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My main mantra as a filmmaker will be to make cost-effective products - Producer Rajan Shahi

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My main mantra as a filmmaker will be to make cost-effective products - Producer Rajan Shahi

Post by Maria J on 2013-06-20, 14:25

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Rajan Shahi, the maker of well-known television shows such as Sapna Babul Ka...Bidaai, Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai and Kuch Toh Log Kahenge is now taking giant steps towards making films. We spoke to Rajan who earlier has directed shows like Jassi Jaisi Koi Nahi, Reth, Saat Phere, Mamtaa, Millee, Virasaat etc. Over to the ace Producer, Rajan Shahi…

Why this beeline to films?

The shift from TV to films was a logical next step. I have been around the small screen scene for 20 years now, which I regard as a small journey, for I still have miles to go. I have always kept progressing, started my career as an assistant director (Imtihaan), then became the associate director (Sailaab), independent director (Kareena Kareena) and finally became a producer.

I actually hail from a film background, so know how the business over there functions. My maternal grandfather Jayraj was a well-known actor–director, who made many films in the 40’s and 50’s. He even got Dada Saheb Phalke award for his efforts (1981). He too had tried his hand at production, unfortunately his film tanked and he lost his life savings.
When I expressed my desire to enter the entertainment field, he suggested that I first try my hands in TV which he correctly saw years back as the medium of the future. Accordingly 
I entered TV, but yes he always had a dream that I make films as well.

How will you go about your new venture?

We will announce our production house in the next one and half months and launch our film in the following third month. But I am rather taking things slowly, for in today’s day and time you need to have the correct marketing and promotion plans in place. I have been studying the market for a long time and now feel that I am ready. Success and failure is not my in hands, but rest assured I will try to give my best shot.

What kind of films do you intend making?

I will model my big screen projects on the Vishesh Film School. I had worked for Bhatts (Mukesh and Mahesh) for three years before as a TV director (Hamara Tumhara and episodes of Rishtey) and was impressed by their cost effective and hands-on model. I believe that when higher ups are directly involved in day to day affairs, things move faster. 

I followed the same mantra in all my TV shows (Bidaai and Kuch Toh
Log Kahenge). When any channel approaches Director’s Kut Production, they know that they will only have to talk to one person for all decisions, be it creative or financial. In other places you have ten different people calling the shots; hence there is natural confusion and wastage.

The same yardstick will continue in my films as well. Most importantly I never comprise on the quality e.g. Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai still has the same look and feel after five years.

What do you feel about the present scenario of our film industry?

Audiences are now accepting good content across diverse genres. I prefer to make the script my film’s USP rather than wait outside a star’s vanity van. The main mantra as a producer is to make cost effective products. I am sure that my good connections with broadcasters will help me in selling my films better at least in the space.

Will you give TV actors a chance in your films?

Of late some good TV finds like Manish Paul and Sushant Singh Rajput have already successfully made the leap to films. I hope to help more on the way. Plus I will also work with the best guys in the film trade as well.

What about TV?

I will never give up on it, it is my bread and butter. I feel bad when people criticize the TV industry regarding its content and working conditions. We have some great artists and technicians. The break neck speed with which we work on the small screen can be considered equal to doing 40 projects on the big screen.

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Maria J
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