The Show Must Go On
After thoroughly exploring the small screen, Rashmi Sharma is poised to make her debut on the big screen as a producer with Pink and Days Of Tafree, which are as different as chalk and cheese. Here’s what Sharma has to say about her transition from living rooms to the big auditorium
You are a very successful producer in the television industry. What made you turn to films?
It was a dream and another step in my creative journey. I have been working in the television industry for more than a decade and that was my first love. More than just a ‘producer’, I call myself a ‘creative producer’ because I have always looked for content, even in television. After five successfully running shows, I felt the urge to do something different and that’s when we decided to get into films. My husband Pawan Kumar handles direction and I look into production.
We’ve never been ‘typical’ producers. Pawan and I have approached television channels with our own ideas, got them approved and then produced the shows. Everyone wants to excel and take that next step. As a creative person, one needs to challenge oneself, and we thought our next step should be films.
How did Pink come about?
My husband met Shoojit (Sircar) and Ronnie (Lahiri), when they discussed the story. It was just that one brief and the crux of the story which made us say yes to the film. When we heard the subject ofPink, we thought it couldn’t have been better. This was the perfect subject with the perfect people. It was like like-minded people coming together – Shoojit Sircar is a creative producer, so is Ronnie Lahiri, who is very actively involved in the nitty-gritty of every department.
So everyone here is looking to make a good film. Of course, we shouldn’t run into losses but the main focus is to deliver a good film and in future, to make more films. That’s how Pink happened.
You are also producing Days Of Tafree...
Yes, and just like Pink, I fell in love with the story of Days Of Tafree. It showed me times I missed out on while in college. That’s the story of Days Of Tafree. When I heard the story, I went back to my college days, and I realised I had missed out on a whole lot of fun because all I did was study. On the other hand, even after people turn 80, they talk about all the fun they had while in college; no one talks about how much they scored or studied!
So people across age groups will connect with the story. Today’s generation will see themselves on screen, grown-ups will remember their past and people like me, who missed having fun, will feel they should have lived those days to the fullest.
Another great thing about this film was that, once again, we got like-minded people like Anand Panditji who want to make good cinema. It’s a bunch of new people, right from the star cast to the director. So the experience was totally different from Pink.
On one hand, you have Pink which features Amitabh Bachchan and is produced by Shoojit Sircar, and big names always make it easier to promote a film. And on the other hand, you have Days Of Tafree,which features an entirely new bunch. Are you finding it difficult to promote the film?
Absolutely! With Pink, we know the audience loved the trailer, the response is outstanding. And when you have Amitabh Bachchan in your film, you don’t really have to go all out; you know the audience will walk in.
But, with Days Of Tafree, we have to go all out and tell the audience what to expect from the film. We have to tell them the content is good and that they will connect to the film. I am also sure that once the film releases, the audience will walk in but promoting the film just after its release will be a challenge.
The thing is, we all have been new at some point of time. Mr Bachchan also went through that phase at one point, Taapsee (Pannu) is still just a few films old, so I guess we need to push newcomers more. We are confident of what we have made, it will take time but the film will grow by word-of-mouth.
Sairat is an example that movies with newcomers can do wonders if made properly. Also, when people talk about Pink or Days Of Tafree, they will first talk about their content and then the actors.
Does your television experience help you in films or was it totally a new learning?
Yes, it did help in different ways. In the television industry, we are always working under intense pressure and one needs to deliver their best within the given time. They are different worlds although they have the same audience, and still you can’t compare them.
In television, we do a lot of research, in terms of our audience and also for content. There’s city-wise, age-wise and all kinds of research when it comes to making a serial. So hum audience ki nass nass se waqif hain. And while we were researching for television, we also understood the audience’s point of view towards films.
So I know my audience and what they would like to watch. But, sure, there were many new things we learnt while making both films. In fact, they went on the floors within a week of each other last year and now they are releasing around the same time too. Coming to your second question… it was a new experience because here you have three hours and you also have 60 days to shoot.
You have time and the creative freedom to make a film the way you want to. Yes, the experience is new but I believe my experience in television will help me make good films.
What are you feeling now that both films are about to release?
I am very excited. Pink is a film that everyone would like to watch and will relate to.
Then we have a young film in Days Of Tafree.
Currently, we are looking at the promotions of both films as it is important to let your audience know what the films are about and why they should watch them. Box Office India