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An Editor should be a creator, not an operator: B Lenin

B Lenin Film Editor at MIFF 2020

Legendary Film Editor B. Lenin speaking at MIFF 2020

MIFF, 31 JAN 2020 Mumbai

For a man in his 70s, National Award Winning Editor,  B Lenin is full of energy and love for people, art, nature and language.  “A good editor needs to be a creator not just an operator. One need not be an actor but he/she should be a performer”, he said in a press conference today at the 16th Mumbai International Film Festival (MIFF) today.

To him, good editing skills require good sense of sound and music. An editor should be capable to see and hear what is beyond the screen and also which are relevant. He recalled an incident where there was a long shot of a river where he used the sound of sea gull in the background. The director was not happy and questioned ‘but where is the sea gull?’ and to satisfy the director he replied, ‘It was there but flew above the camera.’

Bhimsingh Lenin started his career back in 1965. He made his debut as editor in J. Mahendran’s critically acclaimed Tamil film Uthiripookkal. He won national award for best director for his non-feature film Knock out.

“When I was 8 years old I was at a theatre and the projectionist told me that all characters in the film are inside the projector and they will leave at night. I sat there until late night waiting to see them but fell asleep. The next day he said they left while I was sleeping. My interest in films begun there with my curiosity to see the characters inside the projector,” he said.

Although his father A. Bhimsingh was a well known director and editor in Tamil and Hindi films and had assisted V. Shantaram , Lenin never started his career under him but set out to learn on his own. “Back in my years editing was a difficult task but today digital platform has made it easy. The only things missing from a film today are script and screenplay that makes an editor’s job tricky. Technology /technician is there but where is the creator?” he asked while talking about lack of skills today.

Every year he conducts Master classes. “Films Division is giving a great platform to the youngsters today. Watching films is very important and hence I bring my students and assistants to festivals like MIFF. It is a great opportunity for a film enthusiast or a filmmaker to have access to vibrant content of all genres – documentary, short and animation on a single platform. I show these films to my people in village back in Tamil Nadu. “I enjoy editing but I would love to make a small budget film. I encourage emerging film makers who work within a small budget”, he said.

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