His forthcoming Bollywood production “Naam Shabana” has been promoted extensively as a “spin-off” of his engaging and gripping 2015 directorial “Baby”. But filmmaker Neeraj Pandey firmly believes such “fancy words” don’t translate to impressive footfalls if content lacks quality.
“If it’s a good film, with a good script and performances, and it’s executed well, everything works. It’s not about whether a spin-off will work or not, or a sequel will work or not. Most importantly, it is whether film will work or not,” Pandey said.
“Nobody is going to go and see ‘Naam Shabana’ because of fancy words… Audiences make up their minds with the trailer, the cast, and how it looks, and the product has to fall in line as a good film,” added the reticent writer-filmmaker.
Given that “Baby” was really his baby, why didn’t he choose to direct it and instead just produced it and penned its screenplay? “Two reasons. I was wrapping up work on ‘M.S…’ while this was going on floors, so automatically I couldn’t be doing two films. Secondly, I liked the script and what director Shivam Nair wanted to do with the material… I was also looking at doing a film with him for a long time… So it just came out to be like that,” he said.
He says he wasn’t “controlling” the show, but he was sure since it was a spin-off in the making, it had to have the tone and tenor as close as possible to “Baby”. He was happy to “step back and let the director take over”.