Goafest 2023 wrapped up with actors Tabu and Rana Dagubati delving into the path charted for Indian cinema, how to explore artistic freedom and challenging conventions in the ever-evolving landscape of the filmmaking industry.
The moderator for the session was Rajeev Masand, film critic, chief operating officer, Dharma Cornerstone Agency.
Conquering creative roadblocks
Tabu started off the discussion by sharing how to redefine creativity to appeal to audiences.
She said, "The challenge for any creative field is to create something they haven't seen or experienced before. People were taken aback when cinema was introduced; they weren't sure what was next. There was uncertainty, but creativity in films has moved forward with time. It's creativity that has made people experience what they have never seen before."
Tabu felt that no matter how advanced technology gets, human emotions will always be at the core of the endeavour to connect with audiences.
"No matter how advanced the technology gets, it would always require human beings to perform certain tasks. Creativity in films has moved forward with time, making people experience what they have never seen before," said Tabu.
Talking about how technology can unleash creativity, Daggubati shared, "When a character (actor) is unable to convey a message or it is complex for him/her, to do a stunt, technology comes into the picture. We've already been using digital doubles in films, and it has proved to be an advantage."
Filmmakers should befriend technology
Daggubati expressed that people shouldn’t be afraid of new technology in cinema, but embrace it.
"Many thought they would lose their businesses when the camera was introduced to shoot films, but those who lost out were portrait artists. The others adapted to the camera and went on to discover its creative side,” remarked Daggubati.
Need for diversity
Daggubati pointed out that Indian cinema should be akin to addressing and connecting with all dialects.
“People in India speak many languages, and the audience is what matters to us the most. To give them that kind of satisfaction is what filmmakers should focus on. Also, our films are viewed by a very strong Indian diaspora around the world so it is necessary to have well-defined representations,” said Daggubati.
Daggubati emphasised, "Films of the future will transcend the boundaries of conventional viewing experiences. They will become immersive, through advancements in technology, enabling people to engage with them for more extended periods. It is a shift towards interactive storytelling."
AI will enhance filmmaking
The last question posed by Masand was on the potential of AI.
When probed by Masand, Tabu responded, "There is huge potential for AI-generated doubles. Instead of physically performing challenging sequences or action scenes, actors could soon be replaced by digital doubles."
"AI is rapidly advancing, enabling actors to become immortal in a sense. For instance, if someone wants to witness a young Amitabh Bachchan reprising his role as Jai in Sholay, then they will be able to see a convincingly realistic digital version of him," added Daggubati.
He went on to mention a trailer showcased at Cannes featuring Jackie Chan, where his digitally enhanced 18-year-old character exemplified this technology's potential.
"Actors can now exist in any period and age. The content sector has witnessed remarkable strides in AI, making it an exciting domain to observe the emergence of innovations that will become commonplace in the future," concluded Daggubati.