Vinay Sapru and Radhika Rao are taking a new step towards digital series, and speak to Shubarna Mukerji Shu about their journey so far…
You have worked with the biggest names in Bollywood, from Salman Khan to even Sonakshi Sinha… what has your Bollywood experience been like?
Vinay : Well, as far as Salman Khan is a concerned… it was.. is and always will be awe inspiring and a great privilege…
Radhika: Salman pushes us to excellence… and we always give our best with him…
Vinay: As far as Sonakshi is concerned we directed her song for her debut film Dabangg so I & Radhika know her since then…
Radhika: Sonakshi is so disciplined and a directors delight to be working with…takes our brief and situations 2 notches above with her own contributions to a scene out shot.
Given you started your career as directors with Salman Khan’s “Lucky – No time for love’, for sure your equation with him would be unparalleled as compared to others.
Vinay: Before Lucky we were directing videos… and Salman had been following our work and later we came to know he always liked our work… which was such an delight while we were directing him in Lucky… gave us immense confidence… the thought that he was always an admirer of our work.
Radhika: Working on the first film with him was an enriching experience… he never made us feel that we directing our first film and was always guiding and helping us with a vast and rich experience he had. The association we started from Lucky is still continued in Dabanng, Dabangg 2, Jai Ho… Prem Ratan Dhan Payo… where we directed songs for him…
Vinay: His support has been immense and very inspiring, as I said, he has built our confidence too.
Since you have worked closely on all Salman Kahn films, which of his costars were a pleasure to direct?
Vinay: All three, Sonakshi, Sonam and Daisy are good & special… its like you asking the father who is your favorite child.
Radhika: while that is true, since we have directed Sonakshi for her debut film so we have a slight emotional tilt towards her… However, all three are gorgeous and a joy to work with.
How is directing music video different from directing a film?
Radhika: For us directing music videos and a film is almost a same except for the length and duration. The music video is a short film of 3 minutes as against 2 hours plus the feature film.
Vinay: Otherwise all the effort of story, visualization, art, costume, casting etc… everything is same..!
Educate us a little on direction especially a video? How does it work?
Vinay: Both music and movies have their own share of challenges and comfort zone. So both cannot be compared. One is a short form movie and other is a long form movie… so everything is same… except maybe the time that takes to make is little more in film as it is a 2 hour narrative.
Radhika: Both brings to life our world of fairytales.
Which stars would you like to direct?
Vinay: Well for us Salman Khan had been the forever kinda Prince charming around which we write & design our stories… always when we think of a hero it’s his face and personality that drives the visual.
Radhika: However in the younger lot Ranbir Kapoor, Ranveer Singh, Alia Bhatt, Shraddha Kapoor… all are very talented and must be a joy to work with.
What has been your biggest challenge while pitching actors opposite Salman Khan, given we have to match up to his charisma?
Vinay: It is true that he overshadows everyone, so it is very difficult, and more so when we were looking out for a new girl to cast in Lucky… then one day Salman’s sister Arpita introduced us to her college class mate from Bandra and Salman also liked her and so Sneha Ullal was on board as Lucky…
Radhika: A very hard working and committed actress she is. She was always ready to walk that extra mile in the rough cold terrains of Saint Petersburg… in Russia. It was a challenge and a treat to direct her.
How would you put your journey so far?
Vinay Sapru : It has almost been a dream run since our first song that we directed for Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan… and then LataMangeshkar, AshaBhonlse, Jagjit Singh… you name a singer and musician we have worked with all… a complete honour and pleasure for us… a satisfying and enriching journey… but still lots to do…
Radhika Rao: And icing on the cake was directing Salman Khan for our first film “Lucky… ” it was a dream come true… beacuse he was the first Hero whose “Maine Pyaar Kiya” poster I had put it in my almirah… when I was a teenager… So God has been kind…
Vinay: And now with STK being such a big musical success… recently somebody told us it has gone more than 100 millions views on your tube… so on n all very creatively satisfying journey.