RGV a big influence on me: Director Amit Roy

Mumbai, Feb 14 (IANS) Amit Roy, whose "Running Shaadi" -- his debut movie as a director -- is releasing on Friday, says filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma has had a huge influence in his life as he has worked very closely with him as a cinematographer on multiple projects.

Roy has worked with Varma on films like "Sarkar", "Sarkar Raj", "Dum Maaro Dum", "Nishabd" and "Rann".

Asked about how these experiences helped him, Roy said: "I think he (RGV) is one of the most powerful filmmakers in Indian cinema. He is the genesis of the genre that we celebrate in our cinema today with some incredible works of Anurag Kashyap and Dibakar Banerjee, among others. Of course, he is a big influence on me.

"I have learnt how to shoot a scene in the most economical fashion and impact way from him."

Born and brought up in Delhi, Roy was enamoured with the filmmaking process since his teenage days.

"I have grown up watching my uncle who is a celebrated documentary filmmaker who wrote many stories and screenplays. So, I used to spend a lot of time with him in his room, which was filled with so many books and film DVDs. One afternoon, I think I was around 15 years old then, and was going through his book shelf and found a script that blew my mind.

"That is when I realized that it is not just about actors who are performing on screen and mesmerizing us, but there is someone behind... someone who authors the film, designs everything that we see on screen... I was blown away. I think that was the profound moment when I started nurturing the germ of storytelling that transformed into filmmaking," Roy said.

Being a cinematographer, Roy has a strong visual sense that helped him to shoot his first film keeping all logistics in mind.

"I was very conscious from the beginning that I have to keep my cinematographic skill aside while shooting my first film. I am saying it out of observation that there are very few cinematographers who manage to make a good filmmaker.

"You know why? Because they always tend to flaunt their visual skill overpowering the story. I do not want that to happen with my 'Running Shaadi'."

So, Roy stopped reading his favourite magazine "American Cinematographer" for a year and that was a crucial process of unlearning, to learn film direction.

"I am okay with the feedback from my friends here in the industry to come and say that 'The film is shot badly, but we loved the story', but not the other way round," he said.

"Running Shaadi", produced by Shoojit Sircar, features Amit Sadh and Taapsee Pannu. It is about the lead actors helping others to elope and get married.

Asked about what he is anticipating from the film, Roy said: "Well, more than box office numbers, I am feeling anxious about the reaction of my dear friends and peers like R. Balki, Gauri Shinde, Nitesh Tiwari, among others, and most importantly Ram Gopal Varma.

"Since the subject of the film is not of his genre, after watching the trailer, he said, 'I am happy for you but I don't know what kind of film it would be'. But he loves me and Amit (Sadh) both, so I am eagerly waiting for their feedback."