Guest Lecture with Mr.Satyajit Bhatkal

Mr.Satyajit BhatkalOn 7th may 2013, DA students had a face to face interaction with popular television show ‘Satyamev Jayate’s Creative Director and Producer Satyajit Bhatkal. He was part of the core production in ‘Lagaan’ (2002), and made a documentary on Lagaan’s Making called ‘Chale Chalo’.

As most students were eager to ask about ‘Satyamev Jayate’, he gave some snippet views on how he approached Aamir Khan and the problems he faced while preparing for shoot. His major challenge was to manage the whole show . Mr. Bhatkal said, one should never see something as a problem. Any crisis, or conflict, on or off the set should always be taken as a challenge.

About Satyamev Jayate, he said ‘I knew Aamir had been searching for some different approach to television because he was the only star who never had its own show on TV. Unlike his contemporaries, he did not want to be part of some entertainment series or quiz show. He wanted to do something informative, something carrying a social message to the audience. As Mr.Bhatkal presented the concept to Aamir, he grabbed the chance. Continue reading

Guest Lecture by Purnendu Shekhar

Purnendu ShekharScreenwriter Purnendu Shekhar gave a lecture to DA students on 10th May, 2013. One of the topmost writers of Indian TV series, He shot to fame with Balika Vadhu. He has also written other notable series such as Astitva- Ek Prem Kahani, Saath Phere etc.

Strongly vocal in favor of women’s role in and outside their homes, Purnendu Shekhar categorized TV as a modern shaping tool for the family. “To be in the TV industry, we have to understand our families, our own lives, and especially the women at our homes. If cinema is a predominantly male medium, it is the TV which represents the female”, he said.

And the essence of TV is in the series. For most of the cases, television serials are known for the roles of the women characters in it.

It always begins with a concept – a plot grounded in family relationships. The script elaborates the plot visually, with event substantiation. “Whichever department you belong to”, Purnendu Shekhar addressed the students, “Direction, Acting, Editing or Cinematography, everyone has to understand the script thoroughly, and analyze it.

“Only then it becomes possible for an artist to create an impact as conceived by the writer.” Continue reading

Guest Lecture by Neil Sadwelkar

Written by DA students Satyajit Hajarnis, Dipankar Modak, Deep Basu and Nabamita Lahiri

Neil Sadwelkar is one of those personalities in contemporary Bollywood who plan the post production of your AV project and oversees its implementation. He is a post-production consultant, editor, ad filmmaker and documentary director rolled in one. At one time, or another, he headed Pixion, and then Prime Focus. Currently, he is more into technical consultancy, in today’s ultra hi-def digital filmmaking scenario. With a Masters Degree in Physics, and years of experience in technical maintenance in Nehru Planetarium, and later in the mainstream industry, he knows  the technical sides of any level of AV production. He backs that up with an aesthetic understanding and practice in filmmaking, doing many things at a time, unlike the specialists in Bollywood.

Neil Sadwelkar came to Digital Academy, on 2nd May, 2012, to take students to a three hours journey to the land of the digital cinema.

This fantastic journey started with a listing of digital cameras in the contemporary market. Modern digital camcorders came to the market in the late ‘80s. But, they became truly popular from the mid ‘90s only. Indian market swayed to the digital, in the new millennium. And in five years, the market literally flooded with cameras from different companies, for different purposes. To make the matter more complex, more than seventy five different recording formats started co-existing. Patent laws and proprietary formats made one specific media stream or file unreadable by another machine. That gave birth to many different workflows for the same goal.

Sony marketed the first prosumer digital video camera, in mid ‘90s. They named it DCR-VX1000. It was the first video camera to stream data through IEEE 1394 interface, commonly known as firewire. The compression given to the stream was the standardized DV; and the popular storage medium was the ubiquitous mini-DV tape, ¼wide.

 Sony DCR-VX1000

  Sony DCR-VX1000

Very Soon updated models, with wider facilities, came up. Canon produced XL-1, Sony marketed DSR-PD150, Panasonic with DVCPRO25, and so on.

After George Lucas developed CineAlta F900, the first HD camera in the world that could record 24 progressive frames per second, in collaboration with both Sony and Panasonic, the prosumer and TV market expected an improvement in their image acquisition too. JVC, Sony and Panasonic responded with GR-HD1, HVR-Z1 and the Panasonic AG-DVX100 cameras respectively.

Neil was at the forefront of this digital revolution, personally using all these models, and handling or designing the project workflow for each.

