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"Wildlife film making is not a career, but a commitment" says Award winning film maker Nallamuthu

MIFF Campus: Wildlife film making is not a career but a commitment which not everybody can pursue, said five time National Award winning Wildlife film maker Subbiah Nallamuthu. He added that he won’t encourage everyone to get into wildlife film making. Subbaiah Nallamuthu was talking at a Master Class held in connection with the 17th Mumbai International Film Festival.

Swati Bhat

Detailing the challenges of wildlife filmmaking, he said that the difficult part is to get an interesting story and getting it pitched to international channels. “ It is very difficult to get commissioned projects from international channels. It is one of the reasons why most of my projects are self-funded. Then there are challenges like getting permission to shoot, obtaining clearance from animal welfare board and getting high definition good quality equipment on hire to shoot”, he said.

Touching upon the financial aspects of wildlife film making, Subbiah Nallamuthu said that though he managed to get the investment back from most of his films, there is no guarantee for it. He further said that it is a great gamble to do a wildlife documentary.

Recalling the genesis of his award winning documentary ‘The World’s Most Famous Tiger’, he said that 250 hours of footage has been captured using a single camera for the production. “Whole idea of getting a sequence, connecting it and making it into a story is a big challenge. 90 % of the sound track used in the film was added during post production and 10 % of wild life track was recorded during shoot,” he said.

Subbiah Nallamuthu criticised young people that most of them having DSLR cameras want to go out into the wild, shoot something in auto mode and make money in six months; which is not possible. If there is no perfect story, then no one will be interested to buy it. A whole lot of commitment and slogging is involved. Unfortunately our youngsters are lacking that kind of commitment”, he described.

Replying to the reason for selecting Royal Bengal Tiger as his subject for documentary, Subbiah said that since Tiger is a charismatic animal, that story will sell and help get back the huge money invested in making. “But I have also done award winning documentaries on other animals which most people don’t know”. He also revealed his plan to make a full length feature film on Tiger. Subbiah’s documentary ‘The World’s Most Famous Tiger’ was also screened during the Master Class.

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