Dec 30, 2006

Running...not just around trees! - MOOD-I '06

I thought after five years of being in the management at Malhar, lets participate in something. I've always wanted to participate. It was the auditions that scared me. i knew i was good enough, i knew the competitions i could take part in and had the chances of being placed, and had won at other places, but i just wanted to escape the auditions. of course that was not possible, so i chose the other way - management. and organising was good, and i was good at it. I managed the events very well and made lots and lots of frens, got lots of praises (:D), but then again, I still wanted to participate in something.

Considering its my last year, i decided to take other inter-collegiate festivals.
Went for Brouhaha... was appalled at the mismanagement, and chaos. everything was disorganised and there was a communication gap. politics spreads its venom everywhere, but here apparently it was overriding everything else. Maybe they've a lot to learn...accepted.

But then I participated in Mood-Indigo - apparently the biggest festival in the country (Mood-I '06 was from the 26th to the 29th December this year). The pro-nites and the shows they organise are mind-blowing. They have amazing performances from talented bands, professionals, etc. But being unable to attend them as I didnt want to wait until so late in the night, I was just a participant there. When I first read the schedule, I liked the list of events, but what surprised me was that many similar events that needed the same skills were at the same time. So, it was impossible for one participant to take part in both. And most of the events I wanted to compete for were at the same time. Adding to that, they were unsure of most things most of the time, as in when the event will start, how long will it last, what will be taken into account while judging, or even who were the judges at times. I was in the Journalism event where the brochure did not mention at all what it was. On reaching the venue we get to know that the event will go on for all four days. We will have to cover the reality teams. I realised that we were just being used to cover the reality team and get some footage that they can use to their advantage. The event was made up to suit their needs. We were always told either on the morning of the day or at midhight the day before as to what time the event would start which meant a mad rush to reach on time at the far-flung IIT campus. The travelling itself was so exhausting.
The final day was the worst. We were made to run around the IIT campus behind the reality team that we were allotted to cover their activities on the third day. And it is not easy to cover four people who run in four different directions doing four different things at the same time. still, we managed to get good footage of all of them. And considering it was reality, we got some 'juicy bits' too. Unfortunately, the other three teams competing with us couldnt find their own team and so went around shooting random footage.
On the final and fourth day, we had to edit the video and make it into a 10 minute news report and it would be shown on stage. We were called at 8 am (so had to get up at 5.30!!! I kept mumbling I will murder the organiser for making me get up so early all through the day!) The organiser was apparently fast asleep and didnt turn up until 9 am and it took another quarter of an hour to start the machines. We were promised 3 1/2 hours for editing and they then told us we have to finish by 11.30 cos there was an event at the place at 12. We refused and thankfully they relented. But hard luck had it that we got a really slow comp and took really long to get our work done. We had brought some music which we had decided to add to our video with some fast fwds. The other teams heard this and later somehow arranged for music too. Due to our comp, our music didnt get uploaded onto the CD. After the CD was prepared we learnt that the video wouldnt be screened because of 'technical problems' and would later be shown to the judges. When, we demanded to know and they said they could screen it only by 10.30 pm. Well, obviously we refused to stay that long and asked for another arrangement. Wegot no answer and contacted our college representative who went and demanded a reply. The organisers told us it would be shown to the judges at 4, which we glad about. But later we found out that these judges were the reality show judgees who knew nothing about journalism. We hadnt structured our video according to the 'crime reporter' format but a more casual 'campus news' approach was used as that was what it was. We did not cover all the other reality teams cos we were assigned one and managed to get hold of them unlike the other participants. And maybe thats where we went wrong. Thats why we bagged the 3rd prize when people who saw the video immediately exclaimed we would get 1st.
But what is most disturbing is that everything was so chaotic which exhausted us even more. We did not know who the judges were exactly and still dont, and like most other events they may have been incompetent. We missed our other events cos we werent told in advance that it was a four-day event . And everything was haphazardly arranged.
(Do i sound pompous and over-confident? Maybe to some. But then that emerges from knowing that the personality events had judges who couldnt speak English or that situational acting had the horror theme with participants doing slapstick cheap comedy and still winning! Its not over-confidence in self I may say, but a doubt about the transparency and hones judgement of the events. I have organised events for 5 years and knows what should go and what not and the quality that is required of a festival of this stature. )

The good part - yes, thats exists too! The experience of being a reporter was great. And my 'cameraman' Siva, was a great partner. We did make a good team. And it does feel very nice inded when you have friends come and tell you, "Hey, you look good and speak well on camera. Why dont you go into that profession?" Whether I will or not do so is a matter that will be considered later, but it still feels good.
Another good part was the IITians themselves. However badly organised the events may have been (and its not only me who says so, other frens have gone through the same thing), the IITians were really sweet and nice. Humble, polite and always ready to help though they had no clue how to. They went out of their way later on when we complained and made a noise about the fact that because the computer was faulty we didnt get music on our CD and managed to get another one with music burned. They weren't haughty and rude like other organisers at other festivals, but just spaced out and lacked communication between themselves.

All in all, i wasted four days, got some experience, some exercise (running around the humoungous IIT campus), 500 bucks, a bad mood, dust allergy (bus travel) and projects that are still pending after four days... And yes, a revival of the belief that forgetting the pro-nites and shows, in terms of competitions at least, Malhar is still the best!


vikash said...

See....everyone thinks they are the best...I personally felt that organisers of malhar are rudest among all other festivals in India. (I attended thrice)

Anonymous said...

er...didnt you win first prize at another awesome fest? why no mention of it? please....all kinds of feedback is welcome. let's hear it, sista!