TO MUSIC DIRECTOR’S & FILM DIRECTOR’S
– PART 2
Behindwoods Visitor DLN [D.Lakshminarasimhan]
views expressed in this column are that of the visitor.
Behindwoods.com doesn't hold responsible for its content.
article is in continuation to earlier
one published in www.behindwoods.com on
3rd Nov 2010. Sincere thanks to Behindwoods
team for publishing. Thoroughly appreciate.
Have received few reactions to that article
and did try to answer them briefly earlier,
and don’t think have done justice
in conveying my views clearly earlier.
Hence this continuation....
My day job to earn livelihood is operating
as “Programme Director” in
an IT company. Accountable & Responsible
for Programme responsibilities assigned/undertaken.
Striving to learn hard every single day
to see improvisation in my approach towards
A particular course for Programme Management/Direction
named “Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) instituted
by UK Office of Government of Commerce is a background
which I am keen to use in this context. OGC realized
that MSP is applicable not just for Public Sector initiatives
and is very good to be adapted for every industry where
Programme Direction/Management is involved and gave
a structured certification course.
• MSP is now popular in IT industry and can personally
say after undergoing Practitioner certification course
and as a follower of its principles in day-2-day IT,
it is applicable for every industry.
• Keen to use MSP analogies as a basis to answer
reactions received. First and foremost is definition
a new outcome in part of the operational organisation
the desired operational result
the measurement of an outcome or a part of an
outcome. An end benefit is a direct contribution
to a strategic objective
part or new operational state
an advantage accruing from the outcome
at least in part the fundamental question: What
new or different things will we need to realise
the questions: what is the desired operational
state of the organisation using these new things?
the question of what a project delivers? Why
is this required
example of an output: an e-commerce system
example of an outcome from this output: ability
to process, fulfil and charge for web-based
example of a benefit from this : Increased sales
revenue from 10% to 20% within 6 months of the
Definitions from MSP:
Programme: A temporary, flexible
organization created to co-ordinate, direct and
oversee the implementation of a set of related projects
and activities in order to deliver outcomes and
benefits related to the organization’s strategic
objectives. A programme is likely to have a life
that spans several years.
For a movie: Final outcome i.e. the movie itself
is a programme.
Project: A temporary organization,
usually existing for a much shorter duration, which
will deliver one or more outputs in accordance with
a specific business case. A particular project may
or may not be part of a programme.
For a movie: Art, Music, Visual Effects, Choreography,
Stunt, Make-up, Story, Screenplay, Dialogues, Cinematography,
Artist Identification & selection, Artists Performance
for screen play conceived, Publicity, Location Definitions,
hunt, selection, Lyricist Selection, Sound Engineering,
Editing etc. etc. (list is extraordinarily exhaustive)
Programmes deal with outcomes; Project
deals with outputs. Programme management and Project
management are complementary approaches. During
a programme lifecycle, projects are initiated, executed
and closed. Programmes provide an umbrella under
which these projects can be coordinated. The programme
integrates the projects so that it can deliver an
outcome greater than the sum of its parts. Programme
management does not replace the need for “competent”
project direction and management.
Programme Management: Action of
carrying out the coordinated organization, direction
and implementation of a dossier of projects and
transformation activities (i.e. the programme) to
achieve outcomes and realize benefits of strategic
importance to the business.
For a movie; “Film Director” as a fully
Accountable & Responsible owner cum Programme
Director/Manager to derive “Outputs from individual
Project Managers(Art, Music, Sound, Artist, Location,
Cinematography, Acting, Stunt, Story, Dialogues,
Screen play etc....” and deliver the “Final
Outcome – completed movie” leading to
“Benefit realization by sponsors- Producers/Financiers
from investment part, various tangile and intangile
benefits like name & fame for people involved
with projects, programme, benefits to distributors,
theatres, businesses that revolve around theatres,
ultimately viewer pleasure, audio hearing pleasures
on continued basis i.e. beyond the experience of
movie watching etc...etc...
Programme Transformation flow is
Identifying a programme, defining a programme, managing
the tranches (pre-production, production, post-production),
delivering the capability, realizing the benefits,
closing a programme.
A reputed, recognized, well acclaimed Director is
not on top Director from day 1, however earns their
place in industry through delivery of consistent
outcome(s). Some may go wrong and some may go well,
however key is Post implementation review taking
in to account various praises, criticism’s
and enhances output as the journey goes.
What will happen if a person shuts their
ears and remain stagnant and struck with their views
Slow Death is the answer. Learning is never ending
and is applicable for every single human being.
Disciplined, Sincere, devoted & continued learning
at every opportunity are the key efforts that is
going to lead to greater heights (in respective
industries). People who have delivered consistent
anticipatory outcome(s) can vouch for above views.
