The first post.

I’ve always wanted to write blogs, so here I am. What will I be writing about? I think my name makes that clear, the art department girl, my motive is to reach out to people and share my experiences of working as an assistant to an art director.
Long story short, like every other second-year college student I was trying to figure out what is it that I really want to do in life, that is when production designer/art director Jayashree Lakshminarayanan came in. We had invited her to give a lecture in our department’s symposium and bam! I was so impressed, I fell in love with her work and her passion towards making movies. So there I was standing outside the staffroom asking one of my professors for her number. One thing led to another and I finally got the job.
Funny story, she’s Jayashree, I’m Jayashree, she lives in Tambaram, I live in Tambaram, She did her UG in the university I’m currently studying in, birth dates? June 24, June 23. I know I sound silly, but come on, what are odds of that happening!
I’ve been working with her for almost two months now and it’s been this huge roller coaster ride with steep ups and downs and sudden breaks, in these two months, there have been times where I’ve ruined it for her, made mistakes, missed out on properties, been late on the day of shoot etc, she’s yelled at me for that, not actually yelled, but has tried to make me understand my mistakes and how to rectify them in a tone slightly higher than normal, which is very much acceptable because it’s ultimately her name flashing on the screen.But beyond all that, from day one it’s been really exciting to work with her, she’s enthusiastic, motivational, inspiring, knowledgeable and what not. She’s like my work mom now, I look up to her.
There’s so much more to share, saving that for my upcoming blog posts, hope to post once in two days, ciao!

PS: Google her. 🙂

February Favorites

books

– The art of living alone and loving it by Jane Matthews


I found this book a while ago when I was browsing through the Higginbothams store in Anna Salai and it just sparked an interest in my head. I’ve been living away from my parents for almost 6 months now and being the emotional soul that I am, find struggle in every small thing that I have to take care of while being independent. Even though being independent gives you the freedom and power it also squeezes away all your energy! From sweeping the flat every day, doing the dishes, paying bills, finding good places to eat , doing laundry, every lil thing seems daunting when the fact of living alone strikes me and I guess that’s why I smiled when I read the name of this book because voila! someone I can finally relate to!
Oh those lil joys of finding a precious book randomly on a stroll!
And this book didn’t disappoint me at all, except for when the author suggests you to chew on gum instead of snacking ( don’t chew gum, it sends a wrong message to your stomach that food is coming but it doesn’t and then your stomach gets disappointed and all the acid it secreted for the digestion to take place goes in vain. ) 
Also I couldn’t mostly relate to the food and budgeting part of it because we live in India and she’s an Australian, cultures differ so, there’s nothing much to say there but I am going to apply the basic principles of budgeting that she mentions.
Overall it was a really good book, I would definitely suggest it to you if you are a female living alone no matter the age , due to any circumstance and are willing to make your alone time better and grow through it. If you’re a male just skip this, the content is more relatable as a female and I don’t think a male reader will find it as impactful as I did.

yum in my tum

Morning Tea
– this is the most grateful part of my morning routine back in Pune .
Appa wakes up everyday and makes us this yummy steaming hot healthy tea that is filled with all his love! Oh Yum!
I have a blog post on it . If you’re interested in the recipe here’s the link to it
This tea is a really good start to my mornings – the ones which I wake up early in , because when I wake up past 8:00 a.m I just brush and go straight to eat breakfast! Haha!



Kanhaiya’s Vada Pav
Nothing excites me like street food!
Guilty pleasure!
I am a regular to this place Kanhaiya Sweets, where you get all kinds of sweets and snacks but I’m only interested in their Vada Pavs.
They have a unique taste to them and living close by makes it easier! Hah!
Whenever I’m in Pune I make sure to satisfy my taste buds that have been craving them!
Here’s the link to find them on Google.

people

Family
I have had to stay back in Pune with my parents and sister for a while and I’m glad I got this break. After staying away for work for a few months being back feels bliss and I’m grateful for this time. One can’t easily judge my work, some days you don’t have any work at all, other days you have to squeeze 25 hours in 24 to get the work done and it is complicated and a lot stressful and especially when you’re living alone and the only people you get to socialise with is people at work and you have to be careful about what you’re telling whom and it’s all a huge maze, but I’m finding my way through. Taking breaks gives you a huge relief from all of that , from the mundane routine- waking up late, eating home food, hugging mom whenever I want to, fighting with my sister, writing to do lists and not caring about striking them off and so much more!
I asked my Dad to take out our old albums from storage and looking at them made me cry for some reason. I still don’t know why I cried but I think that just tells you how family is an integral part of our lives and that we should treasure them for life.

