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Interview with Aashish Mehrotra

Post by: Deepti Khanna

There is something about Aashish Mehrotra that cannot be missed. And we are not talking about the twinkle in his green eyes. Along with those mysterious, soulful peepers, the fact that he is a film writer, producer, assistant director and a short story writer, all rolled into one, will force anyone to sit up and take notice of this talented young man.

 

When most teenagers prefer to chill, Aashish choose to work as an Assistant Director for a TV show at the age of 16, during his summer holidays. He then went on to complete his Bachelors Degree in Mass Media from Jai Hind College, Mumbai and majored in Advertising. After his graduation, he dove head first into filmmaking, assisting cameramen, directors and working in the production department, wanting to gain indepth knowledge of every aspect of filmaking. He has contributed a short story for a short story collection – Down The Road – and is currently working as an associate producer on a film which will soon go on floors.

 

We chat up with him to know which role he enjoys playing the most, the story he wrote for Down The Road and the film he is producing.

 

After trying your hands at production, film script writing, short story writing, assistant direction, which of these roles do you enjoy the most?

I enjoy all of the above. The most satisfying though would be Direction. You execute your own or other people’s imagination. Production involves a lot of running around and is very stressful. I am sure production will grey my hair much faster (laughs).

  

Which book do you think is worthy of being adapted into a Bollywood movie? 

I would love to see Mario Puzo’s  The Sicilian made into a gritty Bollywood film. It was one of the latest books I read and always visualised it in a film format.

 

Tell us a little about the story you have penned for Down The Road

My story is about a boy’s maturity to a man and his discovery of first love. It’s about his battle as he leaves his place of comfort and finds love in the most unusual places and people.

 

What is the difference between penning a script for a movie and writing a short story?

Short stories are definitely more difficult to write. A film script gives you the time to make the viewer fall in love with the character and gives you a lot of space for introducing and reintroducing themes/characters and creating different situations over a period of time.

In short stories you have to pack a whole lot of punch in a few pages. Get the reader to love/hate the characters. Cry, laugh and sigh without it seeming hurried or forced. It was definitely more challenging writing a short.

Tell us a little about the film you are producing.

The film I am a part of is being directed by choreographer Saroj Khan. It’s her debut film. I have written the story for the film and it’s a proper bollywood masala film. The announcement of the film should be out soon, till then I can’t divulge any further information.

How much did the degree in Mass Communication help you shape your career?

I would be really lost without my degree. I had an ambition; I knew I wanted to be in the creative side of media but college really prepared me for the outside world and turned me into a professional.The projects and assignments given to us by our professors really challenged us to think out-of-the-box. They would force us to be different yet be practical. We were allowed to experiment as long as it was within our budget and other constraints.

 What was the most important thing that you picked up from your course in Jai Hind College?

Jai Hind taught me the importance of team work. I used to hate working with others most of the times. I would never listen to other people’s ideas and would think I was always right. College taught me that delegation and team work was the only way to succeed and without it you would always be the jack of all trades and master of none.

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shibani
Must say Aashish that we all very proud of you.read your story.brought back memories of picking you up from the airport...I was one of the privileged ones to get a signed copy from the dashing green eyed boy.Once again CONGTATULATIONS!!
Tue,Apr 19th 2011 4:48 AM