One of my biggest fears in life was -- what if I wake up one day and I don't feel excited about films or filmmaking anymore.
I experienced this fear come to life in the post covid world. Things changed drastically for me ever since March 2020.
I hardly watched any films. I wasn't directing as much as I once used to.
Chalchitra Talks started with the pure idea that I'll come in front of the screen and talk about the movies I feel so passionately about. But that was October 2018.
By October 2021, I started feeling conscious of not feeling passionate about films and filmmaking. This was something I dreaded all my life.
But some good things also happened in the post covid world. Chalchitra Talks was able to attract some immensely passionate people in the form of creators and viewers. It became a community of passionate people. And their passion made me keep my passion alive.
Even when my passion was not at peak for films, I did feel immensely passionate about a few things - be it Moneyball, Succession, Ray Bradbury. And whenever I got the opportunity, I shared that passion on Chalchitra Talks.
But I still kept thinking - "I am still not as passionate about things as I once was. In last few months, I have hardly put out any recommendation videos on Chalchitra Talks. What if, this last fragment of passion, also dissipates?"
My mind started getting foggy because of this thought. And the creative paralysis compounded.
On one such foggy morning, with a foggy mind, I was browsing through my Spotify playlist. And discovered that Jon Hopkins, one of my favorite music artists, has put out a new song. I listened to it, and by the time the song got over, I was crying in a way I had never cried before.
Because the lyrics, towards the end of the song, went like this :
In each of us There once was a fire And for some of us There seem as if there are only ashes now But when we dig in the ashes We find one ember And very gently we fan that ember ... blow on it ... it gets brighter And from that ember we rebuild the fire Only thing that's important is that ember That's what you and I are here to celebrate
That though we've lived our life totally involved in the world We know We know that we're of the spirit
The ember gets stronger Flame starts to flicker a bit And pretty soon you realize that all we're going to do for eternity Is sit around the fire
These words made my fear vanish.
I listen to this song every morning after I wake up. And ever since I discovered this song, I have stopped feeling conscious about the scale of my passion.
I have been able to think more clearly. I have been watching films again. I have been working on my next direction project. I have recommendations ready for my five upcoming episodes on Chalchitra Talks.
Because I knew deep within those ashes, I had one ember left.
Peter Weir once said, “You know that feeling that you get between films in which you think, ‘Oh, I have no idea if I’m ever gonna be able to make a film again? Am I gonna get another movie off the ground? Is this gonna happen? If I can finance it creatively, will I even get inspired enough to make another film?’” And then he answers himself, “That doesn’t go away.
Now I know what he was talking about. Because it doesn't go away. You find the inspiration again. The ember saves you.
-- Vaibhav Munjal