1. What has been your journey so far? Did you always know you wanted to become a director/entrepreneur?
The journey has been enthralling, to say the least and completely dynamic. It all started with purchasing my first DSLR camera around 2012 when I was influenced and inspired by the photography pages and creative display pictures on Facebook. One thing led to another and the spark caught the fire - my passion for photography developed into film making. It was just a hobby at first, I was making music videos for my friends and launching them on YouTube. Gradually, I started composing music for the videos as well. This only fueled my growing desire to join film school. My decision to join Whistling Woods in Mumbai has been one of my more rewarding decisions so far. I learnt there that my interests were and still are, very diverse. Which is why I wouldn’t call myself a filmmaker. I would like to be called an entrepreneur that invests in the M&A sector.
2. What was the thought process behind your first film? What led to the decision to have your first movie be a Gujarati film?
I was away to college, studying to be a director. Meanwhile, back in Gujarat, the Gujarati cinema was booming. The “urbanisation” of Gujarati cinema happened and they were widely loved. I had decided to make my first Gujrati movie around the time my graduation period rolled in. I began by writing a script. It began as a 40 minute thing and as I approached more people and we discussed the script and the ideas, it grew into a 100 minute proper theatre film. Although it was a low budget movie, it was highly appreciated. Luckily, I got in touch with the right people and the actors I wished to cast gave the green light to be a part of my debut. At 21, I had a decent hit on my resume.
3. How do you come up with your ideas for the 100 day idea challenge?
The process behind coming up with these ideas is looking for patterns; patterns that exist in the world for everything we do. In any industry or any field of work, I look for finding solutions to the problems and try to make them creative. Sometimes the patterns are common, sometimes they depend from industry to industry. At the end of the day, the two most important things are being observant of everything going on around you and looking for patterns. Note them down, they’ll help you in ways you cannot even imagine.
4. How did you know when you had the right idea about the 100 day idea challenge? Describe what it is and what was the thought process behind it.
All of this happened after a strong realisation from a 6 year long journey, that I’m good at coming up with innovative and creative ideas. I have a knack for collecting all my ideas, jotting them down, thinking of them, discovering and researching them for a long time. I’ve had a lot of passions throughout my life but the one thing that has remained consistent was my power of creative thinking and creative problem solving. I thought of this idea in September 2019 after I attended a seminar by Digital Prateek in my friend’s college. So, I decided to turn it into something. The main thought behind this idea was to push myself because, like many others, I am someone who waits till the deadline to complete my tasks. I wanted to give others a motivation to do what their heart desires - I already came up with so many ideas in my blog for aspiring filmmakers, artists, designers, influencers, writers, musicians, etc.
5. How do you plan on growing your venture?
My next step is taking my ideas on to YouTube. Maybe a chat show - one where I meet other experts or influencers and brainstorm with them about specific ideas or innovations. I’d like to come up with new ideas with them, not just discuss what they know. I don’t have a set format for the show yet but I have the agenda to come up with something that can actually help people by discussing all the practical aspects as well.
6. How did you build your team?
At the moment, it is a team of three people. I come up with the ideas and discuss them in the videos. Devanshi takes care of the graphic designing and the shooting of the videos and Tanmay, who edits them. We are a small team but we hope to grow when I take on YouTube.
7. How crucial is it for you to strive for originality in your ideas?
I personally believe that it’s not about originality, it’s about efficiency. Originality is conditional. If you can take any idea and execute it efficiently and without any negative ulterior motives, it will work. There is nothing in this world that is 100 percent original. Everything is inspired from something or the other. For instance, simply try thinking of a colour that doesn’t exist in the world - it is impossible! We’re not biologically wired to do that. My motto behind this challenge is Ideas are basically correct combinations of creative inspirations.
8. Mention any of your inspirations/ mentors, if any.
I don’t have any mentors but I do have inspirations. I have been following Nas Daily on social media for a while. He is a travel blogger who took up the thousand-day challenge and made one - minute travel videos. Now, obviously, a 1000 day challenge requires a huge amount of commitment so I decided to start a little small - with 100 days. I didn’t spend a lot of time pondering over the idea of a 100 day challenge but I did put a lot of thought behind the individual ideas and the visual representation of them. I was also hugely inspired by Digital Prateek for the 100 day idea challenge. Post starting the challenge, I discovered Gary Vee. I love his aura and I love how he doesn’t try very hard to convince people.
9. What has your experience been like till now? What important things have you learned so far?
The experience so far has been crazy. I don’t want to comment on it yet since I’m not even halfway through the challenge yet. I don’t want to pre-assume any notions for myself. I’d like to keep this an open - ended question for now.
One important thing that I’ve learned so far is that consistency is really fruitful. There comes a point when you’re so consistent with your craft that it feels pointless but right after that point/phase ends, you start seeing results. And I don’t mean materialistic results in the form of numbers, I mean it as personal reflection.
10. How much of an important role does marketing play in a venture like this one? And how did you go about it?
Marketing does play a huge role but for me, right now, it is mainly a trial and error thing since I’m not an expert at it. I do wish to hire a professional eventually. In the sense of marketing, a lot of things have worked but a lot of them haven’t but the ones that have, they have paid off. Not all of your efforts will always work is something I’ve learned in my marketing journey.
11. What more of your exciting projects can we look forward to in the near future?
I’m working on my second film. The movie is called Ek Vaat Kau and the script is almost done. I’m planning to start approaching the actors soon and you’ll hear more about it soon.