Neeraj Pandey Curated

Director, Producer, Screenwriter

CURATED BY :  

This profile has been added by users(CURATED) : Users who follow Neeraj Pandey have come together to curate all possible video, text and audio interview to showcase Neeraj Pandey's journey, experiences, achievements, advice, opinion in one place to inspire upcoming directors. All content is sourced via different platforms and have been given due credit.

  • Do feel like now you are an insider of film industry?

    View Source

  • What are your memories of making your first film?

    View Source

  • Do you think it is a challenge to compete with hollywood cinema with given the resources?

    View Source

  • What goes into writing a good thriller?

    View Source

  • Do you think it is a challenge to lure the audience in cinema due to increase in OTT platforms?

    View Source

  • How did you thought of making film "Toilet EK Prem Katha"?

    View Source

  • Does being an outsider benefitted you in the industry?

    View Source

  • What kind of cinemas have influenced you?

    View Source

  • How does it feel to be an outsider in the film industry?

    View Source

  • Does your experience with television helped you in making films based on true stories?

    View Source

  • How do you cope up with audience changing taste for indian cinema?

    View Source

  • How is it working with Akshay Kumar?

    View Source

  • Do you try to meet people outside the film business ?

    View Source

  • What is the one trick to survive as a filmmaker in the changing bollywood industry?

    View Source

  • What all resistence did you face while making your first film?

    View Source

  • Why do you think so many films with big stars are failing on box office?

    View Source

  • Are you going to shift you genre to dark humour movies like Ouch?

    View Source

  • What did you do all year when your first movie was not released?

    View Source

  • How do you keep yourself going when things don't fall at right place?

    View Source

  • What are the movies that have inspired you?

    View Source

  • What did you learnt from your failures?

    View Source

  • What is the key to make effective thrillers?

    View Source

  • What are the advantages of being on a digital platform?

    View Source

  • What are the challenges you faced being on digital platform?

    View Source

  • What is it about this patriotic genre that you keep making films about ?

    View Source

  • What comes first for you the character or the story?

    View Source

  • How do you script something as long as 8 hours to keep audience attracted?

    View Source

  • How much liberty do you take while mixing fact and fiction?

    View Source

  • Are we going to see your novel Ghalib Danger into film someday ?

    I wrote Ghalib Danger as a novel because I had so much to write and so much detail to encompass, that I needed to first write it as a novel. It would be difficult to shoot all the things I had in mind. As for who will play the lead in the adaptation, the project is still light years away, so I have not thought of it.

    View Source:

  • Why do you cast prominent faces in supporting roles ?

    I like to see great sparring between actors who are not insecure about their craft. Also, with great actors, you don’t need to worry about their performances. The pacing is taken care of. I let them do their thing within the boundaries of my vision and they take off from there.” He says he has never written characters with any actor in mind.

    View Source:

  • How are you as a writer ?

    Actually, I am a very lazy writer. I don’t enjoy writing over long periods of time. I enjoy writing in short bursts. The shorter it is, the more intense. And I don’t write daily. I choose an idea and nourish it in my head as much as I can. I thrash out a start, middle and an end, and then I start writing. I may not stick to what I originally planned but I do being only when the story is fully formed in my head.

    View Source:

  • Are you doing NSA chief Ajit Doval ?

    It is all rumors. I am not doing it.

    View Source:

  • Do you believe star power is necessary for a successful film ?

    Star factor is never there in our films; right from my first film I never believed in the star factor. When I cast Shushant Singh Rajput in Dhoni, he was not a star. Star factor does not matter, but your story has to appeal. If it does not work, then even if you have a star, it will not work. Our basic effort is to put forth our story in the best possible manner.

    View Source:

  • Are you following the trend in making your next film ?

    It has been with me for six-seven years. At that time, there was no trend and the technology to mount such an ambitious project was either not there or was very expensive. It is about an important period in our history when the characters had their share of problems. Having said that Chanakya was a great mind and you find him as relevant as he was then.

