Calling the shorts

Traditionally ventured into only by students of film studies and mass media, short filmmaking is increasingly being undertaken by students from academic backgrounds as diverse as medicine , architecture and engineering.

Amit Khanna, a graduate in hospitality administration and an MBA seemed to have made the right choice of education for the longest time in keeping with his ambition of becoming a chef and then opening his own restaurant. This till he decided to venture into short filmmaking – a field completely different from the academic background he had pursued. I was a top performer in college. No one including my parents expected me to take up short films whose very first short film went on to outdo everybody’s expectations with a nomination at the Kara Film Festival Pakistan Many other nominations and wins followed, with some of his films being screened at film festivals at Goa, Berlin, California etc.

Khanna is not an exception. His is in fact, a case amongst a growing number of students from completely unrelated and unallied academic qualifications entering the world of short films – as writers, directors, editors and a lot more – first as a hobby that translates into a passion and in some cases, a full time profession.

Ideal (L) Expressions

For many their encounter with short films is triggered by the need to explore new media of visual expression. As architects we are always exploring new media of visual representation. In the final year we were exposed to a module on filmmaking where we picked up the basic technicalities of camera handling and the works. It was then that I realized that filmmaking is not very different from architecture and decided to try my hand at it. I’ve never stopped making short films after that!

No resources restraint

Not belonging to a film school or devoid of a course in filmmaking does not seem to be a deterrent to those who wish to share a story on celluloid Filmmaking is for anybody who understands it. The only advantage of attending a film school is that it shortens the time frame for learning and lets your network with like minded people. Apart from that nobody really cares what institution you come from as long as you can tell and sell your story. From an Indian perspective self learning and practical filmmaking is even more important as film school fees are very high.

Cinema has always excited the average Joe on the street. All of us have a story to tell. Earlier not too many people could be a part of it due to lack of resources. Slowly, people are realizing the power of short films which by virtue of their dynamics allow many more people to participate in the process. Making a short film neither requires excessively developed neither technical skills nor sophisticated equipment. This works very well for students even those pursuing different courses.

Web Works

Just like for everything else, the world wide web has plays a very important role in helping student film makers gain a lot – from their knowledge on technical and non-technical aspects of filmmaking to an audience for their work.

Resume Ropes

Yet another reason that seems unlikely at first but true is students from various fields taking to short filmmaking as a way to spruce up their resume. A lot of students believe that showing short filmmaking as part of their extra curricular activities adds to their employability quotient. It doesn’t matter what course you are pursuing. You may be an accountant or an astronaut but as a short film maker, you tend to bring creativity and new ideas to the same tasks and perform it in a different way than most others. This, to employers is an added that goes in favor of a candidate.