He talked about those years, and how he learnt to manage workflows for so diverse models such as later Sony AVCHD camcorders to Sony NEX series to Television broadcast cameras, to the growing need for using multipurpose DSLRs such Canon 5D MKIII.DSLR

Neil listed a dozen such cameras he worked with, through the new millennium years. He also talked about the new generation editing suites that came along, such as AVID Media Composer, and Apple FCP.

When someone from the students asked him which camera he prefers, his point was simple. He prefers none. Each has its own use, as per the requirement of the story and the clientele. A seamless, noiseless, very filmlike image sits in the spectator’s mind for a Karan Johar Romance. Red Epic would be perfect for that job, with its own pristine workflow. But, a quasi-docufiction like Stanley ka Dabba may be perfect with a Canon 7D, with its realistic, handheld motion images.

It may in fact look fake if a news documentary is shot with Arri Alexa, even with ProRes 4:2:2. Neil, who edited more than 300 TV commercials, does not judge an image by its gloss. He said, an image would serve its purpose best when it fits the existing mindset of the spectator, or supersedes it, but not attacks it.

In the second phase of his lecture, Neil Sadwelkar took specific examples of very high frame rate cameras such as Phantom or Weiscam, recording from 650 to 4000 FPS for super slow motion. Such cameras are useful not only for commercials or action sequences, but also in sports. Action replay in slo-mo, or judging whether it was an LBW, is perfectly possible now thanks to these cameras.

Extremely tiny cameras like GoPro, SonyPOV or Contour are in the market today for their extreme maneuverability and invisibility. Such lightweight, heavyduty cameras can easily be used under water (in simple water housing), or in the balloon above, connected to the chopper head, or to the helmet of the diver if necessary.

Footage from such diverse sources was never possible before digital revolution. These days, truly, imagination (or, the lack of it) is the only fence that limits an artist’s creativity. Implementation is just a matter of planned execution.

With this, Neil Sadwelkar lands up in the most important part of his talk – How to plan a shoot, and how the image is really acquired inside a digital camera.

Unlike a traditional camera, digital cameras capture images with a sensor. The sensor converts the incoming array of brightness variation to variation in electric voltage. Through electronic switching in the ICs, an electronic map of the same image is created. This image can then be processed inside the camera in various ways.

DA Film School

Noise reduction, Contrast enhancement and assigning the output to a particular space may be done in the camera. Particular Look Up Tables (LUT) can be saved from such settings, and they can be further applied to future images, or image streams.

However, that would give a permanent, or baked, look to the moving image. If the DP, or Director, later wants to change certain properties of the image, s/he would not be able to do so without losing visual information.

It was precisely for this reason the Raw image output made possible by Red One camera became so popular. In Red One, and its upgradations up to the contemporary Red Epic, powered by Dragon Sensor, offers a choice of outputting the raw electronic map of the original image, to the filmmaker. With maximum visual information in hand, the filmmaker can decide how to optimize the image for different viewing platforms – Cinema halls, Blu Ray discs, or satellite TV.


Raw Compressed on Flat Gamma     Baked with some LUT/ After Color Correction

In reply to a student’s question, Neil clarified, at this point, that the Raw data captured in the Arri Alexa or Red Epic camera is never output as Raw. Raw, being just an array of voltage fluctuations, is unreadable by the human brain. Hence, to show up as an image, Raw always has to undergo some compression.

Compressions are of two types – lossy and lossless. Some compressions such 3:1 or 5:1 contain so much visual information that practically they can be taken as Raw.

While high budget Hollywood movies are shot on 5:1 or 6:1 compression ratios, Indian blockbusters such as Bhag Mikha Bhag shot with an array of Epics used mostly 8:1 compression ratio. TV shows use 12:1 compression ratios or so.

From here, Neil Sadwelkar began the journey of the captured image to the end product. He showed how compressions are necessary for another reason. They are too big to be recorded to the memory card, in real time. This pushed the industry to invent external capture stream recorder, such as Aja Ki Pro or the Sony Axs-R5.


In the modern file based, tapeless systems, movie files are ultimately recorded in some specified formats.

While those like R3D RedRaw are machine-specific formats, similar to mainframe computer’s machine language (or, at best assembly language), those with compressions like Apple ProRes 4:2:2 and wrapped in a .mov extension are much more portable just like a compiled program.

And just like a compiled program, they are less efficient too.

However, efficiency, which translates directly to image quality in the filmmaker’s matters less for TV. While most current Indian TV shows have a bandwidth around 20 Mbps, a theatrical projection must be acquired at near 400 Mbps, or more. Precisely that is the bandwidth of Red Epic at 8:1 compression ratio.

