as professionals. Event management is now well-recognised as a career option and there has been an incredible growth in the number of students opting for this career path. We are glad, that through WWI we give our students enough exposure, which ensures them a successful career.”
The panel discussion was kicked-off with the launch of the book, STAGED! With a foreword written by the original showman of live events, Subhash Ghai, and an introduction by Sabbas Joseph, EEMA President and Director, Wizcraft International Entertainment, the book features top 17 industry leaders who have been instrumental in creating an ‘events’ industry in India, where there was none.
Subhash Ghai, Founder & Chairman, Whistling Woods International, said: “I am glad we could provide a platform to the students to learn and gain practical knowledge from today’s masterclass on events, where all the industry stalwarts have come together to share their knowledge with the WWI students. Also, what makes STAGED! special is that it captures incidents, stories and defining moments in the journey of live events, therefore capturing the ‘reality’ of the industry. But since then the industry has come a long way! With this panel discussion WWI students now have a wider perspective and clearer insights about the events industry.”
Guest lecture with Prof. Darius Cooper for Direction students on August 2, 2016 from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm.
on August 3, 2016 from 4:00 pm onwards.
Team Sairat conducted a Masterclass for Whistling Woods International students
A special screening of Sairat followed by a Master Class by director Nagraj Manjule and Producer Nittin Keni was held for the students at the institute’s campus
The students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) were thrilled on Tuesday evening to meet the Director, Nagraj Manjule and Producer, Nittin Keni, the makers of the sensational Marathi film ‘Sairat’, a movie that broke all the records, tested the boundaries and left audience speechless. A screening of the film was witnessed by the students following which was a gripping interaction with Nittin and Nagraj.
Spellbound at the end of movie, students wondered, “What is it that Nagraj Manjule’s movies leave such an impact on the audience, be it the National award winning Pistulya or Fandry or Sairat?”. To answer this, Nagraj narrated an incident from his school days when he was called a fandry (swine in Marathi) by a fellow student. It was the first time he was publically humiliated through an abusive remark linked to his caste. Fandry became the title of his first feature film. Similarly, many parts of Sairat are also inspired by his own life. The captain of the ship also stated, “Sairat is my sublime response to the issues I faced in my life”. “I watched Subhash Ghai films as a fan and today I am here at Whistling Woods”, and quoted ‘films are not merely meant for entertainment, it is a medium to communicate his thoughts with the society’.
Chairman and Founder, WWI, Subhash Ghai, said that he was glad to have the Producer and Director at Whistling Woods International and also said, “I saw the film with my friends and I said to my friends that this will be a blockbuster and it was.” The discussion touched upon the nuances and technicalities involved in the filming process and also issues like casteism, gender equality, classism and honour killing as depicted in the film. The producer on being asked about why he chose to produce the film said '’Films like ‘Sairat’ which are made with such conviction must be promoted. More platforms should be created for dauntless storytellers’. He also added that, ‘It’s not the story that I loved, but it was the characters that I fell in love with and that made me to produce the film Sairat.’
The session was packed with a lot of zeal and valuable learnings. In the end of the session Subhash Ghai felicitated the guests with a token of love and appreciation and also congratulated the team on their humungous success.
Our students from the Actors’ Studio and the School Of Fashion and Design got to attend a WWI workshop on Dance Movement Therapy, conducted by Payel Mitra and Kshitija Suryavanshi from Still Flow.
Dance/Movement Therapy (DMT) is a journey of syncing the body and the mind to feel, heal, experience and discover. It is a physical, emotional, psychological and a spiritual process using the body as a tool to express. At this workshop, our students were introduced to the nuances of body movements that enable one to effectively and creatively explore and express one’s inner self.
Guest interaction with the renowned screenwriter Shridhar Raghavan on June 1, 2016 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Masterclass with fashion curator Gautam Vazirani on June 4, 2016 from 11:00 am to 02:00 pm. Gautam Vazirani is the fashion curator at IMG Reliance, that organises Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.
Guest interaction with screenwriter Tushar Paranjape on May 31, 2016 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Tushar Paranjape is a screenwriter famous for the Marathi film Killa.
Guest Interaction with Omkar Sane on May 24, 2016 from 10 am to 02 pm. Omkar Sane is a renowned author and writer.
Masterclass with Sarit Ray on April 22, 2016 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Sarit Ray is the Assistant Editor for HT 48hr.
Masterclass with Ajay Pawar on April 20, 2016 from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm. Ajay Pawar is the Senior General Manager of Godrej Properties.
