Talk to Nikhil Sinha and you will realize that he is a knowledgeable man with immense intelligence. He entered the world of Indian television as a cinematographer 14 years ago and then went on to direct shows like Yeh Pyaar Na Hoga Kam (Colors), Jhansi Ki Rani (Zee TV), Jai Shri Krishna (Colors), Prithvi Raj Chauhan (Star Plus) among others. Continuing his growth, he turned a producer by launching his production house Triangle Film Company. Triangle’s first venture was Baba Aiso Var Dhoondo on Imagine and now it has launched its new show, Devon Ke Dev…Mahadev on Life OK.
In a conversation with Tellychakkar.com, Nikhil talks about his new venture, Bollywood aspirations, personal life and lots more. Excerpts:
What are your expectations from Mahadev?
I have been a part of mythological shows for quite some time now. So I had the knowledge of the style of making such soaps. Mahadev is unique, has a beautiful storyline, and the canvas is vast. I am producing as well as directing it. Yes, I have a lot of expectations as it has been made with lot of love and hard work. And gladly the initial response has been very overwhelming and I hope viewers will love it in the future as well.
The show has a 20 min slot as compared to 30 or 25 mins. Has it made the entire process of show making a bit difficult?
Yes, it has. It is mytho show and you have to put in so much information in just 20 mins. Everyone has got used to the format of working for a 30-min or 25 min slot. It did take time for the creative team to align and get used to the 20 mins format. However, it’s quite fun and challenging at the same time. Less time means writing scripts with more precision and concision.
Okay. Rumours are making the rounds that Karan Johar watched Mahadev and he is planning to make a movie on it?
(Laughs) I have no idea about it. I know he is making a movie on a novel, but I don’t know if he liked Mahadev or not. But yes, if he did, I am glad about it.
Let’s go in a flashback mode a bit. From a DoP, to a director to a producer, it has been a long journey. How do you feel about it?
Well, it has been 14 years since I entered the television industry. I started as a DoP and after around seven to eight years, I became a director. Finally, I turned a producer with Baba Aiso Var Dhoondo. I would say that the growth has been a natural one. Yes, if you ask me what I enjoy doing the most, of course, it is directing. When I was a cinematographer, I was a strict boss, but as a director, I am more cool and level-headed as I have to handle a team which is working too hard to make a show successful. Yes, the journey has been a long one but also fruitful and enlightening.
Over the years, how has the scenario changed in the TV industry?
It has changed but the good thing is that trends keep on repeating in our industry. In the 1980s, shows were more story-driven. Then in the late 90s, creatives gave more emphasis on technicalities and went for sleek camera work, editing et al. But now, the trend of story or script driven shows have come back. People love to see stories which deal with emotions and relationships, like in Bade Achhe… Yes, opportunities are increasing and Indian TV industry is all set to conquer greater heights in the future.
What about reality shows?
Reality shows are good. They gain lot of TRPs but personally, I have never thought of making a reality show. I am more of a storyteller.
Who do you consider as your competitors in the TV industry?
I don’t think there is any competition. Yes, I do follow and keep a tap of what shows are being made by different production houses, but that is just an attempt to keep myself updated. See, there will be competition when there is only one seat and 40 students are aiming for it. In our industry, there are 40 seats for 40 students. There is enough space for everyone to work creatively and come out with good content.
What about your Bollywood aspirations?
I absolutely love films. I have already directed a movie Alha-Udal, which is going to hit the silver screen soon. One day, when the time is right, I would love to make movies. Currently, I am focusing only on television programming.
Now share something about your personal life…
Personal life is good. I am married and my wife’s name is Suhana. I also have a cute two-year old daughter named Ilvika. I met my wife on the sets of Hotel Kingston and later we fell in love. Initially, it was difficult for Suhana to adjust with the nature of my working, as you know we shoot for hours and hours without a break at times. But now she is understating, helpful and even assists me in my business. She is a great support in my life.
How do you unwind? Do you watch TV shows?
I do watch but now I don’t have much time. I was watching Bade Achhe… earlier. And when it comes to unwinding, I go out on vacations with my family, watch movies and read books. I love spending time with my family.
Finally, what are your future plans?
In the future, I want to make more good shows like Mahadev and keep entertaining viewers. And of course, slowly venture into films as well. I want people to know Triangle Film Company as a production house that makes superb TV shows and movies.