    View Source:

  • How do you chase such stories like Special Ops ?

    It is hard to eke out information from India’s security apparatus. Most of the information is classified but like good journalists, we keep chasing stories. Most officers don’t open up, but a few do.

    View Source:

  • What is the difference between writing a novel and writing a script?

    I won’t say it is better than writing films. It is exciting and challenging. Here, like a novel, you can put the main strand on a pause, and digress a bit.

    View Source:

  • Do you think there is difference in preference of audience on big screen and small screen ?

    Let’s not see the digital medium as a smaller medium or look at it in a patronising way. We didn’t want to become content filling company judged by the number of hours of programming. It is exciting for us what we are offering is no less than what audience watch on the big screen.

    View Source:

  • What do you have to say when clips of films are used to push a jingoistic agenda ?

    That’s terrible, but there is very little we could do once the film is out. It is used for memes and pushing agendas...but I think the audience is smart enough to distinguish between the intention of the director and the intention of people who misuse it.

    View Source:

  • Do you think such narratives always put one religion on dock ?

    I don’t think religion comes in the way of my narratives. Right from the first film, it is always about the offender. See, such scenes emerge in the narrative when somebody distorts the true meaning of Islam.

    View Source:

  • What do you think was the catalyst in developing the story of Special Ops ?

    It was a shocking incident for the country and it is imperative that we don’t forget and draw lessons from it. When we were researching for Baby (2015), I got a tidbit of information on the Parliament Attack. Over the years, it developed into a story and kept returning to me.We have been working for the last two years but it is very interesting that new details are coming out. There are a lot of question marks on how it happened and why it happened. As for our story, it starts from a real backdrop and then builds into an organic fictional narrative.

    View Source:

  • Do we expect the same with Special OPS ?

    Not thought about it but yes, the option for that is available. And that’s one thing common in both the formats. That’s one thing you’re right about and I ‘ll think about it cause its common between both the film and the series format. The idea was to bring out something unique for the audience. Then it depends upon how much love, support, and affection they give to the work and then we can finally take it up from there. Right now things are pretty stalled. Once we regroup after this then we will see what we can do about this one.

    View Source:

  • How was your experince working with Kay Kay Menon ?

    KK is someone I know since the past 18 years. He came with me on my first television project, it’s been so long. And its always a pleasure to work with him. Ever since then, we were looking for another great opportunity to work together. And he was the right person to lead this ensemble, a very exciting one. And I would like to say that he was the best option and it was fantastic to have him back.

    View Source:

  • How did you decide for the cast of the series ?

    I can’t take the whole credit for that because it is the function of the team of the casting director. And the team spend a lot of time over it. Like it was a 2 and a half month exercise for the casting of this series as well. Shubham was absolutely on that and we went through a very vigorous process. In fact, Karan (Tacker) was the last person to be finalised. We kept on meeting people, we kept on auditioning people. We just wanted to be very sure. And I think KK Menon was one of the first people to be with us on this project.

    View Source:

  • Was Special Ops always written for an OTT platform?

    Yeah, absolutely. And I knew that this was a very long story so it can’t be contained in a two-hours narration. You have to decide very early on, as to which format is going to be suitable for the story. We stumbled upon this story and we thought that since its not just a big story but a long story, it made sense that we took that upon us to take it to a platform. This married very nicely and easily to the concept and there we were with it! That exactly how it happened.

    View Source:

  • what’s happening on the film front?

    We will start working on Chankaya by the end of the year. We are hoping to release it next year.

    View Source:

  • Do you think that political belief of a filmmaker tend to influence their movies ?

    I don’t think of it too much. I want to be professional and stay true to the story. I will do only things that are required for the script and wouldn’t like to mix anything else in it to make a point.

    View Source:

  • What according to you makes it a favourite to audience espionage dramas or thrillers?

