ACTOR INTERVIEW: Interview with Vineet Verma
Hi I’m Vineet Verma, director based in New York City. As an artist, I believes in experimenting with different forms and mediums to express my stories, let that be illustrations, animation, stop motion or live action. I started my career as a 2D traditional animator during my teen years and then gradually to moved to 3D animation. During this period of around 10 years I got the opportunity to work organizations with UNICEF, Disney, Lionsgate, PBS etc on several TV series and Feature films including shows like 3 times Emmy winner “WordWorld”. In 2008 I moved to New York and since then I have written, directed and edited many short films, music videos, commercials and feature films. Recently directed commercial for Ninewest Shoes and just finished co-writing a TV series “STITCH” with some prominent names already involved with the project.
Describe your work as a Director
I’m very visual when it comes to story telling, specially coming from traditional animation where each frame is hand drawn. Characters and their journey’s are the most important elements of my directing. Its all about feelings, if I can show and translate that, I feel satisfied. Having said that the most exciting thing about films is that its a collaborative effort, where everyone brings their own sensibility specially key people like actors and cinematographer and the whole process of to be true to the vision.
How did you get into Directing
Looking back I always loved telling stories. In my early 20’s I wrote and directed many small fun projects with help of my friend’s camera and them acting in it. Being in animation for almost a decade, I still always felt that I could be doing more, I thought i had more to offer then I’m using. So in 2008 with support from my family and friends, I left my job and moved to New York. I lived with my elder brother initially. From 2008 -2009 while working on small projects as an editor, PA, gaffer, camera operator, I wrote, directed and edited 3 short films which got into few film festivals and were widely appreciated. That really helped my confidence as a director and eventually with continuous effort I started getting more versatile and better paying directing gigs.
How do you choose a project to direct
I like character based projects and something that will show you more then the norms. Though major points that come into consideration is how open is the team of people already involved in the project.
Do you take courses to improve your craft
I watch movies, analyze them and give my own reason for each shot, scene. it helps me understand what I can explain and what I can not; translates to what can I do and what I can not.
Comic Books. nay comic book I get my hand on.
What thing of situation helps you on set during production
A solid team: Who understand your vision and helps you achieve that. and Adaptability: Locations/ Props /Nature /People don’t always remain how you envisioned them to be, its how fast you can adapt to make that shot or scene work.
Explain a creative choice you made on set during a production
This is not recent but one of the most important creative decision that I made for a production. I was hired to direct recreated scenes for a documentary feature about Maroons from Jamaica and their superior war skills, No as Iw as recreating certain scene being in new York. I thought may be if we animate the some of the sequences more stylized like a painting it might just work better and after many conversations with the producers we went with the animated route.
How do you advice director to find projects
Keep making your own and eventually you will start finding projects.
How can filmmakers finance their projects
It helps if your story has a message where different groups can support it through Kickstarter or directly but regardless if you can convince people that there will be viewers. Presentation is the key.
What do you want from an actor during production
Don’t try to ACT, I don’t want to show you acting as somebody, everyone can see that. Be comfortable, you were casted for a reason, talk to the director about any confusion related to the character. And show up at rehearsals, they are more important for the final result then you think.
How do you prefer to work with a producer during production
I let them know what all I need way before the production and give them reason for it. They are so helpful, once they know the importance of it.
What can a director do to get into the film industry
Just keep on creating, experimenting and posting, you never know what will click. Be patient and try to be nice, even a PA can prove to be the person who get you your first break.
Who is your favorite director
I cannot make a choice between Quentin tarantino and David Fincher
Why are these directors your favorite
Their execution is impeccable. Both of them have a different style and approach, but they both appreciate each shots importance in helping the movie move forward. Tarantino has a very 3rd person view of the story, while Fincher shows you inside of a character’s mind.
What advice will you give directors around the world
Read your stories out loud and see what resides with your audience before even assembling your crew and actors. It will help you understand what your story actually is saying (it might be completely different then what you thought).
These are a few of my projects
- Animated 3 time Emmy winner series Word World for PBS Kids
- Worked with fashion brands like JBrand,Glamour Magazine, GQ, White House| Black Market
- Directed music videos that got on MTV and VH1
- Directed long commercials for Nine West and Hyatt Regency
- Got a chance to Direct actors like Michael Wright and Harry Lennix
- Recently wrote 2+seasons and Pilot for a TV series “STITCH”
- Nakia Henry: Music video
- Sole Finder