Talking Cinema with Rakshit Shetty
Engineer by degree, director, writer and actor by profession. Rakshit Shetty is living proof that a degree does not maketh the man. With a calm and composed exterior, this young director is already going places.
His passion for making movies reaches new heights every time he completes one and after the success of his directorial debut, ‘Ulidavaru Kandanthe’ he is sure this can only lead to better things. In a candid interview with TMJ, he opens up about his journey and gives us a peek into the mind of Rakshit Shetty.
You are an Electronics and Communication Engineer by degree, how did you choose the career path of acting?
Acting was always one of my major interests but I could never tell people about it until I finished my degree. Engineering was my back up. After working for two years, I shifted to theater. It came naturally to me as I never experienced stage fright. Writing was a passion and direction was an experiment and after watching a lot of world cinema I knew this is something I wanted to do and cinema became my life.
Out of all the films that you’ve directed and have acted in, which one is the closest to your heart?
Every project of mine taught me something or the other. With every movie, I grew as a person but the closest to my heart would be my independent film – Let’s Kill Gandhi. Although the trailer was a big hit and I got a lot more offers to direct after that I couldn’t finish the film due to lack of funding. With lack of support from the internet media, the project had to be stopped.
The audience don’t seem to be very keen on watching movies anymore. What is your take on it?
Cinema changes every day. Everyone has their own take on cinema, Anurag Kashyap’s films and Salman Khan’s movies can’t compete with each other as they are completely different from one another. The market has become bigger and everyone wants to be a part of the 100 crore club. I think cinema is growing and it will sure be stable once they’re done trying new things and understanding what keeps the audience in their seats and what doesn’t.
You’ve worked for both Short films and the commercial film industry as a director. How different are both from one another?
There is a vast difference in both. Working for short films grants you some kind of independence and freedom to complete your movie in your own time. A scene to be shot for 6 days can be prolonged to 9 days but in a commercial film you are answerable to the cinematographer and there are time constraints. Secondly, in a short film expenses are less but in commercial films, production cost is very high.
What do you think about the idea of ‘remakes’? Do you think that the original movies lose their true essence because of being remade?
A remake isn’t a bad thing but it is pointless when you have access to the original. I think one should try and recreate shows and movies. Malgudi days was an amazing serial and one can always continue producing more episodes from other RK Laxman books.
Tell us something about your upcoming projects.
Well, there is my movie called ‘Life of Dustbin’. Then there is Vaastr Prakara, which is underway and a directorial collaboration with Pawan Kumar – the director of Lucia. We haven’t come up with a name yet but you will be hearing about it soon.
Sub-edited by Manasi Srivathsan