“LIGHT, Sound, Take, Action, Cut” – these words resonate with me every day as I head to work.
I am a junior artist by profession, and my life revolves around film and serial shoots. I wake up early in the morning and line up here at the Artist’s union office at Indira Nagar by 4:30 am. In Hyderabad, there are over 5000 members registered with the Junior Artists Association, forming the background crowd in movies and serials, be it a song, an action sequence, or a dialogue.
My journey began when my father, driven by his love for movies and inspired by actor Sr. NTR, moved our family from West Godavari District to Hyderabad in 1989 to pursue a career in the film industry. He became a member of the Junior Artists Association and has been a part of the Telugu film industry for over 35 years. I grew up amidst the hustle of film and serial shoots. After completing my education till class 10, I decided to focus solely on my craft. Besides acting, I’m also passionate about direction and cinematography. Just before the lockdown, my parents bought me a DSLR camera worth Rs. 2 lakhs, and I’ve already made a few short films and documentaries with a minimal budget, receiving a good response. I am looking forward to taking up more exciting projects now.
Some days, we have multiple shoots, while other times, we wait for weeks. In television, we earn Rs.600 to Rs.1000, and in films, it ranges from Rs.800 to Rs.1600 per shoot as per the role and number of working hours.
Junior artists like us usually remain in the shadows of shooting sets. Despite the challenges, I remain hopeful because movie-making is not just a profession; it’s been my family’s livelihood for over three decades.”
- Jagdish, Artist in TFI