Humse Hai Liife - Screener

As the new season starts on Humse Hai Liife on Channel V, I cannot help but look back at the time when the show started.

Pitching a new show to a channel is the most crucial part of TV production. You have thought of a concept and believe in it, but it is very hard to convey to people what exactly is in your mind and how are you going to execute it. The client (channel) too has a hard time understanding what the final show will look like.

You spend hours and hours trying to communicate to each other what you want to do. That is why pilots or screeners are made. It is a small or episode length video that the channel sends for research to the sample group and they react to that. The channel thus gets feedback from the audience-to-be how they feel about the show.

This video is special in many ways. This was the first solo-production by our company 4 Lions Films.The first time I was transferring anything written by Hitesh Kewalya on screen. I get nervous when working with writers I've never worked with before. I hope I can do justice to whatever they have written and the fact that Hitesh is an outstanding director himself, added to the pressure. ( Here is a link to one of his films.)This was also the first time I was shooting with a Canon 5D. Also, because we had to rush to shoot this, I was  also shooting with actors who I had never worked with before... and I had only one day to shoot all this.

This screener is usually shot with a tentative cast because usually, there is a long gap between the time that the screener is sent for research and the final go-ahead for the show is given - if at all! The actors in this "pilot" came and worked with the knowledge that they may or may not be a part of the final show. That spirit in itself is to be admired. So while you will see Saloni and Rangeela here, the superbly talented Nia Sharma who plays Sia in this screener got offered another assignment. Our loss - "Ek Hazaaron Mein Meri Behna Hai"'s gain! She does hold a very special place in my heart and I drop in on her sets if I am shooting nearby.

Anyway, take a look and leave your comments....