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There is a mutual relation between architecture and cinema, says this Apeejay alumnus

AIT-SAP alumnus and budding filmmaker Siddhartha Sharma feels the concept of a movie is similar to conceptualising an architectural project

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Apeejay Institute of Technology-School of Architecture and Planning (AIT-SAP) alumnus Siddhartha Sharma, from the class of 2007-12, says, “I am an introvert and did not have many friends throughout my school life. In fact, I hardly spoke to any girl when I was in school. And interestingly, the first girl I spoke to in college is my wife today,” he laughs. For Siddhartha, getting into college was like coming of age. After college he has experienced quite an eventful professional life. At present, he is a freelance Architect, Developer, Stock Trader and a budding filmmaker. In an interview, he talks about his professional journey as an architect and budding filmmaker. Edited excerpts:

Why did you choose to do a course in architecture and why AIT-SAP?

I always knew that B.Tech is not for me. I wanted to become a cricketer. I used to play well and, in my head, I had all the potential to become the next big player (laughs). Actually, my father also played and was the captain of both the cricket and hockey teams in his college. He is a civil engineer by profession. So cricket in me was sown by him with all his stories about how good he was and how it has become more difficult now to even reach at that level. 

I remember when I told my parents that I want to pursue cricket, I was vehemently opposed. Architecture at that time was still an unexplored option as a career and I came to know about it only when a friend of mine chose architecture and told me about it. I discussed it with my parents and to my surprise they were quite happy with my decision. They told me how they always wanted me to get in some creative field but wanted to explore all the possibilities on my own. I took the exam but couldn’t make it to the list even with the rank. Actually, I had messed up filling up some columns at the counselling centre and so, I did not make the cut. I remember I was weeping in front of my father about how badly I wanted to join only Apeejay and not some other college. 

Honestly, I am an Apeejay graduate only because of my father. He knew I wanted to join only Apeejay and he already had submitted an application in the college before the exams because of which I made the second cut. I was keen to join Apeejay because I had researched and had heard a lot about the culture of the college.

You have also produced the movie Yahan Sabhi Gyani Hain. Please tell us about this transition from being an architect to working as a producer?

I now feel like I am the most blessed person who got this opportunity. It was my mother’s dream to make movies. She was a diva – she used to do plays in her college and was also called up for a role in a movie. But my conservative grandparents opposed it. She was diagnosed with cancer in 2013, just after I finished my rendezvous with Apeejay in 2012. She then told me she wanted me to fulfill two of her wishes: one, she wanted to see me get married and the other was to make a film. Both my parents have always had a lot of confidence and belief in me, and I work hard every day to live up to their expectations. It was a world of emotions during that period. I still am in disbelief how we managed to complete this film. I wouldn’t call it a transition though. I can never be away from a world which has brought me to where I am and whatever I am today. Now, I am waiting for my younger brother who is pursuing film direction, to test my production learnings for his movie.

How can one blend architecture/design with filmmaking?

It’s a tough one. So, I am in this phase where I am still learning about the intricacies of filmmaking. But during this short span, I have certainly experienced that filmmaking is incomplete without architecture. There is a mutual relation of architecture and cinema as a complementary couple. You need to create sets and identify a location for the film and the knowledge of architecture comes in handy. Moreover, the concept of a movie is similar to conceptualising your project in architecture. Getting your vision to life. It’s a challenging affair.  Certainly, these two amalgamate. At the same time, architecture is still a very understated white-collar profession. But we are not just groomed to design or construct buildings. A firm head, a stable hand and a creative mind – these elements are key to both the professions.

Please share three key learnings from your professional journey so far?

  • Never be humble in front of the rich and never show off in front of the poor
  • Avoid loose talk
  • Avoid overthinking

Harshita is Assistant Editor at Apeejay newsroom. With experience in both the Media and Public Relations (PR) world, she has worked with Careers360, India Today and Value360 Communications. A learner by nature, she is a foodie, traveller and believes in having a healthy work-life balance.

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