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Safarnaama- In conversation with Abhishek Chandra

Safarnaama- In conversation with Abhishek Chandra

Days brighter than the night and the nights opening to new days bringing in new light but some chose to be their own light and with this interview we delved in talks with none other than the much talented and hardworking feature film maker, Abhishek Chandra.

From Bollywood to Hollywood his journey is inspiring and is a tale of success earned with dedication to one’s true calling. With the transition from an ad film maker to feature film maker the breakthrough of his career is an accident as he describes.

To know more, let’s read in.

How do you describe your journey from an ad filmmaker to a feature filmmaker?

Its been an interesting journey. I stumbled upon Ad filmmaking accidentally and its been 8 years now. Producing and making commercials are challenging but very rewarding. But my focus was always feature films. It took some time, but with valuable experience here i am. I’m excited for the next phase. I hope my venture into feature filmmaking brings me equal success as it did for me in commercials.

How has the transition been from Mumbai to LA?

Its been brilliant actually. LA is a melting pot as they say and I have had the pleasure to work with some fantastic talent. LA and Mumbai are very similar in terms of their passion for cinema. I find people have the same drive I saw in Mumbai. And California is one of the finest places I have been so far. People are very warm and I instantly felt at home. Work wise, I have produced some amazing work, all because of my team. My last music video was a sensational hit and I have two more coming up.

Safarnaama- In conversation with Abhishek Chandra

Los Angeles is a different world altogether, what drove you to take Bollywood there?

Well, i came upon few good opportunities to produce music videos in LA. What i realized is that in the west, people are quite not aware of the true nature and style of Bollywood. Their idea of Bollywood is head shaking with a namaste pose. I want to change that. Bring the true spirit of Hindi Cinema and show it to the world the way we experience it. That’s truly my goal.

Do you think Bollywood can be acceptable in Hollywood?

Its not a fair question honestly. Both are two different worlds. Its two different styles of filmmaking. But, since Hollywood is accepted globally, primarily because of English language i think if we mould our films in a certain way keeping American sensibilities in mind we can take Bollywood where Hollywood stands today. One of the first things we need to focus or try is to make shorter films without losing the Hindi cinema magic. Slumdog Millionaire was a perfect example. It was not Bollywood, but it had music, drama, everything and it won an Oscar. So, its not like it hasn’t been done before; we can definitely do it.

How do you rate Priyanka Chopra’s transition from Bollywood to Hollywood?

Fantastic. In all honesty, she has definitely put the focus back on Indian talent. Its a very exciting time for Indian filmmakers and artist in America. She is doing us proud and i tell you its not easy breaking into mainstream TV or Film when you are a person of color.

Was Producing always the calling?
No. Not really. I like writing more. Producing just felt natural. I am good at it. Putting a project on floor, getting the right people on board, it excites me. And since I write and I also direct, producing becomes easy as you can see all the angles and requirements. I enjoy Producing as much as I enjoy directing. But writing would always be my first love.



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