APPEAL TO MUSIC DIRECTOR’S & FILM DIRECTOR’S – PART 2
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By Behindwoods Visitor DLN [D.Lakshminarasimhan]
The views expressed in this column are that of the visitor. Behindwoods.com doesn't hold responsible for its content.
This 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.

http://www.behindwoods.com/features/visitors-1/ar-rahman-gv-prakash-ilayaraja-03-11-10.html

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 initiatives/people/teams/tasks etc.

Rahman, Shankar
• 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 of “Output/Outcome/Benefit”.
Project Outputs/Capability
 
Outcome
 
Benefit
Enables a new outcome in part of the operational organisation
 
Is the desired operational result
 
Is the measurement of an outcome or a part of an outcome. An end benefit is a direct contribution to a strategic objective
Describes a feature
 
Describes part or new operational state
 
Describes an advantage accruing from the outcome
Answers at least in part the fundamental question: What new or different things will we need to realise Beneficial change
 
Answers the questions: what is the desired operational state of the organisation using these new things?
 
Answers the question of what a project delivers? Why is this required
An example of an output: an e-commerce system
 
An example of an outcome from this output: ability to process, fulfil and charge for web-based orders
 
An example of a benefit from this : Increased sales revenue from 10% to 20% within 6 months of the system


Few 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 alone?
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 circumstances.

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 outcome?
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 “Music Director”
• 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 will follow.

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 are worse.

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 loss?

Best Wishes,
DLN [D.Lakshminarasimhan]
narasimhan_d@yahoo.com

Tags : Shankar, Robot, Lagaan, Ghajini, Fire, Mangal Pandey

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