Sachin Pathak makes his directorial debut with Rangbaaz Phirse, which has opened to rave reviews since it’s release on 20 December 2019. However, he is not new and has been an assistant to Nishikant Kamat who directed movies like Madaari, Drishyam and Dombivali Fast. He tells us about the early pressure he put on himself to make the second season on Rangbaaz and tells us who he was most afraid of approaching on the set.
Here’s some of the early reviews of the show.
1. Rangbaaz Season one was already ZEE5’s most-watched show. How was it to pick the show as your directorial debut?
In the beginning there was a little pressure, I put on myself. I wanted it to be bigger and better than the first one. That’s why I wanted to do it at live locations because there I can open the frames which would make it look like it’s on a bigger scale. After a few days the pressure went away because we could see that it was turning out good.
2. How did you deal with the pressure of working with such an established cast on your debut?
The actors actually supported me in the early phases. Some of them, I had worked with before like, Jimmy Sir and Sharad Sir. They were such good actors on set that I sometimes felt ‘How can I tell them anything!’, but then there were times when I wanted something specific for a scene and I would tell them. They were quite happy to take the advice and I knew I was safe.
3. Did it help that you were working with Siddharth Mishra, the same writer for both seasons of Rangbaaz?
I was already impressed by Siddharth Mishra because a lot of lines from the first season were put on t-shirts and became quite popular. When I met him and spoke to him we discussed the script together and became good friends. He used to be on set every day and would sit next to me looking at the monitor. He became like a bouncing board for me. We would discuss ideas on how to make the scene better and if we needed to write anything more he was right there. So I think from the next project onwards I am going to put it in my contract asking for the writer to be on set at all times (laughs).
4. The trailer of the show crossed 7 million views on YouTube. What was the reaction you received for the show?
For me this is all a new feeling. The show release is like my first Friday and I’m enjoying it with child-like enthusiasm. The other day when I was watching an India versus West Indies cricket match, a 30-second promo of Rangbaaz played. When I saw that at home, my wife and I danced for the next 3 minutes. It can’t get bigger than that. I feel lucky to have all this.
5. You’ve worked on many other projects under Nishikant Kamat (Director, Actor) for 14 years. How much has that experience helped you?
It has helped me a lot. When I started working under Nishi sir, I knew that I did not want to rush this. Some others that started with me, went much ahead, some faltered. But I wanted to be sure that I can make it on my own. When I was working under Nishi Sir there would be moments where I wouldn’t have any idea what to do but he would walk in and sort the situation like it was nothing. I knew I wasn’t good enough till I didn’t have that. He came to the set after 20 days and he said it was going well. Then he directly saw the final work and he was very happy with what he saw.
6. What was your bonding like with the actors on set?
One of the tricks to making quick friends is to have a sense of humour, and I have that. So I found it really easy to bond with the other actors in two days. I make friends very easily even if I go to college today I have to meet so many people in a 500-meter stretch. So I am blessed with a lot of friends.
7. Who was the real Rangbaaz for you on set?
For me the real Rangbaaz is Sushant sir. I had already worked with Jimmy Sheirgill and Sharad Kelkar before this, even Spruha Joshi is a friend from my college days. What happened with Sushant is that he was quite silent on set the first few days because he was in character. So I would check and go if I had to tell him anything. After a few days he started opening up and telling stories from his career of over 30 years. So I would say Sushant Singh was the real Rangbaaz for me.
8. How much has Digital content and OTT platforms changed the way you work?
Basically when I started I would do one film in two or three years. I was writing lyrics to survive, I am a Marathi lyricist for almost 30-35 songs. I started out shooting on film and we didn’t have digital yet. Now there’s so much work on OTT that no assistant or crew is free now. Earlier that was not the case. This is a blessed generation to work in. If I had started working now I wouldn’t have to wait 15 years to make my debut I would do it in 8-10 years.
9. The theme for the show is #NotBornACriminal. Do you feel it justifies the show?
To some extent yes you can blame the system for pushing certain people into crime. But there is always a choice in what life you choose for yourself. So once they choose that life then they have to face the consequences of it, which is shown in our show as well.
Watch all the episodes of Rangbaaz Phirse, streaming on ZEE5. Tell us how much you enjoyed the second season of Rangbaaz in the comments below.