From Photography to Film Making

A full time IT professional Dave Krunal from Melbourne is determined to pursue his passion for photography into professional film making.

A full time IT professional Dave Krunal from Melbourne is determined to pursue his passion for photography into professional film making.

Dave is an Indian-Australian aspiring filmmaker, who launched his production company Red Box Films (now Polaroid Films) in 2012. He made his directorial debut mystery thriller short film ‘Curious’ in 2013. The film was praised for its unique visual storytelling technique without dialogues and had an international premiere at Speechless Film Festival in Minnesota, USA. ‘Curious’ also won several awards and special mentions at Dadasaheb Phalke, Barcelona and Mexico International Film Festivals.

Dave has recently directed and produced Gujarati time travel thriller short film ‘Chakr’ (The Cycle). It’s a story about an Uber driver whose night changes forever after dropping a lady passenger.

‘Chakr’ which was premiered in Melbourne won Best Short Film Award at International Gujarati Film Festival in Los Angeles including Best Direction award. It also won Best Fiction Film at Karnavati Film Festival in Ahmedabad.

Speaking to G’day India, Dave was excited about the release of his film ‘Chakr’ on YouTube and confirmed that he is currently developing a story for his first feature film in a tell-all interview with G’ day India.

Q: How did your filmmaking journey start?
DK: “As a kid, I was an introvert and the only thing I did apart from studying was reading books. Eventually, I took up writing and photography, but film equipment and photo rolls were expensive in India. So, photography was not my first option as a hobby. It was only when I moved to Australia; I started pursuing photography on a serious note. I started Dave Krunal photography in 2009, where I would click pictures of objects with no human figures. I would then interpret those pictures as per the state of my mind or mood.
Q: How did the idea of film making germinate in you?
DK: “I got a great response from my photography page, but I realised that something was missing. I wanted to express more through visuals, and it was only possible through films. However, I realised that the core of every film lies in its photography. Therefore, I decided to convey my stories with my photographs and motion pictures, but soundlessly. This concept was not unique in the world of cinema as that’s how cinema came into existence. I only revived the concept in my work.

Q: What is your audience base?
DK: I never really had an audience base or market in mind when I started making movies. I did it for myself. Having said that, I must agree that film making is an expensive process. I have made five short films, but I started thinking about economic viability only when I started making my film, “Chakr”. My focus at the moment is to do good work and I know money will follow in due course. Predominantly, I plan to make psychological thrillers and horror movies. However, bloodshed and gory stories are not my style. It would be safe to say that I am into psychological themes and that is my main targeted audience.

Q: How do you choose your subject and select your actors?
DK: As a filmmaker with almost no external funding, I prefer taking actors who have not acted before or people who are eager to work in my films because they love acting. My subjects are inspired by real-life incidents or experiences. I choose subjects which are of social concerns like domestic abuse or LGBT movement, basically stories and topics which are contemporary and much talked about.

Q: Tell us more about your short feature film which you are planning to launch on YouTube.
DK: My film is a low budget film, and that is why I chose to shoot the entire movie inside a car. This minimised the cost of moving my crew from one place to another. The movie is based on my real-life experience. A sad experience of domestic abuse, which I had witnessed at my neighbourhood in the recent past. My movie depicts the witnessing of domestic abuse from my house window. This movie is being created in Gujrati as we don’t have many psychological or social themes depicted in Gujrati movies.

Q: How do you manage time?
DK: This is a common question which I get asked all the time. I have a 9-5 job; I have a family. I believe the key to success is in “balance” just as Robin Sharma says. I plan my days well. For example, I mostly wake up at 4 a.m. to finish my film making work as much as I can before I get to work. In the evenings, I dedicate at least three hours towards my films. I must add that my wife is extremely supportive of what I do and that makes it easier for me. Actually, I am planning to write a blog on how to manage time from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. as opposed to the usual time frame of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Q: How are your staying positive in this pandemic?
DK: To be honest, COVID has not disturbed my routine much. I am the kind who can spend an entire holiday watching cinema or writing my script for the next film. During the lockdown, I have written almost sixty pages of my feature film, which I am expanding now with dialogues and scenes.

At the end of our conversation, Dave had an advice for all the aspiring filmmakers and actors which is “Start somewhere. Stop procrastinating and begin your journey of reading, writing something. Words and emotions will flow automatically once you have begun. Similarly, actors don’t need to wait for that one big break to come their way. Be your own producer, be your own director. Let your creativity flourish.”

By Payel Ghosh