Today we’d like to introduce you to Dhruv Saxena.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
As a child, I was always fascinated by gadgets, one such was a camera. In 4th grade, I was gifted a Kodak KB-10, a simple point, and shoot camera, a few years later I got a digital sony camera. Growing up all these years I always carried these cameras everywhere, family gatherings, picnics, vacations or any festival celebration. This paved a path for me to develop photography as a hobby.
After high school, I was looking for colleges and came across, Symbiosis School of Photography, which was the only photography school with a BFA degree. Being from India, it is easy to convince your parents for an art school like this if they offer a proper degree. I was on, did my three years there and crafted my art, shooting, nature, automobiles, table tops, food, etc.
My family is also a movie buff, I remember myself in theatres from as young as the age of four. I remember, almost every weekend since then my family went for movies, this actually developed some sort of liking towards cinema, and I think the initial love for the camera with this movie love, made me realize that I want to pursue filmmaking, hence I joined New York Film Academy in Los Angeles for my MFA Cinematography.
What a wonderful journey, films films films all the time. Learning the art and craft from Hollywood Filmmakers, getting to know the history of Cinema was one wonderful Journey. Then after that, I moved to Mumbai, India for work, been working on feature films and advertisement films. I am also constantly working with my fellow filmmakers in LA on stories, scripts, etc.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
If the road is smooth, it is not an interesting one. Initially, the college life was not easy, I had just turned 18 and had to leave the family and go relocate — new environment, away from home. Indian kids are very attached to their parents, they are tough but always loved in a way that being away from family is scary.
Obviously, I adjusted in a few months, and college was over in no time. Real fun was when I moved to LA, wow, America and India are totally opposite, there is nothing relatable, its just like north and south, two completely different things, this cultural shock took a toll on me and I was scared, but the school kept me so busy that I actually loved it by the end.
The most crucial part is to find work after film school; it’s not like you get a campus placement and are hired immediately. I have seen days, weeks without work, just trying to meet people for work is difficult, getting that job is later.
I have had to struggle as a freelancer and I sometimes still do, but with time it has been easier, but the struggle is there. I mean it looks like that an after college or post-grad, life is easy, no the tough road of life actually begins after it for you as a filmmaker.
Please tell us about TBC Productions.
I have a company, that sells my services a Cinematographer and helps the production local line production, like finding them locations, getting the camera rentals and light rentals, finding crew for them.
I sell myself as a cameraman and rest all this work is in the background, it’s like management and keeping track so that everything is organized and shoot goes smoothly.
I am mostly known for my skills as a cameraman, camera operating, lighting and a team player. I also work for friends who themselves are cameraman and need a reliable associate because every cameraman needs a team.
What I am most proud of is that in this industry in Mumbai, most of the filmmakers are trained from experience, I am trained and educated as a filmmaker.
I have communication skills that develop confidence in my directors and producers, they always know that they can rely on me and I would deliver what I promise in the most efficient way possible.
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Watching my favorite movie in theater.