An industry veteran with over 20 years of experience, Samar has worked on several OTT projects across platforms including the popular web-series ‘The Test Case’ that streamed on ALT Balaji. Earlier, in his 4-year stint as head of ‘Red Chillies Idiot Box’, the TV division of Red Chillies Entertainment he produced popular shows like Coke Studio, MTV Unplugged, and Disney’s first India production ‘Ishaan’. He has also directed the critically acclaimed feature film, Shaurya. Samar Khan's past work has been Regiment Diaries S1 and S2 on EPIC Channel, and web series such as The Test Caste, Illegal, Verdict, Code M, Avrodh and at present The Married Woman, which is streaming on ALT Balaji. Here he talks about his experiences...
How challenging it is to bring together a story and a team to work on it?
It is challenging and exciting at the same time, every story needs a unique team to work on it and every team has its strengths and weaknesses, the challenge is to find the right people who can fit together and work together and use each other to bring out their best.
The Married Woman has been well received, how did you come up with the concept and the cast of the show who could pull the characters well
It would be wrong to take the credit for the concept and the cast solely, the show is based on a beat selling book and it was Ekta who spearheaded the entire show with the vision and then the wonderful team of writers, Jaya Mishra and Surbhi Saral Sachdev who have words to her vision. The challenge was to bring the cast together and I feel that with Sahir our Director and Neha our wonderful casting directors we were able to find the right cast for the show.
What is the difference between creating stories on army based like Regiment Diaries to a story like The Married Woman?
There is very little difference while working on stories the idea is the work is to work on a narrative that will captivate the audiences and keep them waiting for more. Of course every genre comes with its ser or challenges and comes with its story telling style, but the challenge always is how to keep the audience together engaged.
Things to keep in mind for an aspiring filmmaker...
I would like to say "Be ready to fail because failure will always be around the corner".
Do you think success comes with a lot of pressure since your recent web thats Raat Bakhi Hai and Main Hero Bol Raha Hoon are creating a lot of buzz around?
Absolutely with every show you are hoping to not drop the bar and with every success the expectations rise. One has to be ready to accept failure and to accept that everything you make will not find the same success. But what you can do is to make working as hard and not let your guard down.
What's the best approach to bring thoughtful stories of women empowerment on screen? How to maintain the fine line between being sincere and joining the tide?
You need a great set of writers and creators who can maintain the balance, you need some super actors who will not go overboard and will maintain the fine line while delivering their lines, you need to be careful that nowhere should your story be either preachy or condescending.
What is it like collaborating with Ekta Kapoor? What all she brings to the table in terms of content creation and how much freedom she affords?
She is one of the finest storytellers that we have and it’s an absolute pleasure to work with her. Her sense of emotion and character is so strong and so deep that she can almost predict what the audiences will like and not like. The process of creation is so much more enriched when you work with her because you can learn so much about storytelling from her and her legendary energy levels are something else.
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