Of films and patees

So, yesterday morning in Skardu, I ran into a reporter from a local television channel. I was sitting in someone's office and the 'Garden in Shigar' documentary was playing when in he walked. He watched a few bits and bobs, then proceeded to scurry out of the room,  but then came back at the end just in time for tea, sweet yellow soft fluffy Skardu patees and mayo sandwiches (the special kind they serve in PIA).

In between sips of tea, he pipes up:

Reporter: “yeh film aap nai shoaqiya banai hai?”

Me: “umm, nahin ji, yeh thoe maira profession hai.”

Then he took a deep breath, another sip of piping hot tea (not in that order) and started off,

Reporter: “main aap ko bathaon, yeh jis tharhan aap nai documentary banai hai, iss tharhan documentary nahin banthi..”

Me: “acha.. thoe phir kiss tharhan?”

Reporter: “daikhain ji, aik thoe iss main camerawork kafi kamzoar hai.”

Me: “woh kis tharhan? aap kuch specify karain gae please?”

Reporter: “ub daikhain na, aik shot tha, jiss main woh larki ki shakal peh shadow tha.. iss tharhan thoe nahin hona chayyeh.”

Me: “acha.”

Reporter: “agar main yeh shot banatha, thoe main bilkul sahi angle dhoondtha”

Me: “woh thoe theek hai.. hum nai thoe yeh film aik tool kai thoar peh use ki hai.. agar aap banathae thoe zaroor mukhthalif hothi..”

Reporter: “laikin kuch cheezain thoe har film main same hothi hain”

Reporter, another sip of tea later: “main thoe ji packages ban

atha hoon.. aik sai dair minute kai.. shuroo kartha hoo apnae ptc sai, aik sot beech main, aur end bhi ptc sai. bohot mehnath karni parthi hai shots kai lye.”

Me: “jee hanh. thoe bathain, main kal shigar jaa rahi hoon. agar wahan koi khaas cheez ho shoot karnai kai lye, thoe aap zaroor share karain..”

Reporter: “daikhain na, media waloan main aapas main kafi rivalry hothi hai, aur wasai bhi main shigar thoe kabhi gaya nahin hoon.”

Ok then, i say to myself, and leave him smug in his tea patees world.

And the English version:

Reporter: “have you made this film just as a hobby?”

Me: “umm, no, I do this as a profession.”

Reporter: “let me tell you, this is not how you make a documentary..”

Me: “really? how then?”

Reporter: “first of all, the camerawork is so poor in this film”

Me: “how so? please be specific”

Reporter: “like, you see, there was this one particular shot of a girl, in which there was a shadow on her face”

Me: “okay, I see”

Reporter: “had I filmed this, I would've found just the right angle”

Me: “sure, but we used this film as a tool to tell the garden's story.. i'm sure if you had made the film you would have made the film quite differently”

Reporter: “but some things are the same for everyone”

Reporter: “i make short 1 to 1.5minute reports. i start with my piece to camera [ptc], one interview in the middle, and then end with my ptc. it's really hard work, is filming.”

Me: “true. so, i'm off to shigar tomorrow, do let me know if there is anything in particular there that i shouldn't miss..”

Reporter: “you see, there is quite a bit of rivalry between media persons. and in any case, i haven't been to shigar myself, really.”


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