As Sacred Games 2 turns on its play, director Anurag Kashyap is clear that his work will not be dictated by who may think what of it – as it never has been. Of course, he shares, ‘Season 2 was more challenging and anxiety ridden since there were expectations . It was also much bigger. I also had to expand my own boundaries to be able to shoot some of the emotionally more difficult scenes,’ but he kept his focus right where it mattered – at the heart of the story – even as it grew along the way.
What distinguishes a good series as the web space gets crowded with more content?
When it stops catering to the perceived expectation of the invisible viewer and maintains its integrity, and is a story told well. The writing is the key.
What has been the biggest challenge while directing and producing web series vis-a-vis films?
You have to get them curious first, then keep them intrigued, then get them invested and satisfy in the end. That’s how a series has to be done. You have to work hard to keep them watching for a longer period of time.
The story or narrative evolves along the way as it is a long production schedule. As a rule do you follow what's writ in stone or do you allow for flexibility?
I like the flexibility. The narrative grows as you shoot and then when you edit. I don’t always follow what’s written but I also don’t stray too far.
A crew tale you'd never forget from the schedule.
Nawaz is scared of cold water and he had to swim in the ocean which was at 7 degrees. So I had to tell him the water is warm by being in it myself. I carried him on my shoulder so as to make sure he doesn’t touch the water to find out it’s cold, and then I dropped him in it and asked him to swim back to the blanket. And shot as he swam back.
What made you collaborate with Neeraj in Season 2?
I was happy and proud to be collaborating with Neeraj, though the decision was taken by Vikramaditya Motwane and Varun Grover. I was happy with it. I gifted him my favorite shoes as a metaphor for him being in my shoes.
How do two creative super brains - you and Vikramaditya Motwane - sort out their differences?
We don’t. One gives in to the other. In this case I would give in to him since he is the show runner. But not without a fight.
Text Soumya Mukerji