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Posted: 28 February 2013 at 5:58am | IP Logged

Producer responsible for many things, says Shabbir Ahluwalia

Thursday, February 28, 2013 | 4:55:01 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)   Comments 4 Comments
Producer responsible for many things, says Shabbir Ahluwalia

Actor Shabbir Ahluwalia, known as the small screen's bad boy, is enjoying his new role as producer.

Actor Shabbir Ahluwalia, known as the small screen's bad boy, is enjoying his new role as producer.

Shabbir's first production venture was "Ganga Kii Dheej" in 2010 and his recent project is "Savitri", a fantasy drama that went on air on Life OK.

"Production is both fun as well as a complex job. When you are an actor, you have a role to play, but as a producer you are responsible for a lot of other things," Shabbir, 33, told IANS.

" 'Savitri' is a fantasy show, a first of its kind. The visuals of the show will be an experience for the viewers. It is a very different show," he claimed.

Is direction on Shabbir's wish list?

"Direction is not happening in the near future. One should take up one thing at a time. Producing is exciting me right now and I haven't thought about directing now. 'Savitri' is keeping me more than busy right now," he said.

As an actor, Shabbir is best known for his negative roles as Rishi Garewal in "Kahiin to Hoga" and Milind Mishra in "Kayamath".

He has also worked in movies. His silver screen debut was with 2007 hit "Shootout at Lokhandwala". He later did "Mission Istaanbul".

When asked about the transition from TV to films, he said: "For me, there has been no transition in terms of acting. The medium does not matter to me. TV and films, I believe, have equal amount of reach in term of viewership."

If the script is exciting, he says, the medium doesn't matter.

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Posted: 04 March 2013 at 5:51am | IP Logged
Satya to propose his lady love Savitri in Life OK's Savitri!
Satya to propose his lady love Savitri in Life OK's Savitri!

on Saturday at 02:42pm
Life OK is known to present something innovative and beyond the regular daily soap dramas. And after getting good response for its first reality show Welcome, helmed byRam Kapoor, the channel has recently launched Savitri. The show is a beautiful blend of ancient and modern Indian that stars Ridhi Dogra as Savitri and Yash Panditas Satya.

The show has opened with great viewership and to maintain the TRP the makers have penned down some romantic sequences which will strengthen the bond of Savitri and Satya. Sources say, Satya will propose Savitri in different ways and try to win her heart in coming episode.    

"He will be trying his level best to make her come out of her shell. Savitri will take a while to take things forward as this is after all the first time she is in love. Moreover, she is perturbed as she's having past life flashbacks. The pre-marital romantic track will be on for a while. The couple will ultimately tie the knot - that won't be shown too soon though," informed the source. This particular sequence will surely take the TRP's to another level.  

It's not just the storyline but its presentation that is too helping wooing the telly buffs. If you have noticed a different kind of background music in each episode then we would like to tell you that they all are popular hit numbers from Bengali music industry. Almost every episode is accompanied by a song that complements to particular scenes. 

In the upcoming romantic episode, let's hope it will also accompanied by melodious Bengali romantic songs. 

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Posted: 06 March 2013 at 2:00am | IP Logged

Indian TV gets bigger with better budgets

ByAkash Wadhwa, TNN | Mar 6, 2013, 12.00 AM IST
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Indian TV gets bigger with better budgets
A still from Devon Ke Dev... Mahadev
Producers are pumping in more money than ever before into daily soaps. TOI figures out why

It's an oft-used cliche these days - television is getting bigger and better. But not just because of all the Bollywood biggies flocking to host reality shows. Producers are now pumping in more money in daily soaps, whether for grander sets, better special effects or skilled directors and writers. Add to that the increasing cost of actors' remuneration and shooting special episodes in foreign locales, which is quite a fad on Indian TV these days, and you have budgets that are more expansive than ever before.

