An Inspiring Interview With Film Editor Raghu Gudiveti And The Love For His Work
We recently caught up with passionate and creative film editor Raghu Gudiveti about his influences growing up, the projects he is currently working on — and his plans for the future. Here is what he has to say:
Please give us an introduction as to when you first got into the entertainment industry:
My name is Raghu (Raghavendra) Gudiveti. I am from Hyderabad, India and I have been living in LA for the past 5 years. I got my bachelors in electronics and communications, but I was never a pre-plan sort of a guy. I mean, I never used to make plans, especially with my career. During my bachelors, I used to make college promo videos during college festivals. Before that, I loved the idea of breaking down a scene from any movie that it may be. I started to look closely, scene by scene and there was this feeling which made me so happy about filmmaking.
So, then I decided I would do my masters in film and media in LA from New York Film Academy. From there I once again, got a whole new perspective about filmmaking and different crafts. There is so much to learn even when you call yourself a professional in this field, there will always be something new to learn. I know when I joined NYFA I was going to end up in the television industry but wasn’t sure which department…I had no idea at the time. When I was in my second semester I got an opportunity as an intern at a production company which makes Amazon prime series, so I was excited and embarked on a learning journey during my time as an intern.
I was mainly taking part in the post-production process and then I found my inception and realized I didn’t have to work on an actual production set and put my body through so much pain, by heavy lifting. So that’s another reason I really wanted to become a post-production player. I learned so many things by meeting different post production professionals through networking and I decided I wanted to see myself as an Editor. Ever since, I have been working as an editor for music videos, commercials, TV features and a few other American TV reality shows.
Do you feel like you have grown a lot more as an artist over the years, through your experiences?
Looking back now, the past 5 years of my professional and personal life I would 100% say that I have grown in many ways, I started out as a newbie and my way of approaching industry professionals was different (kind of absurd actually haha). I used to leave my resumes in person at almost every production company in Burbank (near my residence) back in 2017. I was so eager to work in this industry and like I said earlier, I am not a pre-planner kind of guy, so I had no backup plan at my disposal if this career path I chose, didn’t work out.
I’ve never met any industry professional who said that the connections he/she made through LinkedIn helped them with their first job in the industry. So that wasn’t the first direction that I looked at during my job search but I still remember how my career guidance professor from college would talk about LinkedIn and how this could play a vital role in our filmmaking careers. So, I gave this a try and I would send out LinkedIn invitations to almost everyone in the post production department and ask them if they are available for a cuppa (cup of tea).
I also heard about this Facebook group which is exclusively for post-production folks called “Blue Collar Post Collective” –this is where I learned that the post supervisors, associate producers and editors are the people I should reach out to, if using LinkedIn or any other source. So now I can be the person that can say I got my first job through LinkedIn, through which I got my first reality TV show as an Editor.(Of course now that my network circle is big I’ve met a few others who got their first big professional gig through LinkedIn as well.)
What has been one of your favorite projects to work on so far?
My first as both editor and director was ‘Alive’, which won a Best Short at the Los Angeles Cinema Awards in 2018 — and was officially selected by a few other film festivals. The movie is about a guy who is out for a hike with his friends but discovers something during the 14-mile hike. The post production process was fun for this short, it also took more time than usual. To find a proper voice over and color correction was an amazing roller coaster ride.
What has been one of the biggest highlights/achievements of your career?
In this filmmaking business, winning awards for the couple of movies that I edited at the Los Angeles Cinema Awards was a great feeling. As a newbie, it really inspired me and kept me focused to keep doing what I do, as best as possible. And the place where I am at in my life right now, is also an achievement for me. Of course, I wasn’t planning on working from home these past few months for sure, but such is the time we are living in. I feel very blessed to be working during COVID-19 and I am very much psyched for everyone to see the projects, I have been working on.
Who has been one of your favorite actors/filmmakers you have worked with so far and why?
I would have to say I have more than a few editors that I really admire, but I haven’t gotten any opportunity to work with them yet! But that’s what keeps me focused and pushes me harder to work more — so that one day, I will get to work with the editor who worked on the “Wild Wild Country” documentary and a few other Oscar-winning editors whom I really admire because of their editing style.
What other projects do you have coming up?
I am working as an editor on a couple of commercials and a mini web television series. Apart from these projects, I am working on a few other music videos as an online editor and as an editor. Because of the mandatory mask-on situation, the productions are running slow, taking more than the usual time required to finish a shoot. This has a positive side of course (I get to be a part of each project for more time than usual).
What is your best piece of advice for aspiring artists?
Stay hungry, stay passionate. It’s simple! That’s what I try to do. Dreams do come true but don’t just rely on hard work alone, sometimes it’s the smart work that can help you achieve your goals as well.