2013 is seeing a bevy of newcomers on the big screen. Keeping up with the lot, there are some newbies who are working behind the camera too. Jaideep Chopra is one of them. The Delhi-based filmmaker is upbeat about his directorial film titled Maazii. In a chat with us, the 40-year-old debutant talks about the creative as well as the commercial dynamics in the industry.
Would you call yourself project a small film?
First of all, the audience decides whether a film is big or small. There’s no hard and fast rule that the budget can decide whether a film is huge or not. In any case, not all big budget movies make good returns. And I think the word ‘content’ has been missing in the industry for quite some time now. Most of the hits are either South remake or sequel of a successful film.
So what sets your film apart from the others?
I strongly feel that the content is my film’s USP. It’s a suspense thriller. Talented actors like Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Manish Chaudhary, Zakir Hussain, Mukesh Rishi and Pankaj Tripathy are part of the cast. Mona Wasu (of the TV show Milee fame) is making her film debut while singer Mohit Chauhan is also acting in the film.
You’ve spent about 21 months on the making of this film.
Yes (laughs). It’s been quite a long time but I don’t regret it. The work started in January 2012 and we had our first draft within five months, before we moved to creating the music which took another seven months. We have singers like Rekha Bhardwaj on board. I was prepared to wait to get the elements right. Since it’s my first movie, I didn’t want to rush.
Since you’re the producer as well as the director, were there moments of conflict?
From the very beginning, I knew if I write a film, I’ll not only direct but also produce the project. It has been my dream for the past 15 years or so. At the same time, I couldn’t go around waiting for a production house to send out a green signal so I decided to finance myself (smiles).