An American who is a 'jack of all trades' in film making

And yet noted independent filmmaker Jon Jost never had any formal training in any of the fields.Winner of numerous awards, including the prestigious John Cassavetes Lifetime Achievement Award for independent film making, Jost began making 16mm films in 1963, a year after being expelled from college.

Till date, the 67-year-old maverick American has made around 20 short films and 14 feature length films, all of which was conceived, written, photographed, directed and edited by him.

Jost has also produced most of his works besides taking the responsibility of doing all graphics, animation and special effects.

So how did he manage to wear so many hats without ever reading books, attending lectures, seminars or workshops on film making?

"I learnt doing all this myself step by step. It was possible for me to do it, because unlike others, I don't consider routine works as drudgery," he told PTI here.

Some of his works were shown in the 16th Kolkata Film Festival which ended yesterday.

"People always tell me that it is difficult doing all these things at the same time, but since I have learnt doing it in the real way and not through any classes, I could master it," Jost said.

Adept in multi-tasking, he divulged that even while doing routine jobs of film making, his creative juices doesn't stop flowing.

"I keep thinking even with my mind while my hands might be doing some mechanical job," the 'jack of all trades' filmmaker said.

Even while meeting students of the reputed Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute recently, he advised them to learn by trial and error method, instead of attending seminars and classes.

"Just do it and you will learn automatically," is the sole piece of advice that the self-taught filmmaker has for wannabe filmmakers.

Known for his short films which mostly have static shots with no definite storyline, Jost has shunned conventional form throughout his chequered career spanning five decades.

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