“Do what you love and love what you do.” We’ve been told this time and time again, but no one talks about the difficulties we encounter while trying to implement it. Regardless of whether you want to change your current career or haven’t graduated from engineering yet and want to pursue filmmaking, it is essential to make an informed decision.
Apart from being passionate about filmmaking, there are several other factors you should consider before taking the leap. The industry is highly competitive and while it’s not essential to have contacts, in the beginning, you should be able to build your contacts gradually over time. You’ll need to be able to market your art, so it reaches as many people as possible and gets noticed.
Pursuing a filmmaking course (a diploma or a degree) after graduating will not only help you expand your skillset, but it will also serve as a formal education when you apply for a job. The people around you will constantly doubt you and will try to convince you to stay on your current career path, but in the end, it’s you who must take the call.
Always remember: It is you who has to do the work every day, not the people!
You are not the first and certainly will not be the last person to face this dilemma. Many engineers turned towards the film industry and found their true calling. Sreemoyee Bhattacharya is a perfect example of this. Initially, she worked for an IT consultancy firm (TCS) and when her job took her to the UK, she graduated into filmmaking. Her films have been nominated for various awards at the Cannes Film Festival, Raindance Film Festival, Kerala Film Festival and Chicago South Asian Film Festival.
Check out our career guide for an in-depth insight into filmmaking as a career – it will help you transition smoothly!
Is filmmaking a good career choice in India?
A visual medium always attracts a large audience, and India is the biggest producer of films. Apart from Bollywood and Ad films, the south Indian film industry and television channels require a large number of directors, cinematographers, screenwriters, etc. to keep up with the constant demand for new content.
Major cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, and Bangalore have well-known filmmaking institutes that provide opportunities in the areas of film, television and even theatre.
“Follow your passion, not the people around you.”
Where and how should you apply and study for filmmaking after completing your engineering?
- The first step is to identify which branch of filmmaking you want to enter.
- Your engineering degree can get you a job in the movie industry too! Art direction, set design, post-production, sound design, music production, sound engineering, documentary production, VFX, animation are a few of the many diverse and manifold avenues you can enter.
- Once you’ve found your niche, select a course that suits your requirements best.
- In the process of obtaining a formal education, build your contacts by attending various film festivals, and interact with as many people as possible.
- Enroll for relevant internships, get ample practical experience, and enter the industry with a whole lot of confidence.
Changing your career will be one of the biggest commitments ever; you will receive both support and flak for your decision, be patient and seize every opportunity that comes your way.
Didn’t complete your engineering yet?
Join clubs in your college that are related to filmmaking. Whenever you have time, make short films by collaborating with people who have similar interests. Keep in mind that you should complete your engineering. Strike a balance between your college workload and the time you spend working on your films because your engineering degree can act as a safety net in case things don’t work out.
Remember that once you’ve completed your engineering, you can pursue a course of your choice.
Make films, Make Films, Make Films!
The movie industry is highly competitive, and it will be difficult for your parents to understand your decision to change your career path. Nevertheless, keep striving and working towards a career fueled by your passion. Even industry giants like Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan never studied filmmaking; they pursued different degrees before realizing that their true calling was filmmaking. The need for fresh content is eternal.
With streaming companies like Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO always looking for new films, opportunities are in abundance if you can bring something different to the table.