Deciding to be a filmmaker might have been, for me, the hardest step of all. This is my personal journey. Your journey might not be anything like mine. But I hope this lets you know that you are not alone.

Before Deciding to be a Filmmaker

I come from a family of working class men and women—teachers, doctors, advocates etc.—for whom arts was something to pass time. It was not something to make a living out of.

I am an Engineer by degree. Got placed in Tata Consultancy Services, in Mumbai, during my campus time itself. For someone who had never earned in his life, the pay was good. Had some good friends. Went roaming every other weekend.

Even within TCS itself I had found my place. I moved out of coding within few months and ended up in a group called TechCom. I got to improve a lot of my skills—language, writing, public speaking, art, videography etc. Yeah that was fun.

New city. New friends. New experiences. Life was good.

Deciding to Quit

When everything is good, why quit? That is exactly why deciding to be a filmmaker was the hardest for me. Unlike the cliche story of someone hating their job and deciding to follow their passion, I loved what I did. And I was pretty good at it too.

I was happy and so was everyone else. Deciding to leave that, to jump into the unknown, was tough.

What prompted me to make the jump was something in me that kept saying that I could be more. I wasn’t using the full potential of who I was. Nor was a position higher in the corporate ladder going to do that.

“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” — Tony Robbins

It might seem unbelievable now, but I did not know then that it is a filmmaker that I wanted to be. I knew I wanted to do something in the arts, probably writing. And through that maybe in 5/10 years, find my way to becoming a film director.

All I knew was that I loved stories. And I jumped all in.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.” Steve Jobs

Your Journey to be a Filmmaker

The conviction of knowing to the very core of our being why I am here, who I am meant to be, that is the only thing that will keep you going when things are not going the way you wanted them to.

Spend time to find your reasons. It is worth putting down our life for.

It was only that which gave me the courage to convince my near and dear ones, held me strong when my distant family members criticised, kept me aligned to my goals when the paths faltered.

Wishing that you find your calling and the courage to follow through to a joyful and purpose driven life. Happy New Year!

If you are someone who has already made the decision to become a filmmaker, how different was your journey? Let us know in the comments.

Hey Aspiring Filmmaker,

I debuted my film career making a feature film for ₹5 lakhs ($7,000) on an iPhone. I’d like to help you do the same. So I wrote everything I learned into a book. It is now available on Amazon, called The Indian Indie Film (or Make Your Film for rest of the world). Enjoy!