New Delhi: One of the most noted and famous storytellers, Life Coach and Motivational Speaker, Sudhanshu Rai recently ventured into filmmaking with the short movie ‘Chaipatti’. Talking about his gradual move to the cinema, future projects and exploring OTT platform – the master storyteller in an exclusive interview with Zee News Online opened up on lots more:
Q. Was the move to turn into direction a gradual step after turning author?
A. I have always been a writer and a storyteller. Though I took it up formally only a couple of years back, stories have had a massive impact on my life since childhood. Venturing into production and direction is definitely a natural progression, but it did not happen out of chance. The plan to take the banner of Kahanikaar Sudhanshu Rai into production has always been a part of our bucket list. My directorial and acting debut Chaipatti can be termed as the first step in that direction.
Q. How was the experience of making Chaipatti?
A. It was no short of being incredible, but at the same time, it was a great learning experience. While I do not shy away from being a film buff, Chaipatti got me more acquainted with the nuances of acting, direction and production. It taught me a great deal about the processes as well as the challenges involved in filmmaking. I am glad that I had Puneet Sharma as a co-writer as he added great value to the story and undoubtedly we are keen to keep the journey going. My dear friend Anant Rai, who is the creative producer of Chaipatti, also helped me deliver the concept as per my imagination.
Q. Were you comfortable working with the co-actors? Any experience to share
A. It was a very comfortable experience working with all my co-stars – Abhishek Sonpaliya, Shobhit Sujay and Priyanka Sarkar. All actors have done justice to their characters and that is precisely what I expected from them as the director of the short film. The whole experience of shooting and post-production was rigorous but we had our share of fun during the making of Chaipatti. I would also like to add that we learned a lot from each other as actors.
Q. Are you planning to make a full-length feature film in future?
A. As mentioned earlier, Chaipatti is the first stepping stone toward bigger projects. Not just a full-length feature film but we also have a plan in place for a detective series featuring my character Detective Boomrah on one of the leading OTT platforms. The series is primarily driven by the consistent demand of my listeners to see Detective Boomrah on screen.
Q. What are your next projects?
A. The near future projects of Saints Art and Kahanikaar Sudhanshu Rai include more short films and as mentioned, a series featuring Detective Boomrah. Very soon you will also see one of my stories, Sylvester Cottage, on the screen. While it won’t be a full-length feature film, but it will be longer than Chaipatti and may span up to 30 minutes. Chaipatti, which is an instant hit on YouTube, has meanwhile garnered positive feedback and a lot of appreciations, with many viewers demanding a sequel. We are thinking in that direction as well.
Also, I plan to continue engaging with my listeners through my audio stories on YouTube and Facebook.
Q. You are a life coach, so did it help during the strenuous process of filmmaking?
A. You are very right in saying filmmaking is a strenuous process. However, it becomes relatively easier and enjoyable when you are dedicated to the craft. Being a life coach played also played an instrumental role in the seamless making of the short film. I succeeded in keeping the environment light and full of fun during the process of filming not just for myself, but for the whole crew.