#1 Learning from the experts – Abhinay Deo

The following are a few points that I noted during a discussion with Abhinay Deo, the Director of Game, Delhi Belly, 24 (TV Series, Indian adaptation) and many advertisements.

  • The film Delhi Belly is written by Akshat Verma. His Wikipedia page is non existent. And that explains how underrated the makers of the film are. People will love and remember his jokes, but not his name
  • It took Akshat nine years to be confident enough with his script to approach production houses
  • Abhinay, the director was introduced to the film after the 15th draft, and so was the rest of the crew
  • What was his (Abhinay’s) contribution to the film, if he was introduced after the 15th draft? – The film was completely a Hollywood film with the bad guy wearing a cowboy hat. Now if you spot someone wearing one in Delhi, he is most likely to get shot in the head (which the bad guy actually does in the film anyway). So coming to the point, the film had to be Indian-ised. Adding elements to the film which would make it more realistic. There are scenes where one of the characters has an unhygienic item off the streets which causes Delhi Belly (upset stomach)
  • All the disgusting fart sounds were made by mouth and by the director himself!
  • As the editor is introduced at a much later stage, what is his role in a film? Does he contribute to the story? – It is said that the film is first made on the writing table and on the edit table. Of course each and every individual involved in the film, contributes something, consciously or unconsciously towards the film. However, storytelling is above all
  • The editing of the film took about 1 1/2 years
  • You need to invest time in what you want to do
  • Television or Film? – Both actually because whether it is advertising, TV or films, everything comes under the bigger term filmmaking. As long as I am a filmmaker, anything would do. If I have to choose, I prefer films over television
  • We knew that 24 will not appeal to everyone. And it didn’t. Certain parts of India did not accept the modern method and different genre in television. But our objective was never to reach “everyone” but the young generation. My mother likes the saas-bahu serials and I can never tolerate them. But that is a matter of personal likes and dislikes
  • It was important to make 24, because it will only encourage others to step out of the regular mundane subjects shown on television. If we have more TV serials like 24 in the future, made by anyone, doesn’t matter, then that will be our success
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