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Make the cut

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:13 IST
Hindustan Times
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The lowdown
A filmmaker gets behind the camera and tells a story through it. The story may be written by him/her, or can be an adaptation of a book or another successful film, or can be the documentation of a remarkable journey. Film directors are people who transport us to another place or time — another planet, even if the film is sci-fi — and live in it for a few hours. As a director one needs to work in close collaboration with actors and technicians

Clock Work
8am: Turn up on the sets and
prepare for shooting
9.30am: Cameras start rolling
1pm: Break for lunch
8pm: Pack up and have a chat with the actors and technicians
9pm: Drop by at the editing studio
10pm: Head home

The payoff
An assistant director earns Rs10,000 to Rs25,000 a month. This includes food and travel allowance. Top directors today can earn anything from Rs1 crore to a nine-digit fee per film. After Hum Tum and Fanaa, Kunal Kohli reportedly charges about Rs7 crore, Imtiaz Ali charges Rs9 crore and Vishal Bhardwaj and David Dhawan make close to Rs10 crore every per film

A feel and passion for a good story
. Knowledge of screenplay and camera angles
. Patience and resource management skills
. Ability to communicate
. Must be a people’s person
. Should be a good manager

To get into the director’s shoes you must have a temperament that is a mix of irreverence and patience because it’s an unusual career that needs time and an undying attitude to learn Milan Luthria, film director based in Mumbai

Getting There
Participate in dramatics in school and college. Join a film school to learn the technicalities, as films today use advanced visual effects. One can follow the path of Imtiaz Ali who founded Iptida, the dramatics society of Hindu College, and was a part of Act One theatre group in Delhi. Or can opt to become an assistant director to a filmmaker, learn the job well and then go independent

Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
. Satyajit Ray Film & Television Institute, Kolkata
. Whistling Woods International, Mumbai

Pros and cons
Fame and respect is a part of the journey
. Good money for telling a story
. Travelling the world
. For many, being successful is a long struggle
. The work timings can be odd and very long
. Your work can invite criticisms if it doesn’t correspond to the taste of the society
. One can experiment and explore one’s talent
. Often very satistfying when the movies you make change lives, alter opinions and better the society
. Controversies become a part of one’s life