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Filmmaker Alexis Dias tackles terrorism
Alexis Dias, a filmmaker from Bangalore, India is back with a new film tackling the subject of terror and terrorism. Dias, who works in the country's tech sector, takes on the subject in his second movie, Love Versus Evil. As with his 2006 debut film, Do We Accept the Truth, Love Versus Evil has no dialog, with the story told with an intricate series of cuts and dissolves. Dias talks about the making of Love Versus Evil, as well as what societal subject that he will tackle next., and when he will make a movie with dialog.
DMN: Your last film, Do We Accept the Truth, back in 2006 was about child labor in India. This film, Love Versus Evil is about the evils of terrorism and one man's decision to turn his back on it. Why terror in this film?
Alexis Dias: Terrorism is dangerous, maybe they don't know what they are doing . . . may be they lack love. . . love is the medicine to heal terrorism.
DMN: As with Do We Accept the Truth, Love Versus Evil, features no dialogue. The entire message is through creative cutting and the score. How has the film fared in India without dialogue?
AD: Film with dialogs needs good sound engineering and good sound engineering needs good money. A number of my friends are asking me when are you going to make a film with dialogs. My response to them is finance me, I will do. So for the two films which I have done Do We Accept The Truth and Love Versus Evil I never expected money in return. The feedback given by the people, some said they are not able to understand, some said it is good. If I am not wrong, no one said it is bad. Keeping the constraints in mind when making this film, for me both films are good.
DMN: How long did it take to edit the film?
AD: Three days
DMN: You used the Sony PD 150 to shoot Love Versus Evil. Have you had a chance to work with the latest HD cameras?
AD: It was Panasonic GS200 three CCD miniDV camcorder for my first film Do We Accept The Truth Sony PD 150 for my second film, Love Versus Evil. Next maybe we'll use an HD camera (until now I haven't had the chance to work with an HD camera). Thanks to digital technology, films can be made at less cost.
DMN:How did you achieve the fallen leaf effect (after the actor left the bomb at the stadium?)
AD: We used big fans to blow the air, and then leafs were thrown in the direction of the wind. Flash Digital Effect was enabled in the Sony PD 150 camera.
DMN: Over the course of how many days did you shoot Love Versus Evil?
AD: 15 days of shooting.
DMN: What software did you use to score the film?
AD: My friend Jeyasekar composed music with his Yamaha 1100 keyboard, sound engineering and mixing was done in the studio Music Media Bangalore.
DMN:You are still working in the India tech industry, yet still find time to practice your craft. How do you find time to organize it all?
AD: Before bed time in the night, I used to communicate with my friends over the telephone line and organize the required things for the next shooting session. We used to meet on Sunday evenings for the discussions. Our process used to be very slow. When all are set, we go for the shooting session.
DMN:When did you start and finish Love Versus Evil?
AD: We started in January 2007 and were able to finish by August 2007
DMN: For Love Versus Evil you edited the film with Adobe Premiere Pro. What features did you like about Premiere Pro that lended itself well to your style of filmmaking?
AD: For my first film Vara Prasad did the editing. Now he is in Pune (he left Bangalore). Sandeep K.S. edited Love Versus Evil. He is a cinematographer by trade, having finished his cinematography course from the Government Film and Television Institute Bangalore. I wanted an editor who can read my mind and synchronize with my frequency.
There were several times I saw Sandeep trying few things with Adobe Premiere Pro in the Hivisions and Technologies studio Bangalore. I asked Sandeep "Can you do the editing for Love Versus Evil?" and his response was, "I will try but I never edited a film before." Sandeep's first editing experience is Love Versus Evil.
Before the final go for the editing session of Love Versus Evil, he practiced quite a bit.
After Love Versus Evil, he got the confidence and has finished more than 20 projects (the duration for each project varies from 10 to 30 minutes). He says that Premiere Pro is easy to use and fast to learn.
DMN:Also interesting with this film are the outtakes at the end, which you didn't do with your first film.
AD: Thank you for the compliments.
DMN:What subject will you tackle next and will we see it in 2010?
AD: City Traffic is my next subject. The project is underway, and yes, maybe it will be done by 2010.
John Virata is senior editor of Digital Media Online. You can email him at [email protected]