The path towards a so called “success”
(varies in scale again and limit is defined by an
individual self only as to how far one wishes to
extend) is obviously not easy in any industry.
Best Directors gets best financial backing
to realize their “Ideas” to final product
(exception: a director also can be a sponsor of
his/her ideas dependent on reach, where the risk
is entirely owned by them). Why?
Sponsor who is a business man at the end of the
day knows that, he/she is disciplined to given a
final outcome that is bound to reap benefits. (Ex:
Director Shankar – Best example in Indian
Film Industry, very learned man not by virtue of
degree/certificates but by virtue of experience,
willingness to learn and experiment, improvise programme
after programme). A perspective of “success”
obviously is going to differ from people to people
– materialistic, satisfaction of giving a
quality outcome etc.
In the beginning stages of career graph, a Director
may ask for a specific Project Manager (say Art,
Music, Stunt, Visual Effects etc...), however it
is possible, he/she may need to work within the
authorized Project output owners. As the experience
goes, with strong backing supported by consistent
successful outcomes (finest benefit realized movies),
a Director commands respect and chooses even Programme
Sponsors (producers), Project Output Manager’s
(Music, Art, Lyrics, Story, Dialogues, Stunt, Visual
Effects, Artists, Locations etc...Etc...). Can say
this from personal experience in IT industry Programme
Direction/Management as well. In the initial days,
have to work with teams/project managers given.
As the experience goes, command develops to seek,
“Wish to have that person as Requirements
& Design Owner, Systems Development Owner, Testing
Owner, Implementation owner etc. and are given”.
If not given, still work with strengths and weaknesses
of team and deliver best possible output in given
What will happen if a Sponsor, Programme
Manager/Director, Project Manager/Director, Artists
who come under Projects starts to nourish their
false ego that, it is their output “alone”
is which has lead to laurels or success of final
Slow-death once again. Ego eventually is going to
bring a man down as his/her True self is masked
by ignorance. On the contrary, have feet on the
ground and realize outcome is realized by choosing
right Project output owners who have the discipline
to deliver “Best output” which is combined
to give final outcome (movie). Project Directors/Managers
understand their role in the whole scheme and operate
without ego – Grand outcome is the result.
In essence – It is a team effort at the end
of the day.
What is the relevance of above question
to Music Director’s – prime subject
on which happened to write and drew few questions?
An output named “Song” in a movie to
watch, listen and enjoy + most importantly “An
audio to listen and cherish forever” is delivered
by Project named “Music Department”.
• Film Director conceives the original idea
of an outcome named “Movie”
• Film Director chooses a project owner named
• Film Director conceives the idea/situation
within the anticipatory “Outcome-movie”.
• Film Director explains that situation to
Project Owner – Director
• A Project Owner named “Music Director”
creates various “compositions/tunes”
for the situation
• Film Director chooses a tune from one or
collection of tunes for the situation
• Film Director primarily (it is well acknowledged)
chooses “Lyricist” to bring “Life
to that composition”. A Music Director may
play a part to help Director choose Lyricist but
not necessarily mandatory.
• Beauty of a “Music Department –
Project Output from a Music Director” is,
it serves two grand purposes.
o Purpose 1: A song being a combination of Situation,
Composition/tune, Sound combinations to realize
tune/composition, right instrument players of chosen
sound via instruments to deliver the tune, right
singers to deliver song lines for the language chosen,
raga outlined, shruthi, Pallavi outlined, right
sound techniques to record the instrument output
from musicians, proper packaging of the song to
“Audio Output”. This output has the
capability to stand on its own and be heard as audio
output listened at home, audio mediums like radio
etc., during travel. Hence as “Life/Jeevan
on its own”.
o Purpose 2: Film Director takes the audio output
and with fine locales, choreographers, right artists
bring full visual output backed by the audio output.
This is seen in movies and also used for promos
and can be delivered in “Visual music channels”.
“Kilimanjaro” song in Endhiran was a
stunner and if anyone interested to know about “Machu
Picchu”, please read about Hiram Bingham’s
outputs (Machu Picchu: City in the clouds). Why
did the Director take such an effort to travel so
hard with crew to gather greatest of visuals? Passion
to give best in everything.
o Project Director/Owner (Music Director) indeed
has the responsibility towards identifying right
singers for the song; however my point is, if it
is observed that project director has not given
the best output required in divine compositions
(for whatsoever reasons it may be), then it requires
intervention by “Programme owner i.e. Film
Director”. This is where ego should be kept
aside and team work required giving final best output.
