Monday, August 08, 2011

20 Questions With Nissar Parvez

"I have each of the characters i have worked on in me"-Nissar Parvez

There are some conversations that are so heartening, that they leave indelible impressions on the listener, especially when the person sharing the ideas is considered an ace in his or her field of expertise. A few minutes into the conversation, you are totally spell-bound at the in-depth knowledge he possesses not just in the field of direction but also other aspects of the show. 

Nissar Parvez , the series director of the current number one show in Start one- Geet-Hui Sabse Parayi, has Midas touch when it comes to delivering hit shows. He has also directed the all time top favourite StarOne shows like Dill Mill Gayyye and Miley Jab Hum Tum. Prior to these, he has also worked on shows like Shakalaka Boom Boom and Hello Dolly on Star Plus.

When we started with our research, we wondered why there is so little written about Mr. Parvez, who has been an integral part of all the three series and has silently delivered one hit after another. So, we at TellyTadka, decided it's high time we bring you a surprise interview from the director of the hit series himself.

His current baby, Geet Hui Sabse Parayi has not just earned accolades for the great story and cast, but also invoked high levels of love and craziness within a short time since its inception. But success and criticism go hand in hand. Lately the latter seems to have taken over the former, with fan forums all over pin pointing the technical errors seen on the show.

We hope getting answers from the horse's mouth, would help fans comprehend what and how a Television series works and why certain things on Television are the way they are.

Q.1: You have already done hit shows like DMGMJHT and now Geet, but you always maintain a low profile when it comes to the media. Has that been a conscious effort?
Nothing like that I believe in letting my work speak for itself!!

Q. 2 Not many know much about behind the scenes structure, so for the sake of the audience and fans could you please enlighten us on what a Series Director actually does?
 As a series director, I set up the show, the characters and work with the whole team in order to give it a form. There is also a team of directors who are actively involved under me and I guide them how to take the show forward. If you have watched any of my shows, be it Miley Jab or DMG or even Geet, there is a particular style you could associate with it. I take the onus of designing the show, while people under me execute it.  It is basically team work. But as a series director, I have to ensure that the characters and their graphs are in place.

Q. 3  How do you react to statements like, we know when Nissar is not directing, as the intensity is missing!
Aisi koi baat nahi hai yaar!  When that happens it just means we are having a bad day. ( laughs) On a more serious note, sometimes things may not fall in place due to time crunch, but we try our best to make sure these things don't show . For instance when an actor falls sick it shows on screen and these are instances that cannot be ignored or avoided. The audience do not know what happened the day before, and on the day of the shoot they only see the final product. So they react according to what they see.

And to clear the air, I am very much involved in all aspects of the show. However sometimes I am unable to be around due to other show related commitments like story or channel meetings. Though we may have time management issues, I generally try to be there.

Q. 4 The episodes aired have large number of bloopers and editing errors that are glaringly visible on screen. Why is that happening?
 The only reason why that happens is because we shoot in a cut-to-cut situation, and at times we shoot  on the same day of the telecast,  hence we may not have enough time for edits. That is also one of the reasons why we don't have a bank , though we have been working towards it. Things do go wrong at times like that. Nobody is to be blamed for it, as there is so much of stress on various departments at the same time, these errors could happen.

Q. 5 With shows airing six times a week now, don't you think these issues would magnify and wouldn't that in turn compromise the storyline?
 It is undoubtedly going to be very hectic, which is the reason why we are bringing in parallel tracks into the story alongside the existing tracks in order to accommodate six days. At the end of the day, it is the channels call and if they want their shows six days a week, we go by it.

Q.6 But how far do you think these parallel tracks would help the show, as we have seen in the past that the fans want to see only their favourite jodis?
The parallel tracks would be a link to the main track, and this as such will not affect the leads. The focus still would be very much on the main characters. I believe that the way you project a parallel track is very important and we will portray it in manner that looks good and convincing. So there is nothing to worry about.

Q.7 What homework generally goes into making a show as a Series Director? How do you switch and transition from one character to another be it Armaan, Samrat, Mayank or Maan?
 When you start working on a show, you generally live those characters .Naturally, you are involved very closely and actively with every nuance of the role.  I have lived each of the characters I have worked on; hence each of them lives in me! Be it Armaan, Samrat, Mayank or now Maan.
I have really enjoyed setting up not just Armaan but Samrat and Mayank too since I have lived those days in my own life.  As I myself was a prankster it was easier working on those characters.
The way I direct, they say the atmosphere on the set is fun and light hearted and I gel well with all the actors.  It is therefore easier to work with them and get a scene across.
For instance, when we started working on DMG the whole team was young and we brought in the youthful spirit. It was work and fun at the same time.

Q. 8 An out of the blue question now! Why are red and white mostly chosen as colours to portray love on your shows?
 Red symbolises marriage and white comes across as a nice, peaceful colour. Hence, according to me they perfectly depict love.

Q. 9 Who is your favourite Television show Director?
 I really like Siddharth Sen Gupta's work. (Director of Balika Vadhu) I admire the way he works.

