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Interview with Ajay Bhuyan
Date: 27 September 2012, Hyderabad
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Ajay Bhuyan is an alumnus from IIT, IIM and a film school from New York. He has followed his passion and came to film industry. He has directed two Telugu films and one Hindi film so far. He debut film and second release Houseful is releasing on 28 September. Here are the excerpts -


I am born and brought up in Hyderabad. I have studied till +2 in Hyderabad. I have done my graduation in IIT, Delhi and post-graduation in IIM, Bangalore. I have worked for Procter & Gamble in Singapore for two years. I have used the money earned in Singapore job to finance my film course at New York University. After doing my course, I have worked as 7th assistant to the Hollywood film ‘Inside Man’. The director Spike Lee was an alumnus from my college. My job for ‘Inside Man’ is to take care of costumes.

I came to Hyderabad and met D Suresh Babu. He advised that I need practical experience in order to direct a Telugu film. I have worked as one of the assistant directors for Tulasi film. Art director has quit during the making and I have taken over the production design of Tulasi film. During that time I got introduced to Chandra Siddhardha who was directing Madhumasam for Suresh Productions. I joined him as production designer for his next film Idi Sangathi. I have narrated a low-budget film story and he liked it. That is how Houseful was made in 26 working days and under a budget of 1 crore rupees. We had run into censor issues due to certain adult-related content and it was stuck in cans for a couple of years.

I met Chandan Reddy during that time and he was looking for an action story for Naga Chaitanya. I wrote an action script and Chandan liked it. But they felt that Naga Chaitanya is too young to justify that script. Then I wrote another story and it was made into Dhada. They saw Housefull film and gave me the opportunity to direct Dhada.

What is the reason for failure of Dhada?
The film took too long to make. We got greedy about quality and precision. We visited each country 3-4 tmes to get the best of locations. In the process, we lost the basic essence of film making. I got carried away because producer didn’t put any lid on budget. Two villains can sit over a coffee table and talk. In stead, I have asked for a chopper for that scene. We used 100’s of dancers and shot each song for 6 days. I shot each song of Houseful in 2 days. I think the luxury spoiled me. I think pressure gets the best out of a director than comfort and luxury.

What is Houseful about?
It is a simple romantic comedy narrated in Rashomon type of screenplay. There will be three points of views from Vipin (romance), Aryan (thriller) and Ali (crime comedy).

IIT, IIM, Singapore job - you had an exceptional academic and job career. Are you satisfied with the way film industry treating you?
I like it this way. I love cinema and I am more excited and satisfied than most of my colleagues who are still pursuing high-paying jobs.

I still remember the days when I saw Jaws when I was a kid. I used think that cinemas are actual happenings. I used to ask my mom why nothing exciting like Jaws happen around us. Then she explained me that cinemas are staged stories, not real happenings. I think I was fascinated by films since then and wanted to become a filmmaker.

Did you film education help?
We learn about core essence and story telling on the location. But the experience you get in film school is from the colleagues. You get to see people from different cultures coming to film school. One of my film schools friends is a Columbia drug-lord’s son.

What is your next film?
My next film is a Bollywood project which is featuring Virdas as male lead. It has a Ben Stiller / Adam Sandler kind of characterization. The male lead suffers with an obsessive compulsory disorder. He is so disciplined that he has a big list made for every activity he does in life. We shot the entire film and edited it in just 36 days. The entire film is ready. We are looking for either November 2012 or February 2013 release.

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