1. What inspired you to become a director?
Actually, I feel that the story telling technique in our country is not very rich. I was highly moved by the situation that I saw in our media industry, and felt I could make an impact. I wanted to tell stories in newer forms and techniques. My inspiration came from the situation engulfing our media industry, an industry rife with repetitive and stale stories and plots.
2. What was your first production as a director?
My first production was a telefilm named 'Urojahaj'. Besides, I worked on some one-episode dramas, such as “Sunchen Ekjon Radio Jockey r Golpo”. Later on, I worked on 'Houseful', my first drama serial, jointly with Eftekhar Fahmi which was aired in NTV. Presently, a few of my television productions are being aired on different channels.
3. What is your favorite production of all time?
Actually as a director, I need to watch a lot of movies. I look at works of many directors to learn about how they incorporate stories and narrate them systematically. I liked the work of Alejandro González Iñárritu in the movie Amores Perros and Quentin Tarantino in the movies Inglorious Bastards and Kill Bill. These movies strike my senses and I get a lot of inspiration from them. I think these are examples of great directorial and film making work.
4. Who have you enjoyed working with the most?
I like working with Mosharrof Karim and Sumaiya Shimu the most. I have a good understanding with them. I think, they can read my mind. They can give the expressions almost exactly the way I want them to perform. Their expression, acting talent and nature of work makes my job of direction easier.
5. What is your most embarrassing experience as a director? Did you ever make a mess of things?
Actually, directing undertakes a lot of patience and dedication along with talent. Sometimes it happens that I have to accept a lot of plan in the process! And sometimes, the situation or environment keeps me from doing things I would like. Besides, technical problems come up too. I was working on the movie 'Chorabali' sometime ago. We had a technical problem regarding our car mount (equipment for camera adjustment to take car scenes). We had to use a truck as an adjuster to 35 mm camera in a scene where Indranil was kidnapping Jaya. The viewers could not identify the problem since the truck was not very high and we did our job successfully. So, as a director, you always have to improvise so that you can avoid making a mess!
6. What are the common challenges you face as a director in Bangladesh?
Most of our problems are regarding technical equipment and budget. We are always under the required budget and we need to complete a production maintaining a certain level of quality. We lack good post production units in Bangladesh. Therefore, we have to go to India or Thailand for post-production which causes our expenses to rise. We could save a lot of money if there were enough post production units. Besides, we lack good producers to work on different types of stories. We need smart producers who will encourage unique ideas of a director and take a few smart risks so that he can work with freedom.
7. What is missing from overall media today? What do you think?
The upsetting thing is that we lack good movies. It is due to many factors: lack of talented script writers or lack of inventive producers. Our script writers need to incorporate unique ideas and producers need to market them in such a way so that they reach the viewers easily. Script, production and direction, if blended together with perfection, bring success for the industry. We have no schools for television and media studies, technical learning or post production. Our artists need to learn things on their own. Moreover, insufficiency of talented artists is another factor constraining the growth of the industry.
8. Television directors are often seen making movies. Do you think that television direction is a starting point for movie making?
From general point of view, the television production is not a place to start working for movie making. But due to the unavailability of any learning schools in our country, a director has no better option to start his career. This is the only way to learn the trade. No producer will sponsor the work of a director who has no experience, and with good reason. Therefore, television production in Bangladesh is very much grounds to justify someone's talent in movie making. However, one needs to come out of the psychological construct of television production while making a movie.
9. What would be your word of advice for those who want to enter the world of making TV dramas?
First of all, we have to remember that the viewers are smarter these days. Due to technological advancement, they have access to a lot of alternatives. A director needs to be careful about his storytelling technique. Besides, he has to ensure the diversity in storyline and presentation. He has to introduce new character to attract the attention of the audience. Finally, there is no alternative to dedication and hard work, but that's true for every sphere of work.
10. Where do you like to see yourself after ten years from now? Do you always want to be a director?
I would like to stick to movie making and direction. I would like to see our movies becoming commercially released in international markets as the Bollywood or Korean movies do rather than competing only in festivals. We have to make good movies and develop a connection to the outer world. We need to brand our movies in order to earn international acclaims. I am highly optimistic that our market will grow. In fact, we are improving very rapidly. Recently, our young artists and directors are coming up with newer ideas and productions. If we can improve our projection system, distribution system and infrastructure, we can bring our viewers back to the theatre – and reach new ones in countries which do not yet know that we exist.