Based in Mumbai, Film maker Aditya Seth is known for being a creative and hard-working personality in the world of cinema.He has directed both documentary and fiction such as“Bahadur :The Accidental Brave”, “Learning to Live”, “Toxic Trespass” and “A Silent Revolution” to name a few.
1. How did you discover your talent for film making?
I had an inherent talent for percussion and rhythm and there was a time when I could play quite a few percussion instruments with a fair bit of proficiency, from tabla to drums. Photography was a hobby since I was in my early teens. The Players where I did my graduation with English Honors is till date the best college dramatics society in the country and I was an active member. In college we formed a rock band of which I became the drummer. So I guess when at the age of twenty, in the second year of my graduation, I asked myself for the first time, what I wanted to do in the future. A voice within told me I wanted to make films and it’s been thirty years, I am still at it. I guess all my interests during my formative years culminated into a career for me.
2. How did your career unfold?
It wasn’t easy then and it’s not easy now. Film making is a very unstable, insecure and non-sustainable trade for an independent filmmaker. Having said that, I have had the opportunity to be a part of more than 500 projects over the years wherein I have worked as a writer, producer, director, editor, voice over artist, anchor/presenter, critic and consultant. It’s been an interesting and exciting jouney with a lot of ups and downs and a myriad of experiences and learning.
3. What is your biggest inspiration?
Life is my biggest inspiration as all my learning, need to communicate, passion, stories, aspirations and ambitions come from there. Therefore it is near impossible to say which person inspired me when. I have always been a keen observer, been instinctively analytical and am a good listener. In people, my guru Shri Prakash Jha has been the biggest influence in my life as far as film making is concerned. To name a few inspiring film makers: Akira Kurosawa, Michael Moore, Oliver Stone, Lina Wertmüller, Shyam Benegal and Ritwik Ghatak. My parents, my family and my competitors have also influenced me tremendously.
4. What has been your personal key to success?
Yes I have had many successes but I have also had many failures. My personal key to whatever little success I’ve had is to focus, never give up, be an eternal student, keep all the senses alive, constantly reinvent yourself and irrespective of how risky or dangerous it may be, just do it.
5. What do you enjoy the most about film making?
I enjoy the process of film making itself the most. Be it documentary, fiction or advertising. The thrill is in the making, the doing and the process. And as long as the process of film making thrills me, I will keep making films.
6. What makes a film great for you? Are there certain qualities that make a film better for you?
Simplicity of thought and an engaging narrative; these two qualities are what I believe make a film great.
7. What advice would you give to aspiring film makers?
Work hard, be observant, keep learning, stay focused and be prepared for the most amazing and sometimes frustrating, but mostly, an exciting ride of your life.