Carving his own little niche!

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When a dream becomes a passion and that passion becomes life, nothing else matters; you start living and loving life! For dreams and passion are more powerful than facts and reality. It takes guts to achieve glory and conviction to stick to your dreams.

Well on this path to achieving his dreams, carving his own little niche is our very own Hari Mrutyumjaya, who worked as the Assistant Director in Nagarjuna’s latest blockbuster film Soggade Chinni Nayana.

An alumnus of AISFM, who had pursued his Masters in Film & Media, Hari is from the first batch of this school. Speaking about what motivates him and what his inspiration is, he says, “Since my college days i.e. intermediate I would keep writing stories on paper and tell my friends about it. I even sent some stories to a local film magazine. I continued writing stories even while I was doing my B.Tech in Sri Vasavi Engineering College, Tadepalligudam. I then joined AISFM to pursue my M.A. to know and learn more about other aspects of filmmaking. My M.A. project was Pranam, based on the stageplay called ‘Kuka’ by Yandamoori Veerendranath. I read about him a lot.”

So where does your passion lie; have you always wanted to become a director? To this he says, “I love writing but I will not leave direction at the same time. If the writing is good then the film is good. If writing is perfect then 80% of the job is done, the remaining 20% would be, to shoot the film. Without a proper story, even a big director’s movie will be a flop.”

Speaking about his experience on being a part of the trendsetting record-breaking big blockbuster movie Soggade Chinni Nayana, he says “When I saw the characters I liked Nagarjuna Sir’s character a lot, especially the differentiation between the dual roles and the whole essence of the movie. I had a feeling that it would do well, but it is such a big blockbuster! The fantasy and nativity of it all, is very unique. On the first day of the film during pre-production the director, Kalyan Krishna, gave me the script and asked me to read it and involved me in the whole process.  AISFM involved us and taught us all aspects of filmmaking and this helped me a lot. Even though it was such a big production I felt very comfortable working and being part of it. Initially I was scared but later on it was all fine. On the last day of shooting, we all felt that the final output was really good and were very happy.” Making the most of his break before he starts working on his next project, Hari has a story in mind and will be working on its screenplay.

At AISFM we learnt each aspect of filmmaking. It was easy for me later, since I learnt about everything in the school. Even though we worked on small projects we looked into each department; whereas in the industry it is divided into each department, so the knowledge and prior experience helped. It didn’t feel new and it was easy working. We learnt what to do and what not to do. We learnt that planning is very important in any department, then there is clarity,” he said about his learning at AISFM.

What are you friends and family saying about your recent laurels? With a smile on his face, he says “They are very happy. It is because of my B.Tech friends, Maruthi Kiran and Narendra Kumar, that I am here. They paid my fees when I could not afford it and made sure that I got into a really good school like AISFM to realize my dream. They helped and supported me a lot and encouraged me at all times. Initially I tried my hand in the industry and got small offers but then I wanted to learn more about the craft, so they helped me by paying the fees to get into AISFM. At AISFM, Krupakar Sir encouraged me a lot and introduced me to the director of Soggade Chinni Nayana Kalyan Krishna. If not for his help, I would not have got a break so soon. Kalyan Krishna asked me about the course and what they taught me and once he was sure that I was good for the job, he took me as his assistant director. My specialization was scriptwriting, so the director asked me for suggestions and was always open to any that I suggested. Kalyan Krishna supported me a lot and was always helpful.”

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Any interesting anecdotes that he would like to share with us? To this, reliving his fan moment he says, “Kalyan Krishna is like a brother not just with me but with everyone. So, for a small scene in the movie he asked me if I would like to play the brother of Hamsanandini in it. I am a huge fan of Nagarjuna Sir, so I readily agreed. My most memorable moment is that, I have a scene with Nagarjuna Sir in the movie and even share two dialogues in that scene. Cinematographer Siddharth was also very funny and helpful.”

When asked if he told Nagarjuna that he is from AISFM, to this he said, “I did not because it will be good if I introduce myself to him after I make a name for myself and then make him proud by saying that I am from AISFM.”

So in three years from now, where does he see himself? To this he confidently says that “I would definitely have directed a movie by then. And I want to direct my own story, only then I will be able to realize it completely.”

Sharing his experiences and lessons learnt for future aspirants, he said, “People who take up the job should work according to the job requirement and satisfy them and should not brag. We should do our job to the best and respect all crew, be it in any department. It will also help if we are involved in pre and post production work also, so that the learning is complete. For example in AISFM we learnt about sync sound also but in the industry dubbing is followed majorly, so being involved in post production also helps you learn a lot.”

Ending the discussion on a philosophical note, he said, “We should always keep learning and should not think that we know everything, since filmmaking in a continuous learning process. One lifetime is not enough. Writing is also important; we should keep writing and develop it further.”

Here’s wishing Good Luck to Hari for his upcoming movies and in everything that he does!

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