    I still don’t think it is foolproof. One has to have an effective story and tell it in the best possible way. That is how it works. It is not exactly the genre but the execution that is most important. Thrillers don’t really guarantee success or everyone would be only making that. The story and how you construct it will help you connect with the audience.

    View Source:

  • How tough was it to handle such a big production like Special Ops?

    That’s where Shivam Nair was a big help. Shivam earlier directed Naam Shabana, and he is the co-director of the series. Along with me, Shivam took care of the whole project from the inception. Be it the scripting, prepping – he was always there. Given that it was a long schedule, it could have got very taxing. The execution did take a lot, and having him around made it easier for me as the workload was divided.

    View Source:

  • There is nothing like a box office to gauge your success on web. Does that in any way make a difference?

    I will not lie that there is no pressure. I still want it to travel to maximum people. As for measuring, I think we do get feedback. Hotstar will also get to know how many people have watched it. And I am sure they will let us know (chuckles). Even when there’s no ticket window, you still want to make the best product that’s out there.

    View Source:

  • How different was it writing for a web series, given each episode has to end on a cliffhanger?

    It was quite different because it was like working on different films in each episode. Every episode has a structure of a film in itself. The only thing is that you are not resolving the conflict, rather ending on a high for people to come back. But once you understand the format and what it expects from you, it becomes easier.

    View Source:

  • How challenging was it to get all the fabulous actors together for the series ?

    With the kind of work I have done in the past, it comes naturally to me. Also, I have always believed in strong ensembles. This one was no different, apart from the fact that it was not a two-hour film but quite a long schedule. To maintain all those tracks, writing and getting everyone together in that particular combination was quite a challenge. The scheduling was actually more difficult than getting those actors. Also, since everyone is working and caught up, we were actually fortunate that they could make time for us.

    View Source:

  • What was the idea behind keeping a time span of 19 years for the manhunt in Special Ops ?

    We have been waiting to tell this story for a long time. Also, we wanted to come back to the present day. So naturally, it had to have this different time span. It is finally the end of his quest, and so the duration came in pretty organic.

    View Source:

  • While thriller has been your forte, tell us how did you develop Special Ops?

    I stumbled upon something interesting a few years back, while working on one of my past projects. The premise was very exciting, and it stayed with me over the last few years, growing organically. When we decided to do something in the digital format, the story came back. We realised the medium would suit this particular script.

    View Source:

  • What was it about the story od Special Ops that you waited so long?

    It was not this show. I had pitched something else to him. That was also an equally ambitious project. At that point there was no Hotstar, so the conversation never materialised, just like he mentioned. When we met again for an opportunity to make something for the web, Special Ops fell into place.

    View Source:

  • What do you do to unwind when not writing or directing films?

    I travel. Generally, as a rule, I travel one day before the release of the film. I don’t want to meet people on the day, so I go away and discover a new place. So on the 15th of this month, I will be in some far away location, maybe thinking about what next to do.

    View Source:

  • How do you separate novel writing from screenplay?

    Essentially, I am a writer. When I write a novel I use a different set of tools from what I employ as a screenwriter. In a novel you can describe a lot, in a screenplay you just have to keep it precise. The intensity is the same, the process is the same, just the task is cut out differently.

    View Source:

  • How important is music for you and is there a conflict in deciding how to place it, considering that you are the writer, producer, and director on set?

    The split-personality exists but only between the writer and director in me, not the producer and director in me. When I am on a film set as a writer-director, I don’t wear the producer’s hat. As a writer I am always trying new things, and sometimes it works or not, but there is no compromise. A song for me takes care of time very easily in the narrative; five scenes can be explained through a song very easily. It is a tool for me, and that is why in M S Dhoni there were six songs to tell a lot of moments without dialogue. Songs are always scripted so I am not just dropping it in.

    View Source:

  • Why the women in your films are relegated into the background?