• It is understood and accepted that art imitates
life; however can that imitation be done by “right
singer who has proficiency in a chosen language
to deliver good output for the arena of life that
is being portrayed”? Can we have a tabala
musician not proficient to play piano, how will
that output be? In my view, it is as good as choosing
a singer who is proficient in a particular language
(say Hindi) to make him/her sing in all languages
(say Tamizh, Hindi and Telugu) just because a movie
is multi-lingual or for that matter in a not a multi-language
film? Songs are listened not just in movies but
at various places and various occasions. That is
the special status enjoyed by Music.
o Can a Tamizh singer who has not done ground work
or home work in Hindi or Telugu be made to sing
in those languages? Would that be equivalent of
“art imitates life”. It is ridiculing
the life of those chosen sect i.e. specific language.
o SPB is fine example – I am certain, looking
at quality of output, he would have done lot of
ground work and home work on his Hindi songs for
Salman Khan. Fabulous example of discipline. It
is such dedication and ground work before venturing
into unchartered territory that make such people
special and keep them where they are.
o Does this make me a fanatic of Tamizh?
Very sorry. Then my points are mis-interpreted or
the person providing superficial comments/views
may not necessarily be disciplined to hear feedback
and take corrective actions. My second language
when I studied in Chennai was Hindi and later enjoyed
Telugu exposure in Vishakapatnam. So please don’t
label my comments as a language fanatic. Right Singers
who can deliver best audio output is my recommendation
as “audio” holds above explained special
distinction of delivering output alone on its own
in addendum to final visual output in a movie.
o Example. Let us analyze ARR, ace composer, genius
who is my number 1 favourite when it comes to “Hindi
audio output” (Robot, Lagaan, Ghajini, Fire,
Dil Se, Jodha Akbar, Taal, Fiza, Yuva, Swades, Mangal
Pandey The rising, Guru, Jaane Tu ya Jaane Na, Raavan
etc.). Btw my number 1 favourite music Director
in Tamil is Harris Jeyaraj (Dhaam Dhoom, Varanam
Ayiram, Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu, Ayan, Bheema etc.)
for terrific unflawed compositions consistently.
Of course enjoy ARR’s compositions in Tamizh
as well. ARR got Oscar award for Jai Ho owing to
deliverance of justice to that Project Output to
Danny Boyle to realize final outcome named “Slum
Dog Millionaire” which was well received and
acclaimed. Fact of life is, ARR has delivered much
better divine compositions than Jai Ho; however
the reach to International audience is enormous
and brought accolades. Does that mean ARR does not
deserve Oscar? Of course deserves every bit of it;
however it is for that composition named Jai Ho
in a specific programme. It is his hard work, perseverance,
experimentation, ability to achieve things that
were thought unachievable for an Indian musician
that took him closer to International Directors.
We shouldn’t forget the talent of this “Music
Project Director” was identified by “Movie
Programme Director” named Manirathnam. An
Oscar in a particular movie does not necessarily
make him best deliverer of every single output he
has given. Every human being has improvement points.
In above points i.e. choosing right singers for
Tamizh songs, he has lot to improve upon. Tamizh
Audio output of few of his fantastic compositions
in movies like Rhythm, Sivaji, New etc..are all
flawed in many cases due to improper chosen of singers.
This is a consistent flaw he makes and has made
a habit of it now when it comes to Tamizh movies.
• Another view on my article was, most actors
cannot pronounce “zha” and almost 80%
of Tamil speakers cannot say “Zha” and
why don’t we look at Heroes dialogues in movies?
o It is very well made point and it is true. So
actors may have to take care to either improvise
or seek dialogue where they are comfortable delivering.
Imagine Rajni improperly pronouncing “En Vazhi
Thani Vazhi” as “En vali thani vali”.
It would not remain a punch dialogue. It would become
comedy. Imagine a beautiful word “mazhai charal”
pronounced as “malai charal”, “muzhumadhi
spelt as mulumadhi”, “pugazh spelt as
pugal”, “igazh spelt as igal”,
“uzhavar spelt as ulavar”, “azhagai
spelt as azhugai”, “thalaiva nee en
thalaichan pillai delivered as thalaiva nee en dalichan
pillai”, “thozhum as tholum”,
“vidhai as vithai”, “mazhai pozhiyum
as malai poliyum”, “azhithal as alithal”
in divine songs....is the splendour maintained?
No dispute on the point of dialogue deliverance,
but movie is not seen or heard again and again.
