Beezhan Tulu is an independent filmmaker, editor, and director of photography. His work has aired on Discovery Channel, NBC, CNN, and FOX to name a few media networks, and he has received merit awards for his health-conscious documentaries. I got the chance to converse with Tulu, and during our illustrious conversation, he discussed the greatest obstacle he had to overcome, and his most-memorable filmmaking moment, then he gave some evergreen advice to aspiring filmmakers. Read below and be inspired, one inspiring word at a time.
ZT: Growing up, who were some of your influences?
Beezhan Tulu: My biggest influencer is my mother, Aziz.
ZT: When did you realize that you wanted to become a filmmaker?
Beezhan Tulu: At the age of 7, my sister took me to see my first film, Bicycle Thief, by Vittorio De Sica. So after watching it, I realized I needed to pay her back. So my best friend, Omid, and me gathered all of the kids in our neighborhood, and they listened as I told the film in an entertaining way, but I changed the characters’ names from Italian to Persian, and it became a big hit. Kids left about a penny each, and I used that money to pay my sister, and also my co-producer, Omid.
ZT: What projects are you working on now?
Beezhan Tulu: I am working on 6 documentaries that are focused on creating a healthier planet for all species. They are all honest, deeply researched, and groundbreaking films that will nurture and evolve our culture.
ZT: What’s the greatest obstacle you had to overcome and how did you overcome it?
Beezhan Tulu: The greatest obstacle was realizing that it’s all about the story. Before worrying about which camera you should use, or how that editing software works, you need to learn how to tell a good story. Just because you’ve been writing in your journal for 10 years, doesn’t make you a good scriptwriter. Just like any other skill, before anything else, filmmakers have to master the art of storytelling.
ZT: What do you like most about being a filmmaker?
Beezhan Tulu: I am always exposed to new ideas and interesting people, but most importantly, I look for stories that affect the health of the whole planet, which affects every single one of us and all other species. That is my inner motivation.
ZT: What’s your most memorable filmmaking moment?
Beezhan Tulu: It was when I was filming Selma Rubin. She was driving, and there I was, a born Moslem filmmaker, filming a Jewish woman, who was on her way to defend Latino immigrants, in front of a Christian church. I will never forget that moment because that’s how my mother raised me. We lived in a mixed neighborhood with Moslems, Jews, Christians, Baha’is, and a homosexual student who rented a room in our house, and the center of peace and harmony in that neighborhood was my mother.
ZT: What advice would you give to an aspiring filmmaker?
Beezhan Tulu: Keep making movies, keep working with other people, and keep learning.
ZT: What’s the best advice you have ever gotten?
Beezhan Tulu: Like the warrior pose in yoga. Don’t lean forward, don’t lean backward, stay straight. That is—don’t worry about the future, don’t regret the past, and stay in the present.
ZT: What would you say is your greatest accomplishment?
Beezhan Tulu: Leaving the corporate American lifestyle, and doing what I am passionate about, and learning how to not judge people by seeing their beauty before anything else.
ZT: Years from now, when people say Beezhan Tulu—what will they say?
Beezhan Tulu: Hopefully they will say, “He’s the guy that did his best with his limited resources.”
ZT: What’s your favorite word and why?
Beezhan Tulu: Creator. I used to call myself a revolutionary, then a cameraman, then a filmmaker, and now—a creator. I believe for us to create an amazing environment, and be happy, we need to take responsibility for our actions and become a creator.
ZT: For business and personal inquiries, how can people get in contact with you?
Beezhan Tulu: I can be reached at LivingWebFilms.com, or via email at b@LivingWebFilms.com.
ZT: Thanks for a great interview, and as an honored guest, is there anything else you would like to say?
Beezhan Tulu: I love and respect you.
ZT: Thank you very much Mr. Beezhan Tulu, for such an inspiring interview. I wish you much success, and as an honored guest, I want to end our remarkable conversation with Mel Blanc’s famous catchphrase, “That’s All Folks!” Thanks again for being the change that you wish to see in the world, and always remember that (P) Positive, (E) Energy, (A) Always, (C) Creates, (E) Elevation (PEACE).