It’s productive learning from your own mistakes: Homi Adajania

Debarati Palit Singh
Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Filmmaker Homi Adajania says that one cannot be taught filmmaking as it’s a intuitive thing and he is not a big fan of filmmaking courses

Filmmaker Homi Adajania says that one cannot be taught filmmaking as it’s a intuitive thing and he is not a big fan of filmmaking courses

Homi Adajania says that Bollywood is one of the most forgiving industry. “It’s quite evident with number of people getting a second chance. It’s never like your material flops and you are written off. This includes everyone from actors, directors to musicians. If fact, you get many chances in this industry,” says the filmmaker while promoting  HP India MTV Fame-istan. Homi has mentored a budding filmmaker Subham Yogi. Fame-istan will train four aspiring filmmakers to make a short film and each one is mentored by well-known names from the Indian film industry.

Talking about his mentorship, Homi says that he dint wanted get to involved in the project that suddenly it stops becoming the other person’s project but instead looks like his own. “These people had no idea what and how to make a film but I wanted them to make their own mistakes and learn from it. I guided them on how I will do. But I kept emphasising that, ‘this is your story, tell it the way you want to tell it’. I strongly believe that it’s much productive learning from your mistakes rather than borrowing from someone else’s idea and then realising that you have not done anything yourself,” says the filmmaker known for films like Being Cyrus, Cocktail and Finding Fanny.   

He adds that Yogi showed some of the rough cuts and they have thorough discussions on how he should shoot the film. “I shared with him all the faults that I have made as a filmmaker and believe me, I have made lots of them. Considering that he’s never made a film before, but he has still done a good job,” he says, adding, “In that sense, this has opened many doors for him and what he aspires to work on in this medium. Let them go through their journey because it will teach them a lot. They will realise what do they like, how to tell a story.”

But what’s best the best piece of advice, he had received in his career so far, to which Homi replies, “The best advice I would like to share is that, ‘trust your instinct and have fun’. The moment people start over-analysing, start taking things seriously, listen to other people, that’s when they go wrong.”

Is mentorship important to become a filmmaker or is it something inbuilt; you either have it in you or you don’t? “I have to actually agree with you on that,” says the filmmaking, adding that one cannot teach anyone to become a director. “It’s a very intuitive thing. A lot of people think it’s easier than it is, then try to make a film and learn the hard way. I have been often called to teach direction at film schools but as an mentor, I can only share my experiences with them or how I approached the craft. But I definitely can’t teach them how to become a director,” he says. He adds that he is not a big fan of these film direction courses. “Even with Yogi, I have guided him but it’s now up to him to decide if he wants to get into director or post production.

As we movie towards films, he says that he will make an official announcement of his next film soon. But why does he takes so long gaps between each project? “Because I am busy living my life. I am busy doing other stuff, I am Scuba Diving instructor, I spend lot of time into adventure sports and then babysitting my kids who are small. There’s too much in life rather than putting your head down and doing one thing. If I am keen to tell a story, I will jump into telling the story. I cannot tell a story just to make money. Money has never been a motivating factor for me,” he says. He adds that luckily he is not chasing a dream that he has to make 20 films. “If I wake up one day and have a story to tell, I will go ahead and tell it.” 

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