Tracy Dsouza creates Progressive and unprecedented quality films. Combining her formidable advertising experience with talented Directors, an emphasis on storytelling, detailing, aesthetic sense and a gift for decision-making, Tracy brings that edge to a film, which makes audiences and clients happy!
Tracy has worked with the leading names in Digital, Advertising and Film to include TVF, Prahlad Kakar, Uzer Khan, Vishal Punjabi, Hollywood DP/director Emmanuel Lubezki (Chivo) and many more. She has worked on films for leading brands like P & G, KingFisher, Commonfloor, TOI, CashKaro, Apple, Samsung, AC Black, Maggi, Horlicks, King Henry, Rasna, Emami, Officers Choice and countless others. ‘Can’t’ and ‘Impossible’ are words that do not exist in Tracy’s dictionary. Her motivation and undying passion for films is evident as is her immense skill in interpersonal relations and business awareness.
In Dec 2013, she was offered to executive produce videos for TVF. In the process of speaking to brands, the realization dawned that Tracy had a penchant for branded content solutions and was directly handling solutions and sales with ease and thus took on a role of Head: Brand Solutions TVF in 2014. During this period she overlooked a lot of branded content sales/solutions for TVF inclusive of Permanent Roommates Season 1, TVF Pitchers, Barely Speaking with Arnub (Arvind Kejriwal), Tech Conversations with dad, etc and some that are scheduled for release this year. At the end of 2015, she graduated to heading Girliyapa ( a women centric) channel that creates progressive content with TVF’s assistance. Some of the releases include The Period Song, Why should hot girls have all the fun, etc., She envisions and hopes to make Girliyapa a progressive community for women.
Masterclass with Volker Langhoff BVK from April 12 – April 15, 2016. Volker Langhoff BVK is a Filmmaker, Cinematographer, Director of Photography, Photographer Media Consultant, and Media Trainer.
Masterclass with Pablo Golborne from April 4 to April 9, 2016 from 9:30 am onwards.
Pablo Golborne is a renowned writer and filmmaker.
Masterclass with Neeta Lulla on March 17, 2016 from 09:30am to 01:30pm.
WWI Masterclass with Prof. Richard Peña was an extremely amazing and informative session. At the session, Prof. Peña shared with the students the history of Hollywood and how films evolved over the era and spread as a medium of disseminating information across boundaries through its audio-visual story-telling format.
The documentary, ‘The Salt of the Earth’ was also screened as part of the WWI Masterclass session, which is an independently produced film by Paul Jarrico, directed by Herbert J. Biberman and written by Michael Wilson. At the masterclass, Prof. Peña shared with our students the fact that the makers of this film were among the “Hollywood Ten”, who were blacklisted by the Hollywood establishment citing their involvement with communist politics. Two of the only five professional actors in the film, Will Geer and Rosaura Revueltas were also among the “Hollywood Ten”.
While discussing ‘The Salt Of The Earth’ with our student, Prof. Peña shared insight and snippets from the making of the film. One of the most striking facts about this film was that this is one of the first films to portray the emergence of labour equality, gender equality and feminist social and political point of view.
‘The Salt Of The Earth’ is also the only American film that was openly suppressed by the studios and Hollywood unions, and as a result only 12 out of 28,000 American movie theaters agreed to run it, that too for just a day or two. Peña shared how the movie got a second life when it was rediscovered in the 60s and inspired a cult following of leftists, feminists, Latinos, historians and film buffs. The film was being screened in film schools, union halls and women's centers. Peña shared his experience of watching this film as a student at the Harvard University and how Jarrico marveled at the reaction that the film garnered. Peña said, “Post the screening there was a 10 minutes long standing ovation and applaud by the audience. Seeing that an overwhelmed Jarrico had quipped, “Where were you guys when we needed you.””
At the session, Prof. Peña also shared his experience of dealing with the U.S. Immigration center, which refused a visa to the much acclaimed filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami, for being an Iranian citizen. Pena as the director of the New York Film Festival personally invited Kiarostami to attend the session and was disheartened to experience how politics is emerging as a ruling factor even in the creative sphere of things. While talking about the same, Prof. Peña shared his thoughts on how politics as a dominating factor is creating personal bias in the mind of the masses by overlooking the creative genius of a person, which transcends his caste, race or religion.
Masterclass with Richard Pena on March 16, 2016 at auditorium from 02:00pm to 05:30pm.
Richard Pena is an acclaimed Film Studies Professor from Columbia University & the Director for the New York Film Festival.
Session on the basics of motion graphics by senior faculty of WWI School of Animation, Mr. Kshtiz Sharma on March 03, 2016 from 9.30am to 4.30pm
Session on the basics of motion graphics by senior faculty,of WWI School of Animation, Mr. Kshtiz Sharma on March 03, 2016 from 9.30am to 4.30pm.
