Saturday, June 21, 2014

The One – Part I


Here’s a riddle… What’s Red and Brown and goes round and round. That would be me, two years ago, walking in the sun looking for the right institute. Color fades to grey and slow music starts, as we flashback – Two and some years ago I was a not-so-enthu engineering student struggling through my second year in said field. I took up engineering frankly because my Parents said I should. Afraid to be cut out of the will, I begrudgingly accepted and found myself less-then excited about what I was doing. Until – music tempo picks up and color starts to add into scene - I picked up a camera to shoot a video for my college fest. It was a huge hit; I got accolades, You’re-The-Man thumbs up signs, got called to the Princi’s office to be praised (He looked as shocked at what he was doing as I was at receiving the praise) and all the jazz that goes with finding out that you have a purpose in life.

When I took a break from engineering to pursue Filmmaking - slow-motion shots of parents and me screaming, crying, lots of walking out shots with sheets of paper flying in the air – I found out quickly enough that just pure talent could get you only so far. I needed a formal education to back me up. Here began - energetic the heat-is-on music starts- the hunt for the perfect institute.

Now, it’s important to know that I am not one of those who jumps at the first train that pulls into the station type of person - tires braking hard sound. I plan, I research, I plot, I wear my James Bond sunglasses – plagiarized Bond music in Background - before I zero in on anything. So before I set out of my house I first visited all the websites and facebook pages of all the known, and some unknown, institutes that I heard had a filmmaking course.

Step 1 - if the website and facebook page doesn’t dazzle you into staying on it for more than 5 min you know you got a problem. So my first round of elimination was based purely on me reading the book by its cover. One institute explicitly mentioned they didn't offer any placement guarantees, right there on the front page. Just the thing a person trying to enter into the field wants to hear – Heavy Sarcasm laugh – I didn't go beyond their About Us page. A couple of websites looked like tax return pages - pin drop silence with the occasional mosquito sound breaking in - dull and boring. Some websites had so much fine print about their course I started feeling quite suspicious about what they were going to make me sign – Doctor Evil Smile. And finally, if an institute talking about filmmaking didn’t have any videos on, well that for me was a deal breaker right there.

Step 2 – Calling. After my first round of elimination was done, I called up the top 5 places on my list to ask them when and who I could talk to regarding my course inquiry. All of them passed with flying colors here, as very sweet and helpful receptionist - La La La type music with lot of beautiful long hair flying in the wind shots - took down my details and set me up to come meet their respective counselors.

Step 3 – The Meeting. Inst. 1 – Name and Identity hidden for.. well, cause I can.. I met up with the counsellor at the door. She very formally welcomed me and asked me to read through the prospectus on the course I would plan to choose. After spending a good 15 minutes reading the prospectus cover to cover, I was still unsure how this place could help me. So I asked the counsellor. Very patiently she asked me to sit, took the prospectus from my hand and proceeded to read it out to me. Word for word. Now considering that I think of myself as quite the avid reader and someone who generally understands what I read I interrupted her to say that I had gone through the course but how was this institute better then the next. She cut me off with a look that said, “I'm reading here.” After she finished I asked her, for the third time, why should I choose you guys. She gave me a new, oh-your-one-of-those-smart-ones-are-you look and handed back the prospectus saying this explains it all and if I wanted I could walk around the institute and see how it 'felt’ different. Well it didn't so I left. 1 down 4 to go.

Since I'm not one to cut a long story short, catch this space for the second part of 'The One – Hunt for the Right Institute' – credits roll.

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