Nine Xavierites joined hands to make a short documentary named ‘India is ready for Olympics!! Are you?’ on a shoestring budget to promote the Olympics in India during the ongoing Games at London. The enthusiastic students then sent their video to the London 2012 Olympics Committee, which appreciated their effort.
The two minute-long documentary was the brainchild of 25 year-old Anshul Dhiman, a final-year BSE student at St Xavier’s College. Dhiman, who has directed the documentary, says, “The aim was to promote other games that were a part of the Olympic brigade. We thought a documentary for awareness just before the games would be great,” he adds.
Dhiman then discussed his idea with friends, who then decided to shoot a documentary . “With just a few days left for the Games, we had to get everything in place, right from our finances to permissions for shooting at different places in the city,” says Melvin Davis Arul, who has produced the documentary.
The group then got the script ready and roped in students from the college to act. With the games scheduled for July 27, they started shooting on July 1 and wrapped up the shooting and editing by July 20. The documentary, which promotes games like boxing, riffle shooting, badminton, lawn tennis and hockey was shot using a Canon DSLR on a budget of Rs 40,000. “The main challenges were securing permissions across different locations in the city,” adds Dhiman.
Twenty one year-old Mohsin Tada, who was the cinematographer for the documentary, adds, “The second problem was shooting in the monsoon in Mumbai. It meant poor light, and saving the camera from every shower. But I’m glad we pulled it off.”
They shot the lawn tennis scenes at Azad Maidan, boxing scenes at the boxing ring at the Mumbai University campus at Kalina, and at the Veer Savarkar shooting range in Dadar. “We approached the Hockey Association for their ground to shoot. They declined, but they made the hockey ground at Khalsa college available to us,” says Dhiman.
21 year-old Taruka Srivastav who is a national tennis player and has acted in the documentary, says, “Indians needs to engage themselves more in different games.As a tennis player myself, I very well know that while playing individual games like tennis and badminton, the i player has a lot of responsibility to shoulder as against games like cricket .”
Help poured in from all quarters for the students. The catering manager of St Xavier’s College canteen, Umesh Chandan, decided to sponsor all the food requirements for the unit during the shooting schedule. “His help lifted a huge monetary expense from our shoulders,” says a grateful Dhiman.
The group then sent their video to the London 2012 Committee requesting them to include the video in their promotions. “They acknowledged our effort, but couldn’t include it due to some intellectual property issues,” says Dhiman.
Although disappointed that their video did not make it to the promotions, the students are happy about the reaction their effort has received here. “Within just two days of uploading the video on YouTube on July 22, the documentary received 500 views. When the games just commenced we had already got 1,400 views,” says Dhiman.