We had the good fortune of connecting with Reeti Narayan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Reeti, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
If I need to take a break, I take a break. My father has always emphasized the importance of giving personal relationships and mental health more importance over anything else. When I was new to the industry, my only aim was to keep working and building my portfolio and network. I would obsess over how other people are doing more projects. But I stopped to think how much all of this is going to matter in the long run. Sure, I need to put in hardwork to work my way up in the industry, but I also realized that I shouldn’t be overdoing it and ocassionally taking a few days off to travel, or be with friends or family actually helped me be more focused and efficient with my work.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a production designer and art director with a background in Architecture. Growing up in India, I always loved watching Bollywood films, but I never considered a career in films, I always was into the arts, but I didn’t know what would be an acceptable career path in my coutry. So I decided to pursue my undergraduate degree in Architecture. During that time, I did an internship with an architecture firm in Mumbai, which made me realize that I craved a work environment that wasn’t as formal, and was way more fast paced and creative. Set designing was something that I was always fascinated by and inclined towards, and that led me to doing my masters in Production Design at Chapman University. It was a tough decison to take as filmmaking was not considered a career in India. But my parents trusted my decision and I also couldn’t have asked for a better mentor at Chapman. Over the last two years I designed a bunch of short films and a couple of music videos. I’m also working on a TV show called Mayans M.C, as an art department production assistant. I have met some great filmmakers and designers and I’m hoping to work with them again in the years ahead.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love Griffith! I remember seeing Griffith in the movie La La Land back when I was in India, and I was in awe. When I finally got to actually visit Griffith when I came here, I realized it was actually as breathtaking as it looked in the film. Since I lived for the most part in Orange County before moving to LA, I have a bunch of places I loved visiting around there. The Korean Bell of Friendship in San Pedro is a peaceful place with a beautiful view of the ocean. I love going on hikes, and there’s one place that I always take my friends to hike – Mt. Rubiduox in Riverside. Laguna Beach is another one of my favorite spots. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would dedicate my shouout to my parents without whose support I wouldn’t have been able to move half way across the world to study film; my mentor John Chichester who has taught me everything I know about production design and films. I would also like to thank my friends who were my family in California. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to get through grad school. They were my calm, everytime I would be stressing the night before a shoot. I couldn’t have done any of this without them,