Want to make a career in Filmmaking? Here is what you should know

Published on Jan 28, 2021 09:25 PM IST

While it is indeed passion that stirs the greatest filmmakers, one also needs a certain vision, and a clear practical outlook towards their work, at least to some extent, says Filmmaker Radhika Lavu.

FTII is the country’s premier institute that provides training for acting, film making, video editing, direction and production.(HT file photo)
FTII is the country’s premier institute that provides training for acting, film making, video editing, direction and production.(HT file photo)

Filmmaking is a very interesting profession and more and more youngsters in India are attracted towards it these days. With the growth of Independent films and a number of OTT platforms in the country, the interest in this profession is bound to grow even further. However, it is important to know what it takes to make it a career, and who other than a filmmaker can give a better insight. In this email interaction with hindustantimes.com, filmmaker Radhika Lavu tells us about the roles and responsibilities of a filmmaker, important factors to consider before choosing this career option, eligibility criteria for joining filmmaking course, its scope and much more:

Filmmaking has been a passion for many since long. However, more and more youngsters are taking interest in making a career in this field today. You are a film producer with over 10 years of experience. Tell us more about filmmaking and the roles and responsibilities of a filmmaker?

The primary responsibility of a filmmaker is honesty towards one’s audience. In films, it is always important to paint an earnest and raw portrait of whatever you are trying to showcase in your endeavour. One also needs to have a certain penchant for storytelling and tell their tale responsibly and respect all the artists that work on their vision. Other than that, there are no rules to creativity, and it is all about weaving a powerful thread from one’s imagination. Filmmaking is all about using a powerful medium to showcase powerful visually and emotionally gripping stories.

Apart from passion for producing a film, do you think there are some other factors which one should consider before choosing this career option?

While it is indeed passion that stirs the greatest filmmakers, one also needs a certain vision, and a clear practical outlook towards their work, at least to some extent. It is important to inculcate a certain sense of discipline, as there is always a method to the madness, and map out one’s finances when venturing into production, so as to bring out the best out of one’s budget.

You have studied filmmaking from Goldsmiths College, University of London. Would you like to tell aspirants what are the eligibility criteria for joining film making courses in top universities?

The eligibility criteria is slightly different for the undergraduate (UG) and Post Graduate (PG) students. For both undergraduate and Post Graduate courses, leading Indian Colleges usually hold entrance exams, and there are only a few esteemed universities with specialised filmmaking courses at an undergraduate level, though there are many diverse options for Master’s. It is also usually a good idea to go for a Bachelor’s in Media, before taking up a filmmaking career to enrich one’s world view. Candidates must have passed 10+2 with mandatory minimum marks for most admissions at the undergraduate level. For Master’s it is usually the strength of one’s application (International Schools)/ Written Test (usually for National Institutes) that matters, along with a minimum requirement in one’s Bachelor’s. However, it is always extremely important to do one’s own research and look at what course or University fits one best!

What are the skills you develop during the course and as you go down the path of film making?

The greatest skills one develops by learning filmmaking, above all else are creative thinking and working as a team player. There is no medium like cinema to help bring out the inner storyteller in us and work in sync with those around us. Of course, one also learns the technical aspects of the craft such as learning the many tricks of the camera, script writing, production, casting and financing, and it also builds a very strong sense of aesthetics and leadership, in many ways.

What is your take on the online filmmaking, videography, cinematography, and scriptwriting courses?

Today the world is so much more connected and is continually transcending boundaries. I feel that knowledge is timeless, boundless, and seamless, so I am excited about all the unique outlets available for those passionate about learning the craft. I also feel post the pandemic, the importance of online classes has risen phenomenally, and people are discovering themselves in every way by learning from someone thousands of miles away. It is helping people minds build their own individual perspective, and I think we are beginning to witness an exciting time for the field.

What is scope of film making in India at present? Which are the major job roles one can pursue after the course?

Filmmaking is an ever- evolving discipline and this is the perfect time for young cinema lovers everywhere to break into the scene, with the rise of independent cinema and with OTTs breaking the autonomy. There is no dearth of creative production houses, and it is an extremely dynamic work environment, with opportunities in a wide range of domains such as production, direction, screenwriting, cinematography, acting, production design, and editing amongst others.

What will be your advice for those who want to make a career in film making?

My advice would be to be a good observer, and to learn to translate one’s greatest observations into a glorious cinematic reel. One can always learn the craft, but what must come instinctively to every filmmaker is learning to go the extra mile, asking oneself the deeper questions, to produce one’s own authentic brand in this highly competitive world.


    Nilesh Mathur is online news editor with Hindustan Times. He has worked on the online news desk for the last 18 years. Presently, he covers education and career related news.

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