MW 20TH Anniversary Special: Are Directors Becoming The Heroes Of Their Films
If you’re shooting a scene, people can tell you to shoot in a particular manner because the emotion conveyed will be like it is described in the script. Your editor can also recommend if you should shoot a scene or not, because they’ll have to edit it during post production. Directors have always been the captain of the ship, so to say. But the attitude, especially with new-age film-makers, is more about ‘let’s all move forward, together.” It’s about collaborative effort. From what I had heard, the director was the final word and after, say a fourth film, it would become an ego tussle. But now, from what I have noticed, directors tend to believe in their technicians and other people on a film set. For me, before my fourth or fifth draft, I share the script with my editor and my DOP, take their feedback, and then I write two more drafts.
Earlier, maybe experimentation wasn’t easy for directors for a myriad of factors, producer being one, and the budget being another. Now, the stories that new directors are coming up with are getting support from the producer. Producers too express their interest in trying out something new, and experimenting with directors. I must add, the support from the producers has increased. Stree was my first film and it did good business at the box office. In fact, I got Stree after Raj and DK saw my short film, Abba, which I shot in Arunachal Pradesh, and it won the National Award in India, among other awards. After me, we had directorial debuts with Uri, Mission Mangal and Tanhaji this has led to the belief that yes, even a first-time director can do a good job. Directors aren’t afraid of experimenting anymore. Yes, there’s a change in the industry about the fact that content is king and that you don’t necessarily need a big star to knock your film out of the park. However, there are films that require a big star and that’s alright. The fact of the matter is, there are some films that have such a huge budget that it worries producers.
But then, there are stories that people like me make, where the budget for the production isn’t that high. The audience has changed, and hence, the producers have changed as well. Earlier, only when there was a big film, the producers would go all out and promote it, but now, they’ve started doing the same for smaller films. I reiterate that producers have changed more than directors. When it comes to creating a film, it starts with the writer and the director. Then, you think which actor would suit the role. Sometimes, you get actors that aren’t perfect for the role but it is the director’s job to take that actor into the world that the script is written in. If the actor is just doing the role, there’s no fun in it.
Making an Ayushmann a Bala or Rajkummar a Vicky is the job of the director. The writer prevents and protects the director from deviating from the script and the story. I don’t think the director is the hero of the film – I believe that the director is the person who takes all the heroes and shows them the way they’re supposed to go to take the film to a greater height.