When this 19-year-old filmmaker and design student uploaded a 75-second tribute to Steven Spielberg, he didn’t in his wildest dreams expect to hear from the protagonist of his animation flick.
On Tuesday night, Krishna Bala Shenoi, was “shocked” when he saw in his email inbox a letter from Spielberg’s assistant, Samantha Becker. The email, which he has read over and over again since last night, carried a hand-written note as an attachment. A bolt from the blue it was, as he opened the attachment to find a letter from the man himself.
In his sprawling, almost child-like handwriting, Spielberg writes: “I read the story about you in the Chi Sun Times and then I watched your sweet and respectful short movie. Your image choices and clever transitions gave your tribute film a real narrative. I was impressed to say the least. I will be looking out at the horizon to see where next you will emerge and impress.” A physical copy of this letter, signed by the film legend, would be couriered to him, the email informed.
Speaking to The Hindu, Krishna could barely contain his excitement. “Steven Spielberg, my favourite film maker of all time, wrote a note to me after seeing my animated tribute to him!” he shouts. This budding film-maker is a second year student at the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology.
The short animation film took him four months to complete. About the work and ideas that went into it, he explains, “I chose my favourite images from Spielberg’s movies for the animation film. He has had such an illustrious career with such a variety of movies which appeals to both general audiences and the more serious cinema goers.”
Expressing his joy and gratitude to Spielberg, he added: “I am so thankful to Steven Spielberg for being gracious enough to have taken the time to write me such a letter. I am convinced that his goodness is not restricted to just his films.”
Films have always been a passion for this Bangalore lad, who tried his hand at making a film at eight. After his short film ‘Conversation’ was uploaded, he was offered space to write in the Roger Ebert journal as a foreign correspondent. Last week, he uploaded his Spielberg tribute on YouTube and shared it across social media, where it was noticed by Mr. Ebert who wrote about it in his film critics’ column in the Chicago Sun Times. This reached Spielberg through his make-up person, Lois Burwell, who has worked with the filmmaker on his works such as Saving Private Ryan.
Gushing about his love for film making, he says: “I started making short movies with an old Sony camcorder, building blocks, clay models, and whatever I could find, employing very rough stop-motion animation techniques,” he added.
The filmmaker appreciates a 75-second animation tribute by the design student