Each year, across the country, all film festivals have several movies coming from young enthusiasts, who want to imagine and innovate. But a film maker’s journey is never that easy —one needs persistence, creativity and longs hours of dedication.
Debanjan Majhi, who recently won the “Short to Fame” organised by Red FM 93.5 has filmed his artistic imagination. It is not the first festival that his short film Butterflies of War won an award. With his optimistic attitude, he is always determined to create. He shares about his experiences, future plans and more. Excerpts from an interview:
Q.To tell a story in just a few minutes needs a lot of patience and precision. What difficulties did you face in the process of making the film?
The idea of World War III happening in Kolkata was planted in my head about three to four years back, but I thought of taking the film to the floor last year in November. Having a miniscule budget and doing it totally independently, we faced a lot of logistical problems. But then I believed the idea still can be portrayed by creatively doing the screenplay and shot division.
We were doing a futuristic war film, a genre never tried in Bengal at least. So sourcing of the costumes, advanced guns, props was a major problem we faced, but again we believed everything can be done in a film if we do it smartly.
In a sequence, we needed six high-end laser guns, and for that we just used six broomsticks with lasers attached to it by cello tape! Teamwork, perseverance, and the will to tell a new story are the driving forces to make any impossible short film possible.
Q.You have worked in the corporate companies for several years. What made you shift from technical to creative?
From a very young age, I was interested in photography and sketching comics. Hailing from a middle class Bengali family, I had to do engineering and got into a multinational construction company. It would be wrong to say that I wasted my time there, because the experience I attained from there, creating huge underground structures, helped me grow as a human, and of course as a film maker.
Films always excited me, and to be frank, after a point of time, I got frustrated of the job, though it paid me really well. Therefore, I thought dying once peacefully, is better than dying every night, so followed my heart and jumped into a world of uncertainty.
With a boom in digital film making, things are changing and the scope in films as a career option has of course increased, though the financial stability is still a major factor. But again what is life without a bit of risk! I did not choose film as a career to make money or become famous or rich, but to tell simple stories, inspire the people around and spread happiness and awareness.
Q.How supportive was your family towards your work as there is no stable income to stay in the field of film making?
I believe a career in any kind of creative works is difficult, and film making stands out because you have to be dependent on a lot of factors, human resources to create an art form. Moreover, I do not hold an academic degree in this field, so it is more risky, but I believe if you love something from your heart and do it, it will yield something, and sustainability will not be an issue.
My parents, both doctors, were a bit skeptical about it at first, but after a year or more, I have already assisted in four major feature films, including a Bollywood film, and a lot of ad films, short films, corporate videos, etc. It is a bumpy ride, but gradually, they trust my decision and I am sure that one day I can make them proud.
Q.What are your upcoming projects?
Currently, we have formed a group called Innokrea Motion Pictures, where we are primarily focusing on making short films, which are different in some way, be it the concept or the treatment, and am lucky to get a great efficient team, working by my side.
Similarly like me, they have also left their jobs and have dedicated themselves fully in making better films. Many of the youngsters with fresh minds and broad outlook are also joining us for greater good.
For now, I am concentrating on developing my knowledge, skill and technicalities before I venture out for a full length feature film, because it is not only about making a film, but a good film.