Even after an extended day of chatting with journalists about his upcoming directorial Chhichhore, Nitesh Tiwari seems to be removed from being drained. He chats along with his crew about music and sometimes asks about that “mithai ka dabba”, which nobody’s touching, on the desk. “The road is blocked so I thought I might as well chat with these guys. Also, Ashwiny is not home. By the time I reach home, the kids will be asleep. There’s no incentive to go to home,” he’s heard saying.
The normalcy of Nitesh’s conversations takes away any assumption one would have about how the director of the largest hit of Hindi cinema, Dangal, now thinks and behaves. That’s in all probability as a result of he has moved on. Three years later, Nitesh brings Chhichhore, an ode to his IIT Bombay days. “One success shouldn’t encourage many repetitions of the same. You should have faith in your own stuff rather than relying on the past and replicating it for the future,” he says.
Excerpts from a dialog
Q. You simply talked about about religiously following your duties as a father and a husband however is it straightforward so that you can disconnect from director Nitesh Tiwari?
No, it’s not straightforward. It relies upon upon the way of thinking. If issues are going the best way you need them to be, then you definately are extra at peace. Then, you’ll be able to detach your self from work. I am a sucker for perfection. So, if even an iota of a factor hasn’t gone effectively, it stays on my thoughts. I will likely be bodily current there however my thoughts can be elsewhere. But children are one of the best stress busters. They have this uncanny humility to make you turn off, whether or not you need it or not. With Ashwiny, I will find yourself discussing my issues however they (youngsters) don’t perceive and they’ll ensure you overlook it.
Q. Do you consider a perfectionist in Bollywood is at occasions perceived to be tough?
On the opposite, I am a really easy-going particular person. I wish to go in extraordinarily effectively ready. On the day of the shoot, I know what number of pictures are to be taken, what are the angles we are taking, the lenses we are taking and who is carrying what. And all of the actors have rehearsed their dialogues. So, we simply have to go and execute it. So, there’s by no means any confusion. I wish to work that approach. Everything is in place and I simply have to execute it.
My DOP precisely is aware of the place are we capturing from, what’s the digital camera motion and what’s the lense. So, he has achieved his pre-lighting. I assume it’s extraordinarily comforting and a disciplined approach of filmmaking. This is healthier than happening the set and asking the DOP, “Aaj camera kahan laga hai?” (Where will we put the digital camera right now?). That’s recipe for chaos.
Q. When was the germ of Chhichhore sown?
A big portion of Chhichhore are these 4 great years I spent in IIT Bombay and my hostel life, which is predominantly accountable for what I am doing now. I ‘technically’ studied engineering, however what I ended up studying is assume in another way. I was surrounded by such greats, who have been, in fact, good in lecturers however they have been totally different thinkers in each facet of life. The approach they checked out even pranks was very totally different! That’s the place I found myself. That’s the place the germ was sown and I at all times thought it could be fascinating to inform that aspect of my life. It’s not simply my life. It will resonate with quite a lot of people.
But I by no means discovered a purpose robust sufficient to inform that story. I was looking for a goal. So, when I sat with my writers – Nikhil and Piyush – and we discovered that goal whereas brainstorming, it’s then I felt we would have liked to inform the story.
Q. More typically than not, a filmmaker’s first story is his most private ever. You waited for nearly 10 years to inform it. Were you dwelling Chhichhore all these years?
Not actually. I wasn’t actively looking for to be a filmmaker. It got here my approach. I by no means needed to direct Chillar Party. We have been very completely happy writing it. But as a result of nobody else was prepared to direct it, I ended up directing it as a result of I didn’t wish to go away that screenplay. It was lovely. So, that was one unintended discovery of myself as a director.
Once you develop into a director, you begin trying to find tales. Before that you simply are not actively looking for tales. I assume across the time Chillar Party launched, I revisited my hostel days and I thought there is perhaps one thing attention-grabbing about it. I assume it was round Bhoothnath Returns. But nonetheless, that goal was lacking. So, I thought no, it couldn’t be this. It wanted to have a deeper that means to it in order that it turned extra related.
