In Conversation with TV Writer and Short Filmmaker Manish Singh: On Sucks’S Story and More

Manish Singh is an Indian screenwriter and director. He started writing since 2007 and has written for few Hindi TV shows (CID, FIR,HEROES,Dilli Wali Thakur Gurls)  which include thrillers and comedy. Sucks’S story is his directorial debut and his 1st short film. In a casual conversation with MAM, Manish Singh speaks about the making of Sucks’S Story.

From being a writer for Television to making a short film, how has been the journey so far?

The journey was interesting…and is still going on…TV is a completely different world where we have to write within a fixed span of time.But short films or feature films are more special as we spend more time on it….writing for TV makes you feel busy while writing for short films make you feel relaxed.

Image- Director Manish SinghWhy have you explored the medium of a short film (Sucks’S Story) now for this tale?

Everyone asked me to make a feature film on this topic.But I feel in today’s time short films are like carbohydrates, like instant energy, the best way to tell a message.Feature films usually mean business.As of now I was just trying to experiment with this concept.But in future will try and make a feature on the same.

What inspired you to make Sucks’S Story and how different it is from any other attempts so far in showing the struggle of people who come down to the Mayanagari?

I used to see strugglers of different ages with the same dream.Wherever I used to go I saw group of strugglers discussing about their talent, body or struggle.This continued for years.Then I thought celebs are few and everyone knows them.But these people are still unknown and need an introduction in every meeting.Some leave their family and home to make it big without even being aware of the situation.Yes Mumbai is a place where talent is appreciated the most, but people forget that there are many things that come along the way with it. They don’t even have the proper guidance, when they realize it’s too late.

I started to talk to many of them and tried to know what made them come to Mumbai, everyone after seeing the strugglers think “kya soch ke aa jate hain yahan/ kahan se muh uthake aa jate ?” So I tried to understand the reasons which make them come here without any knowledge and guidance. Majority of the middle class guys were inspired from some interviews of the stars they read in some newspapers and magazines..And some were inspired from Hindi films.They think once they will be noticed by any Director or producer and they will train him and make a star.But later they realize they need to be trained which itself is quite expensive..And everyone can’t afford to do it..Eventually they face many other realities of life and become a part of the crowd.. Exceptions are always there.

Cinema has great power and has affected our lifestyle and approach towards life..If cinema can promote Friendship band for Friendship Day , Greeting cards for Valentine’s Day, different wines and costumes to party and impress opposite sex then cinema can also make us responsible towards society.

Sucks’S Story doesn’t end on a positive note or sound hopeful as it ends, was it deliberate? Why?

I wanted to give a message so I deliberately ended the film this way. The grass is greener on the other side.One decides to leave the industry while at the same time many decide to enter the industry.This is the reality of Mumbai.Every minute hundreds of youth come here to try their luck without knowing the reality.And being a film maker it’s my duty to show the reality and try to do something better for the society. Show the reality in an entertaining way.

How did you go about choosing/selecting the cast & crew for the short film?

That was the toughest job.Mostly people make short films with minimum artists and minimal locations..But I had 12 artists and many locations in the film.I had to wait for a long time to get all 12 artists ready for the film.And also I had to reshoot with different artist coz of some problems.Many actors and technicians were not willing to work for a short film but finally it all happened and I am thankful to each and everyone who helped me to complete this film.My DOP Madhavraj used to travel from Chennai to shoot this short film.Anurita Jha who played Shama Parveen in Gangs of wasseypur and Preeto in Jugni liked the script and she was