"Films Are Cakewalk Compared To Series", Says Netflix's "Typewriter" Director Sujoy Ghosh

Vaishnavi Gavankar |Jul 17, 2019

"Badla" director Sujoy Ghosh released his short film "Ahalya" with Radhika Apte on YouTube in 2015.

National award-winning filmmaker Sujoy Ghosh, after making his superhits with "Kahaani" and "Badla" is stepping into the world of web series with his upcoming Netflix's horror web series, “Typewriter.”

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"Typewriter" is a horror series. A haunted house, a few kids who think they are Ghostbusters and a mystery that has an otherworldly appeal. Directed by Sujoy Ghosh, the trailer of the series sets up an interesting premise.

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The idea of haunted houses in horror films goes back in the decades. Be it Hollywood or Bollywood, the idea of an old mansion being haunted has always struck a chord with the audience and the formula still seems to work.

“There are certain rules of the ghost world which we follow. For example, if it’s a vampire, you will not let them go out in the sunlight. I don’t know who has made these rules but it’s easier for the audience to understand because those rules are established,” Ghosh told indianexpress.com.

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Sujoy Ghosh is a storyteller who knows how to shock his audience. "Kahaan", "Badla" and many of his other works have always had the element of surprise and Sujoy Ghosh feels that the shock value finds roots in the writing stage.

“I’ve realized it’s all about how you write the content. Irrespective of what I’m making, it could be a mystery, it could be a love story, it could be anything, doesn’t matter what story I’m saying, I need the audience to be invested and that’s the challenge".

Sujoy Ghosh shared some tricks and said, “When writing the content, you create the lull before the storm. That’s how I try to write. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.”

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Typewriter marks Sujoy Ghosh’s first project with Netflix but this isn’t his digital debut. Much before streaming services gained massive popularity in India, the "Badla" director released his short film "Ahalya" with Radhika Apte on YouTube in 2015. He shared that it took him about 3-4 years to decide to do Ahalya as even back then the internet was “chock-a-block with content.”

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"The reason I was scared to make "Ahalya" was that I didn’t know how to break out of this clutter. I didn’t know how to make a short film which will make the audience think ‘There are 50,000 short films, but today I will watch "Ahalya",’ How do I do that? And I realized the only way I can do it, is if I create content which people will talk about. So today if you talk about my content, I have made good content but if you don’t discuss, I haven’t. For me, that’s the only benchmark in this digital world,” Ghosh shared.

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“I feel there are some out there, who are not giving enough time to create a series. As a result, the quality suffers.” By Ghosh’s admission, writing a series is a hard task, “Films are a cakewalk compared to a series.”

Ghosh acknowledges that the Indian web content does not exist in its bubble but in fact, is competing with the web series produced by the rest of the world.

“Whoever is watching digital content, their expectation is very high. All of us started watching digital series from the West first before we started watching Indian content. We want the series to look a certain way. We want it to sound a certain way. We want the writing to be a certain way because subconsciously you are comparing it to other series.”

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"Typewriter", upon its release, will be available on the same platform as The Haunting of Hill House and Stranger Things. So, does that affect his style of filmmaking? To this, Sujoy said, “Technically it does, content-wise it doesn’t. The audience has to see my effort. You have to see that I have not taken it for granted.”

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Talking about "Typewriter" Sujoy revealed his experience and said, "I had to unlearn so much from my habit of writing the script of a film, which has a duration of just three hours. I have also written a short film, and this (web series) is such a long format of storytelling. I had a hard time in the beginning. The good thing is now that I am done with my first web series. I can write and direct another one with the ease I do a film. Creatively, I know the path," he added.

"Typewriter" premieres on Netflix on July 19.


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