WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A CINEMATOGRAPHER with RAMUNA PUN
If you are missing the old classic and vintage feels in today’s YouTube videos then Ramuna Pun is who you should subscribe to. She does not only create videos for YouTube, but also puts in her own beliefs and ideologies in them, making them seem very realistic, yet dreamy at the same time. The most unique feature about her videos is that she edits her videos in such a way that the viewers are captivated and mesmerized by it. Her videos are nothing but a treat to the viewer’s eyes.
She, now a major influencer, pursued Arts and Media at university which motivated her even more to do something in the filming field itself. She’s stationed out in the UK, and the following conversation is an online interview we had online.
WHAT GOT YOU STARTED WITH THE FILMS YOU MAKE? WAS IS SOMETHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO DO?
I pursued Arts and Media at university so I was equipped with primitive e introduction to Fine Art, Photography and Films to start with. As someone from painting background, choosing film or photography as a major was out of question. So I chose Fine arts to major with whilst still experimenting with photography and film but through a conceptual, fine art approach. And before I could comprehend this linear shift, I had replaced my paintbrush with a camera. But in terms of films, it certainly is because of YouTube. I actually started making “watchable” videos. Otherwise my previous films were very abstract; they would be portrayals of an artist’s labyrinth state of mind.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST PROJECT?
My very first project with a film crew was 100 Years of Beauty Nepal, inspired by Cut.com’s series of time-lapse video that consists a century of beauty trends of different countries around the world. It was a modest, very humble approach to portraying the women of Nepal of the past century: Historic, Royals, Idols and the ordinary. Whether it surpassed the nation’s “benchmark”- that, I won’t question because it being the first project I directed and produced, I met my own expectations. And that I believe is so important in this field!
HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH CONCEPTS FOR YOUR WORK?
It’s usually the most vague, arbitrary noises/ideas under some random, disputed circumstances that arrive knocking on my door. I let these ideas in and listen to them wholeheartedly and as a result, these little specks turn into actual do-able concepts. For example, for Rohit John Chettri’s ‘Nayan Ma’ music video, I acquired the concept for it on a micro bus to Sundhara. Sat behind a veteran couple and observing them for a while lead to this idea of depicting/questioning the ideology of love through declining years. Music video, I acquired the concept for it on a micro bus to Sundhara. Sat behind a veteran couple and observing them for a while lead to this idea of depicting/questioning the ideology of love through declining years.
WOULD YOU SAY THAT YOU HAVE A PERSONAL STYLE? HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH IT?
I like to think my works are embodiment of nostalgia, vivacity, and simplicity. Perhaps this is a mirror or a consequence of the nature I have developed over the years.
WHAT GEAR DO YOU USE?
I still use canon 60D (which I bought five years ago) with 18-55, 50mm 1.8, and 85mm 1.8 lens. For underwater needs, I use GoPro 4 and my iPhone 7. I am an old school! Until my gears don’t fully give up on me, I won’t upgrade! Also, another one of my most reliable and favorite gear to use is the natural light!
WHO HAS INSPIRED YOUR WORK SO FAR? ANY CINEMATOGRAPHER OR A MOVIE?
I look up to Jonna Jinton, a Swedish artist whose works echo my longings for the quiet and stillness. Her photographs and films are a whimsical escape into a world of pure bliss. Leaving the noises of the city, she moved to the woods of northern Sweden for a richer life- one that is simple, minimalistic but fulfilling in every aspect.
I also gather inspiration from Wes Anderson’s choice of color palette; the pastel-hues that envelop you into this nostalgia of a time never experienced. There’s also this filmmaker called Matt D’Avella who directed an award winning Netflix documentary on Minimalism. I find his minimalistic approach to filming and creative living very moving.
LOOKING BACK, WHAT DIFFERENCES HAVE YOU FOUND IN YOUR WORK WHEN YOU COMPARE IT TO YOUR CURRENT WORK?
Reflecting on my previous works, they now appear to me as fragments of ideas without a definite form or direction because of the experimental phase I guess. Whereas now, there’s a distinct style evident throughout my works narrative wise predominantly. But undoubtedly, two visits to Nepal over the course of three years are integral part of this transition. Despite the move to UK at a very young age, I never stopped weaving dreams of Nepal. And when strings of opportunity to live in Nepal for a year knocked on my door (last year), I just left.
During that year, I travelled to various parts of Nepal shooting, documenting, connecting and growing. In doing so, I felt alive and without any realization, I had adapted the art of simple living- feeling content with less. As a result, I immersed my time and energy into being creatively productive. Also, the sense of belonging instilled within me as the bond with my roots strengthened. But there are still so many corners, faces and stories yet to unravel so I plan to come back soon. Hopefully to work on bite-sized documentaries. Along the way, I hope to find myself never to be lost again.
WHAT PROJECT DO YOU REALLY WANT TO WORK ON IN THE COMING DAYS?
It has just been a month since I came back to UK. So, I’m taking some time off to rest, revise and reflect. But there are few photo/video projects I’m excited to be a part of in the coming months.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO IS STARTING OUT IN THIS FIELD?
For anyone starting out on a non-traditional path like mine, my advice to you is to be certain first. And then never look back! This line from Narayan Wagle’s Palpasa Café, I hope inspires you like it inspires me every single day, “If you intend to do creative work, I feel it’s better to be in the east than the west. The west is more advanced, of course, but it’s running out of stories. Here in the east, there’s a much wider gap between problems- social, cultural and natural- and their solutions. That gap fuels creativity. We have more space to work.”
Look closely; there are faces, stories, and opportunities waiting for you at every corner. Besides, there’s enough room for all of us in this world to do everything we want and make it work.
INTERVIEWED BY TNM Team