Kamal Pandey: I always wanted to become a director | Bollywood - Hindustan Times
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Kamal Pandey: I always wanted to become a director

ByDeep Saxena
May 17, 2021 11:56 PM IST

UPite Kamal Pandey, writer of films like ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns’, ‘Shaadi Main Zaroor Aana’ and hit TV serial ‘…Laado’, harboured his directorial dream for nearly 20 years. Now, debuting as film director with feature film ‘Jahan Chaar Yaar’, he feels that life has come to a full circle.

UPite Kamal Pandey, writer of films like ‘Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster Returns’, ‘Shaadi Main Zaroor Aana’ and hit TV serial ‘…Laado’, harboured his directorial dream for nearly 20 years. Now, debuting as film director with feature film ‘Jahaan Chaar Yaar’, he feels that life has come to a full circle.

Writer-director Kamal Pandey (Sourced)
Writer-director Kamal Pandey (Sourced)

He shot 60% of the film in Lucknow before moving to Goa. Currently, the shoot is on hold in wake of the pandemic. Some of his team members tested positive for Covid-19.

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“Our producer Vinod Bachchan (in Lucknow), some actors and crew members got infected so we halted the Goa-leg. Some 20-odd days’ work is left but this situation is not just with me…it’s with everyone! We have wrapped entire Lucknow-leg. I even shot some montages in Jaunpur and Bahraich,” he said.

He is currently fully utilising his time to write his next. “Best utilisation of the period is to write! Since I am totally free, I started developing a thought that I had in mind. In a few days, its first draft will be ready. It’s again a rooted story set in UP and partly in Delhi. I feel star-driven cinema with ‘plastic’ story sans emotions won’t work anymore! Now stories need to true and rooted with realistic and relatable characters to work.”

Telling us about his journey, Pandey said, “Born in Cheebo village, I did my schooling from nearby Chitrakoot, graduated from Allahabad University, then went to JNU but after a year moved to Mumbai. I always wanted to become a director, but my writing went off well and people started taking me seriously, so I went with the flow. However, I was always present on set during shoot and that was my prep to my ultimate goal of becoming a director.”

He feels writers are now in focus but still don’t get the due they deserve. “Makers have started giving the respect to writers (and content), but they deserve much more. In initial years, one challenge is to prove yourself but once you give one or two hits then you get much liberty in films. Unfortunately, you don’t get such liberty in TV and that’s the reason daily soaps are no longer creative. Thankfully, web series have proved that it’s writer’s medium.”

Justifying why writers make a good director, he said, “Writers who have a vision to tell their story through visual medium and those having the hunger to learn the art of direction can do a wonderful job! That’s the reason best of the directors were writers themselves. Like, in my case, whenever I write, I visualise everything happening in front of me. So now, I know the technicalities of direction and it has become very easy for me to picturise. Rest, audience is the best judge!”

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