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Forgot to say ‘cut’ on the first day of shooting Jhankaar Beats: Sujoy Ghosh

As Sujoy Ghosh’s 2003 film Jhankaar Beats completes 14 years today, the filmmaker recalls how he learnt the art of direction on the set, while making the film.

bollywood Updated: Jun 20, 2017 08:37 IST
Shreya Mukherjee
Shreya Mukherjee
Hindustan Times
Sujoy Ghosh,Bollywood,14years
Through the film, Sujoy wanted to highlight how one prioritises things in life and used music to convey the concept.(Samir Jana/HT PHOTO)

When the film Jhankaar Beats is mentioned, director Sujoy Ghosh takes a pause and says, “I became a director with the film.” The 2003 film starring Sanjay Suri, Rahul Bose, Shayan Munshi, Juhi Chawla, Rinke Khanna and Riya Sen, completes 14 years on June 20. The fact that Jhankar Beats was Sujoy’s debut directorial, the memories of the whole experience are clearly etched in his mind.

He remembers the very first day of shooting when he actually forgot to say ‘cut’, as he didn’t know that he would have to say it. Juhi Chawla and Sanjay Suri, who were part of the shot, therefore continued to perform. Sujoy shares that someone from the team had to actually tell him to say cut and then explained that he is supposed to do it after every scene.

A poster from Jhankar Beats.

“I was learning everyday while shooting for the film— from camera panning to putting it on a trolley to using lens and a lot of other things. Every day I used to come back home and read up. I am thankful that along with all the actors, the crew was also supportive. So, I basically learnt on the job. I totally enjoyed the process and still cherish the memory of making it. Also, for a first-timer I got four credits for the film (writer, director, screenplay and story), which is not bad,” says the filmmaker.

Through the film, Sujoy wanted to highlight how one prioritises things in life and he used music to convey the concept. He says music was important, as his inspiration behind making the film was the RD Burman composition, Duniya mein logon ko from Apna Desh (1972).

Jhankaar Beats was shot during 2001 and 2002 and released the next year. Another thing that makes the film special for Sujoy is that he built his relationship in the film industry through rejections. “Everyone, from the popular banners to the upcoming ones, I approached for the film rejected it. I guess being a new entrant, I was not articulate enough to explain them how exactly I was trying to make it. But meeting most of them just helped in building the base of the relationships,” he adds.

The film was made on an extremely tight budget. So choreographer,Terence Lewis, who also started his Bollywood journey with the film, was usually given a whole or half a day to choreograph songs. “While working with us, he got an offer from Rajshri Productions. And he had once come and told me how he was given at least five to six days to choreograph songs.He told me that he didn’t know what to do with so many days,” smiles Sujoy who has also directed films such as Kahaani (2012) and Te3n (2016).

Behind the scenes:

1. Every time while shooting the scene where Rishi’s (portrayed by Rahul Bose) lawyer asks for his cellotape back from Nicky (played by Rinke Khanna) during their divorce procedure, everyone used to crack up. This scene took several takes to get right.

2. Vijayendra Ghatge, who played the role of the boss, Mr Kapoor, could not shoot with people standing close to him. One day, he got very angry and asked everyone not to stand near him. But then there was one person standing near him and he almost got blasted. It was none other than Sujoy, who had to stand near him to direct the scene.

3. When they would take breaks from shooting, Sujoy used to read up the nitty-gritties about direction, so that he could go to the set prepared. He revealed having almost no knowledge about filmmaking while making his debut film.

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First Published: Jun 20, 2017 08:22 IST