What was the thought-clincher that made you decide to do a fiction show on television?
I had always nurtured the idea of doing a television serial at some point in my career. So when the opportunity came, I readily agreed. Actually agreed would be wrong because it was something that was initiated by me. I sought to do a TV serial, shared the thought with a few like-minded people and fructified it. Yudh is the end result of that exercise.
TV is another beast. I am well-aware of your association with Kaun Banega Crorepati, but shooting episodes on TV with the pace that it requires and the sheer amount of content to be shot — did you enjoy that?
TV is no beast. It’s a fascinating medium and one that has been most welcoming as far as I am concerned. Any creative work needs dedication, time and concentrated association. As far as pace and content are concerned, we had already taken care of it by mutually deciding that Yudh will be a finite series — it will have a beginning, a middle and an end. And the process in doing so was planned out in advance. We decided to shoot the required episodes even before its first broadcast, in order that the pressures of time do not weigh upon us. I am unaware of how others work but this has been our method. I have found it to be most convenient, challenging and enjoyable.
The team of Yudh makes it a clutter-breaker already. Could you describe the synergy between Anurag Kashyap and you?
I am gratified to hear that the media has already nominated Yudh as a ‘clutter-breaker’. I do not understand the meaning of such expressions. I presume they are saying that our TV serial seems to be doing something different from an existent and tested norm. Yes, it is an attempt to make a serial the way we felt it to be made, and hope that it shall garner appreciation. Anurag Kashyap is a celebrated director and producer, and when the creative ideas were being discussed between us, I decided that he would be the right person to be on board. When approached, he readily agreed.
He came on as the creative director, put up an efficient team with Ribhu Dasgupta as director, and we started work. I have enjoyed working with him. He does not necessarily conform to the tried-and-tested, and his penchant for innovation is admirable.
His first brief to me was not to confine myself to the exact written word, to know the context and then feel what needed to be said , and not to be conscious or aware of where the camera was or was being placed. He has put together a very select and talented cast and the experience of working with them has been a learning and a joy for me.
Because of his other commitments he was unable to be on set all along, but continued…