The Making of Sawa by Harinarayan

"Some STRANGERS are not just STRANGERS".

The film portrays a series of events unleashed in the lives of two individuals when one of them invited the other to a birthday party.

Harinarayan Rajeev has been working in the Animation and Visual Effects industry for over 14 years and had worked for the world's leading animation studios including Dreamworks animation and Industrial Light and Magic. He was also the Animation supervisor for some of the most acclaimed Hollywood movies including Maleficent 2- 2019, Disney and the upcoming feature film "BIOS" starring Tom Hanks. He was also a part of many other major Hollywood movies from both Animation and Live action, as listed in his IMDB profile.

Sawa is a Sci-Fi based Multi-Genre Original short film which was created not just for entertainment but also to make the audience think and solve the hidden puzzles on their own.

It was our pleasure to speak to the director of the film regarding the making of "Sawa".



What was the inspiration behind the making of Sawa?

This was a concept that came in my dream or I should say a nightmare, which thankfully I didn’t forget even after waking up. The only difference was that I was the protagonist in the dream.

What were some of the challenges of making the film?

Climate and time. We were shooting this film in Montreal in September, after our work hours. The same location could look a lot different in a matter of days during this season when the leaves change colors, they may shed the leaves after a few more days and then it might snow. So we had to shoot it fast and avoid reshoots as much as possible.


When did you realize that you wanted to make films and what was the first film project that you created?

It was around 2013 that I first made my short film "Spirits of the falling sky" with my friends in Bangalore in India. I was always a hard-core movie fan and I was working as an animator in Hollywood feature films since 2006. So I was confident that with the professional experience which I had gained while working as an animator in many mainstream movies, I can convey my own imagination to a wider audience. From 2013 onwards I try to make at least one short film a year to find my style of filmmaking and to perfect it with each.

Which directors have been influential in your work and why?

Being a hardcore movie fan who enjoys almost all genres of cinema, a wide range of filmmakers had influenced me. The most notable being Steven Spielberg (I was fortunate enough to work with him in Ready Player One), Guillermo del Torro, Stanley Kubrick, Brian De Palma, Martin Scorsese, and many others. All these directors have made films that not only entertain us but also make us think. Their movies have some quality that makes us live with the films even after a couple of days of viewing.

What genre of filmmaking do you like to work on?

Thought-provoking movies in any genre basically. I am a huge fan of Horror movies so that would be my first preference. Then Fantasy and Mystery Thrillers, Investigation based films, etc.

What is the most challenging aspect of making an independent film?

Trying to get the maximum out of all the limitations.

What is your plan for further distribution of your film?

Once "Sawa" completes its film festival run next year (2021), we are planning to release it to a wider audience online.

How can cinema change the world and have an impact on society?

Being a visual medium, Cinema has the ability to make the audience think and admonish about various issues happening around us and act upon what we could do in our limited capabilities, to make an impact or a positive result. It can also be a strong medium to evoke an emotion towards any global issue which we otherwise might be blinded by.

What is your next film project?

My bigger goal is to make a full-length feature film, so I am preparing myself to write a strong script. I have a couple of really interesting ideas/plots and I am feeling extremely confident about them.

Why do you make films and what draws you to the language of cinema and directing?

Films to me are the finest forms of entertainment. Making a good film is not an easy task, but it is a challenge worth living for.