An Inspirational CA Story about Prem Mistry who Quit CA to Pursue his Dream of Movie Making. He also explains the difference between ‘Quitting CA’ and ‘Dropping Out of CA’.
“When you are in a commerce college (I was in RA Poddar) the best possible thing you can do is CA because everyone around you is doing CA! The same thing happened to me as well. My 12th board was over (I scored an 80 plus) and my dad asked me what you are doing ahead – I said Chartered Accountancy (CA), everyone is doing CA even I will do CA,” says Prem Mistry, 24, Director at TVF Qtiyapa.
“I enrolled for CPT and cleared it easily. Then came IPCC (2nd level CA exam). I joined a renowned class for it. College to class this routine continued. It was then that I realized this is not what I wanted from life. However I ALWAYS BELIEVED EDUCATION NEVER GOES TO WASTE, so in spite of my decreased interest in CA, I continued pursuing it, as I did not know what is it I wanted to pursue if not CA.
In midst of all this, I started bunking class and watching a lot of movies. Suddenly I started watching movies in a different way, I was observing the many small things in filmmaking. This continued for a good one year. I think somewhere inside of me I was sure even if I clear CA I would never do anything related to it. However, I still continued pursuing CA as mentioned above if not CA then what next was still unclear.
In the meantime, I appeared for IPCC (2nd level CA exam consisting of 2 groups, Group 1 and Group 2). The 1st attempt I got an exemption in 2 subjects. I did not want to go ahead but was still unclear about what to do next, so I started studying again for IPCC – this being my 2nd attempt. I cleared my Group 1 this time.
Then one day out of the blue I sat with my Dad and told him- Till now I did not tell you that CA is not for me as I was not sure what it is I want. However, I know my calling is something to do with ‘MOVIES‘. My dad had nothing to say. My mom, dad, uncles – are all engineers and my grandmother is a CA. So my Dad was pretty shocked when I said ‘MOVIES’ is my calling!
By now I was very sure about one thing – I do not want to do a 9-5 job wearing formals sitting in an office. After a few weeks, I told my Dad ‘Movie Making’ is surely what I want to pursue. My dad was like – I know you are a bright child so pursue what you want with all your heart and no backing out!!!
Still, when I said ‘Movie Making’ and NOT CA it meant pursuing a school which teaches direction! Now, this was another journey in itself you can read more about it here.
Fast Forwarding, I got an opportunity to intern with TVF (THE VIRAL FEVER) and today I am a Director at TVF. My first web series under TVF Originals ‘ImMATURE’ got selected at Cannes. It is the only Indian web series at the CANNESERIES Digital — a competition dedicated to short formats — that will compete against series from the US, Canada, South Korea, France and Spain.
Did the little of CA studies help you,”Youtube production is very different from TV and movies production. When it comes to Youtube production we work on a very small budget and at the same time we have to keep the audience engaged else they will move on. Here all the fundas of accounting, costing etc came to my rescue. So basically thanks to the CPT/ IPCC studies I understood Law, Accounts, Costing.
So that ACCOUNTANT in me comes alive when we work on budgets, costing, allocation of funds etc. The little of CA I studied has changed the way I think !!!
Advice to others:
- Competition is going to be there in every field, it is just about how much FAITH you have in YOURSELF. And that FAITH according to me comes only when you LOVE WHAT YOU DO when you ENJOY WHAT YOU DO. Like the dream of being a director is very easy to give up, had I not been in Love with filmmaking I would have given up a long time back.
- Where I am, in a profession – there is NO STABILITY. By stability, I mean mental and financial stability. So again you have to be very strong emotionally. Stability is never going to be there. I NEVER chose this field for the glamour, money…I chose it because I LOVE it.
- At times I feel low when things don’t work out. There was a very low point when I made a video which I thought would be a hit, however, it did not receive much feedback! I started wondering what went wrong but then I BELIEVE if something goes wrong, think a little about it, LEARN from it and then move on. During this low phase, I came across a script of ‘How I raped your Mother’ its a satire on marital rape, which I later went on to direct. It received millions of views and international news media coverage.
- EVERY FAILURE BRINGS WITH IT A SEED OF SUCCESS
- Its ALWAYS about finding ‘THAT NEXT PART’. It might come in 1 day/ 1 year etc but IT WILL COME IF YOU BELIEVE.’
I asked how do you deal when people say YOU QUIT CA, “Quitting is when you are running away from something which you believe is good for you. Basically, you are SURRENDERING UNDER PRESSURE TO YOUR WEAKNESSES INSTEAD OF WORKING OVER IT. Quitting because you have to go through tough times is not the right thing to do.
However, dropping out is different! I dropped from CA to pursue something I LOVE. Also, I left CA when I knew what I wanted to do next! I did not drop from CA and then just sit at home chilling hoping that magically an idea will show up. I dropped from CA and CHASED what I wanted, it was a struggle!!! I am 24 and very lucky as I understood my calling early in life,” he concluded.