In conversation with Adhvik Mahajan
A few weeks back, popular actor Adhvik Mahajan released his short film Tamas also starring Rashami Desai which proved to be digital sensation within hours of launch. After 3 weeks and almost 2 million views I decided to get in touch which the man himself and shed light on the making of Tamas.
First things first, what inspired you to create Tamas?
During the time of the pandemic instead of fighting the virus, the focus shifted on which community or religion contributed more to the spread. Blame games started all around on media channels, social media, etc… This inspired me to work on the idea that I had for long, as I have also seen friends of mine who suffer just because they belong to a certain minority community. My aim was that you cannot typecast all.
Tell us about the pre-production period. How long did it take you to conceptualize and produce the script? Did your initial ideas make it into the final script?
For the pre-production period, because I already had the idea in my mind and as it was not going to be on a big scale, there were not many people involved besides myself. So, within four to five days I completed my script without dialogues, it was just the storyline and I started the shoot. Whilst shooting I kept on improvising my dialogues and just went with the flow. Moreover, I had to do everything simultaneously such as the shot placement, checking the natural light, creating the set by moving my furniture as my house didn’t have the feel of bachelor’s home so I had to make it look like one. Also, I had to shoot in natural light because I didn’t have any source of artificial light and for that, I had to wait for a certain 3 hours as that’s when I used to get the perfect natural light. Furthermore, in terms of costume as the requirement was a lockdown look, I used to be prepared without taking a shower to give it that authenticity, in the same clothes, and just setting up the camera and had to do it all by myself. Although my initial ideas did come in the script however the final outcome was a result of multiple improvisations hence a mix of both.
How was your experience filming, were there any challenges, if so, how did you overcome them?
Like I previously mentioned that there were a lot of challenges, as there was no source of artificial light, I didn’t have any camera and had to shoot everything on my iPhone. Furthermore, there weren’t any crew or technicians, besides my wife Neha who was a big support during the filming process. Neha always gave a helping hand when I needed someone to assist in handling the camera. In answering the question, I feel I was able to overcome these challenges because I never created this short film with the intention of receiving something in return. It was my drive to do something, to work on this subject that every community is filled with good and bad people but because of that one should never typecast a whole religion. Hence, I feel this is why I was able to see through every challenge.
What was your favourite scene to shoot in this short film?
My favourite scene to shoot in the short film would be of Rashami Desai’s part where she comes as that portion was very crucial for the film. Her scene forms the crux of the story and given that it did so well, she’s definitely the soul of the film.
Given Tamas’s success, are you open to producing more short films/web series?
Why not? But definitely, I’m not trying to become a filmmaker. It’s just that I have certain stories I want to share with the world which has been with me for long. I enjoy storytelling. Moreover, if I don’t get a chance to work in such creative projects then I’ll try to make it myself on a small scale, creating content in my own style, spreading social messages through it. If I can make Tamas in lockdown and have received so much love and appreciation for it, I think it will be worth the effort in the future if required, I’ll definitely make another one.
Any final messages for your fans?
First of all, I have a lot of gratitude in my heart for their love and appreciation for the short film. Trust me honestly, I was not expecting this I was just hoping if it reaches at least 50 or more people but lakhs and lakhs of people have seen it and I am soon going to touch 2 million views in just 3 weeks which is astonishing. It’s been great, thank you so much. Keep supporting such efforts. Not only from me but from all the actors and directors who might not have that reach or could make big films but trying to make a change with their small efforts, please support them. As for me, I’ll keep trying to do better work for you guys, keep entertaining you. Finally, I hope you all have well received the message from the short film, that humanity is above any religion and we should love and support people around us rather than putting them down. It’s easy to spread negativity but we should always spread positivity and uplift others.
Well there you go folks, that’s Adhivik Mahajan revealing the making process of Tamas. If you’ve not checked it out yet, go do it now. Till then keep reading UrbanAsian and I shall be back with another article.