Goal of this effort is to make a short film titled “The Legend of Tesla Nandi”. The story of Tesla Nandi short film is inspired by and adapted from an ancient Hindu folktale.

Tesla Nandi movie github banner

Do note that instead of the full title “The Legend of Tesla Nandi”, we often use the short code “Tesla Nandi”, because doing so helps in communication, like when texting, or chatting, or writing about the movie project in this post.

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This project overview document covers the following points —

  1. How To Join This Film's Team?

  2. Folktale Inspiration

  3. Personal Note & Payment

  4. Why Make The TESLA NANDI Movie?

  5. Role Of Tesla Model X

  6. Work Done and Not Done

  7. Next Step: Table Reading & Auditions

  8. Team Mantra

How To Join This Film's Team

To join Team Tesla Nandi —

  1. Read through every section of this quick overview document.

  2. Understand various aspects of this movie project. What? Why? How? When? Where? Etcetera.

  3. Evaluate the current status of work done and work not done.

  4. Reachout to any of the team members and say Hi 😃 ❤️

Folktale Inspiration

Plot inspiration of the Tesla Nandi short film is an ancient Hindu folktale, a simplified version of which is written here below. We want our movie to be a present day badass adaptation of various aspects of this ancient folktale, its story, its characters, their backstories, and so on. Worth repeating that our goal is to make a badass* adaptation, and not a bad* adaptation.

Here is how the folktale goes —

shiv and parvati riding nandi

Crossing Village 1

  1. Adiyogi Shiva and his wife Devi Parvati had to go to an art fair that was many villages away from their house in the Himalayas.

  2. They set out for the art fair, riding on their white Ox, named Nandi.

  3. At first, both Shiv and Parvati were seated on Nandi, as they crossed village-1.

  4. People of village-1 started bitching about them. “Look at those inhuman people. Two grown-ass adults sitting on one poor animal. There is no compassion in the world these days." And they said many other mean judgemental things.

  5. Shiv and Parvati felt very uncomfortable by this. Shiv suggested “Parvati darling, let me get down from Nandi and walk on foot, so that people don't bitch about us." Parvati agreed.

  6. Nandi however said to them “No matter what you do people are always going to bitch about you. That's their job. Just do what you think is right and do not worry about what others say. Truth is, I can easily carry 4 people like you, and it's fun." But Shiv and Parvati did not want other people to speak ill of them. They wanted to make everyone happy. So they ignored Nandi's advice and changed their behavior.


Crossing Village 2

  1. Now Shiv was walking on foot, and Parvati was riding on Nandi, as they crossed village-2.

  2. People of village-2 started bitching about Shiv and Parvati. “Look at that feminazi “queen”. Enjoying her pompous ride on an Ox, while such a simpleton husband walks on foot." And they said many other mean judgemental things.

  3. Shiv and Parvati felt very uncomfortable by this. Parvati suggested “Shiv darling, you should sit on Nandi while I walk on foot, that way people will not bitch about us." Shiv agreed.

  4. Nandi however said to them “No matter what you do people are always going to bitch about you. That's their job. Just do what you think is right and do not worry about what others say." But Shiv and Parvati did not want other people to speak ill of them. They wanted to make everyone happy. So they ignored Nandi's advice and changed their behavior.


Crossing Village 3

  1. Now Parvati was walking on foot, and Shiv was riding on Nandi, as they crossed village-3.

  2. People of village-3 started bitching about Shiv and Parvati. “Look at that toxic priviledged man. Enjoying his ride on an Ox, while such a sweet gentle wife walks on foot." And they said many other mean judgemental things.

  3. Shiv said to Parvati “Honey, maybe we should both walk on foot, that way people will definitely not bitch about us." Parvati agreed.

  4. Nandi however said to them “No matter what you do people are always going to bitch about you. That's their job. Just do what you think is right and do not worry about what others say." But Shiv and Parvati did not want other people to speak ill of them. They wanted to make everyone happy. So they ignored Nandi's advice and changed their behavior.


Crossing Village 4

  1. Now both Shiv and Parvati were walking on foot alongside Nandi, as they crossed village-4.

  2. People of village-4 also started bitching about Shiv and Parvati, and they laughed at them so hard. “Look at that stupid couple. Mountain people sure don't have brains. They got such a healthy hardy Ox to ride, but those fools are walking on foot. Lol."

  3. “See, I told you” Nandi said to Shiv and Parvati “No matter what you do, people are always going to bitch about you. The best way to live is doing what YOU think is the right thing to do. Not what others say."

  4. Shiv and Parvati finally understood Nandi and bowed down to his wisdom. Shiv even gave Nandi a boon “Dear Nandi, you are so wise and awesome! From now on, when people come to the temple, they shall always worship you first, before they get to see us."


And since then when people visit Shiva-Shakti temples, they always see Nandi first, to seek wisdom from him.

Shiva and Shakti soul by Upendra Ratra

Personal Note & Payment

Hi, my name is Sumeet.