Q. It has been evident since Chillar Party that you simply love working with an ensemble. Whether as a author or a director, every character in your story has a definite voice.
That’s how I write as a result of that’s how life is. You are not simply two people. There are many people round you and everyone has one thing so as to add to your story. That’s how I see life and that’s the best way I see my tales that it must be made up of enriching characters who make the journey much more lovely. My characters are people who I have either met or noticed. I largely don’t create. Luckily, I have traveled loads since my childhood. I have been lucky sufficient to dwell in lots of cities of this nation. That time I by no means realised it could be a blessing for me. Now, I see it is available in fairly useful.
Q. When a author/director depends closely on his or her private experiences for his or her tales, does one run a danger of maybe exhausting all of it someday, finally pushing one to hunt assist from imaginations?
There’s at all times that danger however as soon as in a blue moon a movie like Dangal comes as a blessing to you the place you are not borrowing something out of your experiences however you are rewriting another person’s life as a result of these characters are additionally so fascinating.
I would name myself extraordinarily lucky that I set to work with not solely nice actors, however actors who are extraordinarily devoted to their craft. Once you are working with such people, your job turns into straightforward as a result of they are there for the mission. The expertise has been extraordinarily fulfilling and gratifying. Be it Mr Bachchan or Aamir sir, Sushant and Shraddha or for that matter everyone else in Chhichhore, they have all been really dedicated to their craft and the mission.
Q. But truthfully, is there a psychological preparation required for a director earlier than he or she goes on a set with stars?
Of course! But what occurs with me is that quite a lot of consolation is developed whereas we are prepping and I pay quite a lot of significance to prep. On the set, you simply have to execute what you have deliberate however you have to plan meticulously. And part of planning is to win the belief of the star and get a way of consolation in him or her that they really feel you realize your job. Once they have that, they are going to give their proper arm for you. You have to work in direction of that. It doesn’t come naturally and it’s a really human factor that you’d do something for somebody you belief. A director has to win his/her actor’s belief.
Q. How a lot time did the prep of Chhichhore take?
If I am not incorrect, it was near six-seven months. It was a really tough preparation. It was one very difficult movie to jot down and we saved on writing and rewriting drafts as a result of there are so many characters over two totally different timelines all strung collectively in plot factors that cross one another, one thing that’s not straightforward to attain. So, I am very completely happy the best way it has formed up.
That’s what made it very difficult to shoot additionally since you are capturing one thing 4 months aside however, within the movie, they are 5 seconds aside. How do you shoot that? There must be seamless transition. That occurs all through the movie. That’s what makes it difficult. So, in the event you are not ready, you can be in bother for certain.
Q. Karan Johar as soon as mentioned that stars don’t at all times take directions effectively, so he goes to them and whispers of their ears what they should do. What’s your course of along with your stars on set?
This dialog doesn’t occur with me as a result of we do it previous to happening set. We have already rehearsed and mentioned how we are going to do a specific shot. In an excellent case state of affairs, I wish to be a one-take director, however what occurs typically that your actor needs another take. Sometimes you assume, ‘What we discussed in rehearsals is much better than what you are doing here.’ It’s all about that.
We have agreed on one thing and we haven’t reached there, so we have to return to what we agreed up on after which execute that. Sometimes that occurs in a single take, typically it takes a number of takes. But yeah, I am not the one who wish to go for a number of takes. If you’ll be able to’t get it proper in 10 takes, you’ll be able to’t get it proper in 15 takes additionally.
Q. Every movie of yours goes to be in comparison with Dangal, at the very least when it comes to field workplace collections. That’s how business works. How ready are you for these comparisons? Now that Chhichhore is up for launch, do you have conversations with your self about how it could fare and measure as much as what Dangal turned?
What is essential for a person to grasp is that it is advisable bear in mind that these conversations are sure to occur. If you are conscious, then you definately are extra ready. Also, it is advisable be extra sensible to know that each movie has its future. What has occurred previously needn’t occur sooner or later. The future is perhaps even higher than the previous. We by no means made Dangal to be that form of field workplace success. We made Dangal as a result of we believed in that story and we needed to inform it with utmost honesty. It’s the identical with Chhichhore.
