DAY-DREAMING, PURSUING PASSION & HOW JAGRITI YATRA SHAPED MY PERSONAL JOURNEY.

As a child, I was always caught up in my world of imagination, day dreaming; as time  kept passing. With certain turn of events, my family shifted to Hadapsar during my 7th Std, a town near my village Uruli Kanchan. I was blessed with access to Internet Cafes nearby. Going secretly to internet cafes and surfing was my second life.  I never liked the guy who owned that place, but hell, who gives a shit. I started learning about how movies are made. Most importantly, I was fascinated by the art of animation and the way animated movies were made. I started to look how animated movies were made. The curiosity took it’s toll by the time I reached Class 10th.

By then, we got our first ever computer home. My next big blessing. Now instead of screwing up other people’s computer, I started experimenting on ours. I downloaded animation related software, and started learning how to use it from online tutorials etc. Later I realized, the animation schools in India sucked. They still do.

The next best option was going to go abroad for higher studies in animation. But that was not possible for a middle-class kid. But hey, I had a PLAN B. Why not start my own business, earn money and produce a film myself later. By then, I might even figure out how to make films.

Fast forward 2 years later, I ended up taking admission for BBA in BMCC. During my years in college, getting selected for Jagriti Yatra was a blessing in disguise. I met mentors and got a network which I value even today.

Near the end of my college life,  I got my first client through a reference (yes, that’s the only way business works now-a-days, through reference) of Yatish Lalwani, a great friend (and also a fellow yatri) who mentored me through my understanding of business. That’s where I started my work. I started as a graphic designer. Being a designer served me greatly for my filmmaking career. I self-taught all the basics of designing over the internet. But beyond that, I had to learn the philosophy of design.

That’s what I learned subconsciously from my father. To do great work, knowing the tools is not enough, but knowing the philosophy behind that work is of greatest importance. I haven’t seen a ‘tailor’ till date who can match the consistency & quality of clothing that my father could deliver.

But my innate love for the art of filmmaking had never died. Somehow, I started getting work for editing videos, even when I did not know how to use these tools. But as I said, my philosophy in filmmaking was pretty much in place for me to learn those ‘professional’ editing tools within a short time. People liked my work, and referred to their friends. I was surprised, it was just simple editing. Turned out ‘not’ everyone could do it with the right touch. Good for me.

By the beginning of 2013, we had our own small setup. The concept of entrepreneurship that would create a greater impact on the world had taken deep roots in me Post-Jagriti Yatra. And so I got work that had the potential of creating greater impact. We made skill development films for CREDAI’s NSDC fueled project “KUSHAL” that made almost 10,000 construction workers employable in construction industry in Pune within a year.

In July 2013, I read a blog written by one of the Yatri, Manjit Nath, also my ‘worst-case-scenario’ mentor. He was the ‘Facilitator’ of our group. The blog – “From Agia to Oxford” – told a story about his childhood. How the extremism in Assam influenced him and his friends to join a militant outfit known as ULFA. It was such a strong story that we knew the story had to be told. It was time my long living dream of directing a movie had to come forth.

A month later we ended up in Assam with all the money we saved in last few years to make this film. And by the time the shoot was done, we had exhausted all the funds, adding to it some generous contributions from the villagers as well. It was a hell of an experience. An adventure not even my old age would allow fading away. Working with actors like Adil Hussain (from Life-of-Pie Fame) and one of the wisest men I have come across Mr. Sukracharya Rabha, there is nothing that could go wrong. (You can watch the trailer for the film here).

But here is the twist, we have not been able to complete the film. The shortage of funds allowed us to complete only 70% of shoot (that was all done in Assam). The remaining to be done in Pune or Mumbai. But to prove ourselves, it was necessary to come up with work that was appreciated by the ‘best’ in the industry. And good work takes time. Turns out, these people loved the output of what we had come up with so limited resources. All the ‘blood’, ‘sweat’ and ‘tears’ were worth it. I do believe the worst is behind us now. To fully prove ourselves, and make our dreams realize, it is important for us to complete this film and this can’t be done without raising enough funds. Hence, we need a huge support from all Yatris to make this film (Titled: One Last Question) come to life here: www.wishberry.in/campaign/one-last-question

Adil Poster Directed By wishberry

Turning back it reminds me, what if Mr. Shashank Mani never thought of re-establishing this concept of Yatra? What if, Yatish, my friend & mentor would have never met me on the train? What if, our group facilitator, Manjit Nath would have become a ‘militant’ in Assam instead of studying in the Oxford University right now, figuring a peaceful way out for our troubled North-East India. I think that’s how karma works, mysteriously in it’s long chain of events connecting people and getting them to act.

What if I would have never met, each and every one of those 400 young dynamic entrepreneurs on train who have played a huge role in shaping up my thoughts? I would even credit those who have never met me or left this world long before I came in. The list of people that we all can be grateful for never ends.

Turns out, my PLAN B kind of worked. Or at least, it’s the beginning. I am not sure how my acts or work would create a positive impact on our world. But I am sure that I’ll push the best of myself to even come close to try doing some ‘great’ work. Or at least some “worthy” work.

Let me end with one of my favourite quotes from Rocky which has always kept me fueled in the worst of scenarios, “It ain’t about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you can get hit & keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!” And let me assure you that’s how movies are made too. 🙂 Cheers!

 Don’t forget to support our campaign and spread a word about it. It’s a lot of hard work. Hashtag, #OneLastQuestion.

UPDATE 1 July 2014: 

On the last day, last hour of our 45-day long campaign, on the night of 21st June 2014, we successfully reached our target Rs. 5,00,000/- for our film- One Last Question. And it was your contributions that made this possible.

When we started one and half month back, we had foreseen the risk in the timing of the campaign. It spanned across 45 days which saw one of the most talked about and biggest elections in the World, IPL Matches and ended while Argentina won against Iran in the FIFA World Cup in the First Round.

Amidst all the heap of buzz, it was amazing how so many people managed to give an ear to our campaign.

Our decision to crowd fund the project was not to simply to raise money, but to validate whether meaningful cinemas are appreciated by the current audience. The fact that I am writing this email, proves the optimism I have been carrying for film-making.

We have also created this Facebook page dedicated to the movie, One Last Question here: https://www.facebook.com/onelastquestionmovie , please like it for continuous updates.

KriSang, Over and Out!! 🙂

You can contact me at:

krisangmotionpictures[at]gmail.com | www.facebook.com/kriasng

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