Director's Cut: Neeraj Pandey on Khakee: The Bihar Chapter, 'I have an obsession with stories not with any particular genre'

Filmmaker opens up about his production venture and more

Lipika VarmaUpdated: Monday, November 14, 2022, 11:58 PM IST
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Neeraj Pandey |

Neeraj Pandey’s upcoming production venture is titled Khakee: The Bihar Chapter. The web series is directed by Bhav Dhulia and stars Karan Tacker, Ashutosh Rana, Avinash Tiwary and Nikita Dutta. It will premiere on Netflix on November 25. Neeraj speaks exclusively to The Free Press Journal about the show and more.

The show’s title is intriguing. When asked to elaborate about it, Neeraj shares, “Basically, it is going to tell the story of IPS and every season the state is going to be different. Season one is going to be The Bihar Chapter. If we get the kind of response we are expecting, then season two will be based on a totally different case with a totally different character. This is the overall vision of the show. The trailer is doing very well.”

When we point out to Neeraj about his obsession with khakee, pat comes the reply, “There is no obsession. You like a story and want to tell a story. It’s the obsession with stories not with any particular colour or genre. It’s more to be on the lookout for a good subject, which the audience will like.”

When asked if this project should have been a theatrical release, Neeraj explains, “It is a series of seven episodes. It’s not a film. Most of the episodes are 45/50 minutes long. It’s almost seven hours of content. Naturally, it will only come on OTT and we can showcase it in an elaborate manner.”

Neeraj has helmed successful films like M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, Baby and Special 26. When quizzed about his big screen plans as a director, he reveals, “We are starting soon. I am starting shooting a film later this month and we will be wrapping in January/February, so that is going to be a theatrical release. We will talk about it on a different call.”

When asked how he looks at directorial journey as he is considered one of the most reliable directors on OTT platforms as well as the big screen, Neeraj states, “I am grateful if audiences wait for my films/series. Also, it makes me more responsible and accountable for all my next ventures. My next has to be better than my previous one. It keeps us on our toes more than anything else.”

Opening about what genre he would like to explore, he says, “If any good stories allure me or anyone from our team, I would definitely like to chase it.The genres are opening with new storytelling that comes into play. We are always on the lookout.”

On a parting note, he talks about whether he prefers directing episodic shows or films. “I have to tell the story in the most effective manner so the basic approach is no different. It’s nothing like you can be laid back if you are working for OTT. You are still accountable and work in the same manner. Yes, time consumption is more when compared to a film. Khakee: The Bihar Chapter has been directed by Bhav. Even if I am involved in a subject, I prefer to have another director so the work is shared and sharing of the workload helps the series,” he concludes.

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