When the state was on triple lockdown earlier this year, a song was being born; remotely and in two different time zones.
Now that the state is unlocked, the song from the movie Njan mikhael, shot entirely in Australia, will be broadcast by actor Aparna Murali and singer Haricharan, who performed the song, on their Facebook pages on Sunday, which, incidentally, is observed as Cheer Up the Lonely Day.
The film is the fourth directorial endeavor of young Australian molecular biologist and aspiring director Jose Sunny after two critically acclaimed zero-budget shorts and one short film.
While the film was shot in ten days, composing the score of just over five minutes took over three weeks of creative back and forth on Skype and social media platforms. This took place at odd times as the director was in Australia and composer Mejo Joseph and lyricist Shobin Kannangattu were in India.
âI wanted the song to be structured with a start, middle and climax of its own while still syncing perfectly with the overall narrative. Despite the difference in time zones, I was available at all times for creative discussions, even at the cost of my sleeping hours, âsaid Sunny, who heads the science department at St. John’s College in Dubbo, a picturesque town in the orange region of New South Wales, Australia.
Mr. Joseph was given the edited visuals the song was to be composed on, which he said happened very rarely but was a huge blessing in capturing the exact emotions. âIt was a difficult composition because the mood and the tempo had to keep changing throughout the song,â he said.
The remote work meant that Mr. Joseph had never seen the singer who sang it from Chennai and the musicians who played the instruments. âIt was a strange but rewarding experience and it felt like a new window of creativity was opening,â said Mr. Joseph.
Writing lyrics based on visuals was the first such experience for Mr Kannakattu, Five Movies, who found the director’s details just as useful. “I could have written it by the meter of the composition in one fell swoop, but I purposely wrote it over several days to make sure that every word I chose carries the exact emotional weight,” he said. .
Mr. Sunny recalled how he and the lyricist argued for days about choosing a word.
Njan Mikhael produced by Anish K. Sebastian will hit theaters in Australia in August and then on OTT platforms.
Mr. Sunny’s short films Cage (2017) and Oorjam (2018) and the short film Mullaperiyare Chathikkalle (2019) have received critical acclaim. All three have appeared at several film festivals around the world while Mullaperiyare Chathikkalle was voted best experimental film at the Calcutta International Cult Film Festival in 2020.