The fourth episode of Mastering Mediocrity premiered on the 2 October 2020, featuring The Good Karma Hospital Filmmaker, Producer, and Assistant Director Ihshan Iqbal. Here are a few of our memorable moments from this episode of Mastering Mediocrity.
- Big budget film sets and the Sri Lankan film scene
One of the key things one needs to consider when producing a movie is the overall budget. From paying the actors and helping staff to the distribution costs when releasing a movie, we all know that it is rather expensive. While we as an audience enjoy the plot and twists of a movie, as filmmakers themselves, Ihshan and Zeeshan focus on the technicalities and the quality of the entire picture. Ihshan also pointed out how many South Indian movies made on a low budget use the red camera and it is distinct from other Bollywood movies.
The Sri Lankan film industry, or in Ihshan’s words, “the Sri Lankan film scene” is known to offer more priority to the renowned directors who have more pull, who then use their influences to release their movies as convenient to them. They also discussed how in Sri Lanka not allocating a portion of the budget towards distribution costs is one of the major let downs and therefore the filmmakers face its consequences later on.
- Working on The Good Karma Hospital: The experience
Ihshan recalled working on The Good Karma Hospital as one of his first big projects where he was hired to be the “set runner”. As they moved onto the next season, he was promoted as the assistant to the second assistant director whilst mentoring two other individuals. It was during the third season that he was given the opportunity to be the second assistant director for this series where his job description was primarily to ensure that they stayed on schedule for the shootings.
Although the series was set in India, it was shot in Sri Lanka with a crew as large as 200 individuals in total, consisting of both British and Sri Lankans. Ihshan recollected it costing approximately £ 25,000-30,000 per day, making it one of the biggest productions ever to be shot in Sri Lanka.
- Tips for young filmmakers
Filmmaking is a form of expression; it is more about the experience of working with creative individuals than the commercial aspects of it. The filmmaking Industry is a growing and competitive environment and one of the most important things to keep in mind while working is to be ethical. One common mishap this duo noticed within the other individuals of this business is the over competitiveness, which eventually leads to them not allowing others to grow. Whether it be filmmakers or even clients, it is important that they keep up with their own moral values which will then benefit them and also the ones around. Zeeshan also mentioned how there is so much they can learn from each other and grow as an entire community rather than trying to put each other down which will eventually boomerang.
This episode was a rather educational one and provided an insight into the unrevealed aspects of few of the major motion pictures ever to be made. Filmmaking is an art which cannot be mastered by everyone, but this conversation definitely taught us a few tricks on how to get better.
Episode transcribed by Amani Najumudeen