“Fight for your first film,” said Pan Nalin, the director of Angry Indian Goddesses during a masterclass at Whistling Woods International.
The students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) were thrilled to have the team of ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ for a masterclass held this week. The movie was screened for almost 350 students post which the team comprising of the director Pan Nalin, producer Gaurav Dhingra, editor Shreyas Beltangdy, co-writer Subhadra Mahajan and actor Rajshri Deshpande shared their experiences with the students.
Subhadra spoke about the research she did for the film. One part of the research being the facts from the internet and the other part being one-on-one discussion with several women. It was stories of such women from different strata, with dreams and aspirations that moved them to make this film. To add on, Pan Nalin said, “I didn’t know this would turn out to be the first female buddy film. I just wanted to tell stories that moved me.”
The students were surprised to know that the actors stepped into the characters’ skin and acted spontaneously without a pre-written script. The actors were trained to forget about the camera, which resulted in more natural expressions when the camera was rolled. Nalin believes that actors tend to impose their personal views at times instead of letting the characters to breathe. Hence, asking the actors to live in the characters’ skin would help in impactful portrayal of their respective roles.
It was an extremely proud moment for all the faculty and staff of WWI to hear from Rajshri, who is an alumna of WWI. She shared inspiring experiences and spoke about her journey, beginning right after she graduated from WWI. She motivated the students by quoting, “Prove your talent. Don’t lose hope.” Shreyas enlightened the students on the nuances of editing which included inter cut scenes, pacing and more.
When Gaurav was questioned about shooting under the circumstance of having no locked script, he agreed to the fact that it was a risk but the confidence to keep going came from Nalin. Being the first film distributed on global platform, he also shared his insights on the marketing plans and strategies undertaken for the movie’s distribution.
The entire session left the students amazed and inspired. They thanked the team for sharing their valuable insights.
Masterclass with a Senior Lecturer in Digital Humanities conducted by Paul Spence on February 23, 2016 from 2:30PM to 4:00PM.
“There is nothing more precious than education, now that you are here, give it your best shot!” said Manav Dhanda, Group CEO of Sri Adhikari Brothers in the masterclass at Whistling Woods International
Whistling Woods International (WWI) witnessed industry expert, Manav Dhanda, Group CEO, Sri Adhikari Brothers Group enlightening the students on how media in India has evolved in terms of format and content. Mr. Manav along with Mr. Rahul Puri, Head of Academics, WWI discussed the importance of media platform and how it is expanding globally.
He shared his insights on India being one of the few countries to have Satellite TV even before the advent of Radio. His exceptional knowledge and experience about the industry made the masterclass highly interactive, fun to listen to and educational as well.
Adding to the session was the Q&A with the students, where Mr. Manav shared his personal experiences & valuable insights. The students were extremely delighted and thankful to him for sharing his thoughts and his journey in this industry.
“With media booming across the world, India is being recognized as a significant player in the global media industry. Knowing your consumers is one of the most vital aspect to be able to deliver relevant content”, he said.
Encouraging the students to let loose the creativity in them, he added, “Analytics is the key to survive and make a mark as a media house in this competitive industry. Try to identify & analyse your core strength to be able to deliver professionally & in the best way possible.”
The masterclass came to an end with the showcase of an AV highlighting various brands’ commercials. It was followed by an interesting exchange of thoughts between Mr. Manav and the students, discussing various ad campaigns and marketing strategies of several brands.
By the close of the session, the students had a lot to take back with them in terms of the knowledge of media industry. It was the inspiring message that motivated all the students – Know the numbers and spend time on researching the facts to be able to become a good decision-maker in media business.
Rahul Puri, Head of Academics, WWI thanked Manav Dhanda for gracing the event and spending his valuable time with the students. The event ended with him felicitating Manav Dhanda with a token of appreciation amidst thunderous applause.
“What I expect from my assistant is - an INDIVIDUAL” said Kanu Behl, director of ‘Titli’ while interacting with the students of Whistling Woods International
Mumbai, 16th February 2016: It was a proud moment for Whistling Woods International (WWI) to welcome its alumni Shashank Arora, lead actor of the film ‘Titli’ to share his experience about his journey from graduating in 2008 to being applauded for his performance as an actor today. Shashank was accompanied by the director Kanu Behl, cinematographer Siddharth Diwan, editor Namrata Rao & actor Shivani Raghuvanshi. The film ‘Titli’ was screened before the interaction which received a very positive response by almost 300 WWI students.
