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You can’t LEARN to make films, if you don’t MAKE them – Pushkaraj S Shirke

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Pushkaraj S Shirke made a few short films in zero budget. Read on to know how he did it and what all jugaads he used.

Tell us about you and your team (if you have) in brief?

I moved to film-direction after 8 years in advertising inspired by my childhood passion for movies. I formally studied film direction in New York and then worked on directing ad films. During the course of time, I made a few ZERO BUDGET short films with my friends whenever we had an idea. And some of them are sheer SHIT. But what it taught me is that you can’t LEARN to make films, if you don’t MAKE them. Soon after my stint in New York, one of my student films-LEGACY, won a bunch of screenings and I also ended up making a short film in 2 days-from scripting to screening. And that film was one of the finalists at a film festival. I HATE THAT FILM. But it’s good, considering the restrictions it was made in. It’s a shitty film called ‘ROUND TRIP’.

How did you come up with the idea of this particular short film?

LEGACY was a true story that I had read long ago and I wanted to make it into a film – so when i got the chance to do so, I leapt at it.
ROUND TRIP was just an accident. My editor wanted to participate in a film festival that was 2 days away and he asked if I could write a script. I wrote one. We went out the next morning, picked up a friend of mine to act the part of the female lead, I (unfortunately) played the male lead and we made a rickshaw driver act as the sutradhar. We needed 2 more hours of editing, 1 hour of music. And we did all of that every night, we went and submitted the film.

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What all prominent “Jugaads” did you do to make the film with minimal resources?

All of my zero budget films were jugaads.

Borrowed cameras, cast paid with alcohol and tenners, sound done with pocket money, scripting done for free, DOP is always just about any guy who has a DSLR and is willing to lend it to us (provided I approve of the shots), shooting at friend’s houses and houses of friends of friends. JUGAAD LEVEL 100000 should be the name of my productions. LOL!

What recognition did you get for this short film?

Well, it got me recognized in the short film circuit, won a few awards and screenings that I didn’t even know till it showed up on Google. But it got me introduced to a few good like-minded people – which is by the way, the most important thing in this line –it’s what keeps you from making the crappy stuff that just sells and keeps you determined to make the kind of stuff you want to make.

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What advice will you give new / aspiring film-makers on making a low budget film?

MAKE THAT SHIT. Seriously! Stop talking. Stop thinking too much. If you have a good idea, make it. Till you get to it, it won’t happen. FILM-MAKING is ‘FILM’ – ‘MAKING’. Not Thinking. Not Imagining, It is MAKING. So make that shit. Even if its shit. And then think ahead, and learn and improvise.

Link to the videos:

LEGACY

ROUND TRIP

Read more about Pushkaraj, here

 

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