Nishit Kunal ditched engineering and opted for Journalism and Mass Communication and then discovered his passion for movies. Read on to know more about this young filmmaker.
Tell us about your life journey in brief?
I happen to live in different places due to my Father’s nature of work since he works in a bank. I spent a good amount of my years in a boarding school in Kalimpong, a small town near Darjeeling. Like all other students I decided that I would like to do engineering and luckily got admission in Manipal Institute of Technology. One year later, I realized that I didn’t want to pursue engineering and switched to Journalism and Mass Communication and took admission in School of Communication, Manipal. I consider it as one of the best choices I have made in my life. I discovered my passion for movies and gradually I took film making.
What prompted you to become a filmmaker?
As part of assignments we were asked to make various kinds of movies, along which I discovered that I enjoyed doing those assignments. I enjoyed working on it so much that I took it as a specialization in my final year. The idea which you develop in your mind and work to present it on a reel made me go behind the camera. The excitement, the hard work and when the final product which comes out of all the effort you and your team have put in. Another reason why I decided to become a filmmaker was also for a simple reason that it also somewhere help me in becoming a better actor as well. It would like to credit ADA, the drama group of which I am a part of in helping me become a better actor and make me discover my love for filmmaking
Tell us about your team, if you have?
I won’t say that I have a team per se since most of them are my friends from college and ADA who pitch in but I would like to thank Asmita Srivastava, who has always helped me in whatever work I have done. Her ideas, her way of working apart from the fact that she is a fantastic actress as well, I believe she has made our work more beautiful. On top of that she is a fantastic editor too and is my go to person. I cannot imagine making a movie without her help. She has herself made some independent movies and which have taught me lot of things and I simply envy her works.
How many/ What kind of movies you have made?
I haven’t made many movies since I am pretty new to this field. I have made a stop-motion movie, an animated movie and three short films including ‘From Strenia to Durga’. I am currently working on a project which is a thriller. The story is written by me and will also direct it. Once it is over we will move over to another project which is based on a story written by Gulzar. Asmita will be directing it and I will assist her.
What is your dream/ vision?
I want my film to invoke reactions, send a message and make a difference. I want people to watch my movies, change themselves before they get up and change the society around them. If even five people come and tell me that my movie has changed them for good or made a difference in the society, I will consider it as an achievement.
What difficulties you face as an independent filmmaker?
Money is a barrier of course, but apart from that at times it becomes very difficult when we don’t get permission to shoot at certain locations just because we are college students. These are not very big problems in general but then we believe that minus these problems, our work would definitely be a tad better, but then these are all part of the learning process. These challenges make you better.
What inspires you or keeps you going?
My love for films keeps me going. When I am not making them I am watching them and when I look at the works of Scorsese, Tarantino, Podolski, Kurosawa, Satyajit Ray, Anurag Kashyap, Nolan etc. it makes me believe that they are also mortals and have learnt and put those learning into effect while making films, if they can then why not me? I have so much to learn and then again the feeling of developing an idea into a concept, than a story and finally representing it on someone’s screen. The kick, the addiction which you get is beyond imagination. The addiction, I would say keeps me going.
Any fun/ memorable incident?
I was making a stop motion movie with my partner Shraddha Ganesh who is a very good friend of mine. We had lots of ideas but we were short of time. The kind of ideas we had, required lots of craft work but since I am one of the laziest person in this world, it was difficult for Shraddha to do it alone. As we were thinking, we were munching away gems and looking at them the idea struck and I told Shraddha about it to which she agreed and our stop motion consisted of lot of usage of gems. I won’t say it was the best movie I have personally made, but the amount of hard work which went behind it along with the fact that my partner spent one sleepless night editing it made it memorable. It did teach me lot of things and mind you it was just two person team and we made that movie in around 9 hours and managed to even get good marks.
What advice you’d like to give to someone who is interested/newbie in filmmaking?
If you are passionate and have a story, just go ahead and make the film. Watch lot of movies, read a lot and observe lot of things happening around you, observe people. They can all become part of your story. Filmmaking is a team work, so it is very important that you open yourself to suggestions. In the end you cannot make a movie alone, lot of hard work goes behind it, hence one has to know that what can be the best possible ideas which can make a movie beautiful and that can only happen when you work as team. Don’t worry about how the film pans out. Irrespective of whether people like it or not you will learn a lot and the next movie you make will be better. Nevertheless, whether a movie you think is good or bad, the feeling you will get every time you watch that movie will be good. You would see the hard work you have put in and that feeling nobody can take away from you.
Learn to edit or hire a very good editor, it plays a huge role in the success of your film. Editors are the people who make your imagination real, so make sure that they are at least efficient in handling Premier Pro.
Anything else you’d like to share?
I would like to thanks my family who has supported me in all my endeavors, without them it wouldn’t have been possible for me to make films, in fact discover my love for films. I would like to thank Asmita again. She is more than an editor or an actress or a director of my film. She is one of my biggest support system and has played a huge role in me becoming a better actor and a director.
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