Shreekrishna Padhye, an award-winning writer-director, talks about the challenges of being an independent filmmaker

His last film Miss-Connecting, a 10-minute short has garnered over 130,000 views on YouTube

author_img Ayesha T Published :  14th April 2022 05:20 PM   |   Published :   |  14th April 2022 05:20 PM
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In an age when filmmaking is a lot more democratic than it was earlier, many independent Indian filmmakers are establishing themselves in the overseas market with their interesting repertoire of work. Among them is Indian-born Shreekrishna Padhye. The young writer-director is most well-known for his short film Misprision, a crime thriller, that won him several awards including Best Crime Drama at the Five Continents International Film Festival in 2017. Shreekrishna was back in the news when he like many  other filmmakers across the globe wrote and produced a film remotely. Titled Miss-Connecting, the 10-minute short has garnered over 130,000 views on YouTube. In an interview with Indulge, Shreekrishna tells us about how challenging it is to get started as an independent writer and filmmaker, and what it really takes to establish oneself. Excerpts:

It's very interesting to see your journey but it wouldn't have been an easy one. Tell us about the struggles and rejections you faced?
Yes, the career of a writer isn’t a walk in the park, and it’s definitely been a struggle to get movies made. There's tough competition for writing jobs and I do face my share of rejections but they don’t hurt a lot because it’s part of the calculus of being a writer. You know the odds are stacked against you. What’s more challenging is the struggle to get a script you’ve written produced. Back in 2016 I had a meeting with a producer about a script I had just finished writing. We met over coffee to discuss. He liked the script and it felt like a great match. However when I followed up with him a week later to see if he would come on board, he said he had too many other films that were going into production and was stretched thin. So he passed on the project. 

Tell us about your films that you have worked on so far. How exciting was it? Any anecdotes?
I’ve worked on multiples short films and a music video. I’ve written comedies, horrors, thrillers, dramas and each of them posed a unique challenge and I got to learn something new new. When I was making Misprision, we worked on a tight budget and we weren’t able to secure the location for filming the final scene of the movie. And the final scene of the movie was crucial to show our main character's transformation - a law enforcement officer decides to not turn in the thief in his custody but let him go free. The movie wouldn’t work without this scene but because we didn’t get the location in time, we thought we would do a reshoot and film the final scene another day. Unfortunately due to time and budget constraints the reshoot didn’t happen. We would’ve been forced to leave the movie incomplete but thankfully going through the extra footage we found a shot of our main characters car driving down the dark road stop, and then make a u-turn and drive back. This shot helped us finish our movie.

What genres do you want to experiment with now?
My first film, Sick Leave was a comedy but I hadn’t written another comedy for a while. This upcoming project that I am working on called Supernatural is a dark comedy and I’m excited to explore this space space again. Writing comedy is tricky because you don’t just have to write compelling scenes with dramatic tension, you also have to be aware of the pace of the scenes and the dialogues. Good comedy needs proper rhythm it’s almost like music. You build tension and then at precisely the right moment, like popping a balloon, you have to release it.

Which contemporary writers do you like to read? 
I like reading pretty much all genres, recently I’ve read books by Haruki Murakami, Stephen King, George Saunders, Lee Child, John Grisham and Chetan Bhagat.

What are you working on next?
I’m working on a TV series called Supernatural with Intrigue Entertainment and a feature film titled Underwater Phoenix with 80/20 Pictures.

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