Tech that!
Take for instance the special effects required in mythological serials likeDevon Ke Dev... Mahadev (DKD). "The show has a separate graphic department comprising 90 people. Imagine, 90 people for just graphics! Isn't it huge?" asks Nikhil Sinha, producer of the show, and goes on to add, "TV was never a cheap medium. An average TV soap costs somewhere between 4-5 lakh per episode. Producers today are ready to invest much more, and take a serial into the league of crores." According to sources, a single episode of DKD costs its producers approximately 14 lakhs, by far the steepest in the industry. By the same estimates, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's debut TV productionSaraswatichandra comes second, at 10 lakh per episode.

Get Set, Go
While the majority of soaps are still shot on a single set, day in and day out, the more ambitious shows are not shying away from expanding. As Shabbir Ahluwalia, producer of Savitri, a show about reincarnation of two mythological characters pegged at 9 lakh per episode, shares, "My serial has five different sets for shooting, and each set is huge in itself. I have made such an investment because the script required such visual effects. We are moving beyond the format of shooting saas-bahu serials. Producers are ready to take risks if the script demands and paying greater attention to detail."


On the write track
Apart from escalating infrastructure costs, actors, directors and writers are being roped in for never-heard-before prices for their services. Reportedly, director Ravindra Gautam, who specialises in doing launch episodes, was paid more than a lakh of rupees to direct the pilot episode of Savitri. "It is not only the technology and the sets that producers are investing in, even scriptwriters and experienced directors are being paid a handsome amount," agrees Gautam, and elaborates, "Content is the mainstay of a serial, a lot of emphasis is laid on that. If you see, the top budgeted shows on TV are quite strong with their scripts and direction. TV serials are slowly turning into feature films." That's a sentiment echoed by Ajai Sinha, veteran TV director of Astitva Ek Prem Katha fame. "The cinematographic vision of youngsters working in television today is great. If you see, they are making serials just like films," he remarks.

What goes around, comes around?
It's simple arithmetic for Saurabh Tiwari, producer of Madhubala Ek Ishq Ek Junoon, which costs an estimated 9 lakh per episode according to industry insiders. "The TV industry is more aggressive in its attitude now," he opines, adding, "The newer producers are ready to invest any amount of money in their shows because the returns are greater. There was a time when special episodes, which required a more expansive budget, were shot once in a blue moon. But now, nearly every month serials have a special episode wherein from costumes to sets, everything is larger than life. Toh iss sabse cost of production toh badhegi na!" Adds Sinha, "Producers are investing more because their serials are getting huge money in return from commercials aired during breaks. Once a serial is a hit, every product wants to get associated with it and FMCGs also have bigger budgets to be able to do that without thinking about financial restrains.  

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Posted: 06 March 2013 at 2:04am | IP Logged

Ridhi Dogra Vashishth loves outdoor shoots!

Tellybuzz got in touch with Savitri a.k.a Ridhi Dogra, to share her outdoor shoot experience...

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Wednesday, March 06, 2013 | 11:04:25 AM IST (+05:30 GMT)   |  Copyright: India-Forums.com / TellyBuzz  |  Comments 3 Comments  |  878 Views


Ridhi Dogra Vashisth who is currently seen playing the lead role of Savitri in Life OK's supernatural television show of the same name, shares her outdoor shoot experience of the show with Tellybuzz..

An excited Ridhi says, "Savitri is a show which is full of outdoor shoots. We have done maximum outdoor shoots till now. Our first one was at Bangkok and it was an amazing experience. Later we went to Gujarat, where we shot in the forests. It was a thrilling experience".

Further she adds, "We also shot at Kolkatta. However the most amazing shoot was at Ganpatipule in Maharashtra. It is a beautiful place and one must visit and appreciate its beauty."

"Indoor shoots compared to the outdoor ones are quite boring. You get to explore and know more when outdoors" she concluded.

Our sources also said that they have shot in Wai for an important sequence in the show which will come up soon.

