Candid chat with Shakti Anand  

Daily soap quality suffers due to assembly line shooting style: Shakti Anand  

Talented and experienced actor, Shakti Anand, who plays an important role in new Colors show, Vish Ya Amrit Sitara, says that the initial episodes will set up the story before the real drama began. “My king character has jailed four vish kanyas for unknown reasons. Only time will tell whether his actions were justified or not. The lead girl, Sitara (Adaa Khan), will do what it takes to protect her poison woman family.”

Here Shakti admits that in most dailies, post few episodes where a lot of attention is paid to detailing, the main story follows the assembly line phenomena, thereby affecting creativity. “But this is bound to happen, for we work in a set-up where you have to deliver five episodes every week. Things are further complicated because stories are changed and characters get bumped off due rating spikes and dips. In all this, you also need to accommodate lead actors’ needs to get breaks,” says Shakti, who has done several shows like Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi, Saara Akaash, Sambhav Asambhav, Ek Ladki Anjaani Si, etc.

“No wonder, quality of web series, which are offering competition to TV, is much better, for firstly, they pre-shoot the entire series, then properly edit it before going live. Since you don’t have a chance to second guess, the makers get the best of business. Let’s face it, this is made possible with some platforms (Netflix and Amazon Prime) having huge budgets. While a long-winding TV show is made for around 7-8 lac per episode, mega web shows cost around 1-2 crore (per episode) to make.”

Ask why big digital series makers shy away from hiring TV actors, he says, “Well, one reason could be that daily soap actors can’t give out more than one or two days at a stretch, while web projects require 2-3 months of dedicated work to wrap up 13-episode series, which are like 13 one-hour films.”

In closing, we ask Shakti what went wrong with his last show, Mayavi Maling, which again was a fantasy, he says, “I guess everything, right from the story to the casting. What is a bigger failure than a serial which took a year to shoot and wrapped up in just 3 months flat?”

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