Part II: Shaman Harsha: Being an American Filmmaker
“2022 feels like a promising year for me,” Shaman Harsha replies when asked what the future now holds for him in the United States, “I can’t say much but I got my first feature film being filmed later this year, a travel TV show, and a music video with one of my childhood favorite TV characters,” he says, trying to be professional as opposed to exuberant. He paused for a while, obviously deliberating whether he will divulge some new detail before enigmatically say, “I am also in process of learning underwater photography.”
“When I first came to the U.S. to pursue my master’s in filmmaking,” Shaman then said, “I was a bit skeptical,” he continued, eluding to a cavalcade of doubts that entered his head – plus the obligatory fear one might have of starting a new life in such a filed. But he went on to say that the transition ended up being seamless. In fact, he found abundant professional opportunities that turned out to be welcoming and much more fun. Bigger and more experienced crews were at his command thanks to his master’s degree. His mathematical mind was sure to cite much greater competition than in India but much more opportunities to work – and to work with talented people.
“What made you become a DP” was a question asked of him during the interview. His answer was poetic.
“I don’t have a deep reason for it, I just honestly like filming stuff. Being behind a camera with my eye pressed against the viewfinder is like a secure space for me. DPing is like seeing something amazing happen in front of you and you tap your friend to you to show them that, but that moment is gone and they will never be able to see it. But with movies, you can create that amazing moment, light it, find the perfect angle, and film it, capturing and showing it to everyone. Knowing that anything that comes to your head, an idea, a character, a place, real or not, can be made and filmed into a movie still blows my mind.”
Look for Part III: Exploring his work here in the United States.