VIP - VideoChannel Interview Project

Shekar, Veena

Dr. Veena Shekar



Interview: 10 questions

1. Tell me something about your life and the educational background

I was born in Bangalore, India where I reside with my husband. I am an art historian and a curator who has been working independently for the past 15 years teaching, curating and writing on art. I was awarded PhD in 2002 for my work on ‘Historical paintings of Southern India’ which is currently taken up for publication. I am at present working as visiting professor teaching art history to post graduate students at the University and other established art schools in Bangalore.

2. When, how and why started you filming?

Films and Filmaking however, is a passion I have had since a very long time. In the years 1985 to 1988 I worked on the production side of the Indian Television and learnt the basics of televion production. Recently, I did a short course in filmaking a few years ago that set me off into this area more seriously. By profession being an art historian I have constraints translating my ideas into the visual medium. Film making is a medium I am able to adapt to easily and I feel there is more scope for expression.

3. What kind of subjects have your films?

I am concerned with social and emotional themes such as racial abuse, pollution, violence and abuse of women. A few themes I am currently working on are related to human relationships.

4. How do you develop your films, do you follow certain principles, styles etc?
Usually it begins with a random thought that develops into a concept. I write down my concept and discuss with my team, then I make a shot breakup and create a story board. I work out the theme mentally a hundred times before I know for sure it is alright.

5. Tell me something about the technical equipment you use.

I hire all my equipments. 3 CCD Camera, lights and props. Sometimes I hire a professional cameraman who shoots for me. I personally own a Sony video camera which I use for small projects. I edit my films myself using adobe premier and windows movie maker.

6. What are the chances of new media for the genre film/video in general
and you personally?

The possibilites of use of new media in film is expanding everyday. What amazing amount of avenues are open and bekoning ! Personally I am yet to explore these areas in my work, but surely would love to experiment.

7. How do you finance your films?

All my projects are self financed

8. Do you work individually as a video artist/film maker or do you work in a team? if you have experience in both, what is the difference, what do you prefer?

Personally I prefer working in a team. I have tried working individually but not found it to be a great experience. It is inspiring and a joyful experience to work in a team. There are times when a subject gets clarity due to the suggestions of the team. After all videos or films are meant to be seen and understood by others.

9. Who or what has a lasting influence on your film/video making?

Video installations by Indian contemporary artists is the greatest source of influence

10. What are your future plans or dreams as a film/video maker?

I want to make serious thought provoking films on issues concerning the people of my country.

Can works of yours viewed online besides on VideoChannel? Where?
List some links & resources