Friends
It was by coincidence that a friend of mine for 6 years came back to Pune ( he works in Udaipur now) just when I came! Wow!  Glad that we met even if it was for a very brief time when he ate 4 Vada pavs and all we did was act crazy on streets and take pictures.
Later that week I had a impromptu girls night out with my gal pals, my sister and one of my friend’s sister and it was so much fun to just laugh and hang out!

content

This is us
I started watching this show on amazon prime and man! Is it the best?!
The story revolves around people born on the same day. I used to have a belief that people born on the same dates are usually similar, their characteristics and behavior, but this show contradicts those beliefs. It’s interesting how we all are the same yet so different from each other and how the situations we grow up in change us and mould us into who we are at the present moment.
It revolves around a family , an amazing family and tells you how not everything is perfect but life is nothing but a train of memories and it is our responsibility to make it a lively ride! I’m on the second season now and I can’t wait to watch more. I would definitely suggest you to watch this if you haven’t, it will kindle all kinds of feelings inside of you and make you wonder and think about life.


stuff

Blue light protecting glasses
for the past few months more of office work is happening and it requires staring into computer screens for hours every day and this led to a lot of pain in my eye and hence I looked up solutions and found something called blue light protecting glasses
I’ve only used them for the past month and I’m pretty satisfied with them, ever since I’ve worn them my eyes don’t hurt at all.
But that also doesn’t mean you put on a pair of these and keep exposing yourself to bad radiation! 
Its not bad radiation per se , this type of radiation is present naturally in sunlight and it doesn’t affect us much, but the screens that we use have only those radiations, because they help you stay awake – like coffee –  more precisely your eyes stay wide open and prolonged exposure to only blue light can have some serious effects on your eyes.
But before having an adrenaline rush and running to the store to buy one for yourself, think about it and only if you think its necessary consult a professional and go ahead.
Here are some articles I found useful
https://bit.ly/2IfR2IY
https://nym.ag/2GK4ogU
and this is the link to the exact frame that I’m using . ( Keep in mind that the link is for frame only, the lens is not blue light protector.)
You get ready-made blue light protecting glasses in any optics store with limited frame options ( as far as I’ve enquired they were around 1500 – 2500 ) , if you’d like to chose a separate frame that’s an option too but it costs more around rs 3000- rs 4000 depending on what frame you chose, and they will be made and delivered to you in a day or two. 



My substitution to morning coffee

For about a year or two now I’ve almost given up on drinking coffee in the morning, thanks to my father. Instead of coffee he makes us these amazing teas that fill our mornings with energy and boost up our hearts. So I thought why not share some recipes with you so that you too can substitute your morning coffee with a more healthy, energetic drink!

2019-03-02 10.18.09 1

option 1
here’s what you do (serves one)
// Add
– omam / ajwain / carom seeds
– karunjeeragam / black cumin seeds / shahjeera
– sombu / saunf / fennel seeds
// 2 tsp each in a container and saute just for two mins
// Add water
// Boil for about 10 – 15 mins until water turns dark brown/black.
// Filter the seeds out and drink warm!
// If you’d like some sweetness add jaggery/ plam jaggery / honey and drink away.

benefits
– cures cell damage
– good for female reproductive health
– helps maintain the levels of the three humours- Vadham, Pitham and Kabam
– helps reduce cholesterol levels in blood
– provides energy by breaking down glycogen
– treats hormonal imbalance
– improves immunity

2019-03-02-10.19.21-2.jpg

option 2
here’s what you do ( serves one)
// Add
– kotthamali vedhai / coriander seeds
– jeeragam / jeera / Cumin Seeds
– melagu / pepper
– vendhayam / ferugreek seeds
// 2 tsp each in a container and saute just for two mins
// Add water
// Boil for about 10 – 15 mins until water turns brown
// Filter the seeds out and drink warm!
// For sweetness add jaggery/ plam jaggery / honey .

bonus
If you don’t feel like doing the work or are running late you can always just squeeze a lemon in water
mix it with some jaggery / honey and drink.
The amount of energy that this simple drink provides is priceless!

