Subhradeep Saha who started making AV content from an early age, opted for animation and literature over engineering. Read on to know more about this young and talented filmmaker.
Tell us about your life journey in brief?
I come from a small peaceful city Jalpaiguri in West Bengal.
Honestly, I dont even belong to a family where films are been watched extensively. Never did I think, I would end up making films in my childhood days, not even in my wildest dream. I was an average student in school who had spent the first 16 years of his life just playing cricket. In 2007, after my ICSE exam I decided to shift to Delhi to pursue my cricketing career, joined Ganga International School which had brilliant infrastructure for the game. Along with cricket, at school I started making AVs/Presentations for the school for interschool competitions and got played during the annual day. Probably that is when I realized that I am not meant for engineering. I wanted to be in a creative field. I chose Animation over Engineering after my +2. MAAC, South Ex gave me a great insight of a 3D animated film pipeline, I just had convert the same pipeline to make a digital film. After making 1 short PSA and a very badly attempted short film I realized filmmaking is just not about technicalities, the content of a film needs depth and layers for that I needed to read and explore literature. I decided to join BA(Hons)(Eng) from Delhi University. Three years of college had been really pleasing yet hectic. Managing two courses together was a challenge, had to give up cricket. My day would start at 9:00 in the morning and by the time I reached home at night it used to be 22:00. In between college I started making short films and documentaries. Mostly Zero Budget, with very very limited resources. My first film Life Before Birth and last film Ke Tumi would not have costed me more than Rs.300 in total. I managed to make 6 short films, 2 documentaries and 3 music videos in my short 4 year career. I intend on telling more stories keeping the production cost limited in the upcoming future.
What prompted you to become a filmmaker?
While in school I realized visuals are a very strong medium to convey your voice to the audience. I had a lot to say but 3D animation didn’t give me enough liberty to tell a story as I wanted, considering the effort a 3D animated film needs. I wanted to create strong visuals which would speak for itself. I discovered attaching a few well shot videos together can tell a story, later I realized that is how a film is made.
Tell us about your team, if you have?
I had a great team for my first few films. All of them are from MAAC. Interestingly, there was nothing common in us except for the fact that we all wanted to create something on our own. Prateek, Sagar, Atul all of them were great during the initial days of Lightship Production. Everyone did their part. Even Lavanyaa’s voiceover did wonders in Life Before Birth and the documentaries I managed to make.
In my last film Ke Tumi, I did not have a team, it was sort of a home production. It was written by my mother, cast was my extended family. The cast acted as the production assistants when they were not acting. This helped me to finish the whole film in less than Rs.150.
How many/ What kind of movies you have made?
6 Short Films:-
Life Before Birth(PSA)
Aakhri Lambhe (worst short film attempt, although taught me the most)
- Adventerous Winters
- On the Edge of Arabian Sea
What is your dream/ vision?
I dream to portray a few of my stories on silver screen, stay true to my script yet gain acceptability both critically and financially.
What difficulties you face as an independent filmmaker?
The term Independent Filmmaker in itself is pretty difficult. Its hard to stay true to the script while working on limited resources and budget. Distribution of the film is also a challenge for independent filmmakers. But having said that, there are multiple advantages of being an independent filmmaker as well.
What inspires you or keeps you going?
No film is perfect. The dream of making that one PERFECT film which I can watch over and over again after making is what keeps me going and striving for more.
Any fun/ memorable incident?
Almost died while shooting adventurous winters at -23*C. Probably one incident me and Prateek will never forget.
What advice you’d like to give to someone who is interested/newbie in filmmaking?
- Go out and make films. Make mistakes, multiple mistakes, learn from them. Don’t wait thinking you’ll directly make “THE PERFECT” film one day, because you wont.
- Don’t have money to make films is a lame way of saying, we are too lazy to make films.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Well, I reckon, no film should be criticized, a lot of effort goes into making a film. The film makers atleast take initiative to tell a story, just like not everyone stands first in the class likewise all filmmaker doesn’t tells a story similarly. One should appreciate the individual for standing up and doing something which certainly isn’t the easiest thing to do.
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