I’ve always known about the importance of video as a powerful medium to communicate a story. Knowing the importance is one thing and understanding how to get a video done is completely another.
I’m nearing 40 and am just about beginning to learn the ropes. I really wish I started early. It was this realization that made me want to give an opportunity for my kids when they are young.
When I read about the ‘Movie Making Summer Camp‘ for kids, it fit in perfectly with my need. I’ve joined my two kids in the camp. Its a two week course where the kids are taught about the basics of writing a story, how to transform it into a script, how to create storyboards and frame the shots.
More importantly, the course is taught by two professionals who have had years of experience in the movie field. Madhumita Vijay had directed two Tamil movies, Vallamai Thaaraayo (starring Parteban and Chaya Singh) and Kola kolaya Mundhirika. She graduated from New York Film Academy in LA.
Her husband, Vijay Venkatraman is a film editor, sound designer and writer for feature films. he has extensive experience working with various advertising firms. He graduated from University of Southern California, School of Cinematic Arts in LA.
To me, who teaches the course is important and I was quite impressed not just with their profile but also when I met them in real life.
More about the them at http://moviecampchennai.wordpress.com
The first time I heard about Siddharth Jayakumar was through a video that a friend shared on Facebook. As I was viewing this video, I couldn’t help but feeling moved. Watch the video below to know why.
Siddharth, or Sidhu as he affectionately called, is a guy affected by Cerebral Palsy early in his childhood. He has involuntay movements as he walks and talks. There’s a slight slur in his talk. Other than that, he is just like anyone else and that’s what he is fighting to emphasize.
Currently, Sidhu works as an Associate manager at IndusInd Bank. He is a Certified ‘Documentary Credit Specialist’ from Institute of Financial Services, UK and became India’s first CDCS with Cerebral Palsy. He is a recipient of National award in 2008 by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment as ‘Best Employee with Cerebral Palsy’ given by the honorable Vice President of India on 3 Dec 2008. He was conferred the ‘Lala Kailashpat Singhania Award’ from National Society for Equal Opportunities for Handicapped and the Helen Keller awards in December 2009 for being a positive role model. You can read more about him here at TEDxChennai Speaker page.
The first thought that stuck me was that I should meet him. The second thought was that I should get him to TEDxChennai as a speaker for he fits right in.
I was very glad that he actually lives in Chennai. I immediately sent him an email and we followed up our email exchange over phone. I invited him to TEDxChennai and he readily agreed.
Then a thought stuck me a few hours before my daughter’s book launch function. My daughter’s story focuses on the message that one should not crib about things they don’t have but make the most of what they do have. Sid is a living example of this. I called him up, explained to him about my daughter’s book and asked him to come attend the function as a special guest. It was a very short notice but I was glad he agreed.
Here’s me introducing Sidhu to the audience during my daughter’s book launch function.
He spoke about his life travails and what gave him the motivation to fight on. The audience were riveted to his talk. Sidhu, because of cerebral palsy, can’t speak normally and he has unusual body movements as he speaks. I noticed tears roll down few people’s faces. I loved how he mixed emotions and humor together. Those are signs of a good speaker.
That’s Sidhu with my daughter Krithya. I wanted my daughter and other kids in the apartment to meet people like Sidhu. Its people like him who can make a lasting impression on the young minds. I’m really glad I got a chance to meet him and get to know him better. Something tells me that we’ll bond for a long time to come.
My 8 year old daughter, Krithya, has written her first book and we are having a small launch function at our apartment’s community hall. We would like to cordially invite you to the book launch function.
Please treat this as our personal invitation and it would be our delight to have your presence and blessings. I feel its a defining moment in the young girl’s life and your presence would be great encouragement.
Day and Date: Sunday, 14th March
Time: 10:30 AM
Here’s the address:
Community Hall, Raj Paris Apartments, 82, Kamaraj Street, Virugambakkam, Chennai – 600092
Landmark : Near Avichi School.
