We had the good fortune of connecting with Vihang Walve and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vihang, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
“You can be anything in life as long as you become an engineer or doctor.”
“Movies are a waste of your time, study instead.”
“Why do you want to be a struggling artist by choice?”
These were the popular beliefs in my childhood.
Didn’t know anyone from the industry,
Didn’t know if I could fit into the culture,
Didn’t know if I would find a way to be as successful as the people I idolize.
Yet here I am in la la land, directing, producing, editing, creating impactful content and moving towards my dream of making films.
Risk is just a label you put on your fears
But risk could be…
a chance to trust your abilities
Thinking outside the squares, circles and triangles
Trusting your abilities
Whenever I am in doubt I always remember this story.
In 1911 a man got so obsessed with the art of cinema that he watched movies every evening for four to five hours and was deprived of sleep and almost lost his eyesight but he was determined to learn everything about it.
His wife and he sold their belongings so he could sail to London and learn filmmaking without actually knowing anyone there.
He not only managed to meet industry people and learn the technicalities of cinema but also secured a camera and raw film to bring home.
Against all odds he made the first feature film in India in 1913 and created a foundation for Indian cinema, which is now a multi-billion dollar industry.
That man’s name was Dadasaheb Phalke. He is called “The father of the Indian cinema.”
Moral of the story: he took a risk and stayed the course, following his passion and impacting millions of lives for generations. Likewise, the risks you now take can inspire others to follow their own paths.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I work as an editor and motion graphic artist and moonlight as a director. I started my career as a storyboard artist in India but I was always drawn towards post production. I felt that is where you bring the story to life! It was clear leaving my old career in India and starting from scratch in a new country would be challenging. And it was. But it always smelled of opportunity.
When I was starting my freelancing business and building my own clients I was the one-man army sent to tackle any problem. I worked with individual clients helping them to get their message across. I approached start-up companies and delivered despite minimal resources and small budgets. I produced, shot, edited several videos and kept moving, kept perfecting my skills. Along the way I met some really cool and talented individuals who I collaborated with and we continued working together.
I did a couple of short films which won numerous awards and recognition.
Along the way I learned to stick with my intuition and my unique perspective. There is a nice quote by Maya Angelou that says people will remember you by how you make them feel. I’ve tried to follow this in my career and it’s served me well.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I always take my LA visitors to Griffith Observatory. Not because I am a dork—which I am—but also because it provides the best view of the city. To me, the Hollywood sign above the Los Angeles skyline is always inspiring. Grab dinner at Simmzy’s or at The Post in Manhattan Beach followed by a stroll on the beach to watch the fiery sunsets.
Or have an amazing musical experience at Walt Disney Concert Hall and then walk through downtown LA. Enjoy cocktails at Perch, Crane’s, or Seven Grand depending on the vibe you want.
And definitely go to LACMA to enjoy modern and contemporary art, plus tacos from the nearby food trucks.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are many people along the way who supported me, guided me, encouraged me and offered me opportunities to move forward. Shoutout to my parents who encouraged me to follow my dreams and made me into the person I am today.
Shoutout to the amazing director, entrepreneur and creative soul Elia Petridis who trusted my abilities, offered me opportunities and always led by example.
Shoutout to Tony Gentile, who went from colleague to my friend and mentor in life for basically everything.
Shoutout to one of the best screenwriters, Taylor Hopkins with whom I spend countless hours discussing stories, films and the future.