8:00 am on 17 June
Coffee and fresh croissant at the old bakery. Did it make me feel French? I dunno but certainly felt good. Crisp cold air, a bit of morning haze and a lazy cleaning truck rubbing the street clean in front of the old sushi bar. I might make it to the restaurant tonight.
A circle of light leaks through the clouds on a blue grey sea. One feels the urge to go and stand on the sand as the wind strokes your face. Pretty boats skirt the marina.
"Hey Dadu, you're about early", Roel Welling is scampering up the Croissant. It isn't the time to look at Cannes and take in her beauty. It is time to look at spots again. "Hey Roel, wait for me", I run after him. We have a lovely bunch. Tough but great.
The thought of the dark room with a flickering projector is daunting as we crack on through paintings, aliens, racing cars, nerds and pirates.
1:15 pm on 17 June
Lunch with Prasoon Joshi. Met him after months. The novice spoke at lengths with the veteran. Tips, arguments, battling fatigue, keeping your wits about for fourteen hours in the black hole and how to feel inspired till the end.
Think we found the spark we were looking for in the bunch of films we were judging. It has come in the shape of an innocuous little channel id where Bob Dylan sings the 'Like a Rolling Stone' song. I think it is a cracker. Will talk about it more maybe in the evening once we are through for the day and I have some time to think about it. Right now one is rushing through the rigorous routine. 1-3 'out of short list', 4-6 'in short list', 7-9 'in short list, probably winner'. Pinging digital pads and an occasional cough or a mumbled argument. Move on.
9:30 pm on 17 June
A linen jacket and a yellow wrist band that proclaims you are jury does not help one mingle with the opening gala crowd at the beach. I am painfully aware of my redundancy in the sea of youth celebrating the festival of creativity. The jacket hangs limp, I am sweating trying to find a face I know, discomfort leaking from every pore of my existence. It is disconcerting to find out you no longer fit in, no matter how hard you try, you're old and it's time bugger off. The blazing music furthers the point and with a smile and a wave, one desperately wriggles out of the ceremony to the safer confines of the hotel room. I would rather write my blog. Not a happy thought. But an obvious one.
Already overdosing on commercials is blurring lines between reality and what is being put up on screen. The dancing mass of humanity at the gala looks much like the crowd jiving in a Smirnoff commercial - mixed lights piercing through giant holes in the roof of a semi finished building. A man walking his terrier and Dalmatian makes you think about the cat that wants to be a dog. Skateboarding kids remind you of a Nissan spot where the car goes skidding about ledges and slopes like a professional. The music video that blew me bubbles to the top of my mind.
Tailored to a track of Bob Dylan singing 'Like a Rolling Stone', it is an interactive music video. An assortment of programmes - game show, chat show, rom com, travel show, all of them with participants lip syncing the song. You can switch channels anytime you want. The characters in respective shows will keep on singing in perfect sync. For a full three and a half minutes!
Great idea, executed so perfectly that it almost looks fake.
But that is where rich media is moving, I discovered. Growing in giant leaps by the day, devouring the world of communication. Films put up for craft one finds, has more than its share of digital stuff. Spots for television becoming almost a corollary. The media consumption scenario is different in our country. We won't get much investment for rich media stuff. How do we then compete on a Cannes platform?
I feel like going out into the streets of Cannes. Just to get out of inertia of the static. Tomorrow we start drawing out the final short list. They say battles in the name of debates happen during those times. Blood is spilled on the floor.