Directions: The venue is about 1.5 kms from Vadapalani Bus Stand. On Arcot Road, after Avichi School and a big Raymond’s Showroom, take the first right. This is Kamaraj Street. After 100 meters, the road splits into right and left. (a ‘T’ junction). The Raj Paris apartment is exactly at this ‘T’ junction. It’s opposite to an Amman Temple. Once inside the apartment, ask for the Community Hall. Its at the back of the apartment. If you need help, please call me at 98415 97744.
My friend and Singer Chinmayi, who Krithya has a lot of admiration for, has agreed to launch the book.
I Seek Your Help: I understand that most of you are not in Chennai and here’s my request to you. It would be a great source of encouragement if you can call and speak to my little girl and give her your wishes. She doesn’t expect anyone to call and it would be a good surprise for her.
Here are the numbers you can call.
My Home Landline Number: +91.44.42733619
My mobile number: +91.98415 97744
Alternatively, you can leave your words of encouragement in the comments section of this blog post and I will show this to her. You may also email to Kiruba@Kiruba.com and I will show your message to Krithya.
We received the books from the printer yesterday and here is Krithya, obviously jubilant, with the first copy.
Here is how the story book looks like.
My younger daughter, Kalpitha, with the first stack of her sister’s books.
We look forward to your presence and your words of encouragement. Thanks in advance.
Back when I was a school boy, the Spider-Man cartoon was my absolute favorite. I remember they would show this on Sunday afternoons and I would hum along that catchy spidey tune. However, I could never sing along because the song was too fast for me. I really wanted to but never did.
Today, my younger daughter was playing with a Spidey mask when I remembered my long time desire. I quickly fired up the video of the spider-man serial at YouTube on one window and the lyrics on another window. I must’ve played it at least a dozen times, singing along aloud. My daughter would join in joyfully and hum along. When I see her hum and the joy on her face, I can’t help but notice how life has come a full circle.
Happy Greenday To You!
My younger daughter turned two today. To mark her birthday, I wanted to plant saplings near our apartment. Two reasons. One, I wanted something to remember the day. Two, its part of a bigger plan of greenification of the neighborhood that I’m undertaking. Unfortunately, the Government Horticultural Society, where I buy the saplings from, is closed on Thursdays and hence will have to wait till tomorrow.
Through the Eyes of a Professional
Take a look at some of the photos of my two daughters by ace photographer, Manoj. I’ve always believed in professionals and this photo shoot has only reaffirmed my belief. This post has a lot of photos and is bound to take time to download. Give it five minutes. After all, the photo shoot was a five hour labour of love and it deserves the time.
And take particular note to read about the photographer at the end of this post.
Manoj’s story is fascinating. Here is a guy who believes in following his heart. He was an ex-art director in an advertising company and a project manager at Sify earlier, until he decided to follow his passion- photography, professionally.
When Manoj was shooting my daughters, I keenly followed his style. What I liked about him was his ‘intrusion-less’ style. At times he almost camouflages with the surrounding. None of his pictures uses flash and you hardly know when he clicks.
He let my daughters play around and in a vast expanse like Dakshina Chitra, it can be tiring following them. Yet, Manoj went about it like a pro.
Manoj loves taking portraits of people. And he does it with ardent enthusiasm. He lets his photo do the talking. Take a look at some of his works. There are many but here’s what I recommend you check out. His collection of his personal picks, photos of his home in Chennai and his riverside plot in Kerala, and the night shots.
When I recommend someone, I do it when I’m thoroughly impressed. If you are looking to have a family portrait or to capture the beauty of your children or grandparents, Manoj can be a great resource. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 09444916905.
Manoj is coming back to shoot my grandparents a few weeks later (as soon as my grandma recovers from her eye operation) and I’m eagerly looking forward to it.
The whole episode has rekindled my enthusiasm into photography and to restart saving to buy a Nikon D80.