I really want to be a film director

I'm in Class 11 and B.J.M.C. is the course which comes natural to me. But I really want to be a film director as well. Please advise as I'm confused regarding my career path.

Film direction involves a lot about creativity, knowledge and story-telling and a little about technicalities. To become a film director, you need to have skills like writing, research skills and visual storytelling. Working in any field related to filmmaking gives you great exposure to the movie world. From a screenwriter to a cameraman, start with any one job that you are interested in and then work your way up to filmmaking. Many of our successful directors have walked this path.

A career in direction is not an easy one. The field is full of struggles and hardships. Only those who have close relations or contacts have an easy access. For others, it's pure grappling. Even after so much hard work and expertise that they put in, directors don't get to be as famous as the actors.

On the other hand, the profession is truly a rewarding and satisfying one, for those who are crazily passionate about it. You get to make the stars dance to your tunes! You can inspire people and sow the seeds for a significant positive change in society. And if you are consistently determined, you will make crores.

With the presence of YouTube and websites like Voot, you have various platforms to showcase your talent. You can direct a short film and put it on YouTube or look for an opportunity to assist already existing television, YouTube or Voot directors. As of now, you can plan to join BJMC and along with this, try your hands at making short films.

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I have a great passion for acting.

I am 15 years old and I have a great passion for acting. But I am very tense because it is very costly. But I’m not ready for any other career. What should I do to become an actor? Which acting class is best to join and where? And what steps I should take to become a successful actor?

If you believe you possess the ability to imagine, to relate to people and situations that exist in another mind, if you can project moods and emotions, if you can present a make-believe performance that may not be splendid but is convincing, then you could well take a swing at acting. A good memory is necessary in order to learn parts quickly along with the stamina to cope with arduous rehearsals, countless retakes and outdoor shoots.

One way to start off is to first undertake a suitable course at a good acting school. Get a portfolio done by a professional photographer and take a screen-test if possible to seek an unbiased professional opinion about your potential. While good looks are an asset, they are not everything. It’s your acting skills that really count.

Here are some of the institutes which offer courses in acting: Sri Aurobindo Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi; The National School of Drama, New Delhi; Film & Television Institute of Tamil Nadu, Chennai.

But be cautious, don’t be impressed by a handful of actors who are famous and earn in crores. Most actors have a second part-time job just to pull them through. The actors have to deal with long strenuous rehearsals, temperamental individuals, touring opportunities, and many other aspects. Competition is tough and there is no job security.


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I am a Std IX student and I want to be a cinematographer. Please suggest some courses I could do after Std XII. Will my choice of stream affect my profession?

Cinematographers are the movie ‘photographers’, planning and executing the whole shooting of a film. They determine how each scene in a movie, TV show, advertisement or video will look on camera.

Various certificate and diploma courses in Cinematography are available to acquire knowledge in this field. A good course polishes one’s visual imagination and creative ability, includes live shooting, gives exposure to advanced digital shooting technology and computer software for creating visual effects for individual shots, experience with live studios and so on. Eligibility is usually 10+2 in any stream.

Some of the Institutes offering courses are The Film and Television Institute of India, Pune; Asian academy of Film and Television, Noida; Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute, Kolkata; L.V. Prasad Film and TV Academy, Chennai; Film and Television Institute of Tamil Nadu, Chennai.


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I am in Class 9 and I am interested in Cinematography. What courses do I have to do after class 12 to get into this field?

Cinematography is the art and technique of motion picture photography and cinematographers are the ‘movie; photographers. They use camera, lighting and related equipment to create the desired visual “mood” or “feel” for a film. They are basically the directors of photography, and instead of directing people, cinematographers direct the camera.

There are no formal educational requirements to enter this field. But a proper training teaches broad technical understanding of this field and offers much needed practical experience with variety of cameras. A good course in camera and lighting techniques polishes one’s visual imagination and creative ability, teaching you how to get the right effect.

Some of the institutes offering related courses are The Film and Television Institute of India, Pune; Asian Academy of Film and television, Noida; Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute Kolkata; L.V. Prasad Film and TV Academy, Chennai; Film and Television Institute of Tamil Nadu, CIT Campus, Chennai; Bihar Institute of Film and Television, Patliputra Colony, Patna.


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Throw Light


How to pursue career in film direction?

Film direction is not an easy job. Even if you do get selected to the Film Institute in Pune and do well there, your struggle would have, in fact, just begun. For the initial years of your career you would be making ends meet by doing ad films. Even a few years down the line, you probably would still not have worked under a famous banner. Small time work and big time uncertainty may be your way of life for several of your initial years.

The Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) IN Pune runs a three-year diploma course in film direction. Admission forms have to be submitted in the month of March. The address is:

Film and Television Institute of India, Law College Road, Pune- 411004.


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