How does one become a filmmaker?

Recently, my AD asked me an impromptu question – “How does one become a filmmaker?”.

As a Director, one is used to be the ‘Answer Man’ for the entire crew. And to not be able to respond to such a basic query, seemed by itself quite amusing.

The immediate response that came to mind was – “the question itself is wrong!”.

To further explain my vague response, I decided to give even more vague explanation. The following is an excerpt of the conversation.

Who taught Aryabhatta about Mathematics?
Who taught the Wright Brothers about Aeronautics?
Who taught Buddha about Enlightenment?
For that matter, who taught Grandma to tell stories?

Inventors of the world were the first to introduce their ‘concepts’ that later became the subject of education for rest of the world. Inventing cannot be taught. Inventors are born!

And so are Storytellers. It’s not something you become. It’s who you already are.

A storyteller is just an individual, who has a keen eye to see beyond the appearances, a knack to fathom the mysteries of human traits, and most importantly, vivid imagination to connect one incident with another and weave a narrative.

If you can look at a stranger, and instantly, get a sense of his life saga, see him as a character in your story, think of events around his life and figure a way to tell it in an interesting way, you are a storyteller.

And films are just one of the medium employed by the storytellers. There are painters, photographers and authors out there, all doing the same.

Filmmaking can be a career goal but it’s not the destination for those out on a creative pursuit. Rather, It’s just means to an end for a Storyteller.

I would have gone further into the explanation, but my mental rant was interrupted by the realization that my AD was still impatiently awaiting an insight.

So all I ended up saying to him was –

“Don’t’ bother being a filmmaker, Just try being the Storyteller!”.

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