This leads to dedicated memory recorder or hard disk in camera, like Redmag or Aluratek hard disk controller. Also new interfaces like Thunderbolt has come to exist, that finalyy replaced the age old Firewire technology.

Many cameras also provide comparatively cheaper HDMI or HD-SDI interface for comparatively uncompressed HD output.

In most of these cameras, sound can be recorded in comparatively uncompressed PCM 48KHz, at 24bit sampling block.

At this point, Neil Sadwelkar opened up the issue of D-Cinema and E-Cinema which he touched before. D-Cinema is the universally accepted standard for professional theatrical projection, while E-Cinema is the HDTV standard. While TV revolves around HD – 1920 x 1080 resolution, and ProRes 4:2:2 compression method; Motion Picture is set at a higher standard which starts from 2K – 2048 vertical lines, and can go upto 5K for all practical purposes.

However, what Neil did not mention here was that human eye is perhaps not made to look at more than 2K projection resolution, on an average. A debate on this, raised by Paul Wheeler, in the first years of the new millennium, is quite well known.

The last phase of Neil’s lecture concerned the quality of the acquired footage and the Digital Intermediate workflow handling that. Neil said, while footage from professional digital film cameras such as Sony SRW-900, or Cine Alta F-35 records on HDCAM SR tape for best output, Red One or Canon C300 records on CF card. Along with the Raw, proxy files of different compression ratio, in ProRes 4:2:2 method are generated automatically, in many of these cameras.

However, the workflow remains very similar and commonsensical, whatever the capture method or compression is.

If the moving image is captured in tape, in HDV or Varicam format, it has to be streamed to the editing machine through a firewire or thunderbolt interface. Normally, the footage undergoes a generation loss as it gets dumped and compressed into a machine readable format.

There are many different formats for different machines, or editing programs, such as Avid’s OMF or MXF.

For file based image acquisition, sometimes the footage has to be compressed so that the machine can handle it. Such compressions are very similar to proxies generated in some of the digital film cameras.

After editing, an EDL, or XML (For FCP X) is generated to open the project in a Color Correction suite, after conforming the XML date with original quality footage.

At this stage, CGI works are composited on live motion plates too, before the final Color Correction.

After the final CC, sound and music are added. Only at this stage, the project gets ready for an initial approval.

These days, almost all projects are going for a final encryption at ehe hands of companies like Scrabble and Qube, to be packaged as projection ready Digital Cinema Packages.

Neil Sadwelkar answered a few final questions related to Cinema projection, and how projectors handle the encrypted DCP, with a unique Keycode.

It was a marathon session covering almost a biography of Digital Cinema. However, there was little time in the end, for a detailed discussion on Digital Intermediate. Many students wanted to hear more about that highly glamorized workflow on which Neil is an expert. However, Neil satisfied their quest by showing that it is not possible to talk about all workflows, as they keep changing with the nature of the project, and finally all boil down to commonsense.

Workshop by Siddharth Sinha

Graduated from the FTII as a Direction student, Siddharth Sinha’s final Diploma Film ‘Udedhbun’ won the Silver Bear award in the Short Film Category at the 58th Berlin International Film Festival in Berlin in 2008. This award, holding prestigious value, had been conferred on Indian Luminaries like V.Shantaram, Tapan Sinha, Satayajit Ray and Mrinal Sen, in the past. Being appointed as a member in the selection committee for the Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI) 2009, he is currently planning to direct his first feature Film.

Here is what he had to tell the students of NM College at a seminar organized by DA at their college festival in December 2012. Starting off on a note about how movies turn out the way they appear to us, he posed a question to the students, Do you think a movie turns out the way it was thought exactly?” No! You might prepare in advance for weeks, months or years; but the location, situation and Actors are the defining factors that can change things you may have visualized them to be.

Today, the attention span of movies for the audience has got shorter. That’s why it has become even more important that a Film needs to tell a story visually. You need to make the audience believe what they see. He gave an example of Chak De India, where, in one of the stadium scenes SRK is very angry, but he shows his anger through nuances in expression rather than dialogues.

Write a scene, not a dialogue” was what Siddharth stressed on. The audience should understand the Actor’s tension and intensity, and that’s what makes a scene.

