Guwahati, Saturday, December 18, 2010

Assamese film maker set to enter record book
Sivasish Thakur
 GUWAHATI, Dec 17 – A young, unheralded filmmaker from the State has come up with an extraordinary effort that could propel him into the hallowed pages of the Guinness Book of World Records.

 The filmmaker, Ashok Sarma’s accomplishment lies in directing what he claims to be the world’s longest one-take feature film.

The 93-minute film – That Night – In Quest of His Beloved – is longer than the current record holding Uruguayan movie The Silent House by Gustavo Hernandez which has a duration of 79 minutes.

That Night – In Quest of His Beloved narrates the experience of a person who, after the mysterious disappearance of his beloved, sets about investigating the incident. The theme is woven around a murder mystery, with a haunted bungalow and roaming spirits accentuating the weird effect.

“I was inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s Rope, and had been planning to do a long single-take movie – quite a challenging task as the filmmaker has to express the story without dialogue and with no cut between the shots — since 2008. After completing the script, I sat with actor Pradeep Nisith discussing all the nitty-gritty. I had to plan meticulously on every aspect of the shooting since there could be no retake,” Sarma said.

The direction, concept, story, screenplay, art direction, and direction of photography have all been done by Sarma himself. “I selected Pradeep Nisith because he has vast experience in the field of drama acting. He is a sensitive artiste and very intelligent,” Sarma said.

The actor, too, has found the experience to be different. “It has been a great experience and I consider myself to be lucky to be associated with this movie. I discussed with the director several times the nuances of characterization, movement, emotion, etc., and was soon at ease with my role,” Nisith said.

Sarma, a resident of Guwahati and a businessman by profession, is also a short-story and script writer. An electrical engineer by qualification, he has an uncanny knack for doing things unusual – the remarkable ability to draw four different pictures with both hands and feet at the same time being one of those gifted attributes.

The young filmmaker intends to screen the film in January next year. He has also approached the Guinness authorities for getting his feat recognized in the coveted record book.

Another noteworthy feature of the film is that several children played a key role in the making of the movie. While Gitarth P Sarma (11) and Raj Narayan Medhi (12) are the chief assistant director and the assistant director respectively, nine-year-old Sunayana Devi is the make-up assistant.

A host of acclaimed filmmakers such as Scorsese, Kubrick, PT Anderson, De Palma, Altman, Welles, Cuaron and Hitchcock had experimented with the genre of single-take films. The advent of digital filmmaking made it possible to shoot a feature film without a single cut, i.e., in one take. Earlier, visual moves were used as a transition between shots as was done by Hitchcock in Rope.