    More women-centric films will be a part of our next slate. We are chasing stories not gender ideas and Naam Shabana happened only because we thought it was a great story. But it was a good start and we are always on the lookout for such ideas.

    View Source:

  • Do you ever think of changing track from taut thrillers to try a comedy or a musical?

    Yes, have you seen Ouch? It is a 15-minute black comedy about an extramarital affair I made in 2016. Though it is a short film, I wanted to experiment with the genre. Special 26 for that matter is very subtle in its humour and I always think of it as a comic-caper film. I have consciously tried to do different things even within my genre of thrillers.

    View Source:

  • How did you decide to cast Siddharth Malhotra, a relatively new talent, for the lead role?

    We needed an actor who could look vulnerable and tough at the same time. Siddharth was an automatic choice. He was just right.

    View Source:

  • Do you write scripts with Anupam Kher and Manoj Bajpayee in mind, or they just happen to fit into the roles?

    No, not while I am starting, but yes, maybe towards the second half while I start seeing some faces of the characters I am developing. I don’t have a fixed cast in mind, but putting a face to some character names helps. In Aiyaary, in fact, I did not initially have a part for Anupam Kher who has appeared in all my films, so I requested him for a small cameo. Also because I wanted a strong ensemble and he is someone I can always rely on.

    View Source:

  • Is the 2010 Adarsh Housing Society scam an essential plot point of your script in Aiyaary?

    It is fictionalised a lot in the film and it was integral to the story.

    View Source:

  • What was the writing process for Aiyaary like?

    I started writing the script after a few discussions with a couple of friends in the armed forces. It was during the making of Baby that the idea began to form. After making MS Dhoni: The Untold Story, I began to develop the script. I write fast. Aiyaary was written in two phases over a month, but shaping the thoughts and ideas to flesh out [takes] a couple of months.

    View Source:

  • Is Aiyaary a nod to Francis Ford Coppola’s The Conversation?

    You mean the use of headphones? No, I have not seen the film in entirety. I have seen parts of it, but there is no similarity. When you are thinking about an idea, you tend to visit films in that genre and understand how it was done previously. It is an academic process one goes through for every film. For me it is mandatory research even before I sit down to write. Some people have told me the trailer reminds them of A Wednesday, so one can have a reference point and it is different for each one.

    View Source:

  • How did you choose the title Aiyaary ?

    I read the word for the first time in Devaki Nandan Khatri’s novel Chandrakanta some years ago. There was also a serial based on the book on Doordarshan. He spoke of aiyaars and aiyaary and the word always stuck with me. We wanted to use it for Baby, but it was not going with the story. Aiyaars are shape-shifters and that is what Manoj [Bajpayee] and Siddharth’s [Malhotra] characters are in the film. We wanted to use the trailer to make people curious about the unusual title.

    View Source:

  • This is your first time on digital platform with Special Ops. So, is that more of a plus or less a pressure?

    I think it's mutual respect. If the audiences are expecting something from our company then it's our responsibility to satisfy them by churning out better projects everytime we get into something. It actually goes both ways. I'd rather have someone waiting for us than not (wanting to watch us). It's a great place to be in. All that we have to do is just live up to the expectations.

    View Source:

  • Did you ever think that this would become Akshay's current image or that he would become the patriotism personified on screen?

    I hope I never think of it that way. Our job is very clearly defined that when we are working on a project, it is to execute that particular project and then move on. It's not about thinking what it's going to do to my life and career or his life and career. I believe that's not the right way to think. It would also be a strong impediment in the way of executing a good project. I think the best way to collaborate is just to give it your best to anything that comes your way and leave the rest to life.

    View Source:

  • How did you think of casting Akshay for Special 26 and Baby as he was only doing comic roles during that time?

    Nobody was thinking of doing such stuff with him at the time. And, we felt that it would be a new and an exciting thing for him, as well as the audience to see him in that kind of portrayals, so we thought potentially it would be a great casting.