To further prove his point, Siddharth asked students what they would pick if given a choice as a Filmmaker – a screenplay filled with pages or a movie scene which one could enjoy and understand even when watching on mute? Definitely you would go for the later one. And yes there’s a broader reason to it. The movie needs to be enjoyed by all and language should not become a barrier. Even more so, because translating a movie to different languages results in losing out on the essence of the movie.

Talking about Digital Filmmaking, he recalled a situation where he was a member of the jury at a Film Festival in Delhi. Among the top entries received, there were 2-3 movie entries by students, that were shot using a cell phone camera. And yes, he was amazed by the work. Ten years back, there was a classical and methodical way of shooting. But Digital Filmmaking has broken all norms today.

Superman of Malegaon’ shot in this unconventional style, was the best example according to him. Being a locally shot movie, it caught every Filmmaker’s attention. Digital Filmmaking without doubt, has given a casual approach to Filmmaking today. You never know five years down the line, there would be no reel Films, no 35mm. Today digital is the game changer; in earlier times, it was sound.

Concluding on an interesting note, Siddharth spoke about how people often confuse short Films with documentaries. Even a Feature Film, in his opinion could be short. Also, documentary movies need not always have a social message, is what he believes. Today, fortunately, there is a market for each and every type of movie, as long as you can make the audience believe in it. A Film is eventually about creating a world, a world which can be believed by the audience, irrespective of the format or the time it lasts!

Seminar by MILIND KAVDE, Film Director and ex-student of DA


December 15th saw Digital Academy – The Film School open their arms to welcome their beloved ex-student Milind Kavde, who now is a proud Producer and Director, to share his experience and knowledge with their students. His Marathi movie Yedyanchi Jatraa won the NBC Newsmakers Achievers Award for Best Film in 2012 and nominations for Zee Marathi and Maharashtracha Favorite Kon Awards. Not being the first movie that he’s worked on, 4 Idiots, a Marathi movie to be released next, was always first on his cards.

Bringing back his enthusiasm as a DA student, he first shared with the students how they can overcome issues when making a movie. “Be thorough with your subject, be clear with your vision!” quoted Milind Kavde. Talking about a situation he faced while shooting with Bharat Jadhav, he brought to the students’ notice how every Actor was asked to remain in the skin of the character they played.


Speaking about his journey as a Director, he recollects his struggle of six years before dealing with the cameras. He recollects how he got his first placement with B P Singh – CID through DA when he was into an office job, scripting and ideation. Here, he formed his base. He played second assistant to Sanjay Leela Bhansali, where his job dealt with all the nitty-gritties of the production unit. This was driven by his constant need of learning new things. Gradually, getting an opportunity to work as an assistant director with Girish Mallik gave his journey a new turn. He then launched his own company named Out Of The Box production.

Every day, there’s something new to learn for this young, fervent Filmmaker on the block. For him, going back to movies like Tintin and Avatar inspires his Filmmaking style. At times it’s all about the location that brings the rustic feel to the movie, which he discovered while shooting in Wye (Satara district of Maharashtra) for Yedyanchi Jatraa. In his opinion, that’s not it! With these kinds of locations becoming immensely popular through movies like Gangajal and Dabang, the benchmark set for him was pretty high.

The elements of the movie need to be crafted, keeping in mind the viewer’s choice. And yes, when it comes to songs, sometimes they act as a break, so it becomes necessary for the audience. This 90-lakh-budget movie that went on to make profits of three crores, was completed in 27 days, including the first print marketing. He still recalls pitching this movie with just a two-page script and reminisces how it moved on to a 120-page solid draft.

When asked about difficulties he came across while making this movie, he said, “Being a comedy, it was easy because he enjoyed doing it.” Also, he got the signing amount, with just 2 pages in hand. What more could he have asked for at that point.


Difficulties grew with the huge number of people and the star cast, like bringing together Actors such as Vinay Apte and Mohan Joshi. Apart from this, being a newcomer was always the biggest challenge. However, he came to terms with the fact that if your script is in place and the character has something to give; even the veteran Actors will be willing to work with newcomers.

Bringing light to a sensitive practice while pitching the movie, he said, “If you make a movie keeping in mind a particular Actor, you need to pitch the movie both to the Producer and the Actor.” After all, the Actor needs his space in the movie and the Producer is out there to give him that. Once the Actor believes in the character of the movie, s/he starts to live that life.


Milind ended on a note about his experience as a student in DA. He beautifully put in words, how DA has been the Grammar for his Filmmaking language. With the exposure he got here, he just had to follow his heart and select the genre he enjoys most – comedy. He aptly quoted, “If you can’t enjoy, you can’t execute!” He believes, if you create noise in industry, the industry is there to absorb it. If you say you can, they believe you can!


