When you have a TV producer who is also a writer, he or she understands the creative aspects of the product better rather than concentrating too much on commercial aspects which no doubt are very important.
In this scenario we caught up with successful Writer turned Producer Sonali Jaffar (Full House Media) who at the moment is producing Tujhse Hai Raabta ( Zee TV) and Mere Hanikarak Biwi (&TV).
Tujhse Hai Raabta your Zee TV show is doing well?
Yes I am glad that the story based on mother daughter equation is picking up; the current wedding track will give it further ballast.
You have set the show in Maharashtra, does regionalization work?
Being Maharashtrian myself, I always wanted to make a show rooted in my culture, but was always discouraged saying that Marathi folks are more tuned into regional content. But yet I went ahead and am glad, for we have found a strong audience up North as well. Guess the matriarchal family and power that women enjoy here appeals to them more. It is human nature to appreciate what you don’t normally get.
You have mostly taken Marathi actors (Poorva Gokhale, Savita Prabhune) for the same show?
It was a conscious decision to suit the set up; the only non Marathi actors in our cast are leads Reem Shaikh and Sehban Azim. But they too have become like us not due to birth by the sheer numbers of years they have spent in Mumbai.
The concept of Meri Hanikarak Biwi (male impotency) is bold?
The writer in me always wants to push the envelope. This risk is cemented by my belief that audience too wants relief from saas -bahu crap. I wanted to explore what a male goes through when he can’t father a child. For me a true man is someone who stands up for the truth. My protagonist unlike others of his ilk also will not shift the blame for his inadequacies on his better half. The motto is to show that that even small section of men too are victims of patriarchal society. The success of films like Shubh Mangal Savdhan is proof of the same. I am glad that &TV liked my above idea, for other channels were not comfortable with its differentiated concept. I have also not needed to change my story due to S P norms, what you see is my original thought. The fact that we are into our second year is indicative of our success.
What went wrong with your other recent STAR Bharat show, Papa By Chance?
Nothing, ideally we should have been given more time, two months was too less to achieve some huge results. Our decent enough numbers were more or less to what the slot was anyways garnering. But I don’t question the channel for we have great equation going courtesy, Bahu Hamari Rajni Kant.
There is lot of chatter about web series, what do u feel about it viz viz TV
Both have completely different ideologies. With the latter being more personal in nature, you can go edgier. The tube on the other hand is more family friendly; hence its stories have to be universally acceptable. The youth is certainly shifting more to digital content. For the moment I am happy with my small screen space and don’t want to put my hand in too many pies.
You first got noticed as a producer with Bahu Hamari Rajni Kant?
This property will always be closest to my heart for it changed the face of TV. People started to focus on content rather than just hook points. Here I will also give full credit to my husband Aamir for having put our money where our mouth is.
As a producer do ratings now concern you more than when you only wrote?
Having written a lot for Balaji, I would always make it a point back then as well to get ratings for a lot was riding on me. There always has to be a balance between creativity and what sells.