In a recent panel discussion, along with a group of iconic directors, Karan Johar and Konkona Sen Sharma got candid about the doubts and insecurities one faces while daring to dream about directing.
In an informal, yearly discussion with The Film Companion, a unique panel of directors were invited this year to share their views on filmmaking, how they cast actors, how difficult it is to make a film, and often how lonely the journey can be, among other key topics.
When asked by the host Anupama Chopra, about her journey and experience as a filmmaker and if she ever felt doubtful or insecure or felt like giving up, a question reminiscent of last year guest SS Rajamouli’s sentiment, a bashful Konkona Sen Sharma answered, “I think that doubts happen all time, every day, even sitting here I am reminding myself that now the film is made, I don’t have to worry anymore.”
She continued, while also sharing an interesting anecdote about shooting The Mirror, “And I think that whenever you start anything creative, it’s really a sense of ‘I want to share this feeling’ of, what it is, you know, of the ‘experience of living.’ In some ways, like I had very few shooting days, because it’s [Lust Stories 2: The Mirror] a short film, there was no place or room for any doubt or anything because you have to finish [shooting]. Like one day, we were shooting 21 hours, I think, straight.”
Konkona Sen Sharma concluded with her words to the wise, “So, it’s like you have done all this major prep, so all your doubts and all, whatever you have usko hajam karna parega abhi. Now, you just have to go ahead and make the film. Otherwise, doubts are there all time every day, it’s just like hoping for the best for you.”
Karan Johar, when posed with the same question, opened up about his film Takht, which had been scheduled to go on floor April 2020, after two and a half years of preparation, but fell through due to the COVID pandemic. The second reason for him having doubts was because of COVID and the effect it might have on film theatres and the future of cinema.
After spending agonizing months doubting himself, doubting the film industry, as well as his film, Karan laughed while disclosing that he was “a sight not for sore eyes” as he looked like “a dead man walking” due to stress, till the premiere of Rocky Rani ki Prem Kahani.
He also revealed his habit of still writing with pen and paper in unreadable longform, instead of typing on laptop, and how he had formed a little ‘writer’s room’ with his Rocky Rani Ki Prem Kahani writers, Shashank, Ishita, and Sumit during the pandemic.