Q.10 But that genre of show making is very different from the kind you are working on currently.
As a director though I have an option to make all kinds of shows, I personally like setting up different relationships, be it the one between  father-mother, brother-sister, it doesn't have to be a couple all the time. Today shows are made on various relationships, it is the set up that changes.
When Geet started off it was a different kind of a show as well. We are shooting here today, and tomorrow I could be shooting in Rajasthan, wearing different costumes but the relationship dynamics are still the same. So there is always this variety in the work that you have around you.

Q. 11: At what level are you involved in the story of your show?
Primarily, I am involved at all levels of the story. There are inputs from me at all times. But there are times when I may not be able to make it to a story meeting due to my shoot commitments. Whenever they need me to be there, I always make sure I attend story meetings in order to know where the track is heading and what is in store. Just in case I am unable to make it, my suggestions are always taken after I am briefed about a future track.
Generally in a creative team, it is not just me, but a bunch of four or five people, and our ideas are pooled in together to give it a final outcome. The producer of the show Gul Khan, also takes part in these discussions. So no one person can take these decisions, and at the end of the day it's a team effort that you see on screen.

Q. 12 Are you net Savvy? The Facebook fan page of Geet has over 90000 users as on today. Do you consider the feedback from the audience?
I am aware of the Facebook Geet page, and i have my own page as well. It however becomes difficult to keep a check on them on a very regular basis.
We do however, try and go through some of the discussions that happen. The problem is, we are so tied up with the shoots as well as all the activity after that, that it is hard to keep ourselves updated on a day to day basis. But we do consider what fans say and read what they have to talk about us.
Even on my page for that matter, there are loads of comments we get on why certain tracks happened the way they did. At times, I personally try and do get back on both the pages.

Q. 13 How much do the audience demands or requests influence or change the storyline?        
 It is certainly not true that we change the storyline as per the demands or requests from fans. Having said that, if the audience has something good to offer then, why not pay attention to them?? We do consider the ideas given by them but we are not totally influenced by them. See, the final call ultimately lies with the creative team and they are the ones who decide what is to happen on the show.

Q. 14   So, moving on to a lighter question, what do you do during your free time?
(laughs) Where is the free time? I do go watch movies . We are so into our shows that we basically sleep over them. It is like, whenever we get free time we chill but we end up talking about the show all over again. So basically its work and relaxation mixed together.

Q.15  Most shows today have movie tracks being incorporated into the storyline. So do you watch movies keeping your shows in mind as well?
No ! No! When I watch a movie, I just watch it as an audience. I don't do it to take something out from there and put it here. I love watching movies, and that's why I am here.

Q. 16 How do you evaluate your work and performance?
I am a big critic of my own work. After working on shows like DMG and MJHT, I wanted to do something different.  One can't afford to get bored of the work he is doing. That's why there is always a hunt and hunger to do new things in different ways, which is perhaps why we get so tired mentally as well.

Q. 17 How different are the various couples you have directed, considering all of them have the same eye locks, dupatta moments just to name a few?
See, Armaan(DMG) started off being a prankster, he was easy going, never took life very seriously and he was in love with a girl who was too strict and uptight. In order to ease her up he would play naughty tricks. The play out was totally different.
When it came to Miley Jab, I think Mayank and Nupur or Samrat Gunjan fell into the cute zone, and now if you see Geet, it is an intense and a passionate love story on another level. Each of these stories is different from one another and has obviously their own story to tell.

Q. 18   Do you act out sequences and show your actors how to get the scenes and the expressions right?
We do act out scenes as and when required. When we were setting up the show, we had different workshops conducted. We would do mock shoots with our actors and the leads to see how they look together, how they look at each other, and how they work on their two shots. So we definitely do our homework.

Q. 19 The fans of the show are totally unhappy about the fact that despite having such a loyal and a huge fan base, the TRPS of the show are very low! Why do you think so is the case?
This is because the reach of the channel (Starone) is low. Had we been on another channel perhaps the reach would have been wider and bigger. For example, the reach of a channel like StarPlus is so vast that, even a section of audience watching it would makes a huge difference in TRPS. But then Geet is doing very well for itself and that's what is important. It is being loved and appreciated by fans all over.

Q. 20 Two of your earlier hit shows DMG and MJHT ended recently. Your sentiments.
Obviously you feel really bad. We started the shows, they were like our babies, we nurtured them and cared, suddenly they are out, you do feel sad about it.

DMG especially, we were so emotionally connected to the show and otherwise, that you suddenly feel the void and emptiness when it is no longer there. But then I think life goes on. (Nostalgic smile) 

On that note, we are thankful to Mr. Parvez for taking his time out and answering our long, never ending queries. It's been a great pleasure doing this interview with Mr. Nissar Parevez  as not once did he make us feel out of place! These little gestures go a long way! Fans we trust you are happy that your woes have been answered by the Captain of the ship himself. We hope Geet continues to rock the TV screens and we get to see more such beautiful sequences in the future.

Reporter - Niharika Vidya Sagar
Telly Tadka

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