We had the good fortune of connecting with Santhosh Koneru and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Santhosh, why did you pursue a creative career?
I love storytelling and the idea of bringing that to life on the screen has always fascinated me, which later turned into passion. So, I took up visual effects and was fortunate to get trained by some of the best in the industry. The experience and knowledge I gained from them was invaluable for me in starting a career in this industry and producing a web series based on my IP.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a kid I grew up with Indian mythological stories and as a teenager I was influenced heavily with sci-fi and fantasy stories. So, I want to entertain the audience with mythological sci-fi movie.
I started my career as a Digital matte painter and as an online instructor teaching photoshop for production. But my main goal was to become a director, just so I can entertain more people around the world with my stories. But slowly my career drifted towards UI design for mobile apps and websites. It was a well paid profession and was at high demand back in 2011. What started as a one man freelance job, slowly grew into a group of friends working for multiple clients from different countries.
We were on cloud 9 with growing clients, good income but something was always missing. Three years into that career that feeling just grew stronger, which I later realized that I drifted from my goal. So, left all that behind and moved to LA to get my education in visual effects from the best artists in the industry and learn the tools of trade to bring my stories to life on the screen.
During my journey at Gnomon School of Visual Effects, not only did I gain invaluable knowledge from inspiring instructors but also made ever lasting friendships. To add fuel to my passion, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by like minded, talented and hard working people in school who’s work and work ethic constantly pushed me to work harder everyday.
To the end of my journey at school I managed to create a short CG cinematic trailer based on my IP. But that couldn’t have been possible to finish on time without the help of my friends. This short video later helped me land my first job at one of my favorite studios after graduation.
Fast forward to 4years, I’m working on projects I’m proud of and developing/producing my IP into a min web series.
That is a short version of my journey to where I’m today. If I were to get into details of the people that played a huge role in influencing my art and helped help me through this journey, I could keep talking forever. Not to mention how difficult it was my parents to accept my career choice, specially coming from an Indian conservative family. But they ended up being my biggest supporters along with my sisters.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
The best thing about LA is that everything outside the city is like a living wallpaper and not to mention the endless number of cuisines you find here. My friends and I, we usually go on long drives on weekends, usually with no specific destination in mind. The beaches, vineyards, nature, everything is worth exploring. Woodland Hills seem to have really good restaurants, specially for eastern and Mediterranean cuisine.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My family, instructors and friends are a huge pillars of support and inspiration. Each and everyone one of them deserve a shoutout and I’m very great full to them.
All the images are copyright shots from my mini web series.