Speaking about the conceptualisation of this film that managed to touch the core memories of the audience, Kanu expressed that personal experiences play a vital role in a filmmaker’s life. When asked by a student whether it was a risk to make such a dark, edgy and riveting film in an era of high grossing Bollywood movies, Kanu firmly said, “I really didn’t think much about who would watch this film. I just wanted to make a film.” This zest and unwavering desire was also the reason that inspired Siddharth to be a part of this film. Speaking from the editor’s point of view, Namrata wasn’t convinced with the director’s point of view. She always places herself in the audience’s shoes while editing a film, she mentioned during her interaction with the students.
Shivani who debuted as an actor with this film gives credit to the director and the team by saying that it is the environment that was created which helped her get into the character. She added, “Titli has been a learning process not only as an actor but also as an individual. I realised everyone has two sides. No one is absolutely white or black, neither was I.”
Shashank who spent years giving many auditions hoping to get his big break ensured students that one shouldn’t give up but be positive and keep trying. Kanu & Namrata who graduated from a film school as well, had their share of struggle to make it big in the industry. They stated that opportunities don’t always knock at your door, sometimes it takes a while, but it will happens!
The interaction came to an end with a lively Q&A session with the students. They seemed content and extremely grateful to the entire team of ‘Titli’ for sharing their personal experiences & valuable insights.
Masterclass with Brian Tellis to be conducted on February 10, 2016 from 10:30 am to 12:00pm in Auditorium
Brian Tellis is an excellent speaker, a veteran of radio, events and theatre.
"IT IS IMPORTANT THAT EACH CREW MEMBER WORKS IN-SYNC TOWARDS THE COMMON GOAL, AS EVERYONE IS A FILMMAKER AT THE END OF THE DAY”, SAID RAJA MENON, DIRECTOR OF AIRLIFT IN THE MASTERCLASS AT WHISTLING WOODS INTERNATIONAL
As their critically acclaimed film crosses the 100 Cr mark, team of Airlift shares their war stories with 400 WWI Students
Mumbai, February 11, 2016: This week, Whistling Woods International (WWI) conducted the film forum for recently released, highly-acclaimed film, Airlift. The plot is based on the largest human evacuation by air in the world history by India during the 1990’s Iraq-Kuwait war. Post the screening, WWI hosted the team of Airlift including Raja Menon, Director; Priya Seth, Cinematographer; Hemanti Sarkar, Editor; Mustafa Stationwala, Production Designer; Udai Singh Pawar, Associate Director and Sajid Sanwari, Chief Assistant Cinematographer & 2nd Unit Director of Photography, who is also a WWI alumnus. The team shared their experiences of working on this project with over 400 students of WWI.
Explaining how Airlift turned into a beautiful piece of cinema, Raja Menonshared his views on how ‘following a process’, importance of pre-production charting and planning, and having regular and intensive discussions with the crew members, help in being aligned to the common vision and the only objective of taking a story from script to screen with all honesty.
“It is imperative for each crew member to understand the roles of all the departments involved to be able to work in-sync and ensure a smooth flow of operation, while working in a limited timeframe and budget. After all everyone is a filmmaker at the end of the day”, he said. This session gave the students a clarity on the roles of each department involved in portraying a film with an honest intention and working towards a common objective of telling the story in its truest form.
The team also shared interesting snippets on various aspects involved in the filmmaking process, their journey – from recce to the final story being unfolded on the big screen. A very interesting aspect mentioned by Raja Menon, was a word of inspiration for the students, which will help them in understanding the level of dedication, involvement and hard work required to make a film. He said, “From script to screen, the makers need to live with the idea, to be able to visualize the story holistically.”
The students got best of all present on the stage as the team struck a chord with them. The student interaction session with the Airlift teamwashighly energetic. Their exceptional knowledge about filmmaking made the masterclass highly interactive, fun to listen to and educational as well.
By the close of the session, the students had a lot to take back with them in terms of the technical knowledge of filmmaking but it was the inspiring message that motivated all the students – the idea of filmmaking is to find the truth within the story you wish to narrate to your audience.
Film forum on the movie 'Talvar' conducted on February 2nd 2016. Screening of the movie followed by interaction with the director - Meghna Gulzar and co-producer - Priti Shahani held in auditorium.
Vishal Bhardwaj & Meghna Gulzar gifted a copy of TALVAR’S final script to Whistling Woods International's library
Mumbai, February 02, 2016: The movie ‘Talvar’ had left its audience to question their percepts about crime and judgements passed! Though every audience of this cleanly crafted film would have loved to interact with the director and the producer on the nuances of making of this film, the students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) turned out to be the privileged ones of the lot. This week, the movie which is based on real life incident was screened for around 350 WWI students, post which the director, Meghna Gulzar & Priti Shahani, the co-producer of the film were invited for the film forum.