2019-03-06-03.31.14-1.jpg

That’s it!
If you try out any of these do let me know, I would love to hear back from you.
To healthy mornings! Cheers!

I post more about my lifestyle on my Instagram! If you’re interested find me @jayashreesahithya

Independence

Hey , I know you’ve not been wondering where this girl has disappeared. Forgive me, I’ve been a bit sick lately, and I quit my job to take some rest and have some “me” time. I’m a free bird now, haha. Talking about freedom, Happy Independence day! yay?

WhatsApp Image 2017-08-15 at 12.27.09

This morning one of the newspapers had this article asking youngsters what they wanted to be free from, thanks to my sleeping around business I’m too much into politics and news at the moment, so I thought why don’t I try my hand at this and asked some of my friends a few questions, here’s what they had to say about freedom in today’s India.
I thank them for their quick responses and for allowing me to publish it. 🙂

When asked what freedom is to you,  Sriram said,
“Freedom is when you can do whatever job you desire to do, study what you want to, move wherever you feel like, talk whatever language you like, worship or follow any religion you choose!” he claims we don’t have it by adding, “If you read the above lines twice or thrice and co-relate it with current situation, you will realize that we don’t have our freedom.”
He thinks India isn’t a free country yet, and I agree with him when he says,
“What we have in India is not freedom, it is more like a conservative freedom or a freedom which comes with terms and conditions. You have freedom of speech, but when you talk about how people are made to clean and carry other people’s shit and how government never bats an eye to it, we will throw you behind bars. That’s not freedom of speech. Our country offers freedom of speech when you decide to threaten a girl saying that you’ll rape her if she raises her voice against any of these things. Freedom to follow any religion, freedom to marry anyone. Yes, you have the freedom to marry anyone, “IN YOUR COMMUNITY”. If you want to marry someone out of your community we have the freedom to strip you naked, beat you black and blue and even kill you.”

So what does he think will help India become a true Independent?
“Only when you eradicate caste and community from our country’s roots, we will have true Independence. The day when a drainage cleaner’s son is allowed to stand inside a temple, the day he is treated equally in his classroom, the day he isn’t reserved seats everywhere just because, is the day our country tastes it’s “freedom”.”

Roshan has his own views when asked about freedom, his emotions pour out,
“Power will go to the hands of rascals, rogues, free boosters; all Indian leaders will be of low caliber and men of straw. They will have sweet tongues and silly hearts. They will fight among themselves for power and India will be lost in political squabbles. “A day would come when Air and Water would be taxed in India.” Winston Churchill told this before independence, and now we have worked so hard with our freedom to prove his statement was right.”
He also claims that the growth of the nation is handicapped,
” Growth? What is it? Having a fully grown body with an amateur leg can never be considered as Growth. It’s called handicapped. But that’s what we are proud of, our increasing “Global Growth Rate” by killing the poor and helping the rich. While a 10year old child reads “Farming is the backbone of India” a farmer dies in a village. While the government is so proud of being the 4th strongest military power, fishermen are captured by the neighboring country’s army. Is this the growth we all want?”

He also tells us that we have failed to build our economy, sustain our nature, and preserve our history and culture with our well fought Independence.  He adds,
“Journalism is the 4th estate of our constitution, But we have the most corrupted media in the world with no ethics and responsibilities because every form of Press is owned by a political party.”

He quotes Bharathiyar,a great Tamizh poet, ” கண்ணிலாக் குழந்தைகள்போல்- பிறர் காட்டிய வழியிற்சென்று மாட்டிக்கொள்வார்; நண்ணிய பெருங்கலைகள்- பத்து நாலாயிரங்கோடி நயந்து நின்ற புண்ணிய நாட்டினிலே- இவர் பொறியற்ற விலங்குகள் போலவாழ்வார். ”
Don’t panic- translation: Our country needs leaders, not followers, entrepreneurs not employees. We shouldn’t follow someone else like blind children. Our country is filled with a vast number of arts and knowledge, but still, we are living just like a senseless animal.

