DJSCE Aura: …and the story goes on

Academic Mar 29, 2021

The scene, quite evidently, doesn’t seem to be getting over. The plot is just dragging on, and the viewers (who also happen to be making history in their ways) are tired and sick (pun intended). The villain has the world in its clutches, while the heroes are finding ways to fight him. It’s all very Avengers: Infinity War-esque, and we’re all just waiting for the time when it comes to the climax of Endgame, where the heroes collectively take it down.

Yes, it’s been a year since the 5-lettered word entered and altered our worlds, and we were sent scrambling for alternate plans. It’s been tough, for all of us, but in the words of Andy Dufresne,

“Remember Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies.”

Holding on to this very hope, and letting it surge through us, we took on the new year. A lot of surprises were in store, not only for our audience but for us too. Unexplored domains were ventured into, and overwhelming responses were met with.

Unknown Caller

What happens when you cross an annoying brother, an extremely impatient and annoyed sister, and an inexperienced kidnapper?

The premise of the short-film was funny in itself, and the actors’ acting made it all the more funny! “Unknown Caller” written and directed by Aakash Sangani, was our first venture into making a film as short as 3 minutes. It was released over Instagram, and our audience loved it. The crew for this film was relatively new to the process, so they learned a whole lot! Go watch the film if you haven’t yet, you’re sure to enjoy it!

tu hi hai

The most challenging project that we’ve taken up so far, the process of making ‘tu hi hai’ was nothing short of a YOLO experience. Some may call this a short film, others may call it a music video; the truth is that it’s both and neither aspect overshadows the other.

The beautiful screenplay of ‘tu hi hai’, along with the relatable storyline, on-point acting, and seamless editing made this film a cinematically enjoyable experience. Once we had edited the first draft of the film and saw that it looked so good, Sharma, much to everyone’s bewilderment, suggested making an original song for this film.

We chewed on it for a day or two and said one of the most formidable “let’s do this” in our Aura-lives. The song was made by the collective efforts of all the members of the team, none of which had very considerable experience in the field of music production. It was exhilarating, and every one of us was learning from each other at every step. We criticised each other, assisted each other, and pushed each other to our bests! We made poetry flow into a tune of a song, wholly composed by the members of the team. Our rooms had become recording studios for so many hours a day. The music-making process was something we had never done together before, with only a little experience coming from a few members. After so many days of sitting online to record, mix, suggest, change and sometimes even completely scrap, it was ready!

We released teaser trailers and posters for ‘tu hi hai’ on our social media and premiered it on YouTube. The film received positive reviews for both, the cinematography, and the music. We were particularly happy that we were able to undertake this project!

AuraBaatein: An Aura Orientation

AuraBaatein was an hour-long session with the first years of our college, where we got together and told them about the kind of things we do at Aura; from the street plays and short films to music creation and social media engagement. We candidly took the students through a regular day at Aura and shared fun insights about being part of the team.

We thoroughly enjoyed the session and answering curious questions from the first years, a lot of them were looking forward to the auditions which are just around the corner! In case you’re reading this article, great going! You now know that we’re going to be recruiting soon for writers, video editors, sound designers, sound editors and people who do soft creatives! Storytellers in all of these forms are welcome, and don’t think too much before applying, you just might not know that you have it in you! (Stay tuned to our Instagram handle for updates!)

Awards, thus far:

You might’ve heard about “Stuck”, right? Well, we are very happy to share with you that this short film has been winning competitions at college festivals! We bagged the 1st position in Pillai College’s Allegria, the 2nd position in KJSCE’s Symphony, and the 3rd position in MPSTME’s fest Sattva! What’s more, our very own Adwait Bhingarde’s mono-act Kachru, which he wrote and performed, won the 1st position at KJSCE Symphony’s mono-act competition! We can’t be performing street-plays, but our short-films are doing just as well in Mumbai festivals, and Adwait’s mono-act is so promising too! We couldn’t have made this transition so well without the constant support of our families and constant well-wishers!

Adapting wasn’t on our to-do list for this year, not doing street-plays wasn’t either. But here we are, trying to make the best of things and hoping to do better in the times to come. In closing, there’s a line that comes to mind when we retrospect on the past year, which aptly captures how we’ve been making the best out of every passing moment.

“What day is it?” asked Pooh.
“It’s today,” squeaked Piglet.
“My favorite day,” said Pooh.”

- A.A. Milne
And, as the saying goes, Aura Kayam Rahe!

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