Meghna expressed that initially while she followed the real life incident case, she never intended to make a film on it. The trigger was the casual chat with Vishal Bhardwaj, the writer of the film who came up with this idea. She later realized that it is a compelling story and it really needed to be told. She shared her experiences with the students, right from the inception of the film. ‘How can a single case and investigation have so many conclusions?’ she wondered, which led her to do a research for almost 2 years before starting the film.
“I feel re-born as a filmmaker with this film because it made me relearn what I thought I already knew about filmmaking”, said Meghna Gulzar on making the first-of-its-kind, a film that portrayed a real life incident without making any improvisations to the content.
Priti shared her insights from the business perspective, the possibilities of legal actions that a producer might have to face and the precautions they have to take. “A producer should ensure that a cinema should be produced within a buyable budget, as in the case of Talvar, and it will find its right audience”, she said.
She further stated, “We were making an honest film and I trusted the team.” While they spoke about the team, the students were inspired to know about the efforts the actors put in to study and portray their roles, relating themselves to the real life characters, their body language and mannerisms.
Appreciating the film forum platform, Priti Shahani said, “It has been the finest interaction ever. It’s heartening when the subject finds its resilience with the students. The questions were different and unique from any questions ever asked. And I believe it has to do with the institution they are coming from and their understanding of the process of filmmaking, including the responsibilities of taking a film to the audience.”
The students were quite inspired and satisfied with the clarity on the making of such an unflinching film. They were motivated to be brave enough to showcase many such real life stories in the near future. They thanked Meghna & Priti for spending their valuable time
It was pleasure to have Fashion Designer Gaviin Miguel at our campus.
In the masterclass Gaviin not only enlightened the students about difference in pret , bespoke & couture wear but also guided them on technical aspect of each, in terms of the designing and demands of the industry . He spoke about his journey in the fashion industry and all the hardships that he had to face to be a successful designer. According to him it is very important for each designer to have a mark of their own, which will not only make them stand out amongst others but also secure their position in the industry.
Gaviin said, "To be a good designer it’s important to be a good human being cause what you are reflects from the clothes that you make. Each design that you make should carry your heart and soul."
In his interaction with the students he spoke about his resent venture, Disney’s recreation of the magical Broadway, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ that was showcased in Mumbai & Delhi. Gaviin was the Costume Designer for the theatre version of the musical. He shared his experience working for a Broadway theme and what it takes for a designer to be versatile but still holding on to that one thing that makes you different from others, your forte.
Overall, it was a very educative, enriching experience for the students to interact with Gaviin Miguel.
The masterclass conducted by Ms. Babita Malkhani was on Indian Fusion Wear and Styling. In the masterclass she explained the story behind her recent collection called ‘Talim’ and the execution of the collection. Talim refers to a written code for weaving oriental rugs and carpets devised by early Kashmiri’s for the pattern of knotting handmade carpets. Babita Malkani’s travels to Kashmir inspired her to work with Windows of Paradise, which form an integral part of the Talim carpets prevalent in Kashmir. She explained the making of the collection to the students, which has an indo-western appeal, also lays emphasizes on constructed silhouettes, signature drapes along with a blend of chic crops, pencil skirts and stylized pants giving it styles to suit the modern sensibilities of today’s women.
She also spoke to the students, keeping in mind their upcoming collection for the graduation show, that the students should come up with design which are more practical, wearable, trendy and creative.
Later in the masterclass students had to illustrate 2 design each on the basis of practicality, wearability & trendy, out of which she selected 2 students’ design which she really felt was different and creative. Finally, they were shown the technique of a draped dress.
WWI Alumni back in the campus as Mentors – The Team of Gujjubhai The Great:
It was a moment of great pride for us as Meghna Ghai Puri welcomed its alumni, Ishaan Randeria, the director of the highest grossing film in the Gujarati film industry, ‘Gujjubhai the Great’. Ishaan was accompanied by the film’s lead actor, Siddharth Randeria also well known as the comedy king of Gujarat, cinematographer Himanshu Dubey, editor Tushar Parekh, WWI faculty & VFX supervisor Zenish Mehta, associate director Ankit Arya & the sound designers Suraj Bardia, Yatrik Dave, Vaibhav Ambole, who are also WWI alumni.
Almost 350 WWI students were agog & excited to hear from the alumni who were once seated in the same auditorium as WWI students and have now marked their names successfully in the industry. Ishaan who graduated in the year 2010 spoke about his journey post graduation, from assisting the directors to directing Ad films to moving on to his first independent film. He expressed his gratitude towards WWI for all the knowledge. He stated that the experience he gained during diploma film shoots helped him to a great extend as he stepped out into the industry.
