You might be a bundle of anxiety and, understandably so, before you set off to make your first film. Here’s some inspiration from the most brilliant and fearless voices in the indie space, for starters. Six indie directors share valuable insights and advice from their experiences for those venturing into filmmaking for the first time.
1. Sandeep Mohan
Narrate the story in your ‘voice’
The best advise to first-time filmmakers and all filmmakers is to respect your ‘voice’ and narrate the story in your voice. Listening to too many people and experts is the biggest mistake most of us end up making.”
Directed: Hola Venky (2014), Love, Wrinkle-free (2011), Shreelancer (2017)
2. Shashant Shah
Have the passion to tell a good story
You’ve got to be passionate and dedicated if you’re really serious about becoming a filmmaker. Have the passion and the passion to tell a good story. All else is secondary.
Directed: Dasvidaniya, Chalo Dilli, Chacha Vidhayak Hai Humare
3. Sudhish Kamath
Choose an editor you can trust
Pick a qualified editor. Trust him/her blindly because debut filmmakers tend to get over protective of everything they’ve shot. We, as filmmakers, already know the story we are trying to put together and aren’t the most objective to be able to tell how much of it is coming across with the material shot.
An editor would cut the film realistically based on what is available and tell the best story possible with those visuals, objectively. Because he’s not cutting on the basis of what was your plan but fixing the narrative with what you ended up shooting, with all your limitations.
Directed: Good Night Good Morning, X: Past is Present, Side A Side B (2020)
4. Vishal Furia
Don’t give up
It’s okay to mistakes. Just don’t give up. Funding will not work out, producers will back out, actors will back out, schedules will keep postponing, your team members will fight with you. These are just few of the many issues you’ll face starting out. But if you believe in your story and vision, just be patient.
Mishaps occur for a reason but in the end, everything will work out if you are sincere and honest. In Lapachhapi, producers backed out twice and schedule postponed thrice. The cast changed twice between pre-production and finally going on floor. But, I believe it all happened for a reason and we managed to make a pretty decent film.”
Directed: Lapachhapi (Marathi)
5. Mehran Amrohi
It’s important to strike a balance
I finished my first film Chidiya this year. It has been a tough time physically and mentally. But the thing which helped me throughout my struggle for making a film and during the making is balance. The key word is ‘balance.’ It’s very important to strike a balance in everything.
Sometimes during our struggle to make a film it becomes difficult to keep a mental balance. One’s opinion towards work changes continuously. Sometimes you doubt your capacity. So, balance has to be there everywhere. Be it script writing or taking suggestions from you team, putting your point of view, or keeping audiences in mind, or actors capabilities, you’ve got to balance it out.
6. Aadish Keluskar
Know your resources, push the imagination
There is nothing that is non-creative filmmaking, especially the things that are not considered to be a part of filmmaking. Know your resources, push the imagination. It is like this is going to be your first and last film and you cannot postpone it anymore.
Directed: Kaul…A Calling (Marathi)
This article is part of an ongoing knowledge series on ‘lessons in filmmaking for aspiring directors.’ Today, our experts talk about common mistakes first-time filmmakers end up making and tips to avoid them.
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