    View Source:

  • What difference as a creator do you feel while working with superstars like Akshay Kumar, Kay Kay Menon, Naseerudin Shah?

    When we worked with Akshay, it was not Akshay 'the star' who would turn up on our sets. It was always Akshay Kumar, the actor-- no baggage, no frills. He always listens to you. There was never this star thing with him. Shital (Bhatia) and I started our careers with Naseeruddin Shah, Anupam Kher, Jimmy Shergill, Aamir Bashir, among others. These were all actors. And, then we kept on working with new people whether it was Taapsee or Sushant Singh Rajput who was relatively a newcomer at the time for a big film as MS Dhoni. So, we don't look at things that way. At the end of the day, if you're hired to do a part in a film, you'll still be an actor. There's no star system that is invited on sets. It has to be the actor who turns up because the actor will deliver and move on.

    View Source:

  • Do you feel you have had a lot of contribution in revitalising Akshay Kumar's film career?

    I feel it doesn't work that way. These people are there because of the hard work that they have put in and also the certain belief that we shared in each other. Turning point happens because of a project or something but it's not to take seriously. Because the quality of hard work is there in Taapsee (Pannu) and the qualities of discipline and hard work are with Akshay. So, it would have come around sooner or later. I wanted them to tell my stories, so it was a great coincidence that worked both ways.

    View Source:

  • Is it easy for you to keep the entire cast happy?

    None of the actors are happy. It's very tough to keep everyone happy. But the trick to that is you don't care. You don't care too much after the fact that you've tried to give your best to them and most of them understand that, so they don't crib to me. Also, we've never really shortchanged them. Whenever we speak to anybody about a particular role, we always clearly mention about how long the role is going to be in the movie and that it could be a one minute role or a two-scenes part. And I always say, 'It's not like that today if you'll say no to me then I'll feel bad and won't call you the next day.' So we place our confidence in them, and at the same time, we have a very clear understanding of what one is getting into. And, that's the reason maybe Vinay (Pathak) today will be more than happy to come and do a couple of scenes on a project because he knows that he won't be shortchanged on that and whatever is being promised to him will be delivered.

    View Source:

  • Do you have a fascination for ensemble cast ?

    Yeah, I'm obsessed with it. Because I think when you make large pieces which have got different kinds of characters then why not pick up a great ensemble to tell that story? And, all our films have had a very proud ensemble cast. Even if it's a one scene or two scenes, actors have come and been a part of it.

    View Source:

  • How tricky is it to depict patriotism without demonising the other side and how conscious are you about depicting minority in your films in the current times?

    I don't like to be jingoistic about the facts and that's how I expect my world to be. Essentially, that's the way I feel and that's the way the characters are depicted. No one claims to be patriotic in my films. They do what is expected of them and that's how they shape up and that's their motivation. The motivations don't need to be pronounced all the time and that's what I feel and that's the way it is.

    View Source:

  • What would you say is the key to getting a project such as Special ops this right?

    It falls upon the story completely. If you've thought about a narrative which is like seven or eight hours long, how do you sustain that particular story and keep your audience engaged for that longer duration? It's very different from a two-and-a-half hour narrative. So, we opened our digital company, i.e Friday Storytellers, because we wanted something big and grand to be our first content piece. Special Ops fitted the bill because it was very exciting for all of us and also the whole team was sort of keen on this story.

    View Source:

  • Are you going to do a sequel for Special Ops ?

    I don't know when season two is happening and how. If it happens it will be a new story. It's just been eight to nine days the season one has come and we are waiting for the feedback and then we will re-group and think what to do with it.

    View Source:

  • What was your aim to convey to audience through the story of Special Ops ?

    The aim was to convey the story about a man, standing against all odds, not ready to give up in face of adversity. If you look at it closely more than it being a spy or espionage drama it is a human drama, about a guy, his tenacity. He is someone who doesn't give up for 18 to 20 long years. It is a story about his belief and that is how I approached the material. People can relate to it be it man or woman that how at some point of a time they are standing against the odds with people not believing in what they have to say or feel and your journey in proving the world wrong.

