Only few people are bestowed with diverse talent and only some among those few are equally good in all. Prashant Rasaily, a man of much flair was a runner-up in “Gateway”, first Indian reality show based on film making. He has a music album to his credit, assisted Anurag Basu in his film “Kites” and also introduced the DJing in Gangtok a much delight for locals. Prashant just complete his Nepali movie “Acharya” which is due to release in August. In a candid interaction with isikkim.com Prashant shared his views on filmmaking and many other things.
You are a filmmaker, photographer, DJ, singer, musician, and writer. So how would you define yourself?
I guess I would define Prashant as an Artist!
But where your heart lies?
Oh man!I don’t know. My heart keeps roaming; it doesn’t stay at one place. But I guess my true passion lies in music and I consider it as base of every form of art.
So tell us something about your music journey?
I have been singing since I was a kid. From 1994 I started singing rock then in the year 1998 I got into classical music and started singing Gazal’s and all. In 2001 I even released my music album.
How you got into Gateway?
Actually it was around October – November 2007, one day my brother told me that there is some ad coming on TV seeking filmmakers to send their entries for some reality show. From there I got to know about it. For the participation they asked for 180 sec short film. I had one story in my mind so I made a short film in a day and sent it across. After a month or so I got a call that my entry is selected and need to come for an interview. So that’s how I got selected.
How was your experience?
It was good and full of fun. I met different film makers from different parts of India. So that ways I made good friends. It’s hard to forget those memories. Since I was the runner up in Gateway, I got movie Kites to assist.
And was Kites a turning point in your career?
I shouldn’t say it as a turning point. I learned technical stuff and also closely watched how Hollywood works as we were shooting in New Mexico. But I wasn’t that much impressed with Indian crew. I couldn’t find much of a value addition in my skills during Kites. I wanted to learn couldn’t from to learn it. But still every experience is a learning experience.
What are your plans as of now?
After Kites I wrote and directed a movie “Acharya”. It will be releasing in August. This movie is based on a real story. After Acharya I am on a break for a while before I start working on my next film. I do have couple of stories in my hand so just figuring it out which one to go with.
Any Bollywood plans?
Not really. I haven’t got any offer which is extraordinary and different form regular masala movies. I don’t think that I want to work on those films.
Why not many people from Sikkim or from North East are able to make it big in Indian Film Industry?
It’s the attitude that we have. When we are at our place we have extra superiority complex and the moment we step out of our comfort zone and venture out in harsh world, we don’t have that confidence to face it. It is one of the major reasons that not many people are going out. I must add here that there are people in Sikkim far more talented than me. But it’s unfortunate that they don’t want to move out from that cocoon.
But are there any biases against North East people in industry?
I don’t think so. Personally I have never been treated badly. Infact people in Mumbai give me more respect that people here in Sikkim. That ways I feel one should go out have the first hand experience. It is not that everything is hunk dory but one also needs to flexible.
Do you think that all those who want to pursue career in film making should go to film school?
Absolutely not. I have seen people coming out of film schools spending 3 -5 years and still not able to do anything. That ways I was lucky that I didn’t waste my time in these schools.
These days many new directors are trying to do something different. Do you think that it is a high time now that North East should also be a major focus for main stream Indian movies?
It should be. But Indian cinema is labeled with this tag that only masala bollywood films are Indian films. But there are many film makers in different parts of the country including Sikkim and North East who are extremely good but unfortunately their films are not marketed properly. So I feel that it’s a high time to focus on selling those movies properly that are being made in this part of the country.
But are there any audiences?
Look, it is the very same people that watch Korean or European language movies with subtitles and appreciate it. So I feel audience is there, it is just that marketing people are underestimating them. The shift in their attitude is happening but very slowly.
Government of Sikkim is keen in funding to those who are interested in making documentaries and films. Your comments on that.
See giving away money for making one or two films is not the solution. Firstly, in 10-20 lakhs it is impossible to make commercially viable films. Even if you make it what will you do with that? There are two cinema halls in Gangtok which might close down soon because of taxes and all. And where else you will screen those movies. I feel the government should think about improving all the areas of film making, marketing and distributing it. Entire infrastructure should be developed which will attract filmmakers from other parts of the country as well.
What is your word of advice for the budding filmmakers from Sikkim?
The most important thing is that when you are writing a story or directing a film, at least at that point of time forget about the finance part of it or how much money your film can make. Just concentrate on art and emotion part of it. A good film will definitely do a good business. But if you are calculating something else and making a film you are losing your focus from so many things that should be the part of that film. And above all love your work. That’s all I want to say to them.
Thanks for talking: Please is all mine!