OTTplay talks to the in-form Arvind Kashyap on his maiden gig as a film producer, working with friends and lots more.
Last Updated: 05.27 PM, Jul 28, 2023
"I finally understand the pressures of a film producer," says Arvind Kashyap, the man behind the lens on some of the best Kannada successes of recent times - Kantara and 777 Charlie. The reason Arvind speaks about his empathy for producers, of course, is that he has himself forayed into production with the latest attraction Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare, a film that he has also shot with a lot of fervour.
"There's a lot on your plate in terms of responsibility. Too many things, too many processes to take care of and perhaps as many things to be worried about. But it feels really good to have gone through all that because it's for something we all are very proud of, especially considering the way the film has come out. And the fact that we have made it completely on our own is quite rewarding," says Arvind Kashyap in a conversation with OTTplay.
But not many would know that Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare has been in the making for quite some time, or even the fact that three of the four producers of the film - Arvind, Nithin Krishnamurthy and Prajwal BP - go back a long way. The three met on the sets of Pawan Kumar's Lucia as ADs and have remained close friends since then, deciding to make a film together at some point.
"The reason I got on board as a producer is mainly because the content felt so fresh and the film of this kind hasn't been attempted before. There are very few reference points to this film, to be honest. And on top of that, we felt that conventional producers might not be able to fully grasp what we were attempting and we didn't know how we could convince them, so we dropped the idea of approaching someone entirely. But beyond all that, the main reason to self-fund the film is that we trusted the content immensely. It just looked like a good investment," says Arvind.
Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare would later be picked by Rakshit Shetty, who would present the film under his banner of Paramvah Studios. Along with that, the film received a lot of support from other bigwigs in the industry such as Rishab Shetty, Raj B. Shetty and Dhruva Sarja. Rishab, along with Ramya, Diganth Manchale, Pawan Kumar and Shine Shetty, makes a special cameo appearance in the film.
Arvind Kashyap's main responsibility, though, was as the cinematographer of the film and unlike his previous outings, this one required him to be a lot more involved. Those who have watched the film realize that Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare plays out as a 'meta' film which is rendered (almost) completely in POV style, meaning that Arvind and his camera are part of the cast. Perhaps, it didn't help his cause that the film is inherently quite unrestrained and chaotic which also meant that he had on his toes at all times.
As a footnote, he tells us that almost every scene in Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare is a single-take, with each lasting easily four to five minutes. "We would move in-between floors of the building during the take with the camera and I wasn't prepared for these kinds of challenges. Technically, this format revealed itself to be completely new to me and every day, we would find new ways to strike that balance between keeping it chaotic and also very cinematic. Don't forget that the film you see is shot by someone who is an amateur filmmaker in the film. So, I had to also make sure that none of it looks super professional either," he offers.
"A usual day on the sets of Hostel Hudugaru Bekadiggare would start around 2 am, which is when we woke up after grinding it out the previous night. Rehearsals would start around 5 in the evening and there have been so many when the shoot did not start until 12 in the night. But between midnight and 5 am, we would have got more than 20 shots. In fact, we must have spent more time rehearsing than shooting because this film would not have been possible without rehearsals"
Would Arvind Kashyap be interested in taking on a similar project anytime in the future? "I doubt I would even produce another film like Hostel Hudugaru Bekagiddare, let alone shoot it!" he quips.
Jokes aside, Arvind and the rest of the Hudugaru are certainly a happy bunch right now as their film continues to yield great results at the box office. Despite the stiff competition that the Hollywood biggies like Oppenheimer, Barbie and Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning Part One offered, the Kannada film has held its own and is well on course to become the latest 'sleeper hit'.