Sameer Sharma started his film career as an assistant director with celebrated films such as ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ and ‘Dil to Pagal hai’. Besides being part of prestigious projects like HP commercial, Tata Cliq, and the famous BYJU’S teacher’s day advert, he has also penned for film projects like ‘Swades’, ‘Bhoot’, ‘Khoya Khoya Chaand’ and dialogues for ‘Raincoat’.
Sameer Sharma made his directorial debut with ‘Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana’ has recently won Silver at the Spikes Asia Awards 2022 for his short film ‘Master Ji’ starring actor Raghuvir Yadav. The idea of this nine-minute film was brimmed during the covid time of 2020 and was executed in 2021. This film portrays the journey of a teacher from the inception of the lockdown to date. Incidentally, it was released around Teacher’s Day. As per him, his film represents a real India and he feels ecstatic to win this prestigious award. This as per him is a universal story and a tribute to all our teachers who actually form a nation and set a tone for the future.
In an exclusive conversation with MI, Sameer speaks about his short films.
Q) Tell us about your journey into filmmaking.
I assisted on ‘DDLJ’ and ‘Dil Toh Pagal Hai’ and I’ve written films such as ‘Swades’, ‘Bhoot’, ‘Raincoat’, ‘Khoya Khoya Chand’, ‘Faltu’. I finally directed a film, ‘Luv Shuv Tey Chicken Khurana’. I am going to direct a film soon, the scripts of which I am working on. I’m also working on a novel that I want to publish in the near future. So, this has basically been my journey so far.
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Q) Share your experience of making a short film titled ‘Master Ji’.
A lifelong wish of working with Raghubir Yadav came true! He is an absolute genius! Akshay Shah from ‘Dora Digs’ introduced me to Vishal Sagar who had written this amazing script. He liked our pitch and we got the film. We then collaborated with the help of an exceptional team and found this lovely film. I will always be grateful to them for giving me this chance to direct this film.
I just loved the world when I heard the script and what we had to do was very clear. The teacher’s plight was universal. This just had to be made. It was extremely emotional. Varanasi also really added to the magic of ‘Masterji’.
Q) How was the relationship with the actors of the film?
I have known Raghubir Yadav for many years and he was always on my wish list. I had cast him in a film called ‘Darna Mana Hai’, which Ram Gopal Verma had produced, where he was also playing a teacher. And, of course, the experience of directing him was exceptional. He is somebody I would love to work with again. There was Anjuman Saxena, who was playing the mother, Priya and Zeeshan playing the kids and they were a wonderful cast to work with. I’m now friends with all of them and look forward to working with them in the future.
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Q) How is the writing for films and ad films different?
There are some really talented writers who work on ad films. I have now worked on a few. The difference is between writing a short story and a novel. Both are tough. It’s just really interesting to see how ad films are written. I love the process of working on Ads.
Q) What kind of research do you need to do for writing scripts? How difficult is it to crack each genre?
Well, according to me reading and just general observations are extremely important. Any genre is equally challenging and takes an equal amount of time to crack. There are times when it takes a lot of time and it’s only because you are trying to make them better. That is the process of making movies. One has to just keep improving on the script with every process of execution. So the script keeps getting better with each process. I feel all genres are difficult and challenging to crack. Basically writing is a lifelong Tapasya.