Wednesday, February 21, 2024

‘The debut directorial took me back to my days in advertising’

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Debutant director Abhishek Sinha, who is currently winning much praise for his debut project Tumse Na Ho Payega, gets candid with The Pioneer about his journey, narrating stories that make an impact, and more.
A creative mind who dons two hats with flair—that of a filmmaker and copywriter, Abhishek Sinha has spent over 18 years in the industry crafting compelling narratives that blur the lines between advertising and filmmaking.
His filmmaking journey spans six exciting years, during which he’s brought captivating stories to life on screen. His remarkable directorial debut in the Bollywood industry with the film Tumse Na Ho Payega, which quickly climbed to the number one position on the streaming platform, garnering maximum views, seems like a treasure trove. In fact, his cinematic finesse is further exemplified by his work in music videos, featuring none other than indie music and rising star Darshan Raval. In an exclusive e-mail interaction with us, he shares his insights and experiences as one such filmmaker.

Excerpts from the interview
Take us through your journey?
The pandemic provided me with the opportunity for introspection, leading me to make the decision to venture beyond the realm of advertising and delve into long-format content. Timing played a crucial role in this transition, as my background in advertising honed my skills, preparing me for the shift. The desire to tell more extended stories fueled my motivation throughout this journey.

The movie has been traveling to several platforms. But what has been the experience like for you when interacting with the audience as a filmmaker?
Having the capability to narrate stories that possess the power to impact or inspire lives is a profound skill. As a writer, I am continuously exploring diverse mediums to effectively express myself. After dedicating nearly twelve years to the field of advertising, I sensed that filmmaking would be a natural progression for me.

Can you tell us about the cruise to becoming a writer in depth?
I have come to appreciate the unique ability of filmmaking to convey narratives in a visually compelling and emotionally resonant manner. The transition from advertising to filmmaking is not just a career shift but a conscious decision to harness a different set of creative tools to communicate powerful stories. Through filmmaking, I aim to bring my narratives to life in a way that engages and resonates with audiences on a deeper level, transcending the boundaries of traditional storytelling.
Tumse Na Ho Payega is a slice-of-drama film that resonated with everyone stuck between discovering their life goals and fulfilling the expectations of society. Can you highlight to us on the debut?
Reflecting on 2023, it seems to have passed in the blink of an eye. Stepping into this new realm marked my initial foray, and I must admit I was both nervous and excited. The opportunity to collaborate with an exceptionally talented group of individuals has been a genuine privilege! Working alongside such accomplished and inspiring people has left me feeling genuinely humbled and motivated. Their skills and creativity have not only enriched the experience but have also inspired me to aspire for more.

What’s your take on your own project in terms of what’s new this time?
The story resonated deeply with me because it mirrored my own journey, allowing me to connect with it on multiple levels. What makes this story truly beautiful is its simplicity—it delves into various themes without adopting a preachy tone. The narrative was crafted by Nitesh Tiwari and Nikhil Mehrotra in such a way that it remains enjoyable right from the beginning. One of the most delightful aspects of the story is its relatability quotient! Having walked a similar path, I found echoes of my own experiences throughout the narrative. It took me back to my days in advertising, adding a layer of nostalgia to the entire creative process.  The diversity is visible in the film you have directed as well…Having worked in agency set-ups and corporate office routines before, I have had firsthand experience of life in the workspace and the stress and duress employees go through. I have witnessed the red tape, a comedy of errors that, at times, has even turned into dark humor. That sense of relatability has come from my own experiences and the experiences of friends, and I have tried to filter all these experiences into what would make for an excellent story. How the nuances would enhance the storytelling in the film and bring out these elements in the film so that viewers would identify with the characters and situations of the protagonist.

Such a wide range is a great thing for a creative person, isn’t it?
I have just tried my hands at comedy and received an overwhelming response. It made me realize that if I can succeed in such a challenging genre on my first attempt, this is just the beginning for me. In the coming years, I am ready to learn, grow, experience both failure and success, and create content that not only reflects a part of me but also resonates with audiences. So, yeah, be ready to expect the unexpected, as Picture Toh Abhi Baaki Hain Mere Dost!

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