Dramatically driven

Deepak Chavan thrives on drama and rightfully so as he is ruling the telly world with his straight-from-the heart style of delivering hits through potboiler serials, writes Shilpi Madan
Last Updated : 02 March 2019, 19:30 IST
Last Updated : 02 March 2019, 19:30 IST

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You can count his famous game-changer shows on your finger tips Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki, Kkusum, Kasam Se, Udaan, Sanskaar, Devanshi, Kumkum Bhagya... Television serial director Deepak Chavan has played a crucial role in determining their skyrocketing TRPs. Yet, being a man of few words, DC is amazingly honest when it comes to speaking his mind.

Prod him about the content of the current crop of serials and he responds with ease.

Tamas released in 1988. It was a hit. The content of that show was super interesting and kept the audience glued to their television sets. So I think it is all about the content, the way a story is executed. There was a demand for good content among the audience back then and there is a demand for good content even now,” he explains with candour, and adds, “When it comes to the shows that I direct, middle-aged women and housewives are my main audience. It has always been that way.”

Never one for basking in the glory of his success, Chavan is extremely modest and looks at conquering higher horizons all the time.

“I am never satisfied with my work. Also, in the industry you get your next show based on your last show. I have always given equal importance, hard work and dedication to each show I have taken on, and it makes me feel proud to have been a part of such stellar picks. But I am always striving to improve. My recent show, Devanshi, is something I am proud to be part of. It is a heartening moment, having strangers walking up to me and praising my work, telling me how much they loved the show.”

Pressures of work

Of course, time constraints play into the scene while working with the medium of television. “Like a film can afford a six-day shoot sequence, but a telly serial director has to finish the same six-day sequence in just one shift. That is a pretty challenging aspect of my work, but then again, experience, dedication and hard work flow in to take over,” says Chavan, favouring the old school ways. He is frank about the pressure cooker dynamics of the telly industry as well. “In 1984-1985, in India, there used to be these 52-episode/26-episode series that were shot, edited and telecast. Even international shows were telecast after shooting and editing. But the scenario is different now,” points out Chavan. “A tedious and hectic work schedule has come into play, posing health threats in the longer run. Shooting for 12 hours straight every day is very hectic. Make it 15 hours including the travelling. So, I feel like if we can do things like we did earlier, there would be amazing and positive changes in the quality of the shows, and also in the health of every person associated with the show,” he says.

Comedy is tough

Chavan’s forte is drama. Nudge him about comedy and he promptly retorts, “I simply cannot do comedy. For me, it is a big, tough task to make people laugh. I am very comfortable with drama. In fact, I always make it a point to analyse the first five episodes of any TV serial, as I believe that you never stop learning. I have learned something from every show I have worked in. There is always room for inspiration and curiosity. And I like to stay inspired.”

Galvanised by the same philosophy, he debuted with Kyunki Saas.... but hasn’t let the fame fill his head. Cut to KumKum Bhagya that he is working on at the moment.

“I am still putting in as much hard work as I have put in during my first serial,” he confesses, though the dynamics of direction have changed radically. “I have learnt to keep up with technology to make things easier for me as well as for the rest of the crew,” he says.

Published 02 March 2019, 19:30 IST

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