Reporter and Author:Krishma Solanki

deboleena.manna

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Posted: 06 March 2013 at 6:15am | IP Logged

Life OK sets another benchmark in innovative marketing for 'Savitri'

A four-minute promotional content of a new show is being played for the first time in cinema advertising in UFO Moviez' digital theatres coinciding with new film releases

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 6, 2013

Life OK has once again captured the imagination of Indian audiences through its disruptive marketing. For the launch of its latest offering, 'Savitri', the channel has joined hands with UFO Moviez and emerged as a pioneer in cinema advertising campaign for GEC shows. For 'Savitri', a four-minute promotional content of a Hindi GEC show is being played for the first time in cinema advertising in digital theatres coinciding with the new film releases of the week.

UFO Moviez has a strong screen presence with over 3,000 plus screens across 1,300 towns in India. Life OK created a huge impact on its target audience by introducing them to the story and the characters through the four-minute content capsule, utilizing the strength of UFO's network in the Hindi speaking markets.  These content capsules are being showcased in around 230 screens in Hindi markets of UP, Delhi, Gujarat and Mumbai during the screening of various new movie releases.

UFO Moviez, one of India's top 10 most innovative companies and pioneers in digital movie distribution, believes that technology and entertainment go hand in hand and this initiative is a new step in utilising digital movie screens as a promotional vehicle.

Speaking on the innovation, Pratik Seal, Marketing Head, Life OK,said, "Life OK has always been a firm believer in the term disruption, whether in terms of content or our marketing strategies. UFO Moviez is a popular platform with a huge reach in the Hindi heartland. We are delighted that along with UFO Moviez, we were able to introduce our show and capture the attention of our audiences."

Siddharth Bhardwaj, CMO & National Sales Head – Enterprise Ad Sales, UFO Moviez, said, "We are delighted to have partnered with Life OK. This partnership is an example of how UFO continuously makes an effort to innovate and provide value to brands advertising on our network. It's the combination of UFO's network strength, execution expertise and innovation that has delivered the desired impact for the campaign."


Article Link: http://www.bestmediainfo.com/2013/03/life-ok-sets-another-benchmark-in-innovative-marketing-for-savitri/


deboleena.manna

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Posted: 11 March 2013 at 1:43am | IP Logged

I don't know why people call TV shows regressive: Shabir Ahluwalia

ByNavya Malini, TNN | Mar 10, 2013, 12.00 AM IST
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Shabir Ahluwalia
Actor-producer Shabir Ahluwalia talks about his different moves in showbiz

Actor Shabir Ahluwalia is among those who's managed to tread a different path in showbiz. Remember his telly innings with shows likeKayamath, Laagi Tujhse Lagan and a string of reality show participations, and of course hisBollywood dreams with Shoot Out At Lokhandwala and Mission Istanbul? What keeps Shabir busy now is his role as a producer with shows like Ganga Ki Dheej and his latest offeringSavitri. Shabir is now keen to experiment with various genres that would make an interesting watch. Excerpts from an interview:

What made you eye the entertainment pie in a tad different manner considering that you were doing well as an actor?
I have been acting for quite sometime. After a point of time I said to myself that I want to spend time with my family, want to travel across the world and devote more time networking with friends. So, I got married (to Kanchi Kaul) in the meanwhile and got settled in life. I planned and dedicated all the time I had thinking about production because somewhere down the line I felt I had nothing to lose in life. Uncertainties are part of life, but that's how life is. When I look back at things, I think 'god's been really kind to me' and that I have got a supportive family and a wife.

From reading the script as an actor to hunting for a TRP-tripping script as a producer, what are the challenges that you have come across?
The crux of handling production lies in lot of co-ordination. And it requires one to give more time than what one initially thinks. There are, of course, challenges in every decision you take - to find out exactly who fits in the bill perfectly to a role is very crucial. Another important aspect one should keep in mind is production is a collective effort.