    View Source:

  • Do you think streaming platforms have opened an entire world of possibilities for directors ?

    The format is new... There are stories that are getting made. The field is wide open for anybody to come and make an impression. Something that is well made and well told will have an audience that is eager to see it. If you manage to deliver a narrative that holds them for seven hours convincingly and engagingly, they are happy and feel their time is well spent.

    View Source:

  • Do you read reviews for your films and shows ?

    Ultimately, what you have made is for the audience, you look forward to their response. The icing on the cake is when they loved watching it as much as you loved making it. It is satisfying.

    View Source:

  • Are you happy with the reposnse of your show Special Ops on Hotstar ?

    These are fantastic stories that entertain people. We got this story for another format and it has worked so fantastically here as well. That means there is an appetite for such stories from the audience and that is what encourages us. As long as we are not repeating, the genre doesn't matter.

    View Source:

  • What do you do when you’re not working?

    I like to read and I enjoy discovering new places. So, I just try to find an excuse to travel and sometime plan mock recess.

    View Source:

  • What’s happening to Crack, featuring Akshay?

    It’s on the backburner for now as I’m not happy with the way he script has shaped up. When I find the time, I’ll go back to the material and see how it can be reworked.

    View Source:

  • Don’t you want to experiment with a no-brainer comedy or a love story some day ?

    I made Ouch, a black comedy, a genre not everyone is comfortable with. And my first script was a love story which unfortunately never got made as we couldn’t come up with the resources and get the actors we wanted.

    View Source:

  • How did the idea of this thriller-drama, set against an army backdrop and revolving around a mentor and a protégé, come about? Read more at: https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/entertainment/bollywood/neeraj-pandey-i-am-not-satisfied-as-a-filmmaker/articleshow/62127302.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

    It began subconsciously when I was filming Baby. I interacted with a lot of people from the army and a seed was sown. Then after the release of the Dhoni biopic, my mind drifted back to a couple of incidents I’d heard at the time. ‘Aiyaary' is a Persian word which I had first come across in Devaki Nandan Khatri’s novel in which he referred to them as shape shifters (aiyaars) and the tricks they perform as ‘aiyaary’.

    View Source:

  • Would you ever consider making an on-screen debut?

    It’s just that my right place in this profession is behind the camera. I do come in front of the camera, whenever there are promotions. But then after a while answering same thing in back to back interviews becomes tiring. You are repeating the same thing back to back. It is not fair to you and to other people whom you are talking to.

    View Source:

  • What is your routine and life during social distancing?

    How everyone is spending. Trying to keep our lives occupied, spending time with family, doing bit of work from home which is very much possible in today's world, over phone and internet. I am reading, writing and watching stuff. Catching up with friends and trading notes.

    View Source:

  • What do you have to say about the response your series Special Ops is getting ?

    I am overwhelmed. This is the first time I have done a web show. There was lot of anticipation regarding the show. I realised this when we launched the trailer of the show, there was so much anticipation for the show and the fact that we are coming out with something. What we have done and not done only audience is our parameter. We are making the show it is only for the audience. We were overwhelmed with the amount of reception it got. The amount of warm feedback we got for the show was overwhelming.

    View Source:

  • Is there a possibility that he might collaborate with Akshay Kumar for a sequel or series?

    It all depends on what kind of material we are working on. The point is if we have to come back with anyone like Manoj Bajpai, Anupam Kher or Akshay Kumar with whom we have worked before, we will have to come back with stronger material. When we are all satisfied that this is the right type of material then why not? That day I was talking with Jimmy Shergill. It’s been ages since we have worked together. But we will wait for the right type of material. It’s not just for the sake of doing we will do something. We will have to justify it with the right material.

