The story behind GEM Hospital - a series of 4 commercials made in very very low budget.
One directors illness is another directors film.
One evening at 5 pm I get a call from a producer asking me what I was doing the next day,
"Free, but why?" I asked,
"Can you direct some AD films tomorrow?" he went on
Shocked for moment then all the questions flowed "What, Tom? Where? How?"
So the director who was to direct these AD's fell ill and the location, actors, DOP etc were all booked and advances paid in some cases would all be lost, so I got lucky. (In a very low budget film thats like all money spent) I asked for the scripts which was promptly emailed across to me and I read them, there was no treatment note or references, or any homework done by the previous director or if done were not shared and by this time it was 6 pm, with all the chat over the phone and the booking of tickets I was off to the Mumbai airport by 7pm for a 8:15 pm flight, still talking to the producer on route, passing on a few instructions of things that could be done and with questions still flowing I was off to Chennai.
In all the confusion of trying to answer my questions, booking my tickets and making sure that I got to the airport on time the producer missed his flight, he was coming from Bangalore, luckily since the distance is not too much he caught a night bus to reach early in the morning, so much for our plans of meeting late in the night to discuss details. At least I got to meet the DOP and discuss with him the way he was looking at these films, I was still trying to get all the films clearly into my head to see which way I could treat these films the best.
At 6 am I finally met the producer, we had a short discussion where I learnt that the client was a friend of the producer and on his request was ready to invest a tiny sum to make a few commercials. We reached the location which I was having a look at for the first time, followed by the actors, briefed them along with makeup and choose the costumes (which were self owned options carried) Then along with the DOP made a shoot plan and and the rest is there for you to see.
4 commercials all shot in one day with a turnaround for shoot less than 12 hours (at least for me) These are my showreel versions, the client versions ran in theatres and a few cable channels in the south region of India. Do let me know what you think of them.
*For some reason the last video has some glitches post upload in youtube, tried various exports so click on the link above to see in Vimeo.
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