A good friend of mine Lohith sums it up, ” Freedom of thought is said to be the pinnacle of a nation’s freedom. But is that thought all self? Have we ever questioned our own thoughts? Has a thought ever stuck to us as why our thoughts are so? Our thoughts are easily manipulated, the right and the wrong, the truth and the altered truth, fact and fiction are curtained. We’re smart enough to know and learn but not what to know and learn. The problem arises there, it starts from an individual and ends as a nation. When the self-realization occurs that is when freedom is achieved, within and for the nation.” 

Coming back to the article from the newspaper, what do youngsters want to be free from?  the male gender had various opinions like gender equality, law enforcement, choosing their stream of education, violence etc and 3 out of 5 females had this to say “want freedom from gazes when I walk the road wearing a short skirt.” , “freedom to be able to choose what I want to wear.”
There are farmers, poor farmers, who are not allowed to do agriculture on their own land just because the government wants to open chemical plants, who aren’t provided with water to do agriculture, who aren’t provided loans, who suicide under the pressure of serving food for the whole nation.
There are people who are captivated, there are fishermen who go to the seas to bring you food but don’t return to their families. God knows what is happening with them, our government has no interest in this whatsoever, nor does the youth. Forget doing something for them, we don’t even talk about them. Oh, how will we? We don’t even have the slightest idea of the pain they are all going through, thanks to the biased media.
I’m not trying to point out that the girls who want to wear what they wear are wrong, all I’m saying is: There are bigger issues at hand. Let’s get every individual the freedom that they deserve and later think about the freedom they want.

Happy Independence.

Disclaimer: All the above content is every individual’s personal opinion, it is not meant to hurt, or defame anyone. Thank you.
The pictures used aren’t copyrighted to me, they are cut outs from magazines.

On an emotional note..

06.01.2017 , around evening.
“Call sheet is from 2 p.m. to 6 a.m, we’re completing the schedule today.”
“Oh, Okay. ”

07.01.2017 , 6:37 a.m
“Take okay, Okay pa, PACKUP.”
Everyone present, ” wohhoooo, *claps* ”
“Hey art department, good job, clap for them people.”
*lot of smiling faces clapping*

Thank you  carpenters, painters, art assistants, set assistants and local labors, couldn’t have done it with you. Thanks a lot. 🙂

Today was the last day on the ECR beach house set, mixed feelings, I wanted to be done with the set just a few hours ago, and now that I’m done I don’t want to leave.

We have been working on this set since November, it’s a really huge set, we didn’t have enough properties to fill it up even when our property purchase bill was in lakhs, yes, that huge! There were a lot of difficulties in completing the set, we used to stay awake all night to get the work done, and the initial days were completely tiring, but as we slowly set it up, rain hit us and a small portion of our set broke, but we built it again and started shooting, when finally there were only two days of shoot left in that location the cyclone Vardah hit us, it was a very bad experience! After a week we rebuilt the whole set again and are done with the shoot now. Yes, that’s how life works, nothing comes easy, you have to work for it, face all the difficulties and stand strong.

Working in a film is like having a second family, there are hundreds of people you see every day, assistants, associates, labors, carpenters, painters, production managers, people who provide you with food, water, coffee, tea, biscuit, snacks all day long, light officers, crane people, track and trolley, camera operators, electricians, junior artists, stunt men, sound recorder etc. You run with them, laugh with them, shout at them, eat with them , it’s almost like you’re on a family picnic. On the last day of the schedule to say goodbye to this family, to your set and the people with whom you made memories with is really hard!

While leaving the in-charge of the house said, “Now the house is going to feel very lonely for us to live in. “, but no matter what life has to move on, there are more adventures to go on and much more memories to be made. To the beautiful early morning ride to the set, to the amazing beach sunrise, to the location, to the days when we ate sitting on bar chairs, to the day when we all picked up that huge dining table together, to that tree we built, to everything about that set, Cheers! Ciao.