    View Source:

  • Do you see enough writers who have the capabilities and are willing to write episodes?

    Any writer, if he or she is interested in exploring different formats, will jump at this opportunity, simply because there are so many stories that you will never be able to convert into a film. You will need time, sort of a longish medium. If we are doing eight episodes with ‘Special Ops’,it is because the story needs that much time. I won't be able to make ‘Special Ops’ as a film. If a writer is ‘fixed’ (determined) that he is only going to write films then you cannot force that writer. It is about being in his comfort zone, or stepping out of his comfort zone for the writer.

    View Source:

  • What is your observation on what we have created so far in terms of Web Series in India?

    We are doing fine and the more we see, the more we learn and as the medium gets a little older, we will do better. We have done mini-series on television before, so it is not true that we have never done it. Yes, it was a long time back, but there are examples like 'Tamas', which was directed by Govind Nihalani. It was a mini-series. Somehow, we have not continued that trend and now it's going to come back with the digital medium.

    View Source:

  • In collaborative effort, who takes the final call you or the platform?

    It's collaborative, it is not that there is anarchy over there, or it is so autocratic. It is a collaborative effort from the team members. So, if someone does not feel that something is right, he voices it, and that is how it works

    View Source:

  • How are the challenges you face while making a film different from what you encountered while creating ‘Special Ops’?

    Production-wise, it becomes a challenge, ‘Special Ops’, for example, is set all over the world, all over the place. While co-director Shivam was handling one part of the shooting, I was handling the other. We both are two different individuals, his style is different, while I have my own style... Two filmmakers collaborating, and then being so pitch-perfect, to ensure that nothing changes is a big challenge. The viewer should not get the impression that it has been directed by two different people. I think we have achieved it.

    View Source:

  • Who, or what kind of audiences, according to you, watch series in India?

    There is a whole new crop of audiences, a new generation that is waiting to watch something interesting, and they have got nothing to do with the legacy of the past films that a filmmaker would have worked on. This is also the audience that is more exposed to good material from all around the world. They are aware of what Netflix and Amazon is throwing up in this genre, and quality stuff from all around the world. It is exciting to index your work against the best out there and see how you fare.

    View Source:

  • How important is it to end a season in a way that the viewers wait for the sequel?

    You only watch the second episode because of the ending of the first. It is a part of the storytelling and it becomes paramount that you end the story at a point where people would like to come back to it. When it comes to seasons, we don't think about multiple seasons while conceptualising the series. For this one, we just thought of doing one season. However, ‘Special Ops’ brand is such that we can easily extend it to something else and go into multiple seasons.

    View Source:

  • While making a series, how important is it to end an episode in a manner that the audience goes on to the next?

    You only watch the second episode because of the ending of the first. It is a part of the storytelling and it becomes paramount that you end the story at a point where people would like to come back to it. When it comes to seasons, we don't think about multiple seasons while conceptualising the series. For this one, we just thought of doing one season. However, ‘Special Ops’ brand is such that we can easily extend it to something else and go into multiple seasons.

    View Source:

  • You have been a writer, director, producer before, you are also the show runner. Is it a different responsibility altogether?

    Frankly speaking, I have been running shows all my life. We have been writing, directing and producing from our very first film.We are doing the same thing here, too. It so happens that the term showrunner has just become popular.

    View Source:

  • What is different when it comes to an episode?

    We were three writers who wrote ‘Special Ops’, and it was for the first time I was working with two different writers. It was enriching because it was a long story and it helps if you have more people. It is a more collaborative effort than films, which is more individualistic in nature.

    View Source:

  • You have written and directed many successful feature films, how was making a series different?

    The writing becomes very different because you are dealing with longer, bigger material. It is about seven hours of content. The directing bit –there’s absolutely no difference. We still want to tell the story in the most effective manner and the format does not change that. While making a film or a series, every process is equally important and we cannot be complacent at any point.

    View Source: