It’s easier to create the future than predict it

Shajan Samuel
ABC a Hindi Short film produced by Babul Saha & Shajan Samuel under the banner of Shajan Samuel Productions is making waves and earning appreciation from the audience. We talk to the man behind the making of this film, Shajan Samuel on how happiness doesn’t require a trigger of a reason, which is the premise of his film.
How did the idea for this film come into being?I was hibernating after my second documentary film ‘SUKRUPA’, my friend Babul who is also the co -producer of ABC cajoled me to make a short film, and agreed to back the project. I have always considered the script to be the binding force for a film and therefore decided to champion a National Level script writing competition along with Shamiana Shorts Club. The promise of the script writing competition was that the winning script would be converted into a short film .We received 450 scripts in a period of two months. I found the script written by Sonia Mackwani to be compelling & having its heart in the right place. The original script was in English and was titled The Play. We decided to convert the film to Hindi for relevance and looked at various titles before deciding on ABC as the title of our short film .Since I had done my frog kissing with my documentary films The Resilient Bangalore Traffic Cop  and Sukrupa, I was well prepared with ABC .Can you give us an insight as to why this film is termed as one of the most expensive short films ever made in India?ABC in many ways is not just a short film. It is an experiment to usher in a new paradigm in short films. So I floated my production House Shajan Samuel Productions with the premise of creating an ecosystem for short film makers. Right from the word go , I wanted to treat  ABC  as a feature film; every facet of the film right from scripting to marketing and promotion was done at par with a feature film . We have shot the film completely in Red Camera. We spent close to 7 lakh rupees end to end. We have shot the film in sync sound, the trailer was launched at Taj Residency Bangalore on September 27th. Every member of the crew was paid as per Industry norms, we even paid for the location and didn’t short circuit anything. The idea was to built a product with high production values .We detailed out the budget to the last wire.How do you plan to promote your film?As we grow older we become wiser, there comes a stage in life when you pause, reflect and then decide your next move.  I believe impact is more powerful than income, so in the year 2012 I organized a structured free stress management workshop for the entire Bangalore traffic police. We trained close to 350 traffic inspectors in a phased manner. Towards the end when we were aggregating feedback we found that there was a story which needed to be conveyed.  And the best that story to bring a balanced portrayal of the Bangalore Traffic Police was through cinema. Cinema being an all encompassing medium has the power to transcend geographies. So we made a documentary film with 14 students of MAAC who had no idea in film making. The Film was then released on July 2nd 2014 by the then Bangalore Police Commissioner at the Traffic Safety Head quarters in Bangalore. We were elated with the response the film generated both with the commuters and with the Bangalore Traffic Police.IMG_20150815_085835
What do you enjoy doing other than making movies?I enjoy speaking and sharing my experiences with the youth.  I also write columns on serious and boring subjects and dabble in poetry which is more romantic. So quite contradictory in the way I write and in the way I speak .My thesis on the marketing of Short Films with particular reference to ABC is now a part of the marketing journal at ICFAI Business School.
What can our viewers expect from you in the future?I am not thinking too ahead or too slow, thinking fast will take away its birth right and thinking slow will kill its destiny. I would like to live in the present and take life as it comes. But one thing I am sure about is whatever project I undertake, that will be with full conviction .There are no half measures for me.


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