Talented actress Shreya Dhanwanthary is about to create history. She has just directed a series during the Corona lockdown from her home where all the actors have filmed themselves from their own homes.
Entitled A Viral Wedding, this lock-down series could be the beginning of the creation of a new kind of entertainment content during these times of social distancing.
Raj Nidimoru (one-half of the Raj-DK filmmaking duo who gave us Go Goan Gone, Stree and that fine web series The Family Man) informs, “A Viral Wedding is a series by a very talented actress turned director Shreya Dhanwanthary. I came up with the concept of a micro-series. Shreya wrote and directed it. All the actors filmed themselves. And Shreya directed them remotely.”
Says Shrew Dhanwanthary, “I guess we need to get used to virtual communication being the new norm. This is going to be it for a while. The idea of making A Viral Wedding came from a conversation with Raj Nidimoru. If it wasn’t for him this wouldn’t have happened. We were discussing how we should be able to make more films outside the paradigm of mainstream cinema. So Raj said, ‘Why don’t you do that?’ I thought, why not? And exactly at that time a fully-formed idea of A Viral Wedding rolled into my head as it did for J K Rowling. And the next day, I kid you not, I ended up writing all 9 episodes in 10 hours. Then I got in touch with my entire team.”
Everybody agreed to be part of this unique film.
Then, says Shreya, began the actual challenge of filming in isolation. “When it came down to actually filming it, the practical problems of directing the cast and crew in isolation propped up. I had lengthy discussions with each member of the cast and crew. We decided the angles, we did all the pre-production on Whatsapp. Each of the actors would do their take at home. I’d ask them to do a take then they’d send it to me on Google. I’d ask them to modify or change….so yeah, to say it was taxing would be an understatement. But it was fun.”
Shreya wanted a lighthearted take on the lockdown. “We could’ve taken a grim view. But we chose a bright path. But rooted in reality. I know this sounds cheesy. But A Viral Wedding comes from a sincere desire to entertain people who are locked away at home and to tell a story that was relevant but at the same time would bring a smile to glum faces. I hope they really like it.”
A Viral Wedding stars Sharib Hashmi, Mohit Raina, Amol Parasher, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Sunny Hinduja among others.