Sourav Baishya is a budding filmmaker from Assam who debuted with the found footage genre movie Kahinir Aror Kahini, which is currently streaming on YouTube.
One really needs to have immense guts to debut as a filmmaker with the found footage, which is a less explored genre in the Indian film industry.
The Story Mug caught up with Sourav Baishya and learnt more about his career and why he made his first film in the found footage genre.
TSM: Why did you decide to try found footage- a genre that is not so popular in the regional film industry yet?
Sourav Baishya: I was working on an Assamese feature film called Chirag, but due to some financial problems the project had to be cancelled.
After the shooting got stalled, people began to ask us several questions regarding the film and most of them wanted to know when we were going to release the film and what was causing the delay.
It was then when I decided to make a film with the experience I gained while trying to make Chirag, however, my pockets were empty!
I decided to make a film with a low budget and as I was researching for a topic for the film, I came across the found footage style of filmmaking and Kahinir Aror Kahini took shape in the found footage style.
TSM: From where did you draw inspiration for the movie?
Sourav Baishya: I have watched several found footage films. But The Blair Witch Project left an impression on me and it inspired me to make my film.
The way The Blair Witch Project was shot, its execution, presentation, acting, and direction were perfect.
TSM: What were the challenges that you faced while shooting?
Sourav Baishya: We had a modest budget, because of which we had to compromise with some sequences. Moreover, we also could not shoot some scenes that were originally in the script.
TSM: How many days did you take to complete the movie?
Sourav Baishya: The entire movie was shot in nine days.
TSM: The dialogues looked impromptu- were they?
Sourav Baishya: The film had a proper script and dialogues were as per the script. However, a few scenes and a few dialogues were improvised on the set. Around 20 per cent of dialogues, you can say, were impromptu.
TSM: Has there been any backlash from the people of Mayong for the subject you chose?
Sourav Baishya: No, not at all. The place where the incidents occur has been named Kalpanapur. Since it's a fictional place, so there is no chance of a backlash
TSM: Was Sanjib Da's character for real or it was just the ghost playing games with them since the beginning?
Sourav Baishya: It's up to the audiences to decide.
TSM: Is Chirag shelved?
Sourav Baishya: It is, kind of shelved! However, if we gt any producer then we will reshoot the film.
TSM: Since when are you into the world of filmmaking?
Sourav Baishya: Since my college days, say from 2012 onwards.
TSM: Can you tell a bit about your past and future projects?
Sourav Baishya: I have made several short films since 2012 and Chirag was my first big project, which sadly could not be completed.
Then in 2016, I was an assistant director to Sanjib Dey while he was making III Smoking Barrels- India's first multi-lingual feature film.
After that, I directed Kahinir Aror Kahini.
Recently, I have completed my second feature film named Khyonachar (Momentary) featuring Kulada Kumar Bhattacharjee, Layan Ranjan, Madhurima Choudhry, and Himanshu Gogoi in the leads. I plan to release the film once the situation normalises a bit.
Presently, I am editing a feature film named Amitabh directed by Dibosh Darshan. I have also done the cinematography for this film.
Moreover, I am also working on my next project which will be a suspense thriller film.
TSM: Who is your favourite filmmaker?
Sourav Baishya: I do not have a favourite filmmaker in particular.
TSM: Any message for the budding filmmakers?
Sourav Baishya: As I am also a budding filmmaker, I have learned a few lessons and had some sweet and sour experiences in this short span of time.
One thing I would like to tell the young filmmakers is that one should not waste time looking for a producer.
If one has creative ideas then one can make it on a zero budget, using the mobile phone or a small handicam.
If the idea is good enough then one doesn't need to find a producer, as producers will knock on the door. But, it will take some time.
The Story Mug, a Guwahati-based blogzine, believes in telling stories that matter.