November 21, 2010 (Calcutta Tube): Renowned production designer Samir Chanda was in the city to discuss about his experiences about recreating the period of Lalon Fakir in the movie ‘Moner Manush’. IBNS correspondent was Supriyo Hazra caught up with Chanda in an informal chat. Excerpts:
Tell us something about your experiences while working in ‘Moner Manush’?
Experiences of working with Gautam da (Gautam Ghose) is itself very interesting. Especially when you are doing a period film. I feel that Gautam and the entire unit are like a family. I loved the experience. I enjoyed my work. Siliguri, where we shot was an excellent place. Given a chance I will come to North Bengal once again. It’s like coming to your home land.
How did it feel to work in a period movie?
It is a period film, though the city and the model were not there in the film. We replicated Kushtia. Kushtia has changed a lot. We recreated the ‘Akhara’ with the present material. One after another bouls (folk singers) kept coming, which was real fun. Overall it was magical.
A period film needs lots of research. How did you prepare?
Unfortunately, there is not much reference of Lalon Fakir. Even his photo was a drawing that was done by Rabindranath Tagore. Moreover, it was the old age of Lalon that was drawn by him in his drawing. So we had to think about his young age and how he might have looked. With our basic knowledge, research we tried to put the ambience of the film as close as possible.
Any particular incident or any scene that you felt was difficult to shoot?
Yes, we were shooting at Tangail in a building that belonged to Gaganhar Kora. There were lakhs of people, making it difficult to shoot. Ultimately the shoot was cancelled. We went to another village. It was a different date and date constraint was there, we did it. Early morning we started the job and completed it finally. It was tough but we did it. It was truly a challenge.
How was the experience of working with Prosenjit Chatterjee who has been acting in a number of experimental roles thee days?
He is an excellent actor there is no doubt in it. I feel that there are different parameters that an actor performs. He has gone through a phase when he has done all sorts of films. Actually when you are a professional actor you cannot be choosy. But he has given justice to all the characters he portrayed. Now he can be choosy with the roles. This is the right time for that.
Who was your inspiration when you started your career?
My ‘guru’ Nitish Roy was my true inspiration. I learned the basics of production from him. I was inspired by Bangshida’s work. Slowly and steadily I learnt.
Do you feel that there is a change in the trends of Bengali cinema these days?
I feel that there is a change. More intelligent people are coming in the industry. They know the budget and how to work here correctly and aesthetically.
Tell us something about your up coming projects?
Yes I have a big project at hand , like the film ‘Saat Khoon Maaf’ that is all set to release in February. Then there is another movie titled ‘Mausam’. It is directed by Pankaj Kapoor.
(Photos Avishek Mitra/IBNS)