Q. Is it potential to not take into consideration business success?
No, it isn’t however that may’t be your sole standards. As a storyteller, your first loyalty ought to be in direction of the form of tales that you simply wish to inform. The second loyalty is to attempt to inform the story in the very best method and that’s the reason why I teamed up with Sajid sir (Chhichhore producer Sajid Nadiadwala) as a result of this can be very necessary so that you can have a fantastic producer who understands your imaginative and prescient and backs it totally. Otherwise, you can be left midway.
At no level of time, he ever mentioned, “Don’t do this or that.” He mentioned, “Do what you think is correct. I love the story. Let’s make it the way you want to make it.” We have one scene within the movie the place it required for us to go to London for half a day to shoot. Not for a second he instructed us to not go. Rest I really feel in the event you are in a position to seize the creativeness of the viewers, they are going to give like to you in multiples. You simply have to hope no matter you are making an attempt resonates with them. That has at all times been my course of that please be loyal to your story and attempt to inform it in essentially the most trustworthy method.
Q. Post Dangal, what sort of recommendation did you get in your profession from people within the business?
First of all, I am very minimize off from Bollywood. The purpose I keep in Chembur is I wish to keep that approach. I was not given any recommendation on what I ought to do after Dangal, in all probability as a result of people know I will do what I assume is true. And I usually don’t comply with the routine that my mission must be this or that. Like I mentioned, my loyalties are at all times with tales. So, I was making an attempt to determine what’s the story that I needed to inform reasonably than whom I needed to inform it with. That’s what occurred with Chhichhore. I didn’t go saying, “I want to do it with so and so.”
Q. Do you assume staying far faraway from Bollywood’s insanity retains you sane and goal concerning the tales you wish to inform?
It has nothing to do with that. The purpose I select to remain away is as a result of I wish to give quite a lot of time to my household and there’s solely a lot I consider one ought to be doing as a result of there is no such thing as a finish to work. In the inventive subject, it’s even riskier. I will let you know one instance. When the youngsters weren’t in our lives, what occurs with inventive guys is there’s no off or weekend. You could technically not go to workplace on a Sunday however you are nonetheless considering since you have a marketing campaign to current. I realised a lot later in life that I was working even on weekends. Why is psychological work not referred to as work? That’s additionally work.
When children got here in our lives, we realised they wanted quite a lot of consideration. They want quite a lot of care. Because each of us are very busy, one among us must be there with them. I am glad the best way our work occurs as one among us finds time to be at dwelling with them. Also, there’s solely a lot of Bollywood that I can take. That’s the rationale we have determined to be away and it makes me wish to come again to work strongly.
Q. What’s essentially the most Bollywood factor that you simply have achieved?
I attended a premiere and didn’t just like the film however mentioned, “It was very nice.” I won’t let you know which one. I have discovered the methods. That’s essentially the most Bollywood factor I would have achieved.
Q. Heartland tales are discovering extra takers and naturally everybody needs to aim them. Not solely Dangal, but in addition the tales that you simply have written – Nil Battey Sannata and Bareilly ki Barfi – rejoice the mid-town flavour. At the identical time, do you assume the business is getting right into a entice of constructing a stereotype out of those tales, one thing it earlier did with larger-than-life storytelling? How do you have a look at this sample the place we aren’t transferring to totally different tales however simply newer areas?
Yes. I have a special approach of approaching this. If your start line is incorrect, then you definately are doing what everyone else is doing. The start line at all times must be the story and if that story requires a specific location then the story has to justify the situation. Location can not justify the story. “So, I want to make a film in the heartland of India,” is a incorrect start line. “I have a story that belongs to the heartland of this country,” is the proper start line.
Like Chhichhore is predicated out of Bombay. It has nothing to do with the heartland as a result of that’s not what the story calls for. If I have been to be inserting it within the heartland, I can be killing it. The story ought to dictate phrases.