JOHN DAY – FROM THE TEAM THAT GAVE US A WEDNESDAY
Posted by Vivek on August 30, 2013 | No Comments
A Wednesday, was a cult film. Bereft of stars, but not bereft of commercial success. While a lot of people took the credit for the film, the real risk was taken by the Producers of the film. Now that same team is coming out with, potentially another cult film, JOHN DAY. Here we talk to the Producers, Anjum Rizvi and Aatif A Khan and also the actor, Vipin Sharma, on what it was like to be a part of JOHN DAY:
ANJUM RIZVI – THE PRODUCER
Q1) Anjum, what got you in the film line?
Started off by producing Documentaries, then made some serials and telefilms and that is how we got started in this business.
Q2) Where did the conviction to make such a cult and such a different film, A Wednesday, come from?
I’m a big believer in the script and it was the script of A Wednesday, that convinced me. Once that was in place, we also had a very clear idea on whom we wanted in our cast, and strong actors is always what I seek and we were fortunate to get the actors, who worked out so well.
Q3) Talk to us about John Day?
It is a complex thriller dealing with two main personalities. It involves soul searching, changing psyche, that thin line between good and bad, how people change when the circumstances around them change.
Q4) Again, I see a very actor driven mind set, as opposed to a star driven?
It was once more the script that made all the determination. The first person we approached was Naseer, cause on reading the script, we felt nobody else could do justice to the role. Naseer had also enjoyed his experience in Wednesday, and on reading the script, he came on board. Then we talked to Randeep, who initially was apprehensive that in a film with Naseer, would he be able to get his chance to shine, but on reading the script and seeing how well defined his character was, he gladly came on board. These two form the main set of characters, around whom the story revolves. Also what we saw on script, we saw on screen, so that has turned out great.
Q5) Actually talking about “well defined characters” I notice that about your movies, including A Wednesday?
That mindset continues even in John Day. All the characters have well defined roles. Hence we have Vipin Sharma playing an interesting role of a cop, with shades and character. Sharad Saxena was mentioning that the part he has played in John Day, was something that has never come his way and he enjoyed that very much.
Q6) You have not fallen in that trap of “lets make a big film post the success of our small film?”
I actually enjoy making the kind of films I do. It is not easy, but that is what gives me satisfaction, as opposed to getting caught up in that whole cycle of chasing stars, chasing directors, etc. We have given breaks to two first time directors, who came armed with solid scripts and what we looked for and found, was confidence in the ability to pull it off and handle the actors. Besides there are enough people making the big budgets film.
Q7) When is the release planned, of the film?
AATIF A KHAN – THE PRODUCER
Q1) Where does that conviction come from, to make films, which are not run of the mill Bollywood?
We were very clear in our minds that we did not want to fall in the bracket of the regular, run of the mill stuff. Since this was also the launching pad of my Production house, I wanted to start with something I can be proud of. So we chose a script, which gave us that confidence to take this step and we chose actors, who we know are very solid actors.
Q2) What got you in the film business?
I am basically from the Pharmaceuticals business and have always wanted to be in the film industry. I started out assisting and learning the ropes and John Day is my first production.
Q3) Has the film shaped up as you thought it would?
By the grace of God, even better and that is why we are pushing it as hard as we can, cause we want it to be seen by as many people. Objectively, be it the elements of the story, the character, the execution, it is different, yet entertaining and I am glad I got started off with John Day.
VIPIN SHARMA – THE ACTOR
Q1) How did John Day come your way?
I had seen A Wednesday and loved it and was in touch with the Producers, who did mention that it is never easy to pull off a film like Wednesday. Then one day, I got a call that they were planning another project and that there was a potential role for me in it. Hence John Day, came my way.
Q2) What is your role about?
A one liner is he is a Scavenger, a corrupt cop, who feeds of the living and the dead and that has become almost a second nature to him, to the extent that even he does not know so. When the role first came to me, my initial reaction was that it is very small, but as the film shaped up, it has now become one of the most important characters in the film
Q3) Has the film shaped up per your expectations?
Absolutely, and so has my role. It is a very different kind of role and not since perhaps Taare Zameen Par, has the character been so well rounded. The film has shaped out to be a cutting edge thriller, bereft of the regular maara maari, but still very intense in its execution.
Q4) On working with the first time director, Ahishor Solomon?
First timer yes, but a very mature head. He has spent time learning on the job assisting in other films and although he does not speak a lot, that actually blends very well with his directorial ability and his ability to extract solid performances, out of seasoned actors.