What made you chose fantasy thriller as your current offering?
When you have wonderful actors and a great SFX team working 24X7 for you, dealing with a fantasy thriller becomes more intoxicating. A simple love story doesn't interest me. What moves me is how differently a love story is packaged with some creative experimentation. I don't like to limit myself to only one genre because dealing with different genres gives me the creative kick. It becomes an expensive affair when you deal with special effects, and have dedicated professionals working frame by frame to create those effects. In the end, the outcome of your thought process is the biggest reward that you get.

Is it important to have a mentor in showbiz who acts like a pathfinder?
Having a mentor definitely helps. Mentors always offer you a different perspective without ever taking anything away from you. I give a lot of credit to Ekta (Kapoor) and her team. I was really feeling at home while working with Ekta and always look up to her as someone who has done very different shows. I would love to be known as someone who has given such a great body of work to TV.

There's a faction of the TV fraternity that finds TV shows regressive. Do you agree?
I don't know why people call TV shows regressive? I never felt that way. There have been stories dealing with various issues of social importance. Even couple of years back, there were shows that gave out messages of social reforms. The treatment of each story has been different from show to show. According to me Indian television is very audience friendly.

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Posted: 11 March 2013 at 5:39am | IP Logged

Ridhi dons a Bengali bride look for her marriage in Savitri!

Life OK's Savitri will soon have a wedding sequence for Satyavan and Savitri in the show; Riddhi Dogra shares her experience while she gets ready for the scene…

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Monday, March 11, 2013 | 4:26:25 PM IST (+05:30 GMT)   |  Copyright: India-Forums.com / TellyBuzz  |  Comments 4 Comments  |  336 Views

After Savitri has accepted Satya, wedding bells will now ring for the couple in Life OK's Savitri. Yes, after a lot of drama, finally the viewers will soon get to see their beloved Satya (Yash Pandit) and Savitri tying the knot in the show. Riddhi Dogra Vashisht, who plays Savitri will be dressing up just like a beautiful traditional Bengali bride for the wedding sequence. 

Tellybuzz spoke to Ridhi to know more about the preparation and she said, "I am dressing up like a Bengali bride and will be having a design (chondon er photha) of kumkum and chandan on my forehead. I must admit it is a little time consuming. I am going to wear a Bengali saree (lal benaroshi) which is heavy but it is still better as compared to the heavy lehangas an actress has to wear for such sequences. I happy and comfortable with it but I have to take care of it too."

When asked about the time she would take for the bridal make-up, Ridhi said, "I am very quick at make-up and sometimes, I even do my make-up in my car. The part that will take up a lot of time will be the design on the forehead.It needs to be done carefully and it takes time. It will be done by my make-up man and will take around 45 minutes". 

"I am taking more time to get myself ready for this wedding sequence than I took for my real wedding. My lehanga was light and I got ready in around an hour. But I am taking around 2 hours this time to get ready today", concludes Ridhi.   

Anwesha Kamal


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Posted: 19 March 2013 at 4:27am | IP Logged

Rahukaal of Savitri shows his hot side

ByStuti Agarwal, TNN | Mar 18, 2013, 11.27 AM IST
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Krip Suri
Krip Suri, who plays Rahukaal in Flying Turtles' Savitri on Life Ok recently did a hawthawtphotoshoot which left our jaws literally dropping to the floor. 

When we asked him the reason for doing the shoot, he said, "I am a fitness freak. Since I am an actor, I need to maintain my physique. And when I have maintained it, why not flaunt it. These days the competition is so high that having a toned body is like sonepesuhaga, so I thought of making use of it while I can."

Ask him, what his USP and he said, "It has to be the stubble. The bearded look suits my face. Also, I have always been doing characters with grey shades — right from Maan Rahe Tera Pitaah, Apno Ke Liye Geeta Ka Dharmyudh, Phulwa or Savitri — for which I to look like a bad boy. And what best than a stubble to get that look. In Yamla Pagla Deewana too I needed this look. I think women like guys with unconventional look such as Ranvir Singh. Also it is time saving and protects the skin.

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