Rohit knew he had to be around movies for the rest of his life, when he started experiencing nightmares due to his stressed work life. He started watching film classics and was introduced to world cinema at the age of 18 when he was enrolled in law school. The encompassing world of cinema drew him in and his exploration continued for 5 years hand in hand with law school.
During this period of time he had decided that he will at least make 4-5 films and write 5-6 novels before he dies. That was the dream he harboured throughout his college years. He wasn’t sure of how, when and what but just a distant and constant affirmation that he will. After law school, he was working at a law firm for almost about a year and a half, memories of which still give him nightmares. He realised wasn’t his thing to say the same thing in 50 different ways and become a pathological liar in a way. That’s when he decided to quit and get into films, full time.
To learn the craft of filmmaking and embark on his dream journey, Rohit decided to enrol himself in a course which would be hands-on approach to filmmaking. He then settled in LA studying in NYFA with Roger Corman as his guiding light. At that time it was a thing to have a feature film made before you’re 28 and Rohit was desperate to make one. He then decided to move back to India and make something concrete. After returning back he finished scripting his first film, ‘Autohead.’ He then gathered formed a crew and when everyone including a producer was confirmed, Autohead was made. He is glad with the output and result which he obtained as he got to travel a lot with the film as well as getting to meet independent filmmakers from all over the world during this period of time. After travelling to a lot of film festivals, the film was eventually sold to Netflix.
It’s never easy being a filmmaker. The biggest challenge Rohit faces in the current times is finding the right balance between what the industry wants and what he as a filmmaker wants. Next to it is finding the right kind of people to work with. It is not a mystery that the film crew as a whole shapes the film. He also believes that to sustain in this career, you must learn to trade your wants. You can’t expect your strange script to be accepted everywhere immediately. You must be agile in shuffling over to project which the industry and audience easily accepts. And this way you can go back to your strange script later.
Having started in the Independent film sector in India, he points out the lacunae in the system and what must hopefully be improved. There’s no such thing as Independent distribution or distribution for Independent Films. Currently, things have changed with the introduction of digital platforms but if you talk about the classical way of releasing films, which is watching these films in a theatre people don’t know how to do that with Indie films. Also, you don’t have enough of a pool of well-known actors for Independent film as they are mainly busy with their commercial assignments. Making an independent film which doesn’t ensure right kind of funding or an audience. Most importantly, lack of good producers, because they are ones who know how to deal with your film and reach the right audience or a festival.
Rohit wants aspiring film makers who don’t have enough support at the beginning to play, learn and grow in this field. He dislikes the idea of assisting a big director for 5-6 years, which of course gives you a sense of financial security which this profession easily doesn’t grant you but that’s not how it should be. He thinks of it as loss of a journey, the way you would’ve explored yourself as a filmmaker rather than shadowing another filmmaker. ” You don’t come here to become assistants; you come here to tell stories and become directors!” says Rohit. He also believes that without patience, this profession might break you. Because you’ll make movies, people will praise, but the world wouldn’t give a damn about those things or even your talent. In times like those, you must have patience to walk through it and realize it was all worth a wait.
Rohit is currently working on two feature films named ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Megalopolis’ and a short film called ‘Roop ki Rani’.