RED Workshops for DA Students

Recently an introductory RED camera workshop was conducted by the RED India team, headed by RED India Managing Director Arjun Sablok. In 2006, when the RED One came out with the promise of capturing video signals as a continuous Raw, much like 24 analog still frames in full photographic resolution, Cinematographers all over the world reacted skeptically.

The first versions of this camera showed multiple problems, such as halting because of overheating. And it was normal for the camera, based on the wavelet compression method, by which one can get multiple proxies – low resolution copies of the same moving images – being recorded at the same time. With so many processes running at the same time, it was normal for the camera’s core processors to get overheated.

The complaining came mostly from the Indian Cinematographic circles where most cameramen were filmmakers, and at best dabblers in microprocessor field. Many of the early problems of white balancing, native camera sensitivity and overheating were solved with a major processor upgrade in 2010. With the Mysterium-X processor and specified fan speeds at specific shooting conditions, filmmakers could shoot undisturbed now. 2011 and 12 brought new camera models like Epic and Scarlet, with new modules and new firmware upgrades. Shooting at Redcode5 compression, with Redlog gamma and Redcolor 3, it became possible to give a true filmlook to the moving images.

In the workshop, Arjun demonstrated RED’s power, with promos of a few upcoming films like The Great Gatsby, Oz and Peter Jackson’s much anticipated Hobbit, which is releasing this Christmas. He clarified the mystery behind the much talked about RED workflow, and showed that all the goof ups came to be due to ignorance.

At the end of the two hour talk and demonstration, two latest RED cameras – an Epic and a Scarlet – were given to students for a hands-on experience.

RED Epic – Industry Standard, most robust camera available today, Records on 5K, with a highest frame rate of 300FPS at 8:1 compression.

RED Scarlet – A more affordable version of RED, with similar resolution as scarlet, but reduced functionality, like 30 FPS at 8:1 compression.

25 Free Digital Audio Editors You Should Know

25 Free Digital Audio Editors You Should Know

A digital audio editor is defined as a computer application for manipulating digital audio. As a multimedia creator, we normally use audio editor for recording audio, edit the duration and timeline, mix multiple sound tracks, apply simple effects for audio enhancement and create conversion between different audio file formats.

There are countless ways that digital audio editor can be used, and fortunately there are plenty of good and free digital audio editors out there to help you with your own implementation. So if you’re thinking to purchase a license for Adobe Audition, Cool Edit or Soundforge, hold that thought first. Not to say they aren’t cool, but it’s always wiser to tryout free applications before going to the pay deal.

25 free digital audio editors. Full list below !

Audacity is free, open source software for recording and editing sounds. It allows you to record live audio, converts tapes and records into digital recordings or CDs, edit Ogg Vorbis, MP3, WAV or AIFF sound files. You also can cut, copy, splice or mix sounds together with Audacity. Built-in effects are given to remove static, hiss, hum or other constant background noises.

2.Power Sound Editor
Power Sound Editor Free is a visual audio editing and recording software solution, which supports many advanced and powerful operations with audio data.You can use Power Sound Editor Free to record your own music, voice, or other audio files, edit it, mix it with other audio or musical parts, add effects like Reverb, Chorus, and Echo, and burn it on a CD, post it on the World Wide Web or e-mail it.

mp3DirectCut is a fast and extensive audio editor and recorder for compressed mp3. You can directly cut, copy, paste or change the volume with no need to decompress your files for audio editing. Using Cue sheets, pause detection or Auto cue you can easily divide long files.

4.Music Editor Free
Music Editor Free (MEF) is a multi-award winning music editor software tool. MEF helps you to record and edit music and sounds. It lets you make and edit music, voice and other audio recordings. When editing audio files you can cut, copy and paste parts of recordings and, if required, add effects like echo, amplification and noise reduction.

Wavosaur is a free sound editor, audio editor, wav editor software for editing, processing and recording sounds, wav and mp3 files. Wavosaur has all the features to edit audio (cut, copy, paste, etc.) produce music loops, analyze, record, batch convert. Wavosaur supports VST plugins, ASIO driver, multichannel wav files, real time effect processing. The program has no installer and doesn’t write in the registry. Use it as a free mp3 editor, for mastering, sound design.

6.Traverso DAW
Traverso DAW is a GPL licensed, cross platform multitrack audio recording and editing suite, with an innovative and easy to master User Interface. It’s suited for both the professional and home user, who needs a robust and solid DAW. Adding and removal of effects plugins, moving Audio Clips and creating new Tracks during playback are all perfectly safe, giving you instant feedback on your work!

