Mumbai/Bhubaneswar: From painting wall advertisements to making it big as visual effects designer in Indian film industry, Nayagarh-born Amar Dash has come a long way. Presently, he is the founder of visual effects production firm AD Group which is based in Mumbai.
Credited with giving effects to critically acclaimed Bollywood films like ‘Fan’ ‘Chalk N Duster’, ‘Filmistaan’, ‘Ek Tera Saath’ and ‘DNA Mein Gandhiji’, he has also worked in more than 10 Marathi movies, Odia films Krantidhara and Chocolate to name a few.
For someone who left home at teenage to pursue dreams with barely Rs 500 for sustenance in 2010, 38-year-old Amar lives every moment to make those come true. On the importance of visual effects, he says, “A 3D image can uplift a movie and tell the story in a different way. For example, a robot walking alongside a man can be created through visual effects only. Besides, producers prefer to take the help of a visual effect designer to make things realistic and believable at a much lesser price than actually shooting for it.’’
His firm has 17 full-time visual effect designers besides other creative persons who are hired on contractual basis.
On his travails of establishing himself, Amar says, “In Bhubaneswar, way back in 2003-04, I used to get Rs 400 per wall painting. My father was a teacher and I had no major financial issues. But I left home without telling anyone as I knew they, like any other parent, were not very supportive about me making a career as a fine artist,” explains Amar with a sense of nostalgia. In 2009, he joined a multimedia institute in Bhubaneswar for a three-year course after depositing some money he had saved. But he could not complete the course due to some disturbances.
“After reaching Mumbai in July 2010, I got a job at Prime Focus at a salary of Rs 4,500 per month which became Rs 22,500 in six months as the company was happy with my work,” narrates Amar, adding, “Later, with the help of a few friends and acquaintances plus investing my hard-earned money, I launched my venture in March 2013. I began working from home but later took an office space on rent in Mumbai. Subsequently, work started coming in.”
In the initial days, Amar used to visit movie studios in Mumbai to get assignments on which he and his team worked till early mornings to finish the work so that they could be delivered the next day.
On his plans on working in Odisha, Amar says, “There are a lot of plans. A Hollywood venture may soon take off. After that I plan to open a branch office in Bhubaneswar by year-end. So that I can also work from home and for my state.”
Ask him about what next and he sums it up, “I have a hunger to reach new levels. A long way to go.”