A Passion For Creativity
Sajeev Vyasa, is a multi-talented creative personality who started off his career working with print media as a graphic designer for reputed magazines, from where he began expanding his scope and potential and went on to become an art director for film and television channels and later as a visual effects artist specializing in 3D related visual effects. He has excelled in VFX work which includes match moving, texturing, lighting, animation and motion graphics. With over twenty years rich and varied experience, he has now evolved as a script writer, film director, photographer and cinematographer too. Here he speaks to KTE Editor Deepak N Nair, about his life’s journey so far.
Tell us about your childhood, where you grew up, your parents, siblings, your education and environment and and how it influenced you in becoming a creative person like you are now?
I was born in Koliyacode, a beautiful village near Venjaramoodu, in the Thiruvananthapuram district of Kerala. My village was once a real embodiment of aesthetic beauty with paddy fields fringed with streams on sides, enriched with coconut palm trees, orchards, ponds, and small fountains. It was a real village in that sense. I still remember the lanes I went walking and cycling with my friends. But it was all years before. The main inspiration in developing the aesthetic sense in me is this small village which is situated in the land of Sree Anantha Padmanabha Swamy. I was born as the third youngest son of Reghunathan Nair and Devaki Amma. The main motivational source is my mother who has been a pillar of support in all my ups and downs. She encourages me and still likes to sing lullabies for me
From my early childhood onwards I had shown interest in the field of arts and had secured an inimitable position as a little artist in the minds of my teachers, friends and relatives. As a colourist and an artist I became an active part in youth festivals and amateur theatres. My interest to act and direct started growing day by day. I was very much attracted towards Kathaprasangams played at the temple festivals. There were many professional drama committees at Venjaramoodu at that time. So we got many opportunities to see and know the plays in detail. I cannot help mentioning the names of teacher, my close relative, my brother like person, my guide, S.S. Chandrakumar who imparted me with the basic knowledge of drama and acting.
I also started designing logos, brochures, programme posters for many professional institutions during the time of my college education. And, with that background, I entered the world of print media. I worked as a Graphic Designer in many institutions and also as an Art Director of “Janakeeya Sandesam”, “Mathrusabdham” magazines.
Do you have any formal qualification in the fields you are working? Is formal qualification important?
There were many who supported me to find out the ‘Real Me’. There were many ‘Gurus’ who helped to nurture and bring out my latent talents. They also encouraged me to expose my potential to the world outside. I feel really happy when I think about these moments.Looking back, I am also amused and nostalgic when I think about the extra energetic youths, the political fights, the mini operas, and the night walks to the Cinema Theatre on Fridays to see the latest movie on the very first day of its release. Now, I have reached a position, where God has given me a lift in his chariot to be safe, to do good and to think more for the goodness of others. But, I still have a long distance to go.
As I mentioned, my yen towards photography and movies started long ago, during my time at high school itself. When I was working in print media, because of my uncontrolled affection towards films, I took animation diploma from Toonz Animation, later worked as a visual effects artist in many feature films.
I got many opportunities to know what a movie is, and how it becomes a movie during my tenure of 15 years as a Visual Effects Artist in Chennai at Prasad Studio (EFX), Pixion, & Motion Makers in Bombay. I became thorough of the pre production, production, post production work of movies, including all the technical aspects, that gave me confidence to finally direct a movie of my own. I spent my leisure time in travels. There I found time for my craziness in photography. I am blessed to have got the opportunity to work as an assistant to the famous photographer Madhur Shroff of Mumbai, under whose guidance, I got to learn more about photography, fashion and advertising photography etc. I was really lucky that way. Even now, whenever I get time, I like to travel and take pictures.
Academic and formal qualification is must to secure jobs in these kinds of organizations. But it will be perfect only if we have talent, experience and passion. It is a fact that formal qualification improves to give perfection to one’s inherent talents.
"There are opportunities for the upcoming talents nowadays as the films are digitalized. But, there are hurdles too. To overcome these hurdles and to knock the real doors are a little confusing and needs much patience. In South these problems are more in Kerala as Malayalam film Industry faces more competition. So to be successful you need urge to conquer the dilemmas and to find the real path."
You are a multi-talented person having worked in the field of print and visual media donning many roles like art director and VFX artist, photographer, script writer film director. Which of these profiles do you like the most?
The main aspect that holds me tightly to be in this field is my love towards Art. I love everything. I enjoy every each moment. I decided to make real movies, good movies, which have something useful in it. That’s my wish. Now also as I do all these works as a freelancer. I run a creative studio named Media 7. In this studio, I have been doing graphics, movie poster designs, Title designs, etc. I also run a ‘wedding hub’, where I give preference only to wedding photography.
Which are the films you have directed?
My first movie is ‘Onnumariyathe’ (Unknowingly). It was released on 29th June, 2018. This movie got many rewards. It was with this film that I started my career as a film director after working as a visual effects artist for more than 60 films like Yanthiran, Pazhasiraja, Magadheera, Mangatha, Vinnaithandi varuvaya, Angaditheru, Delli 6, The Kites, Thoda Pyar Thoda Magic, Pokri, Sathyam etc. I also did the cinematography of this movie. My next movie ‘Thenvarikka’ will commence soon. The location is Wayanad and the works are in progress.
Are there enough opportunities for you in the Kerala/Southern film industry?
There are opportunities for the upcoming talents nowadays as the films are digitalized. But, there are hurdles too. To overcome these hurdles and to knock the real doors are a little confusing and needs much patience. In South these problems are more in Kerala as Malayalam film Industry faces more competition. So to be successful you need urge to conquer the dilemmas and to find the real path.
Tell us about your family?
My family is at Poothole, Thrissur, wife’s name is Sreedevi. My children Aaryamaan, 9 years old and Aadit Armaan, 6 years old
Which are your favourite travel destinations within Kerala?
My favorite places are Munnar and Wayanad. I used to take rounds in the nook and corners of Palakkad, Calicut, Vagamon, Idukki, Mantrothuruth, Ponmudi etc. Even though I have visited these places many times, I still go to enjoy the wild and fantastic scenery these places are blessed with.
What do you think needs to be done to further promote Kerala’s tourism potential?
In my view, Tourists must be made to feel safe when they arrive in Kerala. Tourist resorts must be developed in eco-sustainable ways without destroying the nature.
"In my view, Tourists must be made to feel safe when they arrive in Kerala. Tourist resorts must be developed in ecosustainable ways without destroying the nature."
What is your message for the readers of Kerala Travel Explorer?
My message to the youth: Don’t put yourself down. Don’t think that you are nothing. There are loads of ways to boost yourself. Be confident and develop self esteem. Many opportunities are there, but you need to knock the doors again and again. And, If no door has opened, build a door yourself.
How will you describe yourself in one word?