Navjot Gulati made a short film Best Girlfriend with TV stars Kritika Kamra and Vikrant Massey. Read on to know how he managed to made a short film in minimal resources.
Tell us about you and your team (if you have) in brief
I am a feature film writer turned director. Best Girlfriend was my attempt at direction. Have been in Mumbai for six years now. The film i wrote called Running Shaadi.com releases this year. It has been Produced by Shoojit Sircar and directed by famous Director of Photography Amit Roy. I have a lot of friends in and around Versova who are always willing to work with me, they are all a part of my team.
How did you come up with the idea of this particular short film?
The idea came from Amit Roy. We were discussing short films one fine day and he told me about a friend of his who went through something like how the story of Best Girlfriend pans out. I was immediately hooked and decided to try and write it. 3 hours later i had a first draft. I then made it read to a lot of friends, did multiple drafts over weeks. Some were for it. Some against it. Infact one of my friends. Akshay Roy an upcoming filmmaker had told me to not make the film after reading the script very strongly but after seeing the first cut he said that i proved him wrong. That was a sweet victory of sorts.
What all prominent “Jugaads” did you do to make the film with minimal resources?
The house that i shot in is owned by my friend Gautam Kishanchandani . He is the casting director of Dev D and No One Killed Jessica. He was gracious enough to let me use it for a day. The second house was of Sharon Flynn who was also an AD on the film. Her family not only gave us their house for free and even gave us awesome dinner.
I got Kritika Kamra a prominent tv celebrity who is soon going to break into films because she was a friend and i will always be grateful to her for it. I got Vikrant Massey also a tv star through my casting director friend Abhishek Banerjee and Anmol Ahuja. All other actors like Raghav Kakkar, Pravina Deshpande and debutant Sumit Arora were sourced by Anmol.
DOP Santosh Vasandi is a friend. The editor Mohit Chatterjee is an ex flatmate who works with Movies Now. I got him in return of a dinner treat. He keeps pestering me to pay him though. I got post production and VFX done at Qlabs and Pixion through Abhishek Banerjee and a friend named Dikshant Gaurav Kala. All the ad’s Parijat, Sharon and Siddharth Daape did it for the experience of working on the film.
Only thing that i spent money on was food on set. Props. Lights,Sound and Camera and the wrap party. So yeah. A LOT of Jugaads.
What recognition did you get for this short film?
It has been liked by many people inside the industry. I keep getting asked to send the film for random festivals but i’m not interested. I will send it to some foreign film festival if they promise me free tickets and stay ;).
The film has just touched 1 million views on Youtube as a result of which i have got many offers to direct stuff for Internet. The best however is that a big production house called me after watching the short and asked me if i have a feature i want to direct. I sent them the script. They read and like it. In talks with them. Possibly my first film will happen with them. Lets see. Fingers crossed.
What advice with you give new / aspiring film-makers on making a low budget film?
Beg borrow steal. Do whatever. Just make the film but only if and when you have a good and interesting story to tell. Don’t make a film unless you believe that it works on paper.
To Know more about Navjot, click here.
To see his movie, Best girlfriend, click here.
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