Mohan Kamakshi made his big screen debut with “Adi Purana” last week. In an exclusive interview, the editor-turned-director spoke to NewsKarnataka.com about his journey in the film industry:
How did you enter the film industry?
I always wanted to be a director in the film industry. when I was a kid, I would wait to read the newspapers where the film news was published and later, in my college days, I was determined to become a director. The popular director Nagathahalli Chandrashekar was a lecturer in our college. I was also inspired by him and decided to take up filmmaking as my profession. But entering into the film industry was not at all easy. Assistant directors were hardly paid and I had to look after my family. However, my passion for films never died down. I decided to take up editing work and thought that, at least in this way, I can be a part of the film industry. I started editing films for corporates and was part of many documentaries. My first project in the film industry was Sudeep and Ramya starrer “Mussanje Mathu”, where I worked as the co-editor of the film.
How was your experience as an editor in the film industry?
I made my debut as an independent editor with Mussanje Mahesh directorial “Iniya”. Later, I worked with directors like Guruprasad, Girish Kasarvalli and Apoorva Kasarvalli. Working as an editor in Kannada films has been a good experience, which I cherish. By working as an editor, I got more chances to interact with directors. As the whole film finally comes to life in the editing room, I got to know more about filmmaking. This gave me the confidence to direct films without any experience of working as an assistant or associate director.
Why did you cast newcomers in your debut film “Adi Purana”?
I had this comedy script in mind and was working on it. I noticed Shashank, when he came to the studio, while I was working on his brother’s home production. Shashank’s real-life personality matched that of the hero in my script. He was very shy with girls. As my hero’s character was similar, I thought he was perfect for the role. I asked him if he was interested in acting and, although he said he wasn’t interested, I convinced him to agree to play the role. Later, we did many workshops and I cast Shashank for no other reason than that he was perfect for the role.
Why did you not approach a big star for your debut film?
I will be honest. I have limitations. I have never worked in the direction department before. If I have a great story and approach a big star, how will he know that I can handle such a big film without any prior experience in direction? Why will a producer invest crores of money in my film when I do not have any experience? The execution of the film is not the only task for a director of a big-star film. He has to manage the sets and the stars. It is not at all easy. I knew that I could not do this in my first film. I have to work on a few more films before I can approach a big star. Also, the subject of “Adi Purana” was such that I had to approach a newbie. The advantage of working with newcomers is that we can experiment with them.
What is the difference between the corporate and film industries?
I have been a part of both industries and I have found two major differences between them. The first thing is money. In the corporate industry, you are paid on a regular basis and the remuneration is good. However, in the film industry, the pay is not so good, especially for newcomers. Only after you have established yourself, can you earn in crores, but until then, it is a big struggle to earn money in the film industry. The next big difference is creativity. In the corporate industry, there isn’t much scope for creativity as you have to keep on doing the same thing. There is also not much interaction with other technicians so you can’t learn much. But in the film industry, you can work more creatively. There is more creative space. Most of the people work in the film industry even though the pay is not as much because there is scope for creativity. It gives one a high which money cannot give you. Most of them enter the film industry not for comforts, but for passion.
What are your future projects?
I am currently working on a script and I have got a producer on board. However, we have not locked the script yet. The producer was impressed with “Adi Purana” and wants me to work on another film of a similar genre. But I want to do something different and don’t want to stick to the comedy genre. Let us wait and see what’s in store. I will make an official announcement soon regarding my future project.