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Screen + Sound + Stage
January 24, 2017

The Novice’s Guide To Film-Making

Text by Sadaf Shaikh

There’s a new kid on the professional block and he’s turning out to be the coolest of them all

A career was not always something you chose when you came of age. It was a preordained aspect of your life that was decided for you by your parents when they were courting. ‘Our son will be an engineer’/ ‘our daughter will be a doctor’, they declared. Although urban parents have graduated to not shooting down their children’s professional leanings anymore, they still experience a certain degree of discomfort when their child proudly states that he has chosen to pursue his lifelong dream of working as a panda-keeper or a scuba-diving trainer.

Alternative career options are not as uncertain as they used to be and the past few years have seen a host of them popping up. Out of the dynamic range of choices (including farming in Colonial lands), the one which involves cinematic inclinations continues to lure aspiring professionals to the creative side. A career in film-making can create mental springs in a person who is loath to swivel in his chair from 9 to 5, five days a week.

Today’s younger lot have taken to film-making like ducks to water. Previously, film-makers were industry bigwigs who had access to expensive equipment and made films for a large audience. Today, the digital revolution has made entry barriers all but non-existent – you have a camera, you can make a film. Whether you can make a good film though, is entirely dependent on your creative acumen. Hence the birth of competent training institutes like Whistling Woods around the country — a professional whetstone for aspiring film-makers.

As a film-maker, there is a vast array of means for you to monetise your work besides the traditional medium of movies. If the format of television shows does not suit your fancy, you can find your calling in the heady world of advertising. If you find yourself longing to express yourself for more than 30 seconds, the new trend of digital films as YouTube pre-roll ads can sate your appetite for storytelling.

Those with a predilection for serious entertainment can find solace in the 50,000-crore non-fiction industry which comprises of documentaries, corporate videos and films commissioned by the Central and State government departments. Altruists can amalgamate philanthropy and work by creating short audio-visuals for NGOs to pitch to companies for funds.

Yet another sphere for film-makers to traverse is the personal memories industry which has seen an unprecedented rise in the past couple of years. This one is for the sentimental folks behind the camera who like to capture emotions during weddings, birthdays, farewells and other momentous occasions.

Film-making is practically a recession-free industry, which is evident from the horde of people you see outside theatres every Friday and actual viewership of beautiful stories narrated via the audio visual medium across digital platforms.

Inputs from Whistling Woods International Institute.

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