We met a skillful filmmaker who left a well paying job to pursue his passion – filmmaking. Read on to know more about this upcoming filmmaker.
Tell us about your life journey in brief?
AB: I was born in Bairat, a small town in Jaipur & spent most of my childhood in Alwar, Rajasthan. I was always a bright student, studied Mechanical Engineering from NIT Jalandhar & MBA from NMIMS Mumbai, both well known institutes in their respective fields. I worked in various managerial roles in corporate world in India as well as in Australia for around 4 years before turning full time to film making.
What prompted you to become a filmmaker?
AB: Storytelling. Since my childhood, I used to write a lot of poems & short stories. I have always been a big film buff. I started making films during college at an amateurish level, moving on to NMIMS gave it a boost as I was staying in Juhu, right in the heart of the industry. Whatever chances I took, received appreciation from a wider audience at every step, which prompted me to continue on the path of film making.
When you say stories, do you prefer any particular kind of stories like motivational stories etc?
AB: Any kind of story. Everything around us is story only. When I was a kid, I used to find stories in magazines and comic book. Later I used to pick topics from newspapers and try to weave a story around it. Thats how it all started.
When you left a well paying job, didn’t your parents object?
AB: When I left my job at Infosys, they were little apprehensive. While I was working, I saved some money then and now I have started my own production house. I am doing fine financially so now they don’t worry much about me.
Tell us about your team, if you have?
AB: There is no formal team as such but I have extremely talented DOP like Sopaan Purandare & actor like Rishi Verma who I ally with on a regular basis. We met in Infosys Pune when we were all working there and our common interests brought us together. Ever since, we’ve made many short films together.
How many/ What kind of movies you have made?
AB: Till date, I’ve made 5 short films. All of these are fiction, mostly in the thriller genre. My films try to touch more on human psychology because there’s nothing more intriguing than that as per my belief. I like to make films on subjects which interests me even if its a complex one. At the same time, person watching my film should relate to it and appreciate it. I have experimented with genres like comedy, romance etc.
My film “Muktibodh” made in April 2013 went on to get screened in 9 film festivals across 5 countries including the likes of Festival de Cannes 2014 & River 2 River Florence Indian Film Festival 2013. Also, it won the prestigious 5th Advantage India contest by Pocket films & had a television screening on NDTV Prime. Currently I am working on the post production of a short film named “Bhor”.
How did you feel when your film got selected for Festival de Cannes?
AB: I was elated and at the same time excited that my film will be seen on a much bigger platform. You also get to meet new people with different ideologies in these festivals. Its very different from you tube experience (I am not undermining it) and also get to see different films. Its so much to learn out there and a good exposure overall.
How did you get the idea of Muktibodh?
AB: I wanted to make a horror film and wrote a script, not completely satisfied with it, wrote another story, clubbed it with the previous one. The idea was that everyone has dreams but not everyone has the courage to go behind them.
What is your dream/ vision?
AB: To become a successful filmmaker and make cinema that audience remembers. I am a huge fan of alternate cinema and wish the lines between commercial & alternate cinema blur some day.
What difficulties you face as an independent filmmaker?
AB: Quite a few. Mainly the money doesn’t flow in that easily and you need to look for jugaad all the time to close in. People don’t take you seriously in Mumbai unless you know someone from the industry. It’s ironic but true.
Are you open to take projects other than short films like wedding films etc.?
AB: I have not tried making a wedding film but I have done other projects like music videos, commercials etc. If you are in this field, then I think you should be open to do all kinds of things. Its all learnings for you as a filmmaker, you get to earn some money and make yourself financially stable. I would be interested in making a wedding film but not a wedding shoot kind of thing.
Any fun/ memorable incident?
AB: Many actually. I remember when we were shooting for “Bhor” and took 20 takes for one of the climax shots. What we didn’t know was that the memory card got corrupted in that session. It was only while transferring the footage after the wrap that I realized that. We were all tensed and when nothing was working, laughed it out as well. Luckily, in the end somehow we managed to retrieve a part of lost footage.
What advice you’d like to give to someone who is interested/newbee in filmmaking?
AB: Cover your bases and be patient. This takes time so make sure you can support yourself financially before venturing full time into film making. Just write and meet as many new people as you can to improve perspective, sooner or later you’ll get your due.
Anything else you’d like to share?
AB: Please visit www.wildcatmovies.in to check out some of the other work I do apart from short films.
Some of Amit’s work:
We would also reiterate Amit’s thought that cover your base, take a plunge and be patient. Let us know, your thoughts on his work.