Since his days as an ordinary private university student in Bangladesh, Asif Khan Ranan, a 27-year-old screenplay writer and producer based out of Los Angeles, dreamt of making it big in the entertainment world. He pursued his dream come hell or high water, and has managed to establish himself as a known quantity solely through his own artistic merit.
Asif has been working in the creative industry for a long time. From organising concerts to producing cool music videos, he has a wide breadth of artistic experience. He was gainfully employed in the advertising sector during his university days at North South and collaborated with big clients like GrameenPhone, British-American Tobacco and others.
Asif's first big step was joining his friend's venture Flybot Studios. Fast forward to 2022, now he is a full-time producer, screenplay writer and guest lecturer at the Full Sail University, Florida where he imparts his experience to the filmmaking faculty.
"Apart from teaching, I'm currently directing my short film called 'Hemlock'. I aim to release it at international festivals. I have produced a few advertisements as well after shifting to the US. But the most exciting Hollywood project I have been working on is an upcoming movie, with plans to expand into a franchise. It will be an adaptation of Mariah Fox's book series 'The Rain and Max Saga' and the name of the first movie will be The Misfits which is in the pre-production phase now," said Asif.
Even though he is a BBA graduate, he pursued another bachelor's degree to obtain in-depth knowledge of filmmaking. Although his family was sceptical about the idea, if Asif's mother didn't support him with everything, he wouldn't have been able to make the jump to Hollywood.
"I ended up pursuing a BBA degree. It is a very conventional choice for a degree when someone is confused about his career in our country. But I was never happy with it and did not even attend my graduation because I was rather busy doing what I love. Eventually, I realised where my passion lies and pursued another bachelor's in filmmaking. It was one of the best decisions of my life."
Interestingly, Asif's father, Sarwar Jahan Khan, is also an independent filmmaker. But growing up he never had a goal to become one. He discovered his passion late and then on the advice of Creative Director Shafiq Alam, he opted for a degree in Full Sail University. Their filmmaking is centralised on practical projects and interactive discussions instead of traditional structures of education which made Asif love filmmaking even more.
"In the first few days of joining University, I saw Leonardo DiCaprio passing by me. And you see big stars every day here. Even our classes are held by renowned creative professionals from Hollywood. Because in the US it's important to learn from the people who not only have prowess in a particular creative sector but they also need to have hands-on experience," Asif shared.
He has won accolades from the likes of Spikes Asia, Red Dot, A'Design, Best Corporate Short Film on CSR at Bangladesh Leadership Awards, Social Impact Media Awards etc. throughout his journey as a creative artist and opting to gain more recognition as a producer and screenplay writer .
Asif stated that in Bangladesh too, filmmaking needs to be studied with the help of real-life professionals working in the field and the social stigmas related to studying filmmaking need to be eliminated to enrich this industry.
He added, "Bangladesh has the potential to create great content but a proper infrastructural development would help foster the industry more. For instance, the unions need to come together and set proper industry guidelines in effect with the labour laws, not to mention proper investment."
Asif concluded the conversation by saying that Hollywood requires active participation in creating content and good networking skills. Patience and consistency to build a strong profile are paramount to longevity in this industry.