By Aman Adlakha:
In the summer of 2016, a small group of student indie-filmmakers or ‘rebels without a crew..or money’ as I like to call ourselves, set out to make a short film depicting the nature of the struggle in the life of an ordinary musician. The short film titled “The Gig” is the story of ‘Addy’, an out of work musician faced with the self-doubt that plagues every creative mind in his race against time to reach a gig with no good fortune by his side. The story is told from the perspective of a musician but I see this as the story of anyone bold enough to pursue an art form for a living with a deep-seated passion and a desire to change the world. As an aspiring filmmaker born and raised in New Delhi, I envisioned these very idealistic images of success which entailed walking the red carpet and inspiring the world with my bold and creative blockbusters. But every such idealist’s greatest enemy is the reality. It is the harshest and most unrelenting reminder to us, who wish to live among the stars, also, face the same hurdles that our protagonist, in this short film, experiences too.
Aside from often being openly ridiculed for pursuing filmmaking as a misinformed adventure in wastefulness and inevitable failure (as deemed by certain conservative elements in our society), I faced the struggle of putting together the cast and crew with a shoe string budget and relied on ‘semi-pleading persuasions’ to find locations to shoot our scenes. Several of our scenes involved shooting in tough-to-acquire locations such as a Jazz Bar and the Metro, which proved to be especially difficult. At the end of the day, it was a fateful combination of determination to look beyond the odds and a touch of luck that helped us not only get the locations we desired but also to shoot this film the way I had always wanted to.
If there’s anything I learned throughout this experience, it’s that there should be no set limits, not yours nor those set by others, when it comes to following your passion. If you believe it’s possible then it can be done and that’s all you really need to get started. So go out there and tell your story and worry about what people think some other time.
This film is dedicated to those of you who feel an obligation to commit yourselves to an art or passion far greater than yourselves and choose to chase perfection in spite of reality’s harsh and nagging sting. Don’t stop, keep believing and let your work be the best representation of your character. That’s what I set out to achieve with “The Gig” and if I came even remotely close to achieving that feat, I’ll look back on it as a stepping stone to something far bigger and greater than I can currently imagine.