Through a maker’s lens

Published July 4, 2023   |   
Sunantha Sanjeeva Rao

Jean Luc Godard, French-Swiss film director, screenwriter, and film critic, once said, “Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world.” 

Two and a half hours of a whole new world. No judgements of possibilities or impossibilities. No thoughts about real life. The ability to make a person forget such a vast and real world and immerse them in a narrative. That’s cinema. Having seen such magic, how could I not want to become a filmmaker? 

It all started with the Telugu movie ‘Indra’, starring Chiranjeevi. Foreign language films try to win our attention with subtle hues, realistic storytelling, and exploration of new domains. This movie made me realize that regional Indian films do the same with vivid colors and lively picturization.  

I soon developed a love for creative writing and expression. Even in high school, I aspired to showcase my work. And so, I took the first step – my first short film Express to Impress. The premise of love is something that can be repeated n number of times and still be fresh. And that is the core of my first film too. It shows a young man’s effort to woo his lady love.  

The making of this film gave me the greatest learning experience – how much there is to filmmaking, where I lacked, and where I stood. Creators often see their creations as their legacy and progeny. And I understood that analogy in this process. 

My love for filmmaking made me learn editing too. As challenging as it was, I learnt it to translate my visualization better to the screen. After all, there’s a difference between another person working on your visualization and you working on your visualization.  

Whoever said “necessity is the mother of invention” might not have known that abundance of time was the co-parent. I discovered this during the 2020 lockdown. That’s when I could give wings to my second creation, Prayanam. It shows the plight of daily wage earners during the pandemic. The appreciation it received warmed my heart. 

No matter what one is taught, certain lessons are learnt first-hand. Here’s what I learnt while making my films: 

  1. It doesn’t have to cost a bomb. You always have alternatives. Apart from food and travel, I did not spend a single penny.
  2. The team you choose is what makes a good experience great.
  3. The usage of natural light in movies is underrated.

Even with the staggering number of artists in the world, there’s one thing that’s common with all – the need to create. It is this drive that pushes us to give our best, no matter what the circumstance. And this is also the force that will keep me coming up with new ideas and creations. I owe it all to this urge to create!