Fredrick James overcame his phobia of embarrassment during his school days and now he is pursuing his passion without any fear. Read on to know more about this filmmaker.
Tell us about your life journey in brief?
Well, my personal has been a smooth journey. I have some amazing parents by God’s grace and a beautiful sister who appreciates and motivates till today, the choice of my career. My personal life had a lot of struggles as I always had a phobia of embarrassment during my school days. Studying in a co ed school I always feared losing in sports or be it any competitive event especially in front of the girls. I had trouble overcoming that and thanks to a lot of partiality towards the famous students that I had no chance but to be a sitting duck. Things changed when I got into the prestigious Josephite clam. Joseph’s brought the real me out of me and I owe it to the college. From a middle class background, I’ve always enjoyed the luxury of having a big appetite of life thanks to my father who never said NO to what I want and my mom who always backed me up. All this led to me believing myself that I too can make a difference in this world and here I am, without any fear, pursuing what I want to be.
What prompted you to become a filmmaker?
Well filmmaking was something I never even dreamed of in my wildest dreams. I’ve always been a movie freak imitating all the heroes of every movie I watched but I didn’t know I would actually be a part of it one fine day. It all began with my best friend Sylvester who, during our degree days, ended up making a funny video of our teacher. That was the moment my life changed, I went up to him and I asked “How did you do it? Would you teach me?” and he warmly obliged. Corel studios was the first edit tool I learnt and I enjoyed taking videos in a cell phone and then going back home to edit them. What started for fun slowly and gradually began to nurture. I later began writing again, the last time I wrote was for my school magazine. I started writing story after story and I’d end up troubling my classmates every morning to act in those stories I came up with. Then it really turned serious, I enjoyed the feeling of all my imaginations coming alive through a bunch of friends come actors. It was a great feeling that is not explainable and cannot be expressed by actions either. This is how my career began.
Tell us about your team, if you have?
Oh, by God’s grace, I have a wonderfully gifted team. It didn’t come easy though. I had to work really hard to get a bunch of fine actors and I really didn’t expect to have a team. My technical team are mostly my good old friends Allan Varghese – cinematographer and Ram – director/cinematographer. These guys have their own weird way of doing things and I’m weird enough to enjoy them. Finding my actors was easy cause I had facebook but finding the most passionate ones was tough but I did find. Arvin Monteiro, TK Karthik, Deepak Raj, Saravana Vel, Mujtaba Hussain, Vishica Fernando and Tausif Khan are my finest and most determined actors I have. I have a lot more in the team than the seven team bunch who are really brilliant in all humility. Finding the music director was the hardest thing to do and then one fine day I witnessed a man named “Judah Sandhy” little did I know that I had to stalk him on facebook for over a year until I finally managed to get in touch with him and I honestly savor that moment. We began our journey as professionals and we ended up being family. Judah is an integral part of my growth in cinema, his music always had onlookers pop an eye on my films. He is an amazing talent and yeah, I’ve been lucky to have met him. Like Vin Diesel states ” I got no friends, I got family” This is mine.
How many/ What kind of movies you have made?
I enjoy making unorthodox pop cult cinemas and a big fan of Quentin Tarantino and Guy Ritchie for their atrocious and original writing. I’ve made a lot but 2 movies that I was happy to have made was “Son of a Gun” and “Raju Bhaii” . Now I’m currently working on “Rule Number Two” a crime fiction short film and simultaneously preparing for my tamil feature “Na Enna Hero Va”
What is your dream/ vision?
In Cinema, I’d love to make bolder films that entertain and let the audience enjoy realistic gritty films and writings through my work. I have plans to make a film in all genres and I’m sharpening my pencil everyday to being the very best I can be by God’s grace.
What difficulties you face as an independent filmmaker?
Contact’s was my biggest obstacle, sitting in a room in front of a computer and writing scripts. I always wondered how on earth are you gonna enter the industry. To some this is fiction but I’ve tasted this food called Jesus and I love Him. Yeah, Films apart I pray a lot, not chant and blabber words but I kneel quietly and in a room and have private conversations with my wonderful creator – If I managed to get into cinema and have all the contacts that I needed today it was Jesus. He is the real Hero of this story I’m just a zero.
What inspires you or keeps you going?
My faith in God, a determined team, an encouraging mother, supportive sister, inspiring filmmakers and a lot more ….
Any fun/ memorable incident?
There are lot of incidents and I can’t really pick the best one but just for you to know, I had one my actors meet in a coffee shop for the first time – So I expected only a verbal conversation and he pushes over a file which I assumed is a portfolio. Surprisingly, he gives me a 5 page writing of who HE is and I didn’t know what to say to it, I kept reading and reading and reading and he kept gazing and gazing and gazing at ME and I still wonder why. ha ha…
What advice you’d like to give to someone who is interested/newbee in filmmaking?
Always be sure of what you want to be and not because you like it but because you’re good at it. People sometimes make a wrong judgement between their liking and their talents. What you like may always not be your talent and you may fail and end up hurting yourself. The first obstacle in any man’s life is to find out what his talent is. How would you find it? Anything that you do effortlessly and you always wondered “How do I do it?” is your TALENT. Figure that out and a little bit of determination, hard work and a strong willing heart will get you to what you want to be.
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