Producing a film is an uphill task. You have to be involved in every single process and ensure that things run smoothly. Not to forget, you are putting in a lot of money. The pressure is immense and the entire team expects you to deliver. What would happen if this mammoth responsibility is entrusted upon two young people with no prior experience? Natasha and Khushi are the youngest producers in tinsel town. Though they do not have much of an experience behind them, their confidence and positivity is palpable.
So, the both of you are the youngest producers on the block...
How did the thought of producing a film come to you?
Khushi: Both our parents have been in this industry for several years. We would accompany them to the sets and see them work extremely hard. There was always this thought at the back of our minds that when we grow a little older, we would give back something to the industry in our way. Since both of us were creatively inclined, producing a film was a natural progression for us. We just want to make a difference through our work.
Why did you choose to start out with a Gujarati film?
Natasha: Gujarati cinema is growing at such a rapid pace today. Also, we are Gujaratis ourselves and we wanted to show how Gujarati films have evolved and are catering to today's generation. We wanted to make something that would be as fun and accessible as a Hindi film.
Was your decision to produce a Gujarati film also influenced by the fact that Gujarati films are doing quite well? A Bollywood production house like Phantom produced 'Wrong Side Raju', a Gujarati film. Another Gujarati film 'Chal Man Jeetva Jaiye' did very well outside Gujarat too.
Natasha: To some extent, the whole thought process started when 'Sairat' became such a huge hit. It was a Marathi film but it reached out to people across the country. That made people realise that language is not a barrier and if the content is good, people will lap it up.
Are you willing to produce films in other languages as well?
Natasha: Absolutely, we would like to make content in all kinds of languages and for different platforms. You have films and shows of different languages on a streaming platform like Netflix. Even if the audience is not familiar with the language a particular show is made in, they will watch it with subtitles if the content appeals to them.
What made you pick this particular film?
Khushi: We loved the script. The film is a two-hour long roller coaster ride of a melange of emotions. You will laugh, cry and can complete relate to what the characters are going through when you watch the film. Music plays an important role in the film and we have got a really good album.
There are some producers who just bankroll a film without getting into the creative aspects. Did you provide any creative inputs?
Natasha: We never interfered with the director's work but we were on the sets all the time supervising everything. Khushi: It was also a great learning experience for the both of us as all the people around us were much more experienced than we were. We were observing everybody keenly and getting to learn a lot from them. We just tried to do our job as producers efficiently without interfering in somebody else's work.
Did people find it difficult to take the both of you seriously as you are so young?
Khushi: Yes, it was actually a task to make them understand that we knew what we were doing. Natasha: A lot of people did not take us seriously initially because of two reasons. Firstly, we were women and secondly, we were so young. There were several instances where people around us did not take us seriously or did not pay much attention to what we were trying to put across as they thought we were too inexperienced.
Apart from signifying a reunion, the title of the film 'The Reunions' stands for the name of the band that these group of people had put together in college. That faintly reminds one of the plot of 'Rock On!!'. Would you agree to that?
Natasha: Maybe, in a few scenes you get the kind of elated feeling a film like 'Rock On!!' left you with. But, the story is completely different.
Khushi: The two films are not related to each other. Our film is about these bunch of people, who were friends in college and quite close to each other, meeting each other after ten years. It shows how their equations and the dynamics in their relationship have changed. 'The Reunions' is also an abbreviation for the names of the characters. Natasha: Actually, I would be really grateful if our film is compared to 'Rock On!!' as it is a classic.
What is the biggest challenge you faced while producing this film?
Natasha: Like you mentioned earlier, making people take us seriously was the hardest part. Khushi: Exactly. Initially, it was very difficult to make them understand that we are here to do some good work and make a difference.
Were there any logistical issues you had to deal with?
Khushi: There are some minor issues which you come across while making any film. But there was no major problem throughout the shoot.
That is quite surprising. Considering the fact that both of you are so young and have started so early, one would have thought that you to gone through a lot of trouble.
Natasha: My mom once told me that if there is no bad thing happening around, there is something wrong with what you are doing. We shot primarily in Rajkot. We were there throughout the shoot of the film. There were some minor hiccups but they only made us stronger. Khushi: I think when you are passionate about something, the small problems that you encounter on the way do not really matter. It was a treat to watch all those experienced people working and doing their best.
What has been your biggest takeaway from working on this film?
Natasha: The most important things that we learnt is that the industry looks very glamorous from the outside but there is an insane amount of hard work involved in putting things together.
Apart from producing, is there any other aspect of filmmaking you would like to get involved with?
Natasha: I would like to direct a film next. Khushi: I have a few plans but it is too early to talk about them.
When I saw the poster of the film for the first time at an event, I thought it was a Hindi film. There is a perception about regional films among a certain section of the audience. Do you think films like these will change that perception?
Khushi: That was the idea. We wanted the film to have a fun and youthful vibe. Natasha: The shift is already happening. I do not think regional films are lesser than Hindi films in any aspect.
What is the kind of content you would ideally like to invest in?
Natasha: Since both of us are very young, we would like to create content that appeals to the youth.
Can you recall any memorable incident from the shoot?
Natasha: There is a song in the climax which revolves around a mother and daughter. It is a very emotional song. Khushi: The film ends with that song. While we were filming the song, everybody on the sets started crying.
Would you like to remake the film in Hindi?
Natasha: If the film gets accepted and our team feels that it deserves a remake, then why not.
Khushi: We are producing a Hindi film. It is called 'Let's Talk Love'.
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