However audio songs are heard again and again and
...they make great travel companions. Is it not
important to deliver justice there?
o Also I am not talking about some fun compositions
like “lalaku dol dappi ma” or “usamyu
larressay” type. They are also essential and
we don’t have to ridicule them i.e. director
– film, music, lyricists etc. In Endhiran’s
Irumbile oru idhayam, fusion of rap in that song
delivered by that lady singer is such an entertainment,
great output. Specific point is about divine compositions
which Movie Director and Music Director knows when
they put that extra effort to finalize a tune. More
care needs to be taken there is my point. “Pookal
pookum tharunam” in Madrasapattinam, “Kilimanjaro
song” in Endhiran, “anbey nijamdhana
in Rhythm”, “Sahana sahana in Sivaji”,
“Vaaji Vaaji in Sivaji”, “yamunai
aatrile in Thalapathi”. Such improper pronunciation
gives a feel that singer is in great misery and
gives me at least a feeling of constipation.
o ARR tops the chart for giving mispronounced output
in Tamizh. He is great in Hindi output though. Is
it the price Tamizh industry has to pay because
of his immense popularity beyond languages and should
we keep quiet because he keeps bringing laurels
to India? Praises and criticism are part and parcel.
Aimed only for improvisation.
o Why focus on ARR? He is a genius
who has taken Indian music industry to greater heights.
People follow him as a role-model and by this I
don’t mean common man. Mean specially gifted/talent
nurtured music Director’s (say like GV Prakash
et al), who may be looking up to him. So, if the
source is corrected, many corrections downwards
o Am I blaming singers here? Very
partly yes given they are venturing into an unchartered
territory potentially without adequate home work
and research on their part to deliver right output.
Of course they are going to latch onto the opportunity
in these times of intense competition with so many
singers in the market. Added to it, reality shows
are showing amazing talents continuously, so heavy
competition. However the ones that are going to
go from strength to strength are the ones that are
going to be versatile, continue to learn western,
Hindustani, classical, rap etc. etc. and willing
to become a student of every language to master
them and bring life to the songs they sing. However
major fault lies with Music Director (Project Director
for Music Department in MSP terms) if he/she is
the one choosing singers and also ultimate accountability
with Film Director as he/she is the senior responsible
owner for final outcome (Programme Director/Owner
for Final outcome).
o Am I an authority in this field?
My humble view is no human being can claim authority
in any subject for that matter. Every view is an
evolution and we keep taking next step and views
get refined from generation to generation. In this
so called life journey of 35 years of my age till
date, have visited in person, mingled, spent time
in holidays, enjoyed every bit of food, culture,
people, music from few parts of India, England,
Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, Ireland, France,
Switzerland, Italy, Amsterdam, Brussells, Greece,
USA, Egypt, couple Islands. View of art imitates
life is seen and not abused in any manner in those
countries like the way we embrace art in our land
called India. I am now convinced, this is going
to be true for every place that I may in future.
Who delivers and improvises that output? People.
Who gives views for improvisation? People. Again,
this view on tamizh pronunciation in divine compositions
is a view. There can be many for and against this.
Respect each one of them and just like theirs, mine
remains a view. Thatz it. Am I attached to this
view, that what I say is right? Never. If I do,
then ego has taken over from me.
o Don’t I have anything else better
to do and am I making noise for the sake of it?
Of course I do many things and this is
just one of the facets. Worked very hard on Diwali
day as my presence was needed, trying to bring discipline
to Work life balance, dance, play, swim, watch various
movies from different languages, read Sri Ramana
Maharishi’s teachings on Who Am I, enjoy Osho’s
Tantra: The Supreme Understanding, enjoy J Krishnamurthi’s
teachings, enjoy Gautama Buddha’s teachings,
enjoy Adi Sankaracharya’s teachings, did a
project on Islam with my son last week for his School,
visited Buddhist temple some days back and participated
in their rituals, visit churches in every Western
country I go to enjoy the marvel and pray for peace,
enjoy our greatest monuments and temples of India
in remotest parts of Tamil Nadu and around whenever
I can and I visit, enjoy talking mundane and spiritual
aspects with my parents, wife, do mistakes out of
ignorance and correct them, learn from them...................so
what.........this is just another subject that I
love, cherish and I am sure many music lovers may
have felt. Some express and some don’t....am
I perfect in everything I do? Of course not...continuously
learning every day, every moment...
• Another point made was, it is just easy
to point out at someone who is in the limelight
and say they are wrong, when people all around us
o Have answered very elaborately on the Programme
outcome named “Movie”. It is special
and is an expedition i.e. not all outcomes but special
outcomes. Discipline, discipline, Discipline. If
people all around us are worse, then they are going
to undergo the misery due to lack of improvisation.
Does that mean, a professional singer or a professional
music director will shut their ears and continue
to do what they do in a flawed manner? It is an
excuse. Sorry. Slow or sudden death is the answer.
Audio is divine, special and hence the expression
of corrections. If it is not found to be appealing,
continue to do what you are doing now. Who is at
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