Niraj Kumar Mishra who has helmed and set up many successful television shows has been busy exploring work on different mediums.
After his successful debut stint as Writer on the big screen with Baaghi 2, Niraj is presently the Showrunner and Writer of Ishq Aaj Kal, the Creative Eye series that streams on ZEE5.
The series has received a great response from masses, and Niraj shares with us his experience of executing this particular series and also talks on his creative journey so far.
You have had a long and exciting creative career. Tell us about your memorable outings (in terms of work).
Oh yes, exciting and adventurous too, because being a creative I believe in exploring every aspect of audio-visual storytelling. And that’s why I keep pushing my limit, it helps me to learn and excel simultaneously. In terms of memorable outings, well there are so many in my list, but last year Baaghi 2 and this year ‘Ishq Aaj Kal’ are the most exciting ones, because Baaghi 2 successfully tested me as a film writer for the first time and Ishq Aaj Kal has given me opportunity to play the double role, as a Showrunner and as well as a writer.
You have had success in all the mediums, TV, movies and web. Which is more satisfying?
In fact all the mediums, and when we talk about the word ‘satisfying’, for me it literally means how did I translate a ‘written story’ into an ‘audio-visual story’. Medium could be any, but it always feels great and satisfying when a written content seamlessly converts into a great entertainer on the screen.
You have taken over the mantle of being a Showrunner of Ishq Aaj Kal. How has the journey been?
It’s always fun to do short formats, because you get some extra time and your attention to detail is far greater. From setting up the tone of the show in terms of writing to shaping up the execution plan with technicians, you are involved everywhere in detail. Also, time and resources are better; so it enhances the quality of final product. Ishq Aaj Kal has been very satisfying except some hiccups here and there.
You have contributed as writer too.
Yes I did contribute as a storywriter for Season 2 which would be on-air on 25thof July.
Tell us about your recent work on TV and web space.
Couple of television shows and web series are in process. I did broad story of Silsila Season 2 on Voot, Ishq Aaj Kal which is on-air where I’m working as a story writer for next season as well as a Showrunner. One more show is in the process with a big web platform as a storywriter, and it will be declared soon. Couple movies are in process. So touchwood, overall happy environment in terms of workflow, God is kind.
What are your aspirations as a creative guy from here?
Aspiration is the same, continue as a writer and a Showrunner, primarily for web and films and then simultaneously explore the new territory of full-fledged film direction.
Wondered about the thought of turning Producer one day?
Well I’m very passionate about this medium and that’s the reason I’m exploring all the territories. I strongly believe a person who understands writing, direction and overall execution of the content, could be a very sensible producer. So yes, turning Producer one day is definitely on the chart.
Take us through the idea behind this concept Ishq Aaj Kal.
Ishq Aaj Kal is a quest of a daughter whose father is missing and how she eventually falls in love with the enemy and their emotional dilemma once truth comes out. A dark history, which burdens a beautiful love story.
How easy or tough was it to pull out the cast you have?
Definitely it was tough, we went through series of process. Initially we aimed for A-list actors but then our creative thoughts collided with commercial constraints and we had to change the entire cast all over again. Finally we found the balance between commerce and creative with current bunch of actors. Shagun Jaswal boarded the wagon one night before we were leaving for our outdoor shoot in Manali. So yes, casting was definitely not easy but we got good ensemble colorful cast for the show. Ankita Sharma, Angad Hasija, they are fab and look good together, Roshmi Banik is new to fiction, and she is trying her best to match others. Shaghun Jaswal fits the character, rest Rajesh Khera, Paras Kalnawat, Kavita Ghai and Kunal Nirola are flawless.
What can viewers expect from this series.
Fusion of web and television, a smooth bridge to enhance the taste of television audience in terms of quality content and taking them to the web platform.
Silsila will end soon. Any thoughts on that…
Had commitment for 64 eps only and then Ishq Aaj Kal came on my shoulder, so for the time being its over for me and I’m no more part of the extension episodes. Though I’m working on other projects with Sphere Origins. Hope soon you’ll see something very interesting on the screen.
How different was Silsila when compared to Ishq in terms of creativity.
Ishq Aaj Kal is a ‘romantic thriller’ with multiple tracks, story flows in different timelines with loads of skeleton hidden in the closet of dark history. On the other hand Silsila is a hardcore ‘relationship drama’, primarily amongst four people.
What is coming in the near future..
Loads of stuff in films, web series and television shows, working on all the formats relentlessly.