Beta: Maa, mujhe director banna hai…
Maa: You think you’ve got it in you?
Beta: Of course, I’m the biggest cinephile I know. I have watched all the films on IMDB Top 250. I have read several books on film-making and I have a great insight into the medium. I can write powerful reviews and can predict awards…
Maa: Come on, son. Open your eyes to reality. You think that’s enough?
Beta: No. That’s not much actually… In fact, I need to have a feature film script – something mind-blowing, extra-ordinary. I have some ideas in my head. I just need to write it down. Or get a brilliant writer to do it for me.
Maa: Will that be enough?
Beta: Of course not. Directing is not ‘possessing a great script’. I need to prove my worth as a director. To myself, and to others, I should be able to prove that I have great command over visual storytelling, and I know how to work with actors.
Maa: How do you plan to do that?
Beta: By making short films. I need to make that one kick-ass short film that will help me convince everyone about my abilities. I also need to attend acting workshops, theater, or something like that to learn how to work with actors.
Maa: A great script, a great short-film, and experience with actors… that’s it?
Beta: No Maa… I need to work on a film set. Assist directors. I need to know how everything functions in a film unit. Or I would appear dumb when I take control of my own set… Also, I want to add before you ask a question, I think I should attain mastery over either of the three main aspects: writing, cinematography, or editing. Once I finish all of these, and what I mentioned above, I’ll be ready to direct.
Beta: Not yet. I need relationships inside the industry. Not merely contacts, but relationships. I need to know, at a personal level, several actors, production designers, cinematographers, editors, sound designers, musicians, lyricists, choreographers. The more I know, the better. I can’t expect all of them to be free whenever I make a film. So I need to have back-ups, and good ones.
Maa: And then?
Beta: Then I need to look for a Producer and some funding. There are several producers waiting for people like me. And that means ‘me with all the above-mentioned resources’. Once I have all these, they will welcome me with pleasure…. The only problem is…
Beta: Then they will scrutinize the commercial viability of my film. And will assign only a certain budget to it. They will make arrangements for the funds, but I’ll have to operate within that.
Maa: Is that a cause for concern?
Beta: It is. But so is life – all opportunities come with a price or a condition. But yes, that’s all I need, to turn into a film director…. Only….
Beta: If I think of the entire conversations we just had, it seems it will take me several years to be able to do that. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to do it.
Maa: You will, son. You are the most passionate and dedicated person in the entire world. And with such an amazing clarity about the process, I’m sure you’ll do it – sooner or later. I’ll wait for that day to see your name on the big screen: A film by Mera Beta!
Beta (tears in his eyes): I love you, Mom!
Maa (tears all over her face): I love you too, Beta!