Veteran actor, Siddharth Randeria, who performs almost 300 stage plays in a year & has won multiple awards as a writer, actor & director for Gujarati comedy plays shared the experiences of his 35 years of career in theatre. He explained the differences between a stage play & a film and also spoke about his fears & risks involved during the making of a film. He also shared that he was his initially sceptical when my son, Ishaan said he has decided to choose film as his career. He said, “He had the option to study in India or abroad. But when he brought me to WWI, after seeing the campus and facilities and the faculty here, I was convinced that studying here will prepare my son for making a career in the film industry.”
When asked about he being directed by his son, he said that he had full confidence in him & further added, “I believed my son was launching me & that made things easier.”
The session uplifted the spirit of the students. Each one was motivated to dream big & see themselves coming back to their alma mater to address the future batches.
WWI Masterclass with Nishikant Kamat & Shriya Saran:
“Every film has a heartbeat and a rhythm. You just have to get it” says Nishikant Kamat as he addressed our students at the WWI Masterclass.
This week, our students were extremely delighted to have Nishikant Kamat and Shriya Saran for the WWI Masterclass. The twisty thriller movie ‘Drishyam’ was screened at the WWI Auditorium prior to the Interactive session with the director and the actor. Post the screening, both Nishikant Kamat & Shriya Saran interacted with the students by sharing their experiences.
The students were all ears as Nishikant spoke about his journey from starting fresh as a fifth assistant director in his early twenties, later moving on to being an editor, then a director for Television content and then becoming a writer few years later and an accomplished director today. “I have always followed my instincts and loved my cinema,” quoted Nishikant. He also enlightened the students on various aspects that affect the outcome of the film which included the target audience, casting the right face, the location, the appearances and more.
Shriya who asserts that she has been fortunate to be a part of various language films expressed her gratitude towards her work and directors who have contributed to her learning to be a better actor. She advised the students to analyse their strengths and to strive to overcome their weaknesses and said, “Don’t be relaxed. Be confident about yourself and believe in your uniqueness. You will get good work. Never stop believing in yourself.”
While addressing the aspiring actors, Nishikant also added, “Just feel. Don’t try hard to express. The camera is a powerful tool that will capture it all.”
The masterclass session was extremely rewarding for the students. They were pleased to have all their queries answered.
Today, viewers have an increasing appetite for media in all forms including television. There is a soaring demand for great formats and original content. Envisaging the same, this week, Whistling Woods International (WWI) invited Arpit Agarwal to share insights that could be beneficial to groom the students to deliver and shine in the media industry. Almost 500 students of WWI were addressed by Arpit Agarwal, former Business Head at Sahara One and Head of Operations at Fremantle Media India, and Balaji Telefilms.
Agarwal who comes with 19 years of experience in creating, producing and managing both mass and television content in India as well as in Singapore advised the students to be aware of all kinds of media. He stated one needs to have an opinion and in order to have an opinion, one needs to be informed. He also enlightened the students on various aspects of distribution, syndication, programming, content creation, managing resources and more. He emphasised on the importance of discipline and said, “You may have a great idea but if you don’t know how to execute it as planned and within the allotted budgets, it makes no sense.”
‘Consuming a lot of media is definitely going to be fruitful’ was his word of advice to the students before ending the session.
A recent survey stated that audience today is more appeased by the story rather than just the spectacle of a film. We have also witnessed excellent films emerging out of Maharashtra, one such regional movie being ‘Baji’. On Tuesday, this week, almost 550 students of Whistling Woods International (WWI) got the opportunity to interact with the superheroes of Marathi action superhero film,‘Baji’. The film was screened in the evening which received an overwhelming response by the students, post which the cast and crew had their own bit of experiences and moments to share with the students. The masterclass was moderated by Arjun Mogre, an alumni of WWI, who is also known for his short film ‘Pradosh’.
“Everyone has a superhero within themselves, you just need to put on the mask for people to take you seriously”, advised superhero Shreyas Talpade. He also spoke about the hardships, perseverance and determination during his days as a struggling actor and encouraged the students to work hard and never give up by stating, “Jo cheez upar jati hai, who neeche ati hai; Aur jo cheez neechi ati hai, woh jaroor upar jati hai.” Actor-turned-producer, Shreyas also expressed his views on the importance of social media and publicity in today’s world.
“The comic books I read as a child inspired me to do an action adventure superhero film”, said Nikhil Mahajan, the director of the film. He also enlightened the students on various creative ideas that one can choose when enforced to work in constricted budgets for a film.
