'The way you tell the story matters the most'

Candid

After making his directorial debut with the realistic film Gulaab Gang in 2014, Soumik Sen is all set to give goose bumps to the audience with the upcoming horror show Darr Sab Ko Lagta Hai. The first (out of 26) episode of the series, which stars actor Vidya Malwade, has been directed by Sen.

Talking about what goes into making a spine-chilling horror fiction, he says, “Though the visual and sound effects contribute to creating an atmosphere of fear and thrill, the way you tell thestory matters the most.”

He adds that identifying what the story demands is a crucial aspect of directing and thus, “when you try to tell something, tell it with confidence,” he tells Metrolife.

Agreeing that horror is one of the most challenging genres, and scaring people can prove to be a quite a feat, Sen  points out that it entirely depends on the person and what he or she fears. “Some people get scared easily by small things,” Sen says, amusingly.

Horror fiction has been popular in India with directors like Ramsay brothers and Ram Gopal Verma exploring the genre with movies like Veerana and Bhoot respectively. But ask Sen about his favourites, and he says “According to me the greatest Indian horror film of all times is Satyajit Ray’s Monihara(‘The Lost Jewels’), a short story written by Rabindranath Tagore.” Adding that Japanese horror movies are the most popular ones from around the world these days, Sen says that diversity exists within the genre with various forms of horror like possession, psychological, supernatural and the ‘undead’.

“People like to watch movies like The Grudge because of its goriness. On other hand, psychological horror films like Black Water also have a wide audience because of the
non-human conditions they depict,” Sen tells Metrolife.

Sen, who has written screenplays for movies like Anthony Kaun Hai?, Ru Ba Ru, Meerabai Not Out and Hum Tum Aur Ghost, while admitting that horror is not his personal favourite, says that he was always keen on directing a horror movie.

“When I was approached by &TV I thought it as a great opportunity,” he says.

Talking about directing for the small screen, Sen says, “There is not much difference in directing for the small screen and directing a film because it’s no longer a ‘small screen’, as it has a huge number of followers.”

He explains that the sole difference in directing for small screen lies in the way one tells the story. “On television you can’t stretch the story as it has to be kept within a fixed format, so it can’t be too long,” he says.

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