Home > Uncategorized > FINDING YOUR VOICE


Having something to say is perhaps the most important thing in cinema, an artistic expression. Most film-makers no matter how prolific, some of them just don’t have anything to say. Some of my favourite film-makers and favourite films all have messages and statements within them. Robert McKee explained to me how the best writers find one thing they want to say, and then they just say the same thing in every movie. Although the stories change, the characters change, the philosophy / message is always the same

MY PROBLEM – in screenwriting you’re often given things to say about life. Like statements about destiny, finding yourself, perhaps the meaningful and meaninglessness of life. Then what you do is you dramatise these statements within your characters and story. However, in documentary you can’t really do that. Well, I haven’t really found a way to yet. It’s more about events that occur, and what you have to say about them. So what do I have to say about the events of 1984. Ken asked me some good questions and this was the perhaps most important one. What do I have to say about the event?

Something to Say:
Most of what I have to say revolves around the negative, which I’ve explained in previous posts. However, Ken asked me what do I have to say about the event that can offer people hope? There were a huge amount of people that became baptised Sikhs (initiation into the faith). There were people involved in activism, and Sikhs all over the world united together.  Although people lost lives, this tragic event made the faith stronger. There’s a strong resistance and every year there’s a protest march in Hyde Park, and there’s a remembrance to those who lost their lives.

Although this is just a small statement that I’m saying about the event. I would like to be a bit more open and an interview session with the characters of my documentary, will reveal themes that I haven’t thought about. I’ll probably uncover more positive things to say.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. July 19, 2010 at 7:29 pm


    Of course McKee is correct the same applies to artists but by virtue of the means of production and the restrictions of capital on media production visual artists are able to delve in more depths into the different reasons for their obsession. Picasso at his peak was painting one oil every two days!

    Herzog claims to be searching for the ecstatic truth, that is true, but its clear he is attracted to characters – fictional and non – who are mentally able to break through conventions. He remakes it again and again with Timothy Treadwell, Christian Bale and Klaus Kinski. That is Herzogs obsession. What is yours? What is it in the stories that you propose that links them together?


    • August 4, 2010 at 10:31 pm

      Hello Ken

      Hope you are keeping well. Firstly I would like to apologize for the delay in updating you with my project. I have been very ill for the past two weeks. I had a viral infection, and wasn’t allowed medication to help my recovery.

      Anyways, in response to your last email, you gave me the example of Werner Herzog’s obsession with characters, and the ‘ecstatic truth’.

      My main obsession is drama. What I’m interested in is what happens to characters when they’re placed within a certain event or situation. Where they have to go beyond themselves.

      I have a stance on what I want to say about the events of 1984, however I am more interested in exploring what these characters have to say about it. I’m looking for them to open up about their experiences and feelings. I’m looking for those raw moments where I’m able capture their emotion, when they are describing their experiences.

      One of my problems recently, is that I have tried to find a balance and look at things that could offer people hope. I have tried to find someone who has had a positive experience (to which a lot of people thought I was crazy) maybe someone that became baptized due to the event. However, I have not been able to find anyone.

      The only positive thing I have found is the annual protest and remembrance that takes place in London.

      What I’m doing this week:

      – I’ll be finishing off a shooting script
      – A shot list & Storyboarding
      – Getting interview questions ready

      *) My filming begins on the 16th – 22nd (I’ve allocated a week, but it’s likely that I’ll get all my footage completed before)

      Editing from 23rd August until the 5th September (I’ve allocated myself plenty of time, and it’s more than likely that I’ll finish before the time I’ve allocated.

      *) Is there a written report we have to do as well?

      Many thanks


  2. Ken Fero
    August 5, 2010 at 6:05 am

    Hi Ranjeet

    Thanks for updating me, hope you are feeling better!

    Balance is not something that should concern you. The reason that I thought there needed to be some hope is that in every tragedy there are always those that survive to tell the stories of those who have not. Perhaps the fact that people just refuse to forget, not just because they cannot but because they will not, is itself hope. Keeping the memory alive is itself a form of resistance.

    In terms of the write up everyone needs to do 5000 words which includes all the work you have done on the blog tracking the project, development, problems, influences, resolution etc.


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