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My journey of learning with 6 amazing films

My journey of learning with 6 amazing films

Join us for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at some of Bollywood’s biggest hits with Tushar Singhal, the talented Chief Assistant Director and Script Supervisor behind films like Piku, Pink, and Gulabo Sitabo. During this session, Tushar will share his personal journey of learning while working on these incredible movies and answer questions sent in by curious students, offering unique insights into the creative process behind filmmaking. Don’t miss this rare opportunity to learn from one of the industry’s best – see you there! 

In this episode, we have Tushar Singhal, the talented Chief Assistant Director and Script Supervisor behind films like Piku, Pink, and Gulabo Sitabo.

Tushar takes us on a journey through his personal experiences working on these incredible movies, offering unique insights into the creative process behind filmmaking. As an industry veteran with an impressive list of credits to his name, Tushar’s expertise and knowledge are second to none.

From the heartfelt drama of Piku to the thought-provoking Pink and the quirky comedy of Gulabo Sitabo, Tushar shares his perspectives on the challenges and rewards of working on some of Bollywood’s biggest hits. Whether you’re a film student, aspiring director, or simply a fan of great cinema, this is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of what goes on behind the scenes of movie-making.

Key Takeaways

  • Working on big productions can be a daunting task that requires meticulous planning and attention to detail in order to ensure a successful outcome.
  • When it comes to historical films, precision in every detail, from costumes to set design, is of utmost importance to accurately capture the time period and bring the story to life.
  • The chemistry between Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone in the film ‘Piku’ was not forced or contrived, but rather came naturally from the well-written and well-conceived roles that they played.
  • The filmmakers of ‘October’ set out to explore the concept of true love in its most selfless form, delving into the complexities of human relationships and emotions.
  • In developing the script for ‘October’, the approach taken by the director and writers was not very methodical or formulaic, but rather drew from their own personal experiences and reflections on the nature of love and loss.

Q: What are the challenges faced while working on big productions, using the example of your experience working on Sardar Udham?

Working on big productions comes with its own set of challenges, as experienced by Tushar while working on Sardar Udham. The first and foremost challenge is meticulous planning. The director, Shoojit Sircar, had a keen eye for detail, which meant that every department, including costume, production, design, and performance, had to be precise in their work. The planning for this film began one and a half years prior to the shooting, and throughout this period, there were several findings that needed to be addressed. As it was a historical film, precision in every detail was of utmost importance, which made the process both challenging and fun. Despite the challenges, working on an international film scale gives hope to aspiring filmmakers that they too can be a part of such big productions.

Q: What was Tushar’s experience like working with Amitabh Bachchan in the film ‘Piku’?

Tushar shared some interesting experiences while working with Amitabh Bachchan in the film ‘Piku’. On the first day of shooting, Amitabh Bachan played Bhaskar, and after shooting the first scene, everyone was satisfied with the take. However, later that night, director Sujitha received a call from Amitabh Bachchan himself, who wanted to do another take as he felt he could go deeper into the role. This showed Amitabh Bachchan’s dedication to his craft and his constant hunger to improve as an actor. On the set, he would always stay in character, as seen in his performance in ‘Gulabo Sitabo’, where he added a subtle hunch to showcase the character’s grittiness and greed. Amitabh Bachchan’s eye for detail, discipline, and precision was evident even during post-production, where he would join the team for dubbing with a pencil, displaying a rare and inspiring level of commitment to his work.

Q: How was the costume design for Deepika Padukone’s character in ‘Piku’ put together to make it feel more real and authentic?

The costume design process for Deepika Padukone’s character in ‘Piku’ involved a team of three people: Juhi Chaturvedi, Shoojit Sircar, and Veera, along with the costume designer. The director provided a brief, and the team then put together references, such as real-life people wearing Kurtis in that particular space, to create a docket for the director. The next step was sitting down with the creative team, which included the writers and director, to determine the right look for the character. The costume designer and team worked on everything from hair and makeup to create a cohesive and authentic look for the character. The look they ultimately created for Deepika’s character was well received, with audiences finding her to be a relatable and authentic character. The team worked on different looks, including a corporate look and one for when the character was at home, to create a well-rounded and self-aware character who was comfortable in her own skin.

Q: How was the chemistry between Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone engineered in the film ‘Piku’?

Tushar shared that the chemistry between Amitabh Bachchan and Deepika Padukone in ‘Piku’ came naturally because both actors enjoyed their parts, which were well written and conceived. The actors did not require many readings, and it took only about a week for them to get into character and develop their chemistry. The director and writer were present to guide the actors, but the actors’ maturity and understanding of the director’s vision allowed them to make the roles their own. Ultimately, the chemistry between the actors came from the combination of good writing and direction, along with the actors’ ability to bring the characters to life in their own unique way.

Q: How did Taapsee Pannu prepare for her intense and multi-faceted role in ‘Pink’?

Tushar explains that the casting for ‘Pink’ was done with great clarity, and Taapsee Pannu was chosen early on because she fit the part so well. Taapsee was given the script to read, and as she had lived in Delhi, she knew the world that the film was trying to portray. Tushar also credits the long conversations and briefings that the director had with Taapsee, helping her to understand not just her character but the larger context of the film’s message. He believes that it is the nuances between the actor and director that make the magic on screen, and with an actor like Taapsee, it just flows naturally.

Q. How did you develop the script and storyline for the unconventional love story depicted in the movie ‘October’?

According to Tushar, the director and writer of “October” were interested in exploring the concept of true love and portraying its most selfless form. They sought to achieve this by developing a character who was initially selfish, innocent, and arrogant. The challenge was to transform him into a person capable of selfless love, who would fight for the survival of a woman in a coma whom he deeply loved. Tushar noted that the filmmakers’ approach was not very methodical but rather drew from the personal experiences of the director and writers. Despite this, the film has resonated with audiences in a unique way, with viewers appreciating the flower Shiuli and the mother’s performance. The director even continues to receive messages from people who have rewatched the film to connect with something pure. Overall, the filmmakers took a brave approach in creating a complete film out of their vision for a story about real love.

Q: How was the Jallianwala bagh scene shot in ‘Sardar Udham’ and what was the thought behind it?

Tushar shared that the Jallianwala Bagh scene in ‘Sardar Udham’ was the heart of the film, and without its impact, the movie would have been meaningless. The reason behind making this film was when the director first visited Jallianwala Bagh 20 years ago, and saw an old lady in a wheelchair, by herself, touching the wall with real bullet marks. The scene was very important to the director, and he waited 20 years to make the movie because of its scale and historical setting. Ultimately, a film like this is just an incident, but what the director wanted to bring is an interpretation and feeling which may be different for everyone. 22 nights and more than a thousand extra hours were spent changing and putting blood on the actors, who had to act dead or dying. The director was clear that he wanted the audience to feel what the victims may have felt, and it affected some of the team members as well.

Podcast Host: Amit Ahuja, Associate Director, Communications & Digital, Zista Education
Podcast Guest: Tushar Singhal, Chief Assistant Director and Script Supervisor, Rising Sun Films Pvt. Ltd.
Video & Audio Editing: Raj Soni, Communications Associate, Zista Education
Podcast Manager: Russel Aldridge, Sr. Manager, Creative & Digital, Zista Education
Podcast Transcript: Tanya Kakka, Freelance Copywriter