Mayank Gupta a young and energetic director who has directed more than 10 shows and now has been directing Saraswatichandra has gone through tough times while directing this show. Sharing his journey of direction with TellyBuzz Mayank opens his heart and speaks to us about the problems he faced while directing the show under the Sanjay Leela Bhansali banner and how things have changed for the better.
How did your journey begin in this industry?
I am from Mirzapur and belong to a very middle class family. No one in my family is even related to the media but since I had a passion for directing and wanted to take it forward, I tried my luck by writing scripts and stories. After coming to Mumbai, I started my career as an Assistant director and have also directed movies as well as television shows.
Tell us briefly about your work...
I have been directing movies and television shows from quite some time now. Like I said earlier I was working as an Assistant director, so I have learnt the technique of directing too. I have directed some of the popular shows like Saath Nibhana Saathiya on Star Plus for 190 episodes, Laagi Tujse Laagan on Colors, Punar Vivah on Zee TV. I have also assisted movies like Dus along with Anubhav Sinha, and Dil Ne Jise Apna Kaha as an Assistant director with Atul Agnihotri.
How did you bag Saraswatichandra?
While I was doing Saath Nibhana Saathiya, I got a call from Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Production house and I couldn't say no to SLB Productions! Who wouldn't want to work for SLB's production? It was then that I started directing Saraswatichandra.
Did you face difficulties with Sanjay Leela Bhansali's production house?
Yes, I did face loads of difficulties working with the production house. The production people were very unprofessional. We didn't have proper sets. We had to shoot in low lights and the props were not provided to us sufficiently. It was getting difficult for the show to sustain as amenities were not adequately provided to us.
What made you stick to the show?
I am a professional person. I loved the concept of Saraswatichandra a lot and I know the show and actors have the potential and the show can actually live up to the expectations of everyone. But somehow the show was unable to grasp the attention of the audience because of poor visuals. The set was so low in terms of quality that it could be seen in the show. In the show it's shown that Pramad who is a politician's son is living in a sluggish way so much so that his house is shown to be very middle class. Pramad's house set should be presented in a lavish style but somehow it wasn't up to the mark. I continued with the show because I love this show a lot, I am sure audience loves it too and I wanted that the show should go on and here we are lucky to have Sphere Origins as our new production house.
Is Sphere Origins doing justice to the show and providing with everything required?
Yes, very much. I am happy that the financial issues are resolved as well as our basic necessary things are also fulfilled.
Do you think TRPs are necessary for a show to sustain?
Yes, the number game is very important and one can't help but to change the track according to the numbers. Almost every director has faced this and this is the stark truth of Indian television at times. I do have clashes with channel because of the shoot that we have already done and the channel asks us to modify it and it's quite normal. So now I know that most of the directors have to bear the burnt.
Have you come across tantrums thrown by Television actors?
Yes, I have come across many television actors throwing tantrums. Some of these television actors these days have their heads held high for no reason. Thankfully actors like Gautam Rode and Jennifer Singh Grover are thorough professionals.
What if you are offered to direct a Sanjay Leela Bhansali show once again? Would you go for it?
Yes, definitely I will go for it. I am a director and I was called by the production team to direct Saraswatichandra. I am sure that I will once again direct for Sanjay Leela Bhansali's production house whenever they ask me.
Did Sanjay Leela Bhansali visit the sets of Saraswatichandra ever?
No, he never came on the sets even once nor has he interacted with any one of us. It was very strange for us as I will share a very heart wrenching incident with you. We were shooting in Film City for a sequence and there was a traffic jam on the road in which Sanajy Leela Bhansali sir's car was also stuck. Sanjay sir knew it's his TV show's shooting which was going on but he didn't even step out of the car to meet his actors and also didn't even bother to know what are we shooting which was very shocking for us. In fact we feel how could Sanjay Sir let go off his first TV show. I would like to meet Sanjay sir personally and would like to ask him about the same.
Do you think Saraswatichandra will now not face any troubles?
Even if it does we will overcome all the troubles. I am sure that Saraswatichandra will have good TRPs and I will make sure it becomes the number one show on Indian GEC (General Entertainment Channels).
What are your future plans?
I would like to direct Hindi films.
Who is your biggest critic?
The people of my hometown are my biggest critics. Though my hometown people are novices but they observe things minutely. My friends from all across the globe also give me a honest and genuine opinion on my work.