Hailing from an advertisement background Ashish R Shukla chats with us about how Prague happened
I was a commercial arts student but even back then, I was interested in filmmaking. I had assisted ad filmmaker Prahlad Kakkar but as the 18th assistant director and was appointed by one of his assistants! I worked in the advertising field for six years but after that, I quit.
Once I quit advertising, I made a short film, which was watched by Anurag Kashyap. He liked it and he called me to meet him. Kashyap said I should start writing scripts.
On Anurag Kashyap
I told Kashyap I had no knowledge or experience in writing screenplay. So he hired me as creative head on his film Dev D. During that film, I was part of the entire filmmaking process. I also met Rohit Khaitan, who was the associate producer of Dev D.
We were working on a project when Rohit visited Prague. He fell in love with the country. When he returned, he wanted me to write a script set in Prague. He wanted to make a dark, mysterious film, a thriller. And I cracked a story which he liked.
Never Been To Prague
I wrote the script based entirely on what I knew of the country from the Internet because I had never visited Prague. So I wondered whether to write a love story, something about the relationship between India and Prague… I finally wrote a story based on this. After that, I visited Prague and incorporated what I learnt there into the script.
Actor Chandan Roy Sanyal was a friend. When we were working on the film, I told him he had to act in the film and I wrote the script keeping him in mind. The three other actors in the film are new and had no acting experience. I cast them on the basis of their looks.
We have been to many film festivals and received some great reviews too. Yes, festivals help small films as it creates a buzz in the festival market. Film festivals gave me an audience to test my film. They are not a biased audience who want action, masala or comedy. They are ready to experiment with good cinema. I didn’t go to festivals to win awards; I went there to test the audience. It becomes a baggage when you start making films, keeping festivals in mind.