April 1 2011
Listen: If it weren't so lengthy, I would've titled this "How a Riverwester Wrote a Three-Dimensional Love Letter to Bombay with $3000 and 8 Hours."
For my last post in our exploration of Milwaukee's film community (as well as my last for Make Milwaukee and 88Nine), we meet Milwaukee-based film maker Xav Leplae. He runs Riverwest Film and Video (an institution worthy of a story in itself) and is an accomplished film maker and artist (check out his IMDB page for a taste). While our conversation veered into all sorts of interesting territory, we ended up focusing on a recent project that captured a patently Milwaukee theme...
In his broad experiences making films around the world, Xav's become accustomed to working with limited resources. Rather than seeing this as a barrier, he uses this challenge to extend his creativity into thrift. I asked him for an example of this idea and he shared the ideal story -- check out how Xav used ingenuity and cunning to make Rasmalai Dreams, a 3-D tribute to the talent of Bombay and Bollywood:
The brief collage of audition audio you heard in the piece is from the actual film -- Xav was generous and gracious enough to get me a copy of Rasmalai Dreams. However, the voice in the 'radio commercial' was not original, but was the product of a thoroughly 21st century chain of events worth recounting.
Knowing I wanted to recreate the radio commercial with whatever semblance of authenticity I could manage, after the interview with Xav I put out the following Tweet: "okay milwaukee community -- i need you to come up big on this one. does anybody speak hindi, or know somebody that does?"
Amongst a few other folks, my friend and Milwaukee Twitter maven Sarah Horvat got back to me. She introducing me to Jithesh Aravind, a artist-connection based in India (see his wonderful work here)! And with a few brief e-mails, I sent him a script, he translated it and then voiced the 'commercial!' The following is the full version he sent me:
How awesome are Jithesh and Sarah? Oh the places we will go for a little extra detail and authenticity...
(Also, see Xav below)