Imtiaz Ali On What Theater Taught Him About Direction!

By Srikanth Kanchinadham. Posted on July 28, 2015

An excerpt from our series on Rakesh Anand Bakshi's book, 'Director's Diaries - The Road To Their First Films'.

Imtiaz Ali On The Significance Of Theater!

"What I learnt from theater helped me while doing TV and films. What I found unique about theater is the director’s absolute focus on script, actors, characters and performance. The lack of infrastructure in theater develops and sharpens your directorial skills, because in theater there is no other way to express yourself but through people, the actors. In theater, it is only the writing and acting that you can count. Naturally, the process begins from the writing stage itself. The film director is thinking about everything: the shot breakdown, the camera, the editor. Theater is just basics, and there is nothing that you can rely on, so naturally it will sharpen and build your directional skills, because you have to deliver the best with just the basics.

Another great lesson from theater is the skill of script rehearsals with actors. It teaches you how to talk to actors and what to say that will make sense to them. For example, you cannot tell an actor who is nervous. ‘Don’t be nervous’. He will get more nervous as you have only validated his fear. You can never state the obvious to an actor. So theater actually sharpens that skill of a director where he learns to give an actor what he needs from a director. This one learning favours the actor completely. Therefore, actors too must explore theater."


You can order the book online at Amazon & Flipkart.

If you want to read more about the book, check out it's Facebook page or Rakesh's blog. Also check out the Youtube channel for more video bytes with the directors.

Also check this out:

Join The Jamuura Brigade & Make Your Film

Online Workshop On 'Secrets Of Screenwriting' With Kamlesh Pandey, At 6 PM, On 8th August



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