What is it that I do at work? Let me tell you. Part 1

Hey! Welcome back! I know, I’ve been procrastinating but that’s acceptable because my laptop was out for service and I’m not comfortable with phones, so now that my laptop is here, without further a due let’s get going.
“Stand next to the camera, Jayashree.”
“Jayashree, how many times have I told you, check the frame, check the frame!”
” Don’t run like a headless chicken, Jayashree”
“Work smart, not hard.”
“Visualise the concept in mind, then it’ll be easy for you”
“Be shameless, just shout, don’t worry about what other people think.”
” Jayashree, scream, it won’t work out if you speak like this!”
“You have to take responsibility Jayashree.”
“Order them to do the work, you don’t do it. You should know what work should be given to whom.”
“Whenever you go out, look around, you might find something interesting to use on set.”
” Ni alukka irukalam but un vela alukka irukka kudathu.” i.e “You can look/be dirty but your work shouldn’t. ”   – are some of the life lessons I’ve learnt from my work mom. Have you read about her? Head over to my first post – The first post 

When mam took me for the job of an assistant she mainly wanted me to focus on props/ properties – in practical terms, a prop is considered to be anything movable or portable on a stage or a set, distinct from the actors, scenery, costumes, and electrical equipment.
Now there are two things
1. Set properties/Properties
2.Action properties
What’s a set property? For example

Screenshot (11).png

A frame from the film MASAAN -here the 3+2 sofa, centre table, books on the left, the painting, the curtains, torchlight above the switch board , the calendar on the right, cushions etc these are all set properties, i.e properties that make a set what it is, these properties add character to the set, it visually tells you what kind of home, their taste, their tradition, their organisation etc

So what’s and action property? -action property, as the name suggests it is a property which is necessary for the action in the scene to happen.
For example- screenshot-6

A frame from the movie DANGAL ( Absolutely loved the Production Design in this! Laxmi Keluskar and Sandeep Meher ) – here the milk can is an action property, a property used in action. Simple. or

screenshot-9

A frame from the movie SAIRAT (A must watch people!!) – The hero’s Mother and sister are washing utensils, hence the utensils here are action properties.

The following is one of the best action property ever!

Screenshot (10).png

The weapon used by Archana in the film is an action property.

So yes, I was assigned to take responsibility for properties, and most of the time I mess up in something or the other, either it’s curtain or their rods.When the curtains are taken care of I mess up with the rods, when the rods are taken care of I mess up the curtains. Dear Curtain God, have some mercy! Well mam , if you’re reading this, I’m really sorry for all the blunders I do.
Well, you must be wondering where we get all these properties from, so the furniture, fabric, small properties, action properties, 1. we make them, 2.rent them – there are property rent shops for films, we have to go mark whatever property we want in advance, inform our location details etc – or 3. buy them, considering the budget is important here.

Well, that’s not all about properties, there’s more to come. Hope you had a good time reading. Ciao.

PS: I should really find better ways to end my blogs.
Proofreaders are welcome.

Reference: Google, Wikipedia, Youtube.

The Power of Visuals.

Disclaimer: The following content is entirely based on my individual views and understandings.

“I didn’t go to film schools, I went to films”Quentin Tarantino

I started this blog to write down my experiences, but on the other hand I want it to be informative too. So here’s the fun part people, let’s gain knowledge without wasting much time or getting bored.

Wait, don’t go! I request everyone reading this blog to take a break from whatever you’re doing and watch this 5 min video for me – In Praise Of Chairs. Yes, that it how much detailing goes into making good films.

Okay, so think about the best time of your life? Did visual images of your past flash in front of you? How did you feel for that fraction of a second?
It has been proved that if memories or information are visually stored in our brain they last longer, this is why mind mapping techniques are used. Yes, that is the power of visual images, they create a huge impact on you,they haunt you,they change your mood within that fraction of a second that they appear.
Now, imagine this for me, you’re at home, you’ve been eagerly waiting for the cricket world cup match, given a choice what would you prefer? Watching the live match on television or listening to the live broadcast on the radio? Both of them are live but most of us will prefer watching it on television. Why? Because visuals please you, they make you feel alive, they bring in the whole mood, they provide you with details of what is happening and more.

Similarly, film is a visual medium, and it is every departments responsibility and job to make sure their information, feeling, emotion, character, situation etc is conveyed  visually, because that’s their only option.There are innumerable theories and books that talk about how films visually induce a character’s emotions in you so strong that you start relating to the character and ultimately become that character. Isn’t that fascinating?!
Well, too many cooks spoil the dish and too much information,well, need I say! Looking forward to share more knowledge about the art of film making in more interesting ways, ciao!

Here’s a behind the scenes of my first TV commercial-Parachute ayurvedic– as an art assistant –