Ramdas Shenoy in conversation with Lakshmi R Iyer, CEO & Founder Streetsmart Productions and Creative Producer at Joker Films , on her journey from Corporate to the Movie making world.
How did the movie bug bite you?
I was a school topper preparing for CA and had no idea about media or movies, movies happened to me. It was all written in my destiny, I met a famous model at the airport who insisted I should get my professional pictures done and model. I modelled for many popular brands and tv commercials, and started assisting behind camera out of interest. Gradually I even stepped into production as well, and in 2017 I founded my own production house Streetsmart Productions and started making short films.
How was your Corporate Journey?
I have been a multitasker all my life. I can’t sit idle. Hence, I did pursue corporate career as well my last corporate job was with IBM UAE, I did create some great insightful corporate videos for them too. Presently I am pursuing a course from IIT Bombay in digital marketing and analytics. I genuinely believe learning is forever. Keep going and keep growing. 2017 is when I decided to leave corporate world for good.
What is the difference between a typical corporate life and movie making? Q. What will be your advice to someone who wants to jump from a corporate world to the movie world?
I wouldn’t lie making money in movie world especially during your initial years is quite a task. As there is no month end that salary gets credited. A lot of times there are no contracts and it works on trust . It’s a tough call, hence to ensure I stay financially stable I kept juggling between movies and corporate.
The main difference is a corporate world the sense of security is surely high. In movies the path is tough there is no formula to success here except having faith in your skills. My only advice Is ask yourself before you want to make the big jump from corporate to movies. Do you really want to be here and are you trying to play test and trial.
One needs to madly in love with movies to be here. Movies makes me happy and I don’t think I would want me unhappy. I chose it and I am here to stay by giving it all I have as a filmmaker. Don’t get disheartened by rejections they only shape you up for a better future in this industry.
How is the opportunities landscape for an independent filmmaker?
Filmmaking is a profession of dreams, passion, hard work, patience, perseverance , creativity, all of this and so much more. Like every industry the independent filmmakers need to go through the grind and must have self-belief to go through this journey step by step…if you are good, I truly believe this industry has a space for each one of us in its heart. Keep your eyes open and don’t lose focus as you need to work towards your goal every single day as the competition out here is immense.
How do you see the Indian scene– are we over fed with content which is more raw, trying to copy west or somewhere we have lost the art of storytelling?
I think the OTT platform especially during the pandemic has opened up new doors for so many talents, It’s been a blessing for many indeed. The Indian audience today is very smart and anything mediocre gets rejected immediately. Movies are based on inspirations whether from real life or from some other medium and there is nothing wrong in that. A simple “I Love You” can be expressed differently by different actors and directors execute the same scene differently.
Hence I don’t think we have lost the art of storytelling but for sure there is a scope of improvement and we are working towards it by adding our own flavors in our cinema and in our creations.
What is your long term vision?
At the moment I am making my 4th short film…I plan to make a feature film in the next 2-3 years whenever I am ready with a great script. I believe good stories are a must for good movies. I do see myself making many movies, a lot of them in the coming future and entertaining all of you with some good cinema.
Who are your idols in Film making?
Mani Ratnam, Sriram Raghavan, Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Rajkumar Hirani all of them inspire me a lot, Fan girl of all of them.
Which are your upcoming projects and a brief on your past projects?
My upcoming short film is titled “First Second Chance” and I’m all set to roll in August 2021,right now the pre-production work is on for the same.
The stellar cast includes Ananth Mahadevan, Renuka Shahane and Devoleena Bhattacharjee and some more actors. Before this I have directed three short films Appa, Wrong Mistake and Seasoned with love( It crossed 86 million views on YouTube and also streaming on Hungama Play OTT currently)
#LakshmiRIyer #renukash #DevoleenaBhattacharjee #AnanthMahadevan @iyer_lakshmi