Anurag Kashyap On Failure, Low Budget Filmmaking & The Problem With Indie Filmmakers!

By Aditya Savnal. Posted on May 19, 2016

From being a writer who got noticed for penning Ram Gopal Varma's classic gangster saga Satya to being a filmmaker whose work evoked divisive opinions and created a legion of fans who swear by him to helping promising talents find a footing in the industry to being a filmmaker whose dream project became his biggest undoing, Anurag Kashyap has seen it all.

Post the backlash that followed Bombay Velvet, it seemed that Kashyap had taken the films failure to his heart and decided to bid goodbye to filmmaking.

There are some who are never able to emerge out of their failures. And then there are some who emerge victorious after experiencing the biggest of adversities. Anurag Kashyap is one such filmmaker. Just when you thought that the filmmaker would be pushed to a corner post the Bombay Velvet debacle, Kashyap is back with his latest feature Raman Raghav 2.0Going by the promos which have generated an enormous buzz for the film, it seems that the filmmaker is back to his familiar terrain of tightly knit, gritty fares that made him the darling of moviebuffs yearning for films that go beyond the stereotypes.

The filmmaker recently engaged in a freewheeling chat with noted film critic Rajeev Masand which ranged from Bombay Velvet to Kashyap's views on the Indian Indie movement and the road ahead for Phantom films.

The filmmaker said that the Bombay Velvet experience was painful rather than disappointing. The acerbic reviews and reactions that followed the film made him believe that there was foul play at work, something that stemmed from his decision to work with bigger budget and stars.

The filmmaker however is sporting enough to accept the film's failure and admit that much of it happened due to the wrong decisions he took during the making of the film. The failure also taught him that filmmakers must stick to their guns come what may, though it may not be possible when big budgets are at stake.

No filmmaker is alien to failures. The greatest of filmmakers have seen failures that have almost finished their careers. Films they were most passionate and excited about have often become the undoing of great filmmakers and plummeted them into near obscurity and disappointment from which many could never re-emerge. Michael Cimino's Heaven's Gate and Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In America are two such films that come to mind.

Kashyap says there were enough examples around him which made him realise that pondering on the failure of Bombay Velvet will only make things worse for him. In his opinion, the only way to emerge out of this was by making his next film at the earliest. And thus Raman Raghav 2.0 was born.

Having worked on the post-production of the Sriram Raghavan film Raman Raghav helped Kashyap to discover several facets related to the story. Unlike his previous film which was a big budget venture, Kashyap made Raman Raghav 2.0 on a tight budget and applied low budget filmmaking principles while shooting it.

In the course of the interview, the filmmaker also shared some valuable tips on low budget filmmaking, which will surely help you in your filmmaking endeavours.

In Kashyap's opinion, a low budget film should never look like one and filmmakers must smartly use constraints to their advantage while opting for low budget filmmaking.  He further added that since low budget filmmaking does not entail one with the luxury of building elaborate sets, filmmakers should be smart enough to shoot it around natural locations in the city.

The filmmaker applied this principle while shooting Black Friday and now Raman Raghav 2.0. And the experience of shooting the latter, helped him discover locations in Mumbai that were hitherto unknown to him.

The man who was considered as a messiah of the Indie filmmaking circles especially in Mumbai, faced several flak when he decided to work with big names like Karan Johar and Ranbir Kapoor. In his opinion, most indie films aren’t doing well because the filmmakers are always trying to pull each other down which is deterring the Indie filmmaking movement in India.

Much of the mudslinging occurs due to the small attention spans they are fighting for. Unlike the bonhomie that prevails in the mainstream circles with filmmakers going all out to spread a good word or two about the films of fellow directors, there is a lack of similar unity in the indie filmmaking circles and he wants filmmakers to understand that the movement cannot be successful till the filmmakers are fighting with each other.


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