“Glamour cannot be the source of motivation of work”- Nagesh Kukunoor at IIM Indore

Nagesh Kukunoor, the maverick filmmaker, who is also a chemical engineer from Georgia Institute of technology, was recently present at IIM Indore’s cultural fest Mridang. One of his recent movies was screened at the campus on this occasion. He has made some of the very successful movies such as Mod, Hyderabad Blues, Rockford, Iqbal, and 3 Deewarein.

Nagesh kukunoor_InsideIIM

Here is a glimpse of the small interaction that we had with him.

You have grown watching films and no doubt you always followed your passion and gave up your chemical engineering to choose direction, people are often struck in this dilemma, do you think it’s always right to follow your passion?

I feel there is no point going through life if it’s a mechanical, routine based existence. I have always believed you need to be passionate about something; it can be anything because it truly makes you that what you are. Waking in the morning and getting fired to work is what you require, so that you feel excited to work. I had a life before film making and now when I have become a film maker and I compare these two lives, let me tell you there is really no match. The spirit with which I make films there is really no match. So I think passion is the way to go.


Film industry is growing in leaps and bounds, each day you face new challenges, what remains your source of motivation when you are trifled with these challenges?

In the film industry, the biggest thing is that it is a combination of things, a little bit of power and money. It is a very lethal combination that touches your head. The thing which is there in the film business is that you reach incredible heights. You finally complete a film and if the film does well you have roles that are completely different and if it does not do well, there are very strong critical reviews against you. So these ups and downs make a massive mess in your mind that continues later, that becomes a challenge, when you are learning to deal with it. My way of taking up this challenge is to focus on your work. The work was the reason I got into the film making business, so I just try to focus on that and that becomes my source of inspiration.


What as per you are the skills required to sustain in Film and Media industry?

A lot of people get into the films for all the wrong reasons. They get drawn to the glamour quotient and wealth. I always think these should be an offshoot of what you do. The main joy should be from work. Glamour and other things cannot be the source of motivation of work. If you get in for the right reasons that is the work you do, you get the right skills to sustain in this business.


How difficult is to feature reality on the celluloid?

Well, please understand that there is no one reality. Every film has its own reality and that is the beauty about cinema. Each film creates its own little world. When I shoot my films, a lot of is related to real people, real circumstances and real thoughts. So you draw the people into that reality. Hero jumps of the 10th floor of a building or kills the villain destroys the reality. You have to understand the reality of the story you are trying to convey.


Is there any message that you would like to give to the B-school students, who are thinking to make a career in Film and Media industry?

Well like every other career – You need to be really passionate about it. The thing I often tell people is – be very prepared to face risk before coming into this career. The success quotient is very little in this business. Very small number of people get to taste the quotient. Be prepared for failure, it will better equip you to deal with situations.


As told to Barleen


Barleen Kaur is currently pursuing her first year PGDM at IIM Indore (Class of 2015). She did her B.Tech degree from GGS Indraprastha University in Computer Science and Engineering and worked as a training manager at a consulting company and also started a coaching center. She has a strong affinity for writing and is an avid orator.

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