Shooting 55kms/sec from our own bunkers gave us a strange positivity: Arati Kadav


What kind of coordination was required for the shoot? It took us 10-12 days to shoot every actor. It happened very organically. Then with the actors’ roomie, we all found the best angles and shots. Then we just shot the film in order. Through the story of an awkward man confessing his love to his college crush during a farewell group call with his school friends, moments before a meteor hits the Earth, Kadav touches upon what’s important to us in life, notwithstanding the uncertainties. Since it was all remote, there was no crew as such. The general apathy, the realisation that there is more to life than just going about one’s life as a ghost were the key emotions that were troubling me at the time I wrote 55kms/sec. The shooting was done by whatever phone cameras the actors and their roommates had while cinematographer Nachiket Pangare instructed them on Zoom. Is it very organic? The actors had two devices, one to do Zoom calls with us, and the other to shoot the film. As a country, we were going through a migrant crisis too. Seeing your shots in photo forms, you get lots of ideas to make it better. Shooting this film was our way of finding something common and connect with each other using the medium of filmmaking. We did a photo-boarding shot wise which, I think, I will continue to do later on even when I don’t shoot remotely. So, she would be managing Zoom, camera, her look, location and then act. I discussed it with my friend Zain Matcheswalla, who was locked down in a different country, and he encouraged me. Excerpts from an interview:https://images.indianexpress.com/2020/08/1×1.png
When did you come up with the idea for 55kms/sec? The process of filming 55kms/sec, featuring Richa Chadha and Mrinal Dutt, was tedious, time-consuming and demanded a lot of co-ordination. Don't Miss These StoriesShooting 55kms/sec from our own bunkers gave us a strange positivity: Arati KadavRevisiting 1988's Bharat Ek Khoj that showcases India's rich history in briefDiscrimination begins from home: The Great Indian Kitchen director Jeo BabyClick here for more

The short film is streaming on Disney+Hotstar and http://www.shortfilmwindow.com

📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Mrinal Dutt in Arati Kadav’s new short film 55kms/sec. Sometimes, it would be difficult because of camera angles. Filmmaker Arati Kadav last helmed the Netflix movie Cargo. That’s when we thought of shooting something. But regardless, the shot would be Whatsapped for feedback. Last year, Kadav’s debut feature Cargo, which was screened at several film festivals after premiering at the Mumbai Film Festival in 2019, was released on Netflix, adding a remarkable title to the Indian sci-fi genre. I would be on Zoom call and could see the performance most of the time. Everyone was shot separately and later stitched together. © IE Online Media Services Pvt Ltd But like all science fiction, I wanted to exaggerate the crisis, and the apathy and clumsiness. A still from the short 55 kms/sec. Even though I had some doubts initially, I thought we should not stop something we had begun instinctively. I like science fiction to give context to some deep personal problems. We were finding a human connection, getting to know people and work. I wanted to capture the mood of the lockdown. That’s why despite compromises, shooting from our own ‘bunkers’ gave us a strange positivity and hope. I never saw it as a short but a lockdown experiment. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
For all the latest Entertainment News, download Indian Express App. How much time did you take to write it and put the team together? That crisis made him feel he belonged to this world. Even though the team members had to log in to their devices from different parts of the country to work on the film, this new short is now complete and had digital release recently. Written by Alaka Sahani
| Mumbai |

January 26, 2021 8:34:55 pm

A still from Arati Kadav's new short film, 55kms/sec. It became a long shoot but we tried to keep the mood light. I wanted to give him some redemption in the end. This process demanded a lot from actors, especially in the case of Richa since she shot her scenes herself. So, I wrote it in four-five days. Recalling the making of 55kms/sec, Kadav shares how the cast and crew huddled on Zoom calls, “just like how cavemen did around the fire”, trying to shoot a film together remotely and tell a story. First, I had done a basic shot breakdown and storyboard that I discussed with the DoP. When the country was under lockdown and the migrant crisis was creating ripples, writer-director Arati Kadav thought of making a short film about “human connect”. Shooting remotely was hard. My DoP, the actors and I used to log in for Zoom calls for our discussions and created a WhatsApp group to share feedback. All your work has emotions at its core. Certain themes and emotions haunt me. I realised that from the first day of the shoot itself. Hence, her shots are static as they were always on a stand. I happened to speak to Mrinal Dutt, who told me he is staying at Madh Island, and showed me his place through a video call. In 55kms/sec, Suraj (the character played by Dutt) says that all his life he has felt alone, lost in the grind, but when this meteor crisis happened, he realised that they were in this together. Additionally, I wanted it to be about this guy who has not really “lived” and is just ready to die. During May-June 2020, when we were in the thick of lockdown, I had already started seeing some lockdown films coming up.