Thursday, June 27, 2013

Creative Yearnings

The other day we went for an evening show of Raanjhnaa - the latest Bollywood blockbuster in town. It's a beautifully made film. Logical, story-based, sensitive, precise. Midway through the screening, my wife got restless in her seat as if this small error in filming/editing had scarred the otherwise flawless beauty of the film..... The growth of the lead hero's beard keeps changing so many times in the same scene. And Aamrapali took it like a personal offense.

It was a silly oversight in a movie otherwise greatly made. But the likes of Anurag Kashyap, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Farhan Akhtar and Prakash Jha have pampered us audiences so much that we've come to expect technical perfection in Hindi commercial movies nowadays. We forget to forget our brains at home. Each of their creations is a tutorial in film-making.

These days we end up critiquing motion pictures as though we were movie-making legends ourselves. I am an established visual artist and my wife too is a known name in the field of Interior Design. Yet we fool ourselves sometimes pretending to be budding film-makers. We shoot home videos of our own and publish them on YouTube. If you saw Aamrapali's work in portrait photography, you would mistake her to be a mainstream photographer. We create poetry together and write stories. We design logos and brand identities. We remix songs. We make ad films for charities. We do it all.... and EARN from it.

It is very difficult for someone creatively inclined to restrict their talent to a single domain. Amongst the more celebrated names, Boman Irani was into advertising and photography before turning actor. Prasoon Joshi is a Bollywood lyricist today, he's been an ad-film maker before. We have Nitin Desai who helms Art direction, produces movies and acts in them too! There are fashion designers like Abu Jani and Sandeep Khosla who design not just clothes, but interiors and weddings as well. 

 As creative people, we like to keep our avenues open. So I hate it when parents request me to advise their teenage kids on "fixing" a career stream. I would, in all probability, guide them to take up something broad, even if it's only for a paper certificate to hold them in good stead during struggling times!

In the seventeen years of my career, I have successfully attempted Painting, Sculpture, Murals, Brand Identity Design, Interior Design, Facade Design, Art Direction, Gold Leafing, Prosthetics and what not! Why would someone like me direct another person to live in a pigeon-hole? The Std.X results of various Boards were declared last month. Since then, I've had so many phone calls from parents anguished with their pupil choosing to go creative instead of opting for a promising Engineering or Medicine degree. They seem to demand an assurance that creative fields can hold a financially rewarding career.

Is Animation "good", they want me to answer. And I tell them any profession is good as long as you hone and upgrade your creative skills constantly AND learn to manage the business aspect of your work! If you can conduct yourself thus, there is no limit to professional possibilities.


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