I learned the power of storytelling from my parents when I was three years old. They had a knack for telling me stories in such a way that had the opposite effect than what they intended. Instead of putting me to sleep, their stories made me crave more! The stories created a new world for me. A world of colors, magic, fantasies and a globe everyone lived happily ever after. A parallel universe with my imaginary friends and situations made me believe that I could talk to them and see them coming to life. It might sound crazy today, but that’s where my visualization of stories began and sowed the seeds for my career as an editor.
Living in the city of Mumbai, the home of “Bollywood,” contributed too. I remember going with my Dad to see superstars’ homes and waiting to have a glimpse of them when they came to wave to their fans. I knew the tinsel town was a make-believe world, but a beautiful story.
I continued to live in this dream even when I pursued my degree in English literature. I studied some exciting topics like The Victorian Age, Modern Literature, and Gender studies. My visual story skills flashed back at me, and I began writing my own short stories and asked a few friends to shoot them for me. I was no expert, but the collaboration process made me realize that creativity has no bounds. I joined a diploma course in filmmaking and attended classes late in the evenings after college. Here I learned various aspects of filmmaking, including editing, and I fell in love with it. I realized the value of what Stanley Kubrick wrote “I love editing. I like it more than any other place of filmmaking. If I wanted to be frivolous, I might say that everything that precedes editing is merely a way to produce a film to edit.”
I was awed by the simplicity and technical balance that an editor contributes to a film. The beauty of carving a movie in post-production made me realize that this was my way of weaving a story for an audience. I started volunteering with NGOs and helped them with short films. I worked on my friend’s projects and refined the short films they made. I loved the process of finding themes, music, effects, and a rhythm for my work. I was still a new bee in this world, and I began watching independent films to broaden my knowledge about movies. I started applying to various film schools hoping that this dream could come true. I got selected for the Film Production program with Editing Emphasis at Dodge College of Media Arts. My vision opened to an entirely new level. I began my creative journey as an editor and collaborated on several projects with my peers. I understood the dynamics of different creative minds coming together to make a film. I got to edit contemporary work and documentaries.
Can you share the most exciting story that happened to you since you started doing Editing/film production?
My journey has been a rollercoaster ride with many steep downfalls but slow progressions too! When I was applying for film schools, I received some rejections that clearly stated that my application wasn’t the right fit. I began to doubt myself and wondered, “Is this something I want to do?” Maybe I wasn’t good enough to be a part of this industry. I had no film background anyway, and neither did I have anyone to guide me with this process. As a kid, I always believed there was a certain age to study, find a job, earn money and be self-sufficient. And this is a myth! My parents helped me change my perspective and asked me to believe in myself before thinking about others! I finally began to find the purpose and contribution that I can give to this industry. It is hard to stay away from your loved ones, and being an international student made me realize my family’s values. The security and comfort are priceless when you compare it to staying alone with people you barely know! It took me a while to adjust to the idea of being away and still being focused and independent. But soon, with time and support, I realized that I am learning to be self-sufficient through this process. It is always heartbreaking to see your family on a tiny screen, but the love and support from them remain constant, which is my driving force towards my goal. My journey is nothing without my struggles, and I’ve learned to embrace them along my way.
Can you please give us your favorite ”Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it. – The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho.
As a child, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho had a huge impact on me. This book spoke to me about karma and the signs of the universe. I believe that if you really believe in yourself and really strive to accomplish your goals, you automatically see all the pieces of your puzzle fixing in together. If I stopped believing in myself and my dreams I really wouldn’t have been where I am right now
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