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The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Interview Questions with Anadil Hossain
1. What was your experience shooting the film?
In retrospect it's always amazing and adventurous but it was incredibly challenging. This was a complex and ambitious film given the budget; scripted to be in 3 continents and 5 cities. We shot in Atlanta to receive the tax credit; we did a small unit to establish New York and did Manila, Istanbul and Lahore in Delhi. We also shot two days in Turkey at the end of our schedule and small second unit in Lahore with local crew only. Mira really wanted some authentic footage from Lahore. Travelling shows are always challenging in terms of keeping the technical aspects consistent and fluid.
2. The data management cart was specifically build for "The Reluctant Fundamentalist". How did it work out for the production?
In fact the DIT hut that our technician Bjorn Jackson set up was kind of a refuge on set but just to back up a little bit: We did the analysis on film versus digital and for a film in this budget scale I think the industry still hasn't really worked out the metrics because post-production houses haven't quite figured out how to make it a viable at this price point. And so we went back and forth and actually it wasn't a huge cost savings but the fact that we were a travelling show, digital seemed an imperative. We had a DP who is very pro film but he embraced the decision based on pragmatics. Declan is just a genius. You can put anything in his hand and it just looks amazing. But figuring out the logistics of crew and even the shipping cost alone were things that we really had to weigh up and ultimately we made the decision to keep crew and equipment consistent because there are so many other variables.
ARRI was incredibly helpful in that process and worked out amazing deals for us to be able to afford to do this effectively. I've worked with ARRI for almost a decade on most of my international films, and they have been incredibly supportive. The long relationship they've had with Declan Quinn also meant we were treated with great care. I feel the data management cart a great bonus. We were on the road in very difficult locations often very hard to access. Having a team and a system that was compact and transportable - and again the consistency was key. We were dealing with different environments and different kind of textures within the look of the film and for Declan to have the ability to always check and keep that sort of reference point in his mind was really critical. So yes the benefits were huge.
3. Why did you shoot on SxS cards AND ARRIRAW?
SxS remains the economic option for most indie productions, but given the better quality of RAW we wanted to keep the option of shooting both given the various cities we were recreating. One of the issues we had was that we were going to try to get the Codex recorders in India, because they're expensive to ship but there weren't that many available there and we didn't really feel confident about what was available on the ground.
4. Who handled post and DI for you?
We had this incredibly long debate over doing post-production in India vs. US for cost savings. We wanted the challenge of seeing if we could make it work in India also due to the fact that the director and editor were going to be based in India for post. So after a lot of trial and error we ended up doing post in India up until the DI, which we did back in the US.
5. What was your budget?
Our final budget including the Atlanta tax credit came in just over USD 10m.
6. Were you happy with ARRI Rental's support and service?
No matter where I've been in the world ARRI has been there. As many projects this one was a long labor of love for the filmmakers involved and even from the early days of discussion when we were exploring our options ARRI Rental were there to support us. I remember many discussions with Gus and the advice was always helpful and impartial. I feel like ARRI Rental was invested from that early stage, even in doing the analysis between film vs. digital and giving us unbelievable support from the very beginning to the very bitter end. The team was available to trouble shoot no matter what city or time.
Our industry has changed a lot due to the digital revolution and I think ARRI Rental has embraced this by providing a more 360 approach and support staff. This helps producers like us navigate this transition in our industry. A lot of companies haven't been able to do that.
And as you know the budget lines have changed so what would have been in post-production budget has now moved up to the production line. We're dealing with a lot of workflow issues at production stage, which you have to work through with rental houses. That is a very new thing.
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