How I became a visual storyteller : Growing up with Cinema

Silhouette of Man Standing in Front of Microphone
Photo by Kyle Loftus on Pexels

As far as I can remember, I always enjoyed the craft of storytelling. Creating an environment and telling the crazy stories of the characters involved appealed to me. It started off with poetry, actually. I would first imagine a story and try to create a song out of it. That was the basic skeleton of every poem I wrote during my childhood. Then came the influence of my dad’s storytelling skills. He would sit with me in the verandah and continue to tell me stories of great kings and beautiful kingdoms in the sky. Automatically my dad is the first listener to every story plot or script I have created. During my school years, I used to involve myself with storytelling conversations with my friends as well. I truly enjoyed sharing different choose-your-adventure stories with my close friends and I still believe that habit has not gone away. Here in Manipal I gather around with my close friends and share the most bizarre and weirdest stories we have ever heard with each other, whenever there are power cuts or when we just cannot sleep. So my decision to become a filmmaker was completely fueled by the fact that I needed the world to listen and hopefully get zapped with a huge plethora of surprises. Similarly, whenever I write a script or a plot for a feature film, I try to induce a surprise or create a beautiful environment which can serve as a backdrop to the whole event that is encapsulated in the story. The first ever movie I watched in theatre was a Malayalam movie called Vettam which was one of the blockbusters of that year. I fondly remember my dad telling a three year old me that there was a much bigger television waiting for us in the theatre and that I should abandon our small TV for that. Well, I was very enthusiastic about the whole outing since that meant I could watch cartoons on the big screen.Since Vettam was a comedy, I had completely immersed myself in its well written script.It was directed by Priyadarshan who is a maverick director now. So I was lucky to kick-start my cinephilia from one of Sir’s films. Then came a phase where I would just read the plots of several movies in Wikipedia and try to imagine them in my head without actually watching it.

This helped me to carefully understand what the role of a film director was. I slowly started writing plots in 7th grade to serve as sequels to many blockbusters which had influenced me. Then in my early teens I was introduced to two legendary filmmakers who were to shape up my ideals and opinions about how a film should actually be made. One of them was the legendary Tamil director Mani Ratnam and the other was the Hollywood auteur Christopher Nolan. Both their films were so diverse and complicated that it actually made me question how much of a storyteller I am. But later on they became my biggest motivations to actually pursue a career for the same.

Manipal taught me every sphere of filmmaking through close friends who made me realise where my true potential lies. I still continue to surprise them with my stories and I can confidently say I won’t leave without becoming a filmmaker.





Edited by – Hrishit Roy

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