My responsibilities in Team Tesla Nandi are that of a showrunner, first time director, investment raiser, and a stupid experimenter.

The stupid experimenter part is key, because I have quit my software engineering job to pursue screenwriting, movie making, and film entrepreneurship for the next two decades, from year 2021 to 2041, and I am keen to experiment and develop a new screenwriting discipline.

If you are reading this, then you are probably associated with indie filmmaking community one way or the other. If that is the case, then please do consider joining Team Tesla Nandi.

Making this short film together will be super fucking fun!

All expenses will be covered, including weekend stay at a mountain inn, travel, food, and miscellaneous expenses. Beyond that team members will not be separately paid, because target revenue of the Tesla Nandi movie is zero US dollars, but none of the team members will have to incur any expense either.

Why Make Tesla Nandi?

Because it will force you to write down your honest purpose and goal. And it will get you to reflect. And it will help you horribly fail, be embarrassed in public, and get ostracized faster. For example —

My filmmaking purpose is to channel my dyslexia, ADHD, storytelling compulsion, love for learning new things, and curiosity about the human condition, into collaborative art and entrepreneurship.

My filmmaking goal is to help 8 artists and entrepreneurs earn an Oscar nomination each, and do so before the end of year 2041.

Tesla Nandi movie github banner

To that end, I am trying to write movie screenplays, raise investments against a clear path to revenue, and am currently working on the following projects —

  1. Hindu American Oscar Storytelling Experiment

    • (( new art treatise on screenwriting, 20 year long experiment, scientific method, artistic discipline ))
  2. The Legend Of Tesla Nandi

    • (( english hindi telugu gujarati punjabi, short film, mostly borrowed music, feels like the hateful eight (without violence) meets richard linklater's before trilogy ))
  3. RODIC // Robbery Drama At Indian Liquor Store Cambridge

    • (( english gujarati telugu, dark comedy, street music, ivy league, innocent crime, mathematical thriller ))
  4. -DASH- -DASH- Rocket Ship

    • (( english, family comedy, kids battle, science vs tiktok, space adventure, feels like home alone, meets star trek, meets school of rock ))
  5. Liberally -DASH- Conservatively -DASH-

    • (( english, bro comedy, true lies, neither drunk nor high, politically pro anti incorrectness, violently gandhian, feels like the hangover, meets harold and kumar ))
  6. I2 A2 -DASH- -DASH-

    • (( can support 10 seasons with 10 episodes each, or even more, creates quality paid work opportunity for ~500 artists, feels like friends, meets mind your language, meets malgudi days ))
  7. China, -DASH-, America

    • (( english, a movie made in 2 single takes of 1 hour each ))
  8. Buddha Buddhi Ab Kya -DASH-

    • (( hindi telugu gujarati, family comedy, travel adventure, feels like bhagbaan, meets hera pheri ))
  9. -DASH- -DASH- Wali Shaadi

    • (( hindi, family comedy, witty, gen-z, wedding reverse engineering ))
  10. Ambasaddor Car Ke -DASH- Mein Ek Aadmi -DASH-

    • (( hindi bangla, quirky, entrepreneurial, feels like no smoking, meets the aviator ))
  11. -DASH- Cannot Do Matatu -DASH- In Africa

    • (( english swahili, innocent documentary ))
  12. Bitcoin -DASH- -DASH- Show

    • (( english, edutainment, entrepreneurial, reality show ))
  13. Can you -DASH- -DASH- in 14 cents?

    • (( english, short film, elderly people, true story, tear jerker ))
  14. Ayeki -DASH- Mr. Dronn

    • (( english, short film, action adaptation ))
  15. First -DASH- Of The Revolution -DASH-

    • (( english, dark comedy, love heart-break revolution ))
  16. Kali Kaluti -DASH- Ladki

    • (( multilingual, political epic, feels like game of thrones, meets mahabharata, meets modern day democracy ))

But . . .

Just like everybody has their own inner struggles, there are many shortcomings that I have as well. The most frustating of which are my dyslexia and severe ADHD, because their combination results in me jumping from project X to Y to Z, without finishing any of them.

The pile up of unfinished projects has killed my confidence. It needs resurrection. And of all the under development films listed above “The Legend of Tesla Nandi” is the only one which has its entire plot, and screenplay, and 23 character profiles all written down.

I CANNOT NOT MAKE THIS MOVIE.

I desparately need to finish a film. Finish something. But I am also afraid that the finished “Tesla Nandi” will be bad.

But then the starting moral of this short film is kinda awesome. “No matter what you do people will always bitch about you”.

The ending moral is even better.

White Tesla Model X plays Nandi

Back in 2017, I wanted to make a short film inspired by the above folktale. The idea at the time was to replace Ox Nandi with a horse, and base the story in a rustic American rural town.

shiv and parvati riding nandi

I was excited to shoot the movie with a horse in it. Shiv and Parvati were to dress like a cowboy and cowgirl, in Texan boots and hats. All the townspeople in the story were to be like inhabitants of them western movies. Ah, how cool! I even started writing a screenplay with the title “That's Their Job”.

