The soap Gangaa, which is currently on at &TV has already completed over 500 episodes. Excerpts of Mitaan Express exclusive interview of the soap’s director, Prabhat Prabhakar:-
The TV soap ‘Ganga’ being directed by you has completed over 500 episodes. How many more episodes are in the offing?
Like the Ganga River, my show is a flow of human emotions, flows through curve, ups and downs, hills and plane, and it will flow as long as it serves the entertainment purpose of people.
What is the USP of ‘Ganga’ which kept the audience glued to it? Since when you started directing the series and what is the difference TRP rating of the series before and now.
Ganga character is a USP of show Ganga. Ganga is a character who always takes the side of truth and speaks the truth, which is quite rare in today’s world. Fighting cudgels for the right cause is the strength of Ganga, which gives pleasure to the housewives sitting at home. Ganga accepts all the challenges whatever comes to her way as a Bahu and delivers with her self-respect and dignity. Probably it gives immense satisfaction and pleasure to the viewers. I have directed the show when story took the turn.
Ganga lands up in new family by the grace of God forgetting all her past. It was beginning of month January this year. Not much changes in the TRP since then, but yes gradually it is increasing.
What other projects you are working on at present?
As a director I am completely engrossed with the project Ganga. So I cannot spare anytime to do another project simultaneously. But I am working on my film projects like writing the script and presenting it to the producers.
What are the yardsticks of a TV soap to become a hit?
TV soap is like daily medicine dose for viewers, especially women, who have remote control in their hand as far as TV viewing is concerned. Suffering and struggling to come out of suffering is the key of daily soap. Perhaps it inspires the women sitting at home or gives a satisfaction when they see a women suffering and fighting unsuccessfully for. Like an unfulfilled desire, goes fulfilled through the protagonist.
How many TV soaps you have directed in past?
More than 15, like- Baaziger, Meri Saasu Ma, Ek Ghar Banaunga, Akhi Bahu Bhi Toh Beti Hee Hai, Afsar Bitiya, Looteri Dulhan, Pratigya, Dil se diya vachan, Bhagyavidhaata, Athavan Vachan, Jersey No 10,Yahaan ke ham Sikandar, Vivaah, Kumkum, Mansha, Kahani ghar ghar ki, Shagun, Agni, Aatish and Pyaar naal.
Which are the films that have been directed by you?
Not much. I have directed three regional films and two short films. Two films were box office hit and one short film widely appreciated in Kaalaghora festival. As I said, trying for Hindi films.
What changes do you see in today’s films when compared to the films of yore?
Films are reflection of society most of the time. As society changes films content changes too. Because of the impact and competition of world cinema, our film industry is trying to give contemporary relevance to the film which can connect youngsters. Technologically films are far ahead than in past. But yes, ultimately you have to show the emotion of the character so basic emotions are same. Individuality is increasing. Nowadays filmmakers can dare to show women individuality. Lots I can say but in short our cinema is changing for better. It will be good if our censor board supports the freedom of expression through cinema.
Who is your model director and why?
All successful directors are good at their time. But if you will ask to name one I will say one and only one will be Bimal Roy. He was a complete director. He was master of emotion and technology. Taking story forward through song was great talent he has.
What is the mantra for success in Bollywood?
See, making money through film and getting attention for film is entirely different for me. Yes there are lots of vistas to make money, if it is made reasonably good. Foreign market is also not so far these days. NFDC is also helping through “Film Bazaar” concept. But our film industry is run and led by stars.
Today so many vistas have opened for making revenue for a film. Still a good number of flicks go unnoticed. What goes wrong with them?
Most of the viewers like their favourite stars on the screen. So, few flicks go unnoticed if it has no star and not released properly. See, making a product is one thing and selling the same is different in new market trend. Packaging and publicity is very important for any kind of product. Because of the same reason sometime we feel cheated when big banner pulls us in theatre and cater bad content. It is part of any business industry not only films.
You have directed films too. What is the difference between film and TV serial?
Film gives us pleasure of complete story in almost two hrs. But TV cannot. TV is a medium of incomplete series of story. Both have their own pros and cons. For a director, both media requires different execution technique to convey the story. TV is very casual viewing medium, people watch TV during talking and eating. But they give full attention to film in theatre. Films get big screen for projection, when TV is a small screen medium. So, as a director one has to understand the differences during execution.
You’ve worked for production houses like BAG Films. What is your idea of working as an independent director and a salaried person?
Getting salary monthly or daily should not affect work, in film and TV industry. In both the situations, I had to deliver my best.
By when one can see you directing Hindi movie?
I don’t know what is there in store for me. I believe in present. I am trying to give my best in present. I have been trying for film too, as I already said. Present will lead to future.
Q: You’ve directed a good score of Bhojpuri films. What is your idea about regional films?
A: Bhojpuri film industry is quite different from other regional film industries. Bhojpuri film maker thinks very differently from others, because of that it is getting very low respect and viewership. In contrast, other regional films like Marathi, Kannad, Malayalam are highly respected. Even as a director Bhojpuri lead nowhere. But if one has directed good Marathi movie it can lead to Hindi.
These days most Hindi films are copied from Hollywood flicks. How long will this trend continue?
Getting story inspiration from anywhere is not as bad as I think. There are lots of films having original content in Hindi cinema too. Adoption of content is everywhere. To serve the good content worldwide it should be translated to other language. That is one aspect of globalisation.