Interview With Director Manish Gupta
Posted by Vivek on May 3, 2009 | 1 Comment
Talk to us about your evolution from Corporate to Creative?
There came a point when corporate life ceased to be exciting anymore. I had no choice but to jump full time into something more exciting. Honestly speaking movies was not really a very clear dream when I made my alcohol induced decision to leave my well paying job and join NYFA.
I’ve been lucky to find funding for my first feature ‘Indian Fish’ when it came out. I still remember you supported the fish and I had a chance to bring it to San Fransisco. Making of Indian fish was a long drawn process, but those days were the best. I never lived a better life before.. we never wanted the process to end. It was a great time.. it rendered me forever unwilling to seek shelter in corporate cage.
Indian Fish was long time ago. Then happened “Karma & Holi” which was produced by Drena DeNiro, who is Bob’s (thats what they call Robert DeNiro) daughter and things further changed forever.
Currently, I’ve been spending more time in India and full time working on painting (fine art), literature (novels, poems etc) and movies. Ambitions, resources and place wise, Its a different playground – exciting, scary and overwhelming at the same time.
In Karma and Holi, you managed to work with actors from both sides of the Atlantic, how was that experience? Did the fact that you have lived in both Geographies help?
Surely having lived on both the sides came pretty handy. Besides Drena DeNiro, we had Naomi Campbell, Vincent Curatola (Johney Cash of Soparanos), Sticky Fingaz to name a few from the American side and Sushmita Sen, Suchitra Krishnamurthy, Rati Agnihotri, Suresh Oberoi, Deepal Shaw and Randeep Hooda from India – quite a crew but honestly speaking, unlike Indian Fish, I only have the faint memory of working with these people as everything happened little too quickly. We shot the whole movie in 18 days straight. Those were long days – too much was to be accomplished every day.
But when I look at poster of ‘Karma..’ at least so far I think this is something I could die with.
In the face of tremendous odds you not only got Karma made, but also got the De Niro family involved, relive the challenges and also how you overcame them, including the personal battles that you overcame, with an ailing parent at that time?
Everything was actually difficult before Drena DeNiro came on board. Everything fell in place as soon as her name got attached. After that actually there was no battle really.
As far parents’ health go, unfortunately its something that most of us to deal with at some point in life. Because of ‘Karma..’ I sort of became a hero of small town..so my mom left us with a great sense of pride
Looking ahead, what is next on the creative horizon?
Gosh! a lot. My plate has never been fuller.
Two bi-lingual features are in pipe-line. Active Illusions (my company) is also getting into TV production in India. Off late, I’ve been seriously pursuing paintings so I’m getting into an exciting art-platform. Please check www.ACTIVEillusions.com
Currently I’m in New York, working on two shorts that we are shooting in next two weeks.
Who are the core set of people who have been your strength as you have moved from one career to another and one universe (America) to another (India)?
Interesting question. My family and my significant other Malvika have always supported me. Incidentally I’ve seen times when the whole world writes you off.. then comes another day when they all want you. This phenomenon is very important to experience, it makes you stronger. Its a materialistic world and being detached is a thing of power.
Words of wisdom for the folks out there who are attempting a cross cultural subject with a cross cultural cast and crew?
Just do it. Don’t think too much. Acceptance is much more and is increasing by the day. And remember that its all about the script. Trust me, there are not many great writers are out there. If you write, its going to be easier for you.