Lyricist Amitabh S Verma turns director with Teen Do Paanch
Lyricist Amitabh S Verma who penned down chartbuster songs in films like Life In A Metro, Bas Ek Pal, PK, Khoobsurat, Ugli aur Pagli, Dhol, Fatso and Antardwand has now turned into a director calling the shots behind the camera. His debut film Teen Do Paanch, which released last week on Disney+Hotstar, revolves around a couple's story on how their life changes post-adoption of three kids. Inspired by the book Paalna co-written by his wife it stars Shreyas Talpade and Bidita Bag. Here Verma shares his experience of working with kids and his upcoming projects including songs and feature film. Excerpts:
Teen Do Paanch must be special for you given that it's your first OTT project plus a story written by your wife? Please comment.
A good story is a prerequisite for a good film. TDP is adapted from a story called Paalna written years ago by my wife Shruti. Unfortunately, the film never got made but I always had the story in my mind. When I was approached to make a film, I suggested that we make Paalna into a film. My producer and co-writer Mehran suggested that we give the story a comic flavour so that it becomes an easy viewing experience. Some plots were added to the story of Paalna and TDP was born. I am glad we did that because in today's time when all we see in various OTT series is violence and darkness TDP comes as a welcome change. It is a show that the whole family can sit together and watch.
What were the challenges?
Every project is a challenge. In TDP there were several. The biggest being the kids. It is not easy to work with kids and I had not one but three to deal with. Kids can be very moody and impulsive. They also get tired very soon. We had limited days to shoot the whole thing which made it even more challenging. But thanks to Shreyas and Bidita who were both very considerate. They used to wait for us to finish the kids’ scenes first and then shoot theirs. We used to shoot 12 hours a day and most of my actors never complained. I am thankful and grateful to them.
This is your first collaboration with Shreyas Talpade. How was it working with him?
I have always been a fan of Shreyas Talpade. When the casting of TDP was being done, the first name for the lead that came to my mind was Shreyas. He is not only a brilliant actor but also a writer and director. He has a great sense of story. This is why he could add so much to each and every scene. It was great working with him and would want to work again with him.
How has the response to the film been so far?
I am overwhelmed with the response TDP is getting. I am getting so many messages from people I don’t even know on FB, Twitter and Instagram about how they are loving the show. Most people are happy that they can watch it with their family and kids.
What are the other upcoming projects?
There are many upcoming projects. I am writing songs for many singers then I am also coming out with my next single soon. We have done a very interesting travel show for kids called Zip Zap Zoom. We are giving it the finishing touches and it should be out soon. Apart from it, there is a script called Vrindavan that I am writing for my wife. She will be directing it soon. I have finished my own feature film script too. I am casting for it. I hope to start my film soon.