Content is the king and right now is the time when we have been proven just how much it can lead to the making of a show. One of the finest releases during lockdown has been The Gone Game, featuring an interesting cast of Arjun Mathur, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Shweta Tripathi, Sanjay Kapoor, and others. Shot completely during lockdown from their own homes, one can definitely not be distracted by the fact that there are so many screens and yet, it feels like a great watch.
We got in touch with Arjun, and he got talking about the entire process of shooting, content on the web, the lockdown, and more. Read excerpts from the interview here:
How was it shooting during a lockdown, from the confines of your home? Did it get overwhelming at any point of time?
It was my second experience shooting from home and it was a lot more since my first was just one character and one location and a lot more manageable. This was quite complex because this was 7-6 characters, all shooting from home and you are not supposed to say per se that it is being in lockdown, although it was about the lockdown. It was really amazing honestly, and it was a confidence-building exercise because so many responsibilities on our (actors') heads because while shooting we were doing the job of 10 other departments that are usually on a set but here there were 2-3 people doing it and it was quite demanding. I wouldn't say it was overwhelming but it was fun and it was really rewarding because at the end of this you feel oh my god, we can do this and that sense it has given me a lot of confidence to put something together and shoot it myself. The actors, by default, also became a lot more involved in the storytelling process because generally the director is involved in where to shoot, or the look and feel of the sets, but here, it was our homes and it is us who is more familiar which makes the creators and directors more dependable on us.
While it is absolutely impressive to have short at home, were there moments when you felt it would have been better had this been shot on the sets?
I won't say better or worse because I don't think it is fair to say that because it is just different and it has its own experience. That way, when we are on the sets, then also the actors complain so I don't see the point complaining about the situation we are in but simply make the most of it, and I think that is what we did. Everyone has taken a bad situation and used it to their advantage.
Do you think that being a mystery thriller, a growing genre in India, is something that gave you an edge?
I think that was the important part because, at the end of it, we are not trying to push something onto the audience because we have made it in lockdown but we simply want them to watch it for the content and what we have created is a very competent thriller and it is a very regular story, apart from the fact that we have made it during the lockdown, however, that should not be the only reason that we want to be remembered as.
There has been this constant divide in Films v/s TV v/s OTT. However, it is not there anymore. What do you have to say about it?
For better or worse, whatever it is, right now, here it is, we have been shoved into a situation where cinemas are shut and honestly speaking, for people who are hopeful about cinemas opening up and their releases on the big screen, we just don't know what will happen and we just don't know if we will be able to head to a cinema with the same feeling, because I am not risking it until we have a vaccine or when everything is vaccinated. So right now, OTT is the thing. I have been watching all these biggest of films have been releasing on the web, with the little that we have got. I am taken over by shows like Paatal Lok because of the word of mouth it has been generating that even the biggest of films are escaping my consciousness. I think it is a level playing field right now, and this, where we are stepping out right now is the space of good content, the space of performance, and the space of authenticity.
Any updates on Made In Heaven Season 2?
We were about to start shooting in May, unfortunately, this happened then and as of now, there is just no news because I don't know when we might start, everything is in the unknown right now and it is the makers who will have better answers right now because us actors have not even read the script till now. We don't know anything, and there were a few other projects that were also in the pipeline and now, people are just trying to find new ways to shoot. However, something like Made In Heaven is too big, how can you shoot, and it is going to be a challenge, but I hope we hear something soon.
When do you see yourself stepping onto the sets again?
I can't say when will I be able to step on the sets, but let me tell you, all of us, on the film sets, it is really home. Right now, we may feel 'I don't know how are we going to be on the sets' but in my case, whenever it is going to be all about the camera rolling once, and that's just that. It is not going to be difficult to get used to the sets again and we will be really happy to do that.