- Viknesh Silvalingam
In the past month, The Martini v0.1 was launched. I have been receiving some positive and constructive feedback. This is a huge encouragement on the need for such a product in the market and also the direction that I need to take. I also have brought on my good friend, Ryan who will be helping me play a huge part in the marketing of this software. We all can agree that marketing is what ultimately drives sales. We have a laundry list of to-dos and one of them includes redefining this blog. As such this may come as a déjà vu to some readers of my previous blog post however there is a need for a reintroduction. So please allow me to reintroduce myself, my name is Viknesh Silvalingam....
As an independent filmmaker, I usually write, produce, and direct my own short and feature films. My filmmaking journey started out back in 1999 in my country of birth, Singapore. I didn't have any film production experience apart from reading about them and of course watching movies. To quote Quentin Tarantino," I didn't go to film school, I went to films". At that time I was actively serving in the Singapore Navy and didn't have any reliable network of fellow filmmakers to call upon, so I wrote my own scripts, called in family and friends to be my actors, bought a camcorder, yes a camcorder and started making my short films. Though it was a constant struggle with trial and error, by going at it alone, it tremendously helped me in my film education. I eventually realized what are essentials and what isn't. Collaborators are essential! Filmmaking is a collaborative medium it takes a village to make a movie. Because of the mesh of creative, technical, and financial elements involved, making a film has always been a collaborative process. Everyone has a job to do, and they must all work together whether they want to or not. Maybe you could get away with it if you are working on a 10 to 12 min short film but feature films are a different beast.
My first feature film, True Love which I had also written, produced and directed, was a more collaborative endeavor. During the 15 days of production, I had a crew of 13, from an assistant director to grips and electrics. However, the stages where I need the most assistance or guidance is in the pre-production and post-production stage. That is where I usually had problems finding someone to hop on board. Where do I find them? Do you trust them? Are they sharing the same vision as me? Can I afford to pay for them? All these were hindrances that I needed to overcome. But it got slightly better with my second feature film, Cold Pressed, which I co-wrote, co-produced and directed. I had a solid crew for the pre-production and 20 days of production. Alas, I left alone for the post-production, which was a struggle as I had a deadline to get Cold Pressed completed and ready for the film festival circuits. It wasn't as if I was a difficult person to work with (I hope that wasn't the case) People usually move on to other projects after the production phase as they have limited time to spare and also post-production phase is very much longer than than the pre-production and production phases.
Currently, apart from my day job and The Martini, I'm in the development of multiple projects, 3 feature films, and a web series. As you may know, development may take months or even years as such I'm banking on my film production software, The Martini to be well established in the industry sooner than my film projects. In the coming couple of weeks, we will peel each layer of the journey of building "The Martini" from the ground up. There will be many down moments and small wins along this path of entrepreneurship. Will it eventually lead us to the pinnacle? Only time will tell, in the meantime please check out this series by subscribing to our Newsletter and get the latest from all of our social media channels: Twitter and Instagram.