Suhrud Godbole, the producer of ‘Baji’ and also an alumni of WWI expressed his gratitude for the teachings and knowledge he acquired as a student. Based on his editing experiences and speaking about the editor’s contribution to the success of a film, he said that an editor needs to get deep into the content more than any other technician and know every single frame and hence quoted, “If you can be a good editor, you can be an excellent director.”
Bollywood’s extremely renowned production mix & sound designer, Baylon Fonseca quoted, “As a technician, one shouldn’t differentiate between big and small films. It’s the efforts and hard work that one should put in to get the ‘Oh wow!’ moments.” The Director of photography, VasudeoRane shared insights on how he worked to change the color palettes as per the mood, as the film progressed. The students seemed contented and were extremely grateful to the entire team of ‘Baji’ for sharing such valuable insights.
Guest Session with Mr. Neil Sadwelkar on Digital Strategies and Workflow, DCP Workflow and BluRay with sophomores, juniors and seniors editing, senior cinematography, juniors direction, producing and sound students.
Michael Radford is the Director of the film 'IL-Postino-The Postman'. This film is a romantic drama. In the masterclass session he shares his journey into making of the film.The session definitely helped the students gain a perspective into making of this genre of movies straight from the director himself.The students were extremely satisfied with the knowledge imparted by Michael Radford and are looking forward to many more sessions like this at Whistling Woods.
"We make movies to interact, to tell stories and most importantly to connect with the audience", said renowned filmmaker, Sebastian Cordero at Whistling Woods International.
One key aspect that separates Whistling Woods International (WWI) from rest of the institutes is its various initiatives taken to enhance the knowledge and make the students industry oriented. Apart from the faculty of renowned industry experts, WWI also provides the students an opportunity to interact with internationally established professionals. About 550 students of WWI were addressed by the critically acclaimed filmmaker, Sebastian Cordero.
Cordero who is an Ecuadorian film director, writer & an editor generously took a few hours from his busy schedule to visit WWI and share his experiences with the students.
'Cronica', an Ecuadorian thriller film, written and directed by Cordero was screened for the students, post which Anjum Rajabali, an eminent Indian screenwriter and also the HOD - Screenwriting, WWI introduced Cordero on stage. The renowned Ecuadorian film director was extremely enthusiastic & eager to share his experiences about his journey right from conceptualizing to completing the film.
"No matter what your actions are, you are still a human", quoted Cordero when asked how he managed to sensitize a thriller film that revolved around dark demonic side of human nature. In addition, he spoke about some of his work that moved around human nature, morals & ethics. He mentioned it is the characters he meets in real life that inspire him to write stories and make films.
While enlightening the students on story writing and speaking about the uniqueness that reflects from his works, Cordero said that everyone has a story with a local flavor, the art is to write it in a way that is universal and can connect with every human. Cordero also imparted knowledge to the students on ways to work around other aspects of the character if they have restrictions on portraying violence or other intense feelings.
He spoke at length explaining the challenges he faced during the making of his film. The students were extremely pleased to have their doubts cleared and grateful for the knowledge imparted. Cordero expressed his willingness to visit WWI again during his next visit to India.
It is a privilege to get to learn from the industry experts! Their experiences itself are storehouse of knowledge. Our students get to experience such privilege on a regular basis through masterclasses, workshops and interactive sessions.
Mr. Ali Hussein, a Digital Media entrepreneur, conducted a Masterclass with the students of the School of Media and Communication, and helped them understand the evolution of Digital Medium over the years. Intense discussion on networks, devices and format of content on the digital space gave our students an idea to gauge the rapid expansion that has happened over a very short span of time.
The session also focused on ways to build scalable business model on the digital space. Talking about this, Mr. Hussein suggested one to consider consumers demands that would come up in 3 – 5 years from now. He shared that to make a business model succeed in the online space one needs to closely monitor their consumers' preference and buying behaviour. However, the quality of the product remains the key to win consumers.
While discussing about the two verticals in the digital space: e-commerce & entertainment, Mr. Hussein pointed that look and feel of the site/platform, easy search functionality, and option to transact adds to the user experience and often are the factors that make or break a brand’s image in the digital space.
With the evolution in the content format and brands’ objective to give consumers an enhanced user experience, ‘Apps’ have redefined the content consumption and browsing pattern in the digital space. Apps allow brands to give customised user experience and in return gain artificial experience that helps to keep a track and gauge the users’ preference.
While talking about professional opportunities in the digital medium, Mr. Hussein said that the digital medium operates in 4 verticals: Creative, Market, Sales & Business Development. To venture into any of the verticals, one needs to first identify their area of interest and to continuously learn and evolve to sustain in this dynamic media space.
