Backstage Talkies with Elvis Kahn Fernandes the conceptualizer of Goa's first Horror movie - Cynthia
A short intro of yourself in terms of your work profile.
I been associated in the Indian Film industry for the last 12 to 13 years . Having graduated from St Xaviers College Mapusa and then, moved over to Mumbai to peruse a career in Music and Films. I have also been featured as a VH1 artist for a long time, having composed and produced my own music . My past I have worked as assistant director, dialogue writer, screen play writer, lyrics writer, music director and free lanced for the Indian film industry for a very long time with a great link up of big brands in the Bollywood industry.
Your base down in Goa.
Well I am based In Mapusa Korlim Goa. A place I call "Home".
What made you get into the profession of Film making.
Got into this industry mainly for the love of it, plus the enthusiasm of watching films. The first time I was on a professional film shoot was when I was 17 years old, the excitement was just over whelming in watching the technicians, actors working along as one unit to put up something beautiful on screen. The moment I decided I wanted to be in the film industry, I knew I had to move over to Mumbai to get work done out there. I have also been in the theater industry, and a great of that inspiration comes from my mother, as she's been a "actress" herself in the Konkani theater for a very long time, having performed in various countries, that's what inspired me to get onstage as a singer & dancer giving me all the confidence to face the camera and be "behind it" as well.
A short brief of your current project Cynthia.
Well its Goa's first "Horror" film, which also makes it the World's first Konkani horror film ,wherein this genre has never been attempted before in the Konkani film industry and have plans to release it in Goa and internationally as well.
What inspired you to come up with this Film.
Since I was launching my production company which is Goa Global productions , we wanted to be first out there doing something and have a unique USP to be there in the market ,where people can listen, hear or read about us and they are instantly attracted to the concepts we have available to them, so having a horror film out there is something that attracts a lot of attention,so we proceeded with the same intention of getting the maximum buzz all over.
The greatest support you have received so far in having this project completed.
My biggest support has to be my financer and producer Mr. Joseph M Lobo, he has been the backbone of the entire project, and the one because of whom the entire project took shape, if it wasn’t for his financial assistance and belief in me, this concept wouldn’t have materialized. You could have all the talent and all the skill in the world but it's useless if you don’t have anyone giving you a stage or you don’t have a stage to highlight your talent to people. I thank Mr. Joseph on record for being the producer and financer and supporting me to accomplish my dream and vision.
What were the kind of challenges faced while working on this project .
Well in the Konkani film industry the resourses that we have is relatively limited at our disposal, so there was a lot of technical aspects that had to be outsourced and got, which added to increase of cost, keeping in mind that I had to make a movie of certain standard and professionalism for which I needed to hire technicians which don’t come easy and come with a cost, so considering the Konkani film industry being a baby industry, we had restrictions in terms of budgets and resources ,so over coming all that, and making a product which is “worth watching” in a cinema hall after you spend on expensive tickets that are there, was our intention. Hope we have done justice, and the audience appreciates it.
What's the time/effort that's gone through in making this movie.
Well before we could start this project , I came up with the concept, wrote the script and then had to look into the casting, as the casting took a long time as we were on the lookout for the right characters for the film. The film has renowned actors from the Konkani film fraternity mainly Gauri Kamat, Prince Jacob, Kunal Malakar and our lead actress Maya Kalsi. It was great to have all of these renowned and established actors in the film, bringing in their own kind of expertise to the entire project. My work in the movie Cynthia is multi dimensional ranging from the concept, story, dialogue, pre-production work ( casting & recce) of the film, worked on the music direction, handled the post production as well,since I am also the producer. The movie also has me as the male lead actor, where our search for a male lead actor didn’t get us much results, as the character demanded a very subtle approach opposite to the character Cynthia, with time constrains I decided to play the role and it served me well.
How have the facilities been and what more is needed to be done to encourage Konkani movies like yours in Goa.
There is lot more needs to be looked into, to make Konkani cinema a prominent name in the film industry of the country. As we know that the Bollywood industry is a thriving industry, but it took a long time for it to be where it is today because of the efforts put in by a lot of people, to make it what it is, whereas same goes with the South Indian film industry. We do have grants and provisions given by the government for making Konkani cinema, but yes these provisions are quite not enough for making Konkani cinema “prosper”. A lot could be offered in terms of distribution of films as we have very few theaters that screen Konkani movies, wherein the cost of screening are high and primetime slots is a big issue, which add to the constrain for the producers. We want the Goan audience to go to a theater and enjoy a Konkani movie , but that is possible only if the distributions is readily available so as to go and watch the film. Since we are putting all effort to get the best, in terms of quality so that our movies can be at par with the best in business, a certain amount of budget subsides could be allocated to anybody coming forward to make a Konkani film with very minimalistic SOPs, that would be a big support by the government to the film makers, there could also be a sort of structure put up where the entire project selected is funded by the government, which would be a boon to film makers down here in Goa.
Lasting memories in terms of this movie that you would like to share with our readers.
This being my first film in Konkani cinema was really special to me. Having a tight schedule, we had to have the synergy of a "good team", which made us feel more like "family" there by creating bonds, just not onscreen but off-screen as well.
I have already worked on a lot more scripts, and waiting to collaborate with the right kind of financers, those based in Goa or Abroad and showcase what Goan cinema is all about! .