Neil D’Souza is a man of many talents. A web developer, graphic designer, DJ, dancer, football player, teacher, audiophile, scuba diver, fitness freak and photographer and now the owner of his very own filmmaking company Neil Productions. Neil is an adventure sports junkie, loves the outdoors and more than anything, loves to capture, frame and eternalize beautiful, breathtaking moments at weddings, music events, and adventure sports competitions. Neil and his team have shot for award-winning campaigns, as well as world cups, and been featured in various magazines.
Photography is just another means of telling a story by an artist.”
Prior to starting his own production house, Neil founded 2 startups and worked as the Head of Web Development and Assistant DOP at 1st December Films, until one day, he woke up and realised that he wasn’t providing too much value to the company, and that they were headed in a totally different direction from what he wanted to head into.
“I was an entrepreneur long before I knew I was one”, Neil admits. Back in his engineering college days in 2008, Neil got heavily addicted to gaming, web design and development and making websites. It was during New Years’ when he made a resolution, deleted the game, downloaded some tutorials, and in a month’s time was raking in web design projects. “That, I guess, was the triggering point. When I decided I had wasted enough time doing nothing productive. I’m the type who always likes to have something to do. It’s been exactly 10 years now, so it brings back some good memories.” Seems like Neil was born with the entrepreneurial bug inside of him.
But Every Photographer Needs a Source of Inspiration…
Neil says that Anup and Atul Kattukaran are his two biggest sources of inspiration, although ideas do keep coming to him from very various sources, sometimes even from spending too much time on the can! Then, of course, there’s watching what others in the world are doing, playing with kids (Aww!), listening to people’s hardships or sometimes just plain drunk talk! Haven’t we all been there! His family has backed him 100% in whatever he did because they had faith that whatever Neil wanted, he’d give it a 110%, and excel at it. And how he has!
Regarding my work, I like to take my time and understand the larger picture, and when I do deliver – it’s worth the time taken.”
Neil’s “picture-perfect” moment? “To become the best adventure sports filmmaker in India by 2020. I wrote that down on my whiteboard last month, and I’m working towards it, one step at a time.”
My belief is that an entrepreneur takes some existing model/problem, and finds a new way to solve it. While I, as a filmmaker, am just finding newer stories to tell.”
Neil recalls how people would jokingly refer to him as the ‘Jack of All Trades’ which he didn’t take very well at first but later realized how apt the name was to him thanks to all his multiple talents. Neil believes that knowing the small details in each of the fields he’s tried his hand at, has added to his repertoire as a filmmaker. He can tell when something is good or bad if a font works, if a dancer is off, or if an athlete is faking it. He compares it to when Apple founder and billionaire Steve Jobs stressed importance on fonts, because of that one calligraphy class he took in university which surely played a minute role in helping him earn millions and millions of dollars.
Neil’s bold advice to other young and budding filmmakers who want to tell their stories to the world…
Never stop doing, never stop learning, and never stop trying new things. To be honest, I’m not a very talented person. It’s just that I’ve never stopped trying and keep at it again and again till I’m good at something I want to do.”