|Interview with producer - anchor Deepti
intend doing different kinds of shows for varied channels"
|Posted on 13 December 2002
|Deepti Bhatnagar's career started with modeling,
one that became an instant success. Her subsequent venture into acting
however did not yield the same fruit.
It was in 2001 that Bhatnagar emerged in a new avatar as television
producer. Musafir Hoon Yaaron, which she produced along with
hubby Randeep Arya for Star Plus was soon followed by the religious
travel show, Yatra. Deepti incidentally also anchors both these
Buoyed by the success of her two serials, Bhatnagar is now set to
embark on soapy terrain with a series called Kabhi Aaye Na Judai,
a daily on Star Plus that premieres on January 27 next.
For a fledgling producer, Bhatnagar's performance is quite outstanding.
Giving her company is Arya, who also directs both her travel shows.
In the midst of her busy schedule, the charming Deepti Bhatnagar took
time off for a tete-a tete with indiantelevision.com. Excerpts -
From model and actress to TV producer, how did this transition
Well, there were two things that really contributed to this transition.
One, the monotony of doing uninspiring roles that were coming my way.
Two, I was really fascinated by travel shows as I personally also
enjoy traveling a lot. Besides, I have always been a very creative
person and wanted to explore other avenues besides just acting.
So, I took the initiative and met Sameer Nair (Star India COO) with
a concept for a travel show. A few months later, when Star wanted
an existing travel show to be reformatted and given a new look, I
took over as producer of the show eventually christened Musafir
Where did you fail as an actress?
I don't know for sure. Actually, I was already a famous model when
I decided to get into acting. At that level, I was not in a position
where I could personally call up people for work as it would have
looked odd. At the same time, good roles for some reason never came
my way. I guess I could not market myself well. Or maybe, I was just
not destined for it.
was really fascinated by travel shows as I personally also
enjoy traveling a lot"
|Does being an actress help? Are channels
more receptive to you?
No, I won't say so. It may have helped to some extent in getting
my first show on air but subsequently it is the quality of your programme
that really matters. If I have got my third show coming on air on
Star, it's because they are extremely satisfied by my first two shows.
How was 'Yatra' conceived?
Like I said, I have always enjoyed traveling. After doing my first
travel show, I wanted to explore even deeper into the genre. So, I
took up a subject that had to deal with the temples. Our ancient temples
have some very interesting stories behind them and I felt it would
be fun unraveling these stories.
But shooting Yatra had its own share of difficulties. The
priests are normally too conservative and do not allow shooting inside
the temple premises. It has been a real challenge to convince them
to allow these temples to be shot. Managing the crowd of devotees
hasn't been any easy either.
What is your production set-up like?
We have a small but immensely dedicated team of about 20 people
who manage the entire show. We have acquired all inbuilt facilities
including those of editing, dubbing and postproduction.
What are your sources of funding?
I haven't gone for institutional finance or bank loans. I have
so far relied on my own funds and on the rotation of profits.
Is there any specific reason why all your shows are on Star?
Well, there's no specific reason. It's just that I started off with
Star and we've shared an excellent working equation so far. Besides,
there is no reason why I shouldn't be working with them. They are
very professional, hugely popular and visible and very prompt when
it comes to payments as well. Having said that, I am open to other
channels and am negotiating with them as well.
I have got my third show coming on air on Star, it's because
they are extremely satisfied by my first two shows"
|Do you find channel intervention an impediment
while working on your shows?
No, I won't say so. At least, the inputs I have got from the channel
for my travel show have been invaluable and have helped it immensely.
How do you divide responsibilities with Randeep?
We rather share all responsibilities. It gives a great feeling
to have him around as two people handling something together is better
than one. We are personally involved with all areas of production-
right from conceiving a concept to selling it across to the channel
to the scripting and the final execution.
How do you intend to balance your careers as actor and producer?
Well, acting is my first love and even today if something really
exciting comes up, I think I would go for it, of course keeping in
mind that my production work doesn't get unsettled because of that.
Having a good team really helps as today I don't have to be around
every moment in my office. My travel show in any case requires me
to spend a lot of time away from Mumbai but in my absence, my team
is competent enough to handle other shows proficiently. Of course
I'm in touch with my team all the time, even when I'm away from Mumbai.
How do you see Deepti Bhatnagar Productions shaping up in the next
Well, in the next two years I would look forward to producing
another three to four shows, all very different from one another.
Besides, I do plan to get into movie production sometime in future.
Are you satisfied with the way Deepti Bhatnagar Productions has
done in the last one and half years?
I would say I'm so satisfied that I haven't missed acting at all.
So, that means no more movies with Mithun Chakravarty?
(Smiles) I've just done two movies with him. In any case, why
not? He is a great performer.
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