Thursday, January 26, 2006

Archival Misdoings

A day with yearender freaks

It was exactly two weeks before 31st of December. The bomb was dropped over us, the whole PCR crew got together in the dimly lit room under the flurry of baby lights hanging over us at the studio-D. The key word was "yearender". Now what is 'yearender'? Well, a commonly loosely used term for a half an hour program, our channel will air the whole day on the 1st of january. It will be made up of four segments, focussing on various topics - like how the capital markets misbehaved the whole year, foreign companies in India, the mega reliance family drama & others. I got into the capital markets segment.

Signed..my low bad breath and waited to meet up with my producer. After one week of silence rebuttal to my role, finally I got down to organise my whole team. what's the first job - clog my already clogged mobile phone book with some more numbers, so here goes barkha, priyanka, parveen (our editor) into my phone book. Now, what??? climb up the vtr library looking for archival shots of markets, cash counting machines, dollar shots, sunset shots, birds flying..think man!! think man!! think abstract...think metaphorical. Then, began my amazing journey through the archives of NDTV. what a archive...man!!

Tape no: SS????? ( SS stands for special tapes, if you are wondering) had this depressing footage of the 1984 sikh riots immediately followed by people celebrating diwali, u know, blowing crackers and shit.... such irony of missmatched montage, eisenstein would have loved it absolutely. On an another occation, there was this shot of tsunami followed by some kerela tourist shots, you can seriously blame the archival person, but trust me, our fate is exactly like that. After a terrible time, the only thing you can hope for is some moments of joy.

When everything comes to an end, the only way out is a new beginning. that was the moment of realisation for me, after burying myself in NDTV archive, I learnt a strange lesson for my life.

Its has got no timecodes, infact an idea with lots of time code breaks, can't really capture them in one go.

A tape that has no video format, no timecode, no glitches but a footage you can never fathom in your wildest of dreams. The archival footage which will be repeated on 1st of Jan and then again n again....

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