It is great for an institute to be able to witness a student’s journey from being a student to a professional and then returning to their Alma Mater as Masters, to share their experience with the existing students, completing a full circle.
We had the team of the short film, 'Time Machine', made by our alumni Arati Kadav, Zain Matcheswalla and Zenish Mehta. It was great to hear our students, now alumni, share their experience of networking and collaborating with their batchmates and peers to create meaningful and innovative content. Time Machine is conceptualized and directed by Arati Kadav. Her inclination towards sci-fi movies made her come up with the idea of making this short, simple and interesting film.
Zain Matcheswalla, the writer of the movie, discussed how important it is to be in sync with the director’s vision to be able to deliver optimally, and how necessary it is to be aware of every minute requirement and addressing every aspect of filmmaking from the time of conceptualization.
The team also shared about their venture – Short Film Window, which is a platform that hosts short films from across the world. The venture was started by Arati Kadav with an objective to present short films as feature films.
Talking about making a visual impact, Arati opined that it is important to create a rich texture onscreen. She suggested the enthusiastic and eager WWI students to understand the colour concept and have the vision to create interesting layers to achieve great visual appeal.
As a friendly advice, she told WWI students that as a student of filmmaking, it is important to try to find one’s voice and never ever thinking of giving up on the dream and aspiration of making films.
A group of 4 students: Abhimanyu Kanodia, Aly Rana, Harshil Bhanushali & Yang Zimik, made four Documentary Films, as part of the “Looking China 2015” Project, even before they have completed their graduation! Through their films, they captured the beautiful essence of life and brought forth the intricate detail that makes everyday special in its own way.
With such budding experts at the threshold of student life moving ahead as professionals, we could not let go off an opportunity to know the experience of these emerging filmmakers. A special Masterclass in every sense – A Masterclass by the Students for the Students!
It was endearing to hear them share their views on planning projects & how should one prepare to shoot a film in a foreign land. Their clarity on what needs to be achieved through a film – a sense of purpose, and their understanding of the nuances, like identifying relevant imagery to represent an idea did say a lot about how promising filmmakers they would evolve to be!
While sharing his experience, Aly Rana, touched upon the point of how important it is to understand the subject and people who need to be interviewed to make a Documentary Film. Yang Zimik shared his experience on handling heavy and complex equipment, and thus pointed that one should be aware of the equipment beforehand to be able to use it effectively. Abhimanyu Kanodia, shared snippets on the importance of proper planning and research to be able to smoothly operate in an unknown land and get the maximum output in a limited time span.
Going beyond the technicalities of shooting a film, the stories of experiencing life a little differently did encourage our existing students to passionately master the craft. This session also gave our students an understanding that there is no dearth of exposure that we give to our students and we take it on to us to identify our students’ potential and ensure that they get a platform to showcase their talent.
SMC Masterclass with Mr. Mahesh Shah - General Manager, Public Relations (HDFC Ltd) for BBA & MBA students.
Whistling Woods International (WWI) has always set the platform for the next-gen filmmakers to interact with industry professionals through the medium of Film Forum. This week, post the screening of highly acclaimed film of 2015, 'Dum Laga Ke Haisha', new age director Sharat Katariya, and cinematographer Manu Anand shared their experience with over 400 students of WWI. In an engaging interaction, they shared the nuances and educated the students about making a subtle yet beautiful movie.
Explaining the true origins of Dum Laga Ke Haisha, Sharat Kataritya said, “I wanted to make a film that nobody should see. Not restricting within the set barriers of what an entertaining film is known for, I wanted to make an honest film.”
“The film’s idea originated from a simple calendar that I saw at my friend’s place. And after every possible rejection, the film finally released as a subtle yet beautiful story of a couple”, he further added.
Manu Anand shared his experiences from the sets of Dum Laga Ke Haisha, from narrowing on Haridwar as the final location, the colour palette of the film to the difficulties faced while shooting the film. He also encouraged students to breakthrough the shell of classical shot divisions and explore innovative ways to visually express the script.
He also shared interesting snippets on lighting, while explaining the importance of Production Designer and the Costume Designer being in sync with each other’s work that lends to the overall look and feel of the film.
The students received the best of both the Director and Cinematographer as they struck a chord with them. The interaction between them and the students was contagious and their exceptional knowledge about filmmaking made the masterclass highly interactive, fun to listen to and educational as well.
By the close of the session, the students had a lot to take back with them in terms of the technical knowledge of filmmaking, but it was the beautiful message of the film that motivated all the students – Love yourself for th