Vishal Punjabi who runs The Wedding Filmer Studios started his journey at the age of 14. Read on to know more about this prominent wedding filmmaker.
Tell us about your life journey in brief?
I was born in Ghana, spent about 12 years there before moving to England to complete my education. After that, I came to Mumbai to work with Shah Rukh Khan and live the Bollywood dream. I worked with him for ten years. Shortly after, I met my wife Zara. It was at our wedding that The Wedding Filmer was born.
What prompted you to become a filmmaker or start your studio/production house?
I have always been a filmmaker. I was 14 and filming home videos of picnics to the lake, and that does classify as filmmaking. Starting our own studio was to make sure that we had the creative freedom to do whatever we wanted to do.
Tell us about your team, if you have?
Our team is a multitude of professionals who share a passion for cinematic work. They work in feature films and Advertising and are the best in the industry when it comes to cinematography. It is the work of this team that motivates us and pushes us to keep working harder.
How many/ what kind of movies/ videos you have made?
We have made around 50 wedding movies, a couple of advertisements, digital films and even social experimental campaigns so far. We strive to give a hundred percent to every movie we do and make them as unique as possible.
What is your dream/vision?
Our vision is to see people look back to one of the most important days of their lives as something that they will always hold really close to their heart. We want to ensure that people never forget what they felt when it actually happened.
What difficulties do you face as a filmmaker?
We used to have issues of bad lighting, but we don’t anymore because of the great new gear we got from Sony. Too many photographers are still a problem because the whole wedding becomes a photo-shoot and takes away the “candid” feel attached to it, but like everything else, with time we’ve learnt to let it pass and not affect us.
What inspires you to keep you going?
The feedback we get from people. We put a lot of heart into our videos and the feedback we get is testament to that fact. We have fans all over the world and these very fans end up being our clients. The appreciation and love we get from them, keeps us motivated.
Any fun/memorable incident?
So many! All our weddings are full of so much fun and enthusiasm that it’s hard to pick just one memorable incident. We have so many stories from the crew’s travels. One recent one that we recall is from Dia Mirza’s wedding when the groom’s mum almost put the Mangal Sutra around her neck, and Dia asked her very sweetly, “Would you like to marry me?”. The whole scenario got a lot of laughs.
What advice you’d like to give to someone who is interested/newbie in filmmaking?
Follow your gut. There is no set way to make films and creativity does not have any limits. Just get a camera and start shooting anything and everything you like.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Always stay true to who you are as a person, and let that reflect in the kind of films you make. You never know what’s going to work.
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