Ardour is a digital audio workstation. You can use it to record, edit and mix multi-track audio. You can produce your own CDs, mix video soundtracks, or just experiment with new ideas about music and sound. Ardour capabilities include: multichannel recording, non-destructive editing with unlimited undo/redo, full automation support, a powerful mixer, unlimited tracks/busses/plugins, timecode synchronization, and hardware control from surfaces like the Mackie Control Universal. If you’ve been looking for a tool similar to ProTools, Nuendo, Pyramix, or Sequoia, you might have found it.

Rosegarden is a well-rounded audio and MIDI sequencer, score editor, and general-purpose music composition and editing environment. Rosegarden is an easy-to-learn, attractive application that runs on Linux, ideal for composers, musicians, music students, and small studio or home recording environments.

Hydrogen is an advanced drum machine for GNU/Linux. It’s main goal is to bring professional yet simple and intuitive pattern-based drum programming.

10.WavePad Sound Editor
WavePad Sound Editor lets you make and edit music, voice and other audio recordings. When editing audio files you can cut, copy and paste parts of recordings and, if required, add effects like echo, amplification and noise reduction. WavePad works as a wav editor or mp3 editor but it also supports a number of other file formats including vox, gsm, real audio, au, aif, flac, ogg and more.

11.Sound Engine
SoundEngine is the best tool for personal use, because it enables you to easily edit a wave data while it has many functions required for a mastering process.

12.Expstudio Audio Editor
Expstudio Audio Editor is a visual music file editor that has many different options and a multiple functionality to edit your music files like editing text files. With a given audio data it can perform many different operations such as displaying a waveform image of an audio file, filtering, applying various audio effects, format conversion and more.

13.DJ Audio Editor
DJ Audio Editor is easy-to-use and well-organized audio application which allows you to perform various operations with audio data. You can create and edit audio files professionally, also displaying a waveform image of audio file makes your work faster.

Eisenkraut is a cross-platform audio file editor. It requires Java 1.4+ and SuperCollider 3. It supports multi-channel and multi-mono files and floating-point encoding. An OSC scripting interface and experimental sonagramme functionality are provided.

15.FREE WAVE MP3 Editor
Free Wave MP3 Editor is a sound editor program for Windows. This software lets you make and edit voice and other audio recordings. You can cut, copy and paste parts of recording and, if required, add effects like echo, amplification and noise reduction.

16.Kangas Sound Editor
Fun Kangaroo-themed program that allows the user to create music and sound effects. It uses a system of frequency ratios for pitch control, rather than conventional music notation and equal temperament. It allows instruments, both musical and percussion, to be created.

Ecawave is a simple graphical audio file editor. The user-interface is based on Qt libraries, while almost all audio functionality is taken directly from ecasound libraries. As ecawave is designed for editing large audio files, all processing is done direct-to-disk. Simple waveform caching is used to speed-up file operations. Ecawave supports all audio file formats and effect algorithms provided by ecasound libraries. This includes JACK, ALSA, OSS, aRts, over 20 file formats, over 30 effect types, LADSPA plugins and multi-operator effect presets.

18.Audiobook Cutter
Audiobook Cutter splits your MP3 audio books and podcasts in a fast and user friendly way. The split files can easily be used on mobile MP3 players because of their small-size. Their duration allows smooth navigation through the book. The split points are determined automatically based on silence detection.

Jokosher is a simple yet powerful multi-track studio. With it you can create and record music, podcasts and more, all from an integrated simple environment.

LMMS is a free cross-platform alternative to commercial programs like FL Studio, which allow you to produce music with your computer. This includes the creation of melodies and beats, the synthesis and mixing of sounds, and arranging of samples. You can have fun with your MIDI-keyboard and much more; all in a user-friendly and modern interface.

Mp3Splt-project is a utility to split mp3 and ogg files selecting a begin and an end time position, without decoding. It’s very useful to split large mp3/ogg to make smaller files or to split entire albums to obtain original tracks. If you want to split an album, you can select split points and filenames manually or you can get them automatically from CDDB (internet or a local file) or from .cue files. Supports also automatic silence split, that can be used also to adjust cddb/cue splitpoints. You can extract tracks from Mp3Wrap or AlbumWrap files in few seconds.


