“Remember the time when we first learnt to walk? Were we sure of not falling and hurting ourselves, no; but did that deter us from walking? Without risk, life has no spice”
Arnab Mishra is an IITian who turned film maker in a bid to chase his dreams. He is also the owner of AKMCommunications,Â his venture towards an attempt to break the conventional style of making films by changing mind sets and simplifying processes. His portfolio boasts of award winning documentaries and short films; while AKMC, which offers holistic communication services, is associated with an illustrious clientele.
Read on to know what inspired Arnab to take the leap and what advice he has to offer to budding entrepreneurs.
You opted for film making after IIT. What was the inspiration behind this?
I always think in visuals. The way I comprehend science is not the way others usually see it. This is where films helped. Film making is not very different from Physics. We use science to create our frames whether it’s with lights or space time. In films you create a world that lasts from anything between 2 hours to 2 minutes. About the inspirations, well, that was more intrinsic. At the age of 5, I used to sketch comics strips and caricatures, obviously all amateur attempts. Designing a comic strip is how a storyboard in films is made. Whether I paint or play the flute, I visualize; I think in terms of images, this helps me while making films. Visualizing comes to me naturally. In the mind, I am still a physicist; and my understanding of Physics makes me a better film maker. Also, the numerous films I watched during my IIT days developed my interests to pursue this field. Moreover, I am not the corporate types. IÂ couldn’tÂ see myself doing a 9-5 job forever. No matter how much I’d earn there, itÂ wouldn’tÂ give me the satisfaction which I derive by making films.
The risks taken to quit the conventional corporate job and follow your dream to become an entrepreneur at such an early age were very high. Where did you find your support system?
26 is not really an early age. When I decided to change streams, I was already a postgraduate with 2 years of experience in the corporate world. Then I left my job and decided to take a formal education in filmmaking. What is life without risks? If you stop doing something for the fear of failure, you need to ask yourself, are you really living? Remember the time when we first learnt to walk? Were we sure of not falling and hurting ourselves, no; but did that deter us from walking? Without risk, life has no spice. And support is something that needs to come from within. You need to be confident enough to handle the consequences. As far as external support was concerned, it came from my parents. They were extremely supportive of me. They never questioned me on my pursuits. They believed in me. Apart from this it was the universe. When you truly want something, the entire universe conspires in helping you achieve it, clichÃ©d, but true.
What were the challenges you had to face in the beginning?
Anything new is bound to encounter inertia, and I was no exception. Challenges are inevitable. It was difficult initially to break grounds. People fail to understand that there is always a first time. Experience is not always everything. The industry is not short of people who operate in this domain. But it’s sound knowledge and knowhow which is the distinguishing factor. Even the youth currently seem keen on gathering experience rather than honing their skills. They need to realize that it’s the strong foundation and unique skill sets which will help in the long run, not mere experience. Experience can be gathered over the years, but if you don’t have your fundamentals in place you will never excel. However, the good thing is, in spite of the prevalent norms, there are still a few who trusted me and that’s how my journey started. It’s been a continuous journey for me and that’s how I’d envisioned it to be. Each assignment has been a stepping stone for future milestones. It’s these every day challenges which help me grow and evolve; I believe excellence is a journey, a constant process.
Tell us more about AKMCommunications.
AKMC has been conceived with an aim to change mind sets and simplify processes. It broadly operates across three segments. We offer all services under the audio visual medium. Be it a corporate film, documentary, promotional video, ad, online video or anything else, we have the solutions. The second area of AKMC is into photography services. This includes topics from product to fashion photography, portfolio, publicity stills, etc; you name it and we have it. And finally, the third spectrum deals with designs. This includes all kinds of designing; for collaterals, logo design, posters. In short, AKMC is the one stop solution for all communication needs of your brand. At AKMC, we believe in operating in the most transparent and effective way. We don’t believe in added frills. We educate our clients on the processes and costs. AKMC’s motto has been to bridge the gap, simplify processes and provide the most cost effective experience.
How do you plan on breaking the conventional style of making films? How will these films be different?
Well, for that you need to wait and watch! What’s the fun if I spill all the beans here? All I can say is, I don’t believe in frills. I understand things straight forward, like the way they are and that’s how I operate as well – simple, yet effective. And coming to my films, every film is unique, so my film would be no exception. So apart from the difference in genre, you can also expect my films to differ in the overall costing. Like I mentioned before, film making involves fighting prevalent mindsets, so you could expect my films to open up a whole new paradigm.
Which stage of your journey from college to here have you enjoyed the most?
It would be difficult to pin point on something specific. I believe in living it up every moment.
I enjoy every moment to its fullest. Of course college life had its own charm. I had the best time during my graduation and also while I pursued my first post-graduation (PG). However, during my second PG, I was more involved in making films which rendered a different level of enjoyment and satisfaction. Apart from that I enjoy every time I am behind the camera or while I am creating something or when I think and visualize. So I can’t really compare which phase has been the most enjoyable; each moment has had its own flavour.
What is your message to budding entrepreneurs who might be thinking of taking the less travelled path?
There are no shortcuts to success. But if you have a dream, don’t think twice before going all out to achieve it. Life is short, every moment is ticking by, and before you realize, the entire life would have slipped past! And while you pursue your dreams, never stop learning. Ensure your homework is strong. It’s very important to have your fundamentals in place. Money will pour in eventually; but it is more important to understand the underlying values. Remember there is no alternative to hard work and determination. Carving a niche for yourself is an ultimate goal, but you first need to ensure you build on your strengths so that you can always fall back on your skills. And trust me, with skill and determination, work and recognition is bound to follow.