Joined: 26 April 2012
Director of Hum Aapke Hai In-Laws on SAB TV, Dharam Verma is a man who handles every single motion with his deft management. He is the man who brings out the reality from a well-scripted scene and makes us laugh.
Tellychakkar.com corners the experienced director on the sidelines of his shoot and sits across him for a candid interview.
Tell us something about yourself?
The first TV show which I directed was Daddy Samjha Karo which was aired on SAB TV in 1994, the period when I got active as a director. Earlier, I worked as an assistant director (AD) of Sudhir Mishra. For me, Lapataganj was a building block of my career because that is the show which belonged to me. In the sense that I was the director of the show from the start till the end and I feel that it's my privilege that I have completed 750 episodes with no interruption. For me, TV has become my identity and will continue to work for more television shows. As a director, my keen interest lies in comedy shows; hence you will find that my list of shows are full of only those of comedy.
What is your present work profile?
Right now, I am directing Hum Aapke Hai In-Laws that is a romantic comedy in which you will see love in all forms including taking care of elders. The perfect word will be love for in laws.
What interests you more; television or films?
Since the beginning, I have worked very honestly in television medium; hence my interests lie with small screen. It's not that I have no got offers for films, but I don't want to opt for that medium because once I shift into filmmaking, then I won't be able to come back to television. For me, direction is not a comparison between film and daily soap; it is about the quality of my direction where can I use my talent the most.
What do you see in a script before directing?
The most important aspect of any storyline is the message which is to be conveyed to the masses and how effectively the same can be addressed. Many a time while directing, the essence of the scene is lost; so a director has to very well versed with the script. The job of director and scriptwriter goes parallel, because both the job involves connecting viewers with the scenes that come along.
What are the difficulties you have faced when it comes to handling an actor?
Frankly speaking, actors are like kids when the teacher is out. Then children get into their own world, but once the teacher is back to the class, they behave in a more disciplined manner. Similarly, actors behave according to the director's command. The only thing is that they need to be handled like unknown kids which is not difficult; it is just about good communication.
What authority does a director have on sets?
The onus of the whole shooting process lies on the director; he is the boss who inspects every single move immaculately. At times, when I don't like any scene or a dialogue, I change it after talking to the creatives. Direction for television involves whole team effort which cannot be undertaken by one single person.
Who are your favourite actors on television?
From the Lapataganj cast, I liked working with Rohitash Gaud as Mukundilal, Krishna Bhatt as Alija tailor, Anup Upadhyay as Mama and Sucheta Khanna as Indumati and the list goes on with different shows and different actors.
If not a director, what would you have been?
From my childhood, I had this passion for films so even if I would not be a director then I would be doing anything related to filmmaking. In school, I used to skip my class and go to watch a movie. By then, television grew into me and now nobody can separate me from it.
How has your profession changed technically and professionally down the years?
Before me getting into daily soaps, direction was considered to be very important and a creative art of making shows. But, nowadays creativity is dead in daily soaps because the show needs to be on air every day with different episodes coming along. Earlier, the writer and the director used to be the same, but now, the writer is different, director is different and the actors are different. In this whole crowd, creativity of the show is lost. To maintain the continuity of shows, creativity has disappeared. Films continue to be of the same pattern but the pattern of daily soaps has changed drastically.
Advice that you would like to give to aspiring directors?
Firstly, don't make any plans in your mind and enter the field and most importantly, don't come thinking that the field will give you fame and money because they never come in anybody's hand, you need to be very hardworking and passionate about the work you do. The thought of making friendship with actor will make your profession easy, but it is absolutely unconvincing way of getting into filmmaking. You need to firm and determined towards your career.
What are your future plans?
I will be soon directing films, but you will have to wait till the final call.
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