Ravi Rai plans Zee show; to direct feature film

MUMBAI: Suchitra Entertainment (I) and Krishna Images MD Ravi Rai has emerged out of his three-year hibernation. He has conceived a pilot for Zee TV - a serial called Hamara Ghar. He will also be directing a feature film for Ashish Chanana who is making six films for the Sahara Motion Pictures company.

Writer-director Ravi Rai, the maker of soaps - Sailaab, Thoda Hai Thode Ki Zaroorat Hai, Imtihan, Sparsh and Teacher - is also gung-ho about Authorship - the outfit which will employ a team of writers to constitute a one-of-its-kind script shop.

Claiming that Zee TV is trying out a lot of things, Rai says that Hamara Ghar will be made straight from the heart - it won't be like the other soaps currently running on television - "Middle class 'Alice in Wonderland' types," as he calls them.

Rai says he went into self-imposed exile three years ago as he was not "inspired" by the work being done on television then. "People are talking of a TV revolution. How can there be a revolution if there has been a dearth in quality TV writing since years. The director in me used to be backed by the writer in me. Even today, people come up with good concepts but haven't been able to translate it successfully," says Rai.

When questioned about the fact that the so-called formula fetches TRPs and ad bucks, Rai asserts: "A high quality serial made from the heart always fetches money. My serial Sailaab was successful and I made a lot of money from it although it wouldn't fall into the so-called groove! It was competing with Close Up Antakshari; my Imtihaan gave Shri Krishna a run for the ad spend."

Blaming it on the "gang" which dominates television today, Rai says: "Some of the new kids on the block have rendered literature redundant. They are not even familiar with the classics - works of say a Tolstoy or a Tagore. Such people cannot sit as the jury and judge of TV producers."

Rai has also firmed up plans to ensure that he creates a young breed of professionals who will understand the significance of creativity and give it due weightage. "I am planning to start a training institute for youngsters who wish to write or direct content for television. After all, it takes time, effort to nurture and mould young talent. The elder generation of writers and directors can learn a lot from the younger generation - make their thought processes contemporary." Rai also plans to tie up with Writer's Association in order to attract talent.

While insisting that there has to be a flow of information and exchange of thoughts between the younger breed, Rai says that the process of understanding each writer or director is a psychological exercise.

Rai also claims that the current dismal scenario has a lot to do with the fact that the individual creative geniuses have been bitten by the "corporate" and "institutionalising" bug.

"People like Bimal Roy, Guru Dutt or Raj Kapoor were great thinkers too. Most of the television and film related success stories were a result of the passion and inspiration of single minds. When these people try to create corporate entities and delegate work, they fail to deliver because people down the line don't have the same kind of passion," says Rai.

For Authorship and his training institute, Rai plans to have a full-fledged sales team who will approach producers, film makers and directors. Rai says he has already received a favourable reaction from film makers such as Viveck Vaswani.

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