Qtractor is an Audio/MIDI multi-track sequencer application written in C++ with the Qt4 framework. Target platform is Linux, where the Jack Audio Connection Kit (JACK) for audio, and the Advanced Linux Sound Architecture (ALSA) for MIDI, are the main infrastructures to evolve as a fairly-featured Linux desktop audio workstation GUI, specially dedicated to the personal home-studio.

ReZound aims to be a stable, open source, and graphical audio file editor primarily for.

Sweep is an audio editor and live playback tool for GNU/Linux, BSD and compatible systems. It supports many music and voice formats including WAV, AIFF, Ogg Vorbis, Speex and MP3, with multichannel editing and LADSPA effects plugins.

WaveSurfer is an Open Source tool for sound visualization and manipulation. It has been designed to suit both novice and advanced users. WaveSurfer has a simple and logical user interface that provides functionality in an intuitive way and which can be adapted to different tasks.

Guest Lecture by Mr. B. P. Singh

Adventure, Thrill, Crime! A workshop aimed to teach the students all the nuances of Direction was conducted at Digital Academy – The Film School by Mr. B. P. Singh. Being the owner of Fireworks Productions and producer of hit horror series Aahat in 1996, Mr. B. P. Singh is also the creator and director-producer of the Indian TV series C.I.D.

Commencing with providing his expertise of what determines the story, he expressed that the first scene of the shot is the most determining factor.

Honing his career with state TV-channel Doordarshan in 1973 as a news camera-man and moving on to handling the camera for another 10 years, he mentioned “Experience as the main key in shooting a scene”. When asked by a student about his interest development in this detective based serial, B. P Singh claimed his interest aroused when he started visiting the Crime Branch of police, and befriended Inspector Jayant Wagle. It was in this process that he developed a lifelong interest in detective based work.

Talking about his contour of work; it is ‘Story telling’ that is imperative, especially when it comes to crime or detective based story. A story cannot always be on the same chord. It’s like reading a book with a new chapter at every end. A story too consists of various scenes divided into segments, and then into shots. One can start with a long shot or short one depending on the criteria of the shot. It is not easy to make a serial marathon revolving around the same concept, same story, and same phenomenon. However he achieved this with his serial CID. Apart from being the longest running TV series in India, On October 8, 2004, a special episode, “The Inheritance” / C.I.D. 111, marked the completion of seven years of CID in December. It was shot in a single continuous shot for 111 minutes (one hour and 51 minutes), which landed the show in the Limca Book of Records as ‘TV show – longest continual shot’.

Amidst the understanding of what a story consists of, how does one know what is a good scene or bad scene? Throwing light on the whole debate he claimed “A good scene needs a good script, good dialogues, good lighting and then so on”. Giving an example of Vicky Donor, the latest Bollywood movie that moved the audience with its script, for him this one was a win-win when it came to good script and good movie. It managed to talk about a very different issue so skilfully. For this fiction – director some of the best scenes comes to an individual when he has experienced an analogous situation in his life.

Exposing oneself to good writing becomes of a paramount value to write a good script, because a good script will always be good even if the direction is not. When a student asked about how diverse emotions can be packed together in one scene, Mr. Singh enlightened them with his theory.

When you get script in hand you need to think of the emotions that will come in the scene. Special lighting, camera, trolley are just the means to enhance the scene. The whole scene cannot be shot at one time, you need to cut and decide how to combine the scenes and which ones to enhance.

No two directors can direct the scene similarly. Their thinking is different, their inspiration is different. What inspires one may not inspire the other. The same shot can be taken by two people in two different ways.

At the end what matters is ‘What the director does to transfer the scene on the frame’. Chop chop chop….


Actor, Writer & Producer MR.TOM MALLOY is known for wearing many hats for his movies The Alphabet Killer(2008), The Attic (2008), Love N’ Dancing (2008). For this critically acclaimed actor, his passions do not end just here. His skills include Dancing, Martial Arts & Boxing, Singing, Street Magic & Juggling.

Known for his motivational speaking skills for students of all ages, he shared his experience as an Actor and Producer with the students at Digital Academy- The Film School.

Commencing with a short visual introduction of his movies ‘Love N Dancing’ followed by ‘The Alphabet Killer’ and ‘The Attic’ he spoke about his experience while filming the famous horror sequence in the movie. Even today sometimes he goes back and watches the scenes from the movie to learn and understand the details.

