This November end, I will complete my full 4 years of nurturing and running an indigenous filmmaking institution comma production house. Student Filmer, it is and We are literally in the confusion of whether to change our name to “Filmer” or keep “Student Filmer” as it is. I dont know, some people opt for “Filmer”, some vouch for the good old Student Filmer.
Whatever it is, what keeps us running is this goodwill or shall I say love towards an innocent initiative that has completed writing 500 + Filmmaking blogs, 15+ short Films and now 2 web series in the making.
What we have earned is not money definitely.
Running a startup like Student filmer, you need to have supporters who are willing to spend money for your purpose. And I should thank Lenstiger for its consistent support all these years.
Coming back again, What we have earned is not money, But people.
And today I want to talk about one such person, through him we are going to make sense of the above heading,
“You don’t see Filmmaking as a career until it becomes a career”
It was in the year 2015, We have just announced that we will be producing our first short Film, and my dear brother Antony, asked me to take care of the production affairs.
My duty is to screen the person, screen the script and send it to him.
So within a few hours of announcing, I was flooded with messages asking to produce, and I did meet a lot of people who are desperate to make stuff happen, but do not have “stuff” that we expected. To be honest, I was new to production so more than the script, I was very conscious of the person, his attitude and approach.
Meeting around 10 people, I was not satisfied with even one person, most of them searching for a breakthrough hoping that we will help them break through by producing a short film of their own idea.
And then when I thought I could never get a proper person to produce our first production venture, I came across Karthik.
Karthik Gopal is a natural,
His ideas are simple,
His execution is not based on ‘intelligence’ but of ‘hardwork’,
He is a software engineer by weekdays, filmmaker by weekends,
I could sense all this within few minutes of talking to him,
On one side, he works for survival, On other side, he works for his relentless passion,
Just an year back, I quit my research job in bangalore to persue for the highly experimental “Student Filmer”
Seeing a person, who can manage two things at once, was quite a surprise for me at that time.
I cannot see the desperation which I came across in all the ten people I met before,
I call desperation as (Passion+Pressure),
So this pressure was not present in his eyes, And I immediately decided I will go with this guy,
Hence we took the plunge to produce the short film “Tippenbox” which you can see in the benchflix now,
One year later,
Karthik again came back,
He said he has started directing another thriller.
His own production, mostly out of his own funds, and it is a 45 minute pilot film,
I asked him “Karthik how are you managing it both still”
He told me, “Sir, again I am shooting only on weekends”
He is shooting a 45 minute film, only on weekends,
How long will that take? Can he finish it, these questions started popping in my head,
But I should say I became again envious & curious because of the way he manages things,
“Sir, if this doesnt work out, maybe I will have to succumb to family pressues a.k.a marriage”
I wished him luck and was bit doubtful on the outcome,
Will it come in the first place? Will it be good enough? Will Karthik finally get into the main stage?
But as far as I know, Karthik stopped the production, when there was funds shortage and resumed shooting, when his purse was full, all this time, keeping the crew passionate about the product,
And a good one and half year had passed, And I happened to meet Karthik again, and I enquired about the thriller,
He said “Sir, the product is done with. It has come as a one and half feature film. We are screening to a certain private people. You should come for it”
I went for the screening, to see if his pilot turned feature holds promise.
A good one hour 45 minutes, all I could see is the fire and sweat behind the work!
one of our members did not like the film. Another member liked and fully empthasized with the story
I was neutral. I liked the work definitely but would it pass commercially, was what I coulnt answer,
I again wished karthik luck and asked him to aim for festivals,
A 3 months have passed and now I get the message,
“Variyavan is going to be released in Amazon prime”
Variyavan written and directed by a software engineer by weekdays, filmmaker by weekends, produced by a hardworking simpleton, created by bunch of people who kept the faith in their relentless never say no leader.
Now coming back to the heading “You Don’t See Filmmaking as a Career until It Becomes a Career”
Does it make sense to you now?
Can you see Karthik inches away for opting for filmmaking as a career, because he is already a filmmaker!
What it technically means is gradualism. Gradualism is oppsoite of sudden breakthrough,
It builds in small steps,
It is not aggressive but conservative,
You might have heard stories like “I have quit one day and from then on I didnt turn back” something that is American,
Bold, ambitous and aggressive.
But “Indian” way of thinking is different.
Slow, purposeful and sensible
Comparing myself with karthik, I took the American way of quitting from the company i worked, I thought it was bold to put the papers when the idea of “Student Filmer” striked my mind. I am going to build a great company. I am fast, Wow” I patted myself
Whats the result? I am still patting myself, looks like a long way to go for Student filmer to run on its own!
For you an Aspiring Filmmaer, You have to decide for yourself?
American way or the Indian way?