The title was a reference to how people always bitch, no matter what you do, because “that's their job” (to always bitch).

Then at some point I thought maybe finding a horse and a rustic town will be difficult, so I started writing a different version of the story, with the idea of replacing Ox Nandi with a bicycle. In this version, Shiv and Parvati were to be MIT students, and all the townspeople judging them were supposed to be college students as well.

But I did not do my job well and never finished either of those screenplays, the horse one, or the bicycle one.

Fast forward to June 2020. I was on a zoom call with an entrepreneur mentor, and I was seeking his advice on how a person like me could build focus. I told him how I get excited about an idea X, start working on it, but then never finish it, and get excited about a different idea Y, then start working on it, never finish it, and move on to idea Z, and so on.

This entrepreneur mentor advised me to set a far away goal that is resonably ambitious—kinda like how Elon Musk wants to build cities on Mars—and then start working towards that far away goal, while trying to make room for all my varied interests. His rationale was doing so would lead to a chanelling effect and I would start developing focus.

I spent the rest of that day listening to Elon Musk on youtube and fell in love with him 😍 At some point during that day an eye struck — what if we replace the Ox Nandi with a white Tesla model X car. I mean it is one of the awesomest sexiest car around, it has these falcon wing doors that open up like majestic horns of a bull, and it has Artificial Intellegence that can talk.

So now we will have a white falcon winged Tesla Model X play the white Ox Nandi in our short film!! 😃

Subject to how the audition of Tesla Nandi goes 😉

(( No, that's not a pun about them stupid Audi cars! ))

Tesla Model X Painting
Tesla Nandi movie github banner

Work Done and Not Done

  • Story & Writing90% done — Story ouline and screenplay are all written down. After we do a few rounds of table reading, we will mark this as 100% done.

  • Music & Locations15% done — About 30 music tracks have been handpicked as potential candidates for this movie's music. But we are yet to create our own original score. Mountain Inn and locations have been researched online but not yet contacted.

  • Team & Auditions40% done — A confirmed team hasn't fully formed yet, but a total of about 83 potential cast and crew members are in the know of things.

  • Investment & Finances70% done — I have taken personal loans to cover the expenses. After actual locations are booked, shoot is scheduled, travel is done, food is consumed, etcetera, we will mark this as 100% done.

  • Planning & Scheduling — yet to start

  • Shoot & Wrap — yet to start

  • Editing & Dubbing — yet to start

  • Marketing & Outreach20% done— So far a couple dozen Hindu American cultural organizations have been reached out to, who have said they will be happy to promote this short film, if it is well made.

  • Distribution & Release — yet to start

Next Step: Table Reading & Auditions

Complete story outline of The Legend of Tesla Nandi, character outlines of all 23 characters, and a full draft of the screenplay is ready.

Mindy Kaling and I did a sample table read. It was a lot of fun and she made some rather interesting improvements to the script as well. Mindy suggested we now start building the team out by doing table reads with everybody — an actor, cameraperson, casting director, music composer, writer, makeup person, assistant director, production manager, editor, the whole gang.

We are doing private and group table reads all of this week. If you would like to join either of them, please do check out this google form: https://forms.gle/N5knMtDvzn3MFA5o6

Every sign up is guaranteed a table read 😃

We have a total of 23 characters in the story.

Detailed background and rich character outlines have been written for all 23 characters, and each of them has significant speaking parts.

Characters we have in the story are —

  • Cranky Cute Chaudhary

  • Stuckup Cheerleader Samantha

  • Jackass Jittery Jeremy

  • Nice Naughty Nandi

  • Pockmarked Pornstache Pete

  • Anxious Agitated Arushi

  • Aag Babula Adrian

  • Stay-at-Home Husband Shiv

  • Snobby Scumbag Sanjay

  • Gaming Addict Ganesh

  • Practical Entrepreneur Parvati

  • Conniving Cucumber Chetan

  • Pappu Prankster Pallav

  • Manipulative Materialist Musa

  • Groveling Greedy Gitika

  • Judgemental Jeering Julie

  • Sarcastic Stealthy Sushma

  • Freak Footfetisher Flyod

  • Lousy Lout Louis

  • Fickle Facetious Farhan

  • Creepy Uncle Carl

  • Harami Chacha Harry

  • Lecherous Lawyer Lucy

Please do consider signing up for the table read if you an actor, cameraperson, casting director, music composer, writer, makeup person, assistant director, production manager, editor, or anything and everything: https://forms.gle/N5knMtDvzn3MFA5o6

Team Mantra

Feel free to add more to this list as we go on —

  1. Make your craft Oscar worthy.

  2. Look for the genius in every team member.

  3. Do maximum amount of work in the open.

  4. Share unfinished things that are still in progress.

  5. Reachout to others for help.

  6. Fight team members if you have to.

  7. Love them even more ❤️

 

the genius quote from einstein