He then brought to light how Filmmaking is different in various cultures. Every country has it’s own aspect that can be captured in the movie. For him Slumdog Millionaire broke the trend of stylized Cinema and even ‘Crouching Tiger , Hidden Dragon’ for that matter. Slumdog Millionaire being a dramatic movie enveloped the assence of a thriller, a movie made from the prespective of the audience, what they would have liked to watch and yes they loved watching it.

Talking about his career from Acting to Production, and onto Writing – three different roles in Filmmaking was not an easy job. To give a better understanding of how Actors and Producers manage their roles, he stated “Filmmaking is like driving a car. You learn something about it everyday, on the journey”. When it comes to dialogues he mentions emotions being the key.

When it comes to globalized films, in the end a story is a atory. There is a lot of history in films which ever country you come from. John Cassevetes being the pioneer of American independent film gave new meaning to cinema and Film Making.

Moving onto important aspects in Filmmaking, he claimmed 5 rules to live by:

1. Killer script – Make a script which wakes up the audience. Best part of a good film with a good script is that you feel you are on a journey with the movie, you feel being a part of it. In his past ‘Star Wars’ was one such movie that made him feel like that. Writing a mind boggling script comes from reading good scripts. Try and make them your models. If a movie blows you away read its script rather than only watching the movie.

2. Pitch- Pitch of the movie… Pitch to yourself! Pitch your movie in a way that it cannot be rejected. Even if it means pitching it to your Actors, Producers. If you cannot sell it to them you cannot sell it to the audience. Have a strong Pitch of yourself. Which means knowing what you want to do and how to would want to do it. Especially for a Filmmaker, as he needs to be very confident about himself and his work.

3. BRBD- ‘Be realistic but dream’. As a Filmmaker you may have certain dreams to achieve, but yes they have to be realistic. Realistic in terms of it’s happening, financing, possibility and deadlines. It is very important to complete what you have started. When you start something finish it because if you do not you will never learn how to. You may have a mind set to achieve your goals and reach them one day. Let that one day be everyday.

4. Film financing- Film financing is like catching the wave of the economy. You set the budget and you are out there to reach it. The figures you might set may change your lifestyle. For producers it may seem merely like a business plan, however reality is what is needed.

5. A plan overall- Everything needs to be planned. Chalk out your plan. A fantastic actor will always say to himself ” I am awesome and it will happen”, to make things happen, and he eventually does. You can control that inner voice in you and programme it to be the best Director, Producer. Giving a classic example of Charlie Chaplin in the days when he lived hand-to-mouth. he still believed he was the best actor and thus it happened to him finally.

Ending on a lighter note, Malloy cited the biggest challenge one faces in Film Making is the word ‘But’. To be successful you need to change the word ‘But’ to ‘And’, and Filmmaking is your world!

Expert Workshops In All Courses

At Digital Academy – The Film School (DA), our education & learning philosophy comprises two elements that we believe are needed in equal measure to impart a holistic Film education; theory and practical learning. So while the theoretical classes instill important knowledge about the history and techniques of Acting, Direction or whichever course it may be, it is only upon practical application that students can truly put their learning to the test.


Furthermore, practical hands-on experience, through workshops conducted by experts from various departments, gives students real-world insights and tools to become more effective Film-makers. For example, it is one thing to read about editing techniques in a book or study in a class, and quite another when a real workshop is conducted by a well known industry Editor. Minus the workshop, the student will be knowledgeable, but armed with the workshop he will have the chance of trying out techniques for himself, that too with invaluable inputs and advice from a successful Editor.


In keeping with this firm mandate we, at Digital Academy – The Film School, organize regular workshops in a variety of courses. Renowned Sound Engineer and Producer Mr. K J Singh, winner of several Sound mixing awards for his work in Films like ‘Rang De Basanti’, is just one example of an industry heavyweight and a technical master who has held a workshop at DA. Like him, there have been and continue to be many others who regularly lecture and take workshops at DA. Mr. Kiran Deohans, one of India’s top Cinematographers with Films like ‘Jodha Akbar’, ‘Aks’ and ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham’. Famed writer of Films like ‘Parinda’, Mr. Imtiaz Hussain. Ace comedy Director Mr. Sajid Khan of ‘Hey Baby’ fame. All these people and many more illustrious Bollywood personalities regularly hold workshops and sessions at DA, in every subject, from Acting, Direction, Writing and more.

At Digital Academy – The Film School, we do not just put students in a classroom and give them theoretical know-how. We prepare them for the real world of Film-making in Bollywood and abroad, by imparting education that is full, complete, thorough and all-round. It is unlike any other in the country. Now the only question is, will you take this education and fast-track your entry into Bollywood?

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