The filmmaker, the psychologist and the dark arts

Vishal Tondon, Faculty, Liberal Arts, at AISFM, gives Ritika Saxena the complete picture of why Psychology is an integral ingredient in filmmaking and its various facets.

image-Vishal-Tondon-Liberal Arts-AISFM

Some might wonder why our film students study Human Psycholgy as part of their degree programmes. But an understanding of the human psyche is integral to creating characters steeped in reality rather than stereotypical caricatures.

Understanding human psychology is essential to filmmaking and not many know why, says Vishal. “Teams and people are a part-and parcel-of any film set and it doesn’t matter which unit you’re working with. Apart from that many filmmakers apply psychological concepts in films.


When the students are taught the subject, it helps them understand a human being’s motivation, their perspective of life and their behaviour. Once they understand that, it’s easier for them to draft the character sketches and help in depiction of the leads in their stories.

Social Psychology

Social psychology is all about influencing and adapting. For instance, one may alter their behaviour looking at another person. That can mean that they have adapted the other person’s behavior or have influenced the other person to change their behavior. This is extremely important while working on a film as there are hordes of people you work with and someone or the other is constantly influencing or adapting the other’s behavior.

Art of Persuasion

The art of persuasion plays a vital role if you are a filmmaker. When you make a film it is important for you to convince your target audience to come and watch the film too! You need to understand the audience’s needs and wants. And, the art of persuasion equips you with the ability to summarize the right messaging for your viewers. It also gives you the tricks of advertising so that, as a filmmaker, you market your product in a way that will draw viewers to your movie.


Attitude is often misconstrued as a negative term. But in reality, attitude simply means one’s reaction to a new idea. It can be positive or negative. Attitude may be influenced by temperament, education background, etc. It comes into play most when you work in a team as it helps you evaluate how much you need to change your attitude and how much you need to change others’ attitude.

Psychology of Culture

As a filmmaker it is imperative for you to be aware of the different cultures that exist. Individualistic culture results in you putting your interests above others, while in collectivistic culture, contrary to the former, your interests lie in the group. This helps when you need to take your audience as a group and put their interests above yours. Because no viewers, no movie!


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