I met a psychologist once who said he would give almost anything to be able to work in the movie business. I thought that was surprising because it looked like he was very happy doing what he was doing and he was making a super comfortable living doing it. The movie business is a big draw for most us though, so maybe I shouldn’t have been so surprised.
Some people recognize that the film industry is for them early in life. Sharath Chandra saw that the movie business was the place he wanted to be and he actually went out into the world and became a part of it. Sharath knew he loved movies and story telling when he was growing up in India, and when he was old enough he went to the Philippines, studied filmmaking at the International Academy of Film & Television, earned a degree and worked on some projects there. He then came to Los Angeles and immersed himself in all things film at the prestigious New York Film Academy and has been working on movies and TV shows ever since.
Sharath has steadily moved up the ladder as far as his position in the camera crews goes. He was the 2nd Assistant Camera person on the film Borderland. He not only took care of the camera and equipment and assisted the cinematographer but he rubbed shoulders with film legends Peter Fonda and Bruce Dern who were the film’s stars. He also got to work closely with the award-winning director Paul Street. Borderland is a feature-length motion picture that tells the story of an aging cowboy who helps illegal immigrants cross the border into the United States. Working with so many Hollywood professionals was certainly fun for Sharath but it also gave him an opportunity to see how the real pros make movies. He was not disappointed.
Sharath worked as a First Assistant Camera person on the feature Shake Off The World. It was a highs school football drama that focused on the star football player and how he had to go through many obstacles to achieve his goals. When things got tough for him he shook off the world and just moved forward without letting anything get in his way. Perhaps the psychologist I met should have done the same thing – shook off the world and tried to get a job on a film. Any job would do, as long as he got his foot in the door, then he could meet people and work on another film. Or he could have done what Sharath did: go to film school and learn the craft of filmmaking. Sharath is now working as a camera operator as he works his way toward becoming Director of Cinematography.