I got access to the Internet a little earlier than any of my friends back in my schooldays. Getting acquainted with world cinema was a part of that journey, and movies were no longer just a tool to kill time. Cut to four years later, after I finished college and while I worked in many start-ups before I founded Pulpkey, I realised just how much cinema had impacted me in a subconscious way.
I was not very interested in the actors, but was fascinated by the directors and I would research and read up about them each time I watched something good. As a Bengali, I started with Satyajit Ray, Ritwik Ghatak, Rituparno Ghosh, etc., and then began watching movies by the Coen Brothers, David Fincher, Woody Allen, Anurag Kashyap, Chris Nolan, Tarantino, Inarittu, PT Anderson, Martin Scorsese and many more.
When I didn’t have access to many things, movies by these film-makers made me understand these topics better: 1. Cultures across the world 2. Meaning of empathy and 3. Power of imagination.
When I dived into learning more about film-making, I gradually realized that it’s a process of believing an idea, exploring and living it as much as you can. This led me to find the following similarities in film-making and entrepreneurship:
• Ideas need to be turned into a product. Ideas are merely nothing. Ideas in actual execution are almost everything.
• Success takes time. A great film and a great product are just learning to be patient and believing in yourself.
• Problem-solving skills. Whether you’re an entrepreneur or film producer, solving any problem on the go is a must.
• Perseverance and persistence. These two are perhaps the most important throughout life.
• Collaboration. Making a film or building a company requires identifying good people to work with. They might not have the same work style as you do, but if they are individually passionate and honest about their work, you’ll find immense value and output in working together.
• Self-awareness. You need to be flexible with your thoughts and acquire a mindset of adaptability. There are days where things seem to be off or almost impossible, but take your time and figure out your way.
• Know your audience. It’s your story. Make it memorable.Sharing here the titles of the most memorable movies, which have left a deep impact on me:
• No Country for Old Men: It’s a gripping crime thriller by the Coen Brothers that is very intense, yet nonchalant in its nature.
• Mindhunter: The latest gem created by David Fincher takes you back to the history of the FBI. A highly recommended Netflix series that showcases how methods to solve certain problems can be thoroughly revamped with risky experiments.
• Aranyer Din Ratri: The classic Satyajit Ray is probably one of the very first films that help me understand how interpretation varies from person to person, and how presentation makes a real difference in making a simple story truly memorable.
• The Batman Trilogy: There are plenty of characters in this series who showcase doing a job in a selfless manner. I also have to list some Indian independent films I absolutely adore. Movies like Monsoon Wedding, The Last Lear, Lunchbox, Dhobi Ghat, Ship of Theseus, Patang, Antaheen, Phoring, Hyderabad Blues, M Cream, etc., have had a profound impact on me.
Considering that I am an entrepreneur, there are movies like Rocket Singh, 12 Angry Men, The Social Network, Wolf of Wall Street, The Founder, The Godfather, etc., that have really inspired me. Perhaps one of the biggest learnings for me through these movies has been understanding the practical importance of perseverance. You get to encounter different people, solve problems, explore ideas, and sell your story, every day. Much like films, I have learnt that entrepreneurship is all about telling your own story. And the whole world is your audience.