It is an exciting time to be a film maker : Prashamit Chaudhury

A young guy from Assam, WWI student, Prashamit Chaudhury debuts as director with upcoming film MY FRIENDS DULHANIA. In a candid conversation with GlamGold, the young director shares his experience of ‘Meri Pehli Pehli Film’.

– Vipul K. Shah

GG) Tell us about your background.
PC) I was born and brought up in a picturesque town in Assam called Dibrugarh which is nestled between lush green tea gardens at one side and the mighty Brahmaputra river at the other. After completing my graduation in Media Technologies at St. Anthonys College, Shillong I packed my bags and came to Mumbai in order to pursue my dream of becoming a film maker. I enrolled in Whistling Woods International with specialization in direction. As a part of our curriculum we made several short films which helped me learn and understand the basics of film making. Post Whistling Woods I joined UTV as an assistant script writer which I was involved in writing screenplays of many TV serials and soaps. After a while I left UTV and started doing several freelance works like writing, assisting in film, casting and so on. In between I developed my own feature film scripts and started pitching at several places.

GG) Was it your dream to become a director?
PC) Yes indeed it was my dream to become a director. I have a burning desire of telling and sharing stories, which I want to show to the whole world through the wonderful medium called cinema. Having said that beside films I am also open to sharing my artistic expressions though other modern platforms which have emerged today like web, mobile and so.

GG) How did MFD happen to you?
PC) One fine day Mudasir told me that he had written a script which he had pitched and was approved. When I read the script I loved it and immediately agreed to be on board. However even the story was complete but the script was not. So we added some more scenes and dialogues to complete the script. And soon before we knew it, we were sitting in a train to Jammu with our cast and crew in order to shoot the first schedule of MFD.

GG) What is the story of the film?
PC) MFD is the story of four friends Aryan, Harsh, Sneha and Sajad who were college buddies but now are settled in different places. One day Sajad calls his other three friends inviting them to his wedding which is to be held in Kashmir. They reach Kashmir where the four friends have a joyful reunion. Later at the pre-wedding celebration everyone asks Sajad to show them the picture of his would be bride. Everyone appreciates her beauty but when Aryan sees it his receives a bolt from the blue. For it is the same girl whom he was deeply in love with and who had disappeared in his life without any reason. What made her leave Aryan without any explanations? Will Aryan confront Mahira who will soon be the Dulhan of his best friend? Will he tell Sajad the truth? The answer to all these questions will be revealed on December 15th at a cinema hall near you.

GG) Tell us about the music of the film.
PC) The music is the highlight of the film. Yug Bushal, the music director has done a stupendous job. There are four tracks in the film. The first song ‘Masti main’ is a light hearted travel song with upbeat peppy music. This is followed by ‘Radio si battein’ which is a melodious, soothing romantic number which touches your heart and soul. Then there is also a sad version of the same song. And finally we have a wedding song ‘Nach le re’ at the climax of the film. It is a very energetic track. It has both Punjabi beats with some Kashmiri folk added as a good measure to capture the essence of the place.

GG) Where did you shoot the film and for how many days?
PC) We shot in several places and locations over a period of three months. The first schedule was shot in the beautiful town of Baderwah in Kashmir. The major part of the film was shot in the second schedule at various places like Srinagar, Manigam, Gulmarg. In between we had shot the travel song in an overcrowded train (to Jammu), on bus roofs, tractors, highways and any beautiful location we chanced upon. The third schedule was shot in Mumbai and was all interiors. We shot in various places in Delhi like India Gate, Sarojoni market for the last schedule.

GG) What difficulties you faced during the shoot?
PC) Since it was an Indie film we had to work with a very modest budget, restrictive resources and a limited crew. The Baderwah schedule was completed smoothly except for the tremendous exertion which was faced by the entire crew as a result of constant travel from one place to another and shooting non-stop from day to night. We didn’t have the luxury of taking an off day and had tight schedules to adhere. Since there was no recce, the shot breakdown had to be done on location which took additional time. Sometimes there was unwanted rain which delayed the shoot further. During our shoot in Srinagar the political situation became volatile and a red alert was declared. We had to cancel several outdoor shoots including the wedding song we had planned to shoot in a houseboat but ended up shooting inside the Reserve police force camp at Manigam. It has to be said that this schedule of the shoot won’t have been possible without the tremendous support and security provided by the Reserve Police Force of Kashmir. The schedule in Mumbai and Delhi went without any hiccups as situations were in our hands. Overall as a debutant director I had faced several difficulties but I was lend a helping hand by the entire cast and crew of MFD; especially Mudasir and my co-director OP Rai Sir, which made things easier.

GG) As a director point of view, tell five films you liked.
PC) As a director, my favourite films list consists of both classics and guilty pleasures. These are (not in order)- Old Boy’ by Park Chan Wook, ‘The 400 blows’ by Francois Truffaut, ‘The Wedding Crashers’ by David Dobkins, ‘Terminator 2 Judgement Day’ by James Cameroon and ‘Do Aankhen Barah Haath’ by V Shantaram.

GG) As a director what is your opinion on today’s scenario of different films?
PC) After ‘Vicky Doner’ became a critical and commercial success the market became wide open for different types of films. Today there is a large plethora of audience who are thirsty for films with good content. They seek for films which have unique premises or something which is told in a very original way; as opposed to the formulaic star driven films in the past (which is unfortunately still prevalent). Also stories have transgressed geography. So now have gritty gangster drama from rural India like the Wasseypur films or urban tales like ‘Queen’, ‘Lipstick Under My Burkha’. Overall it is an exciting time to be a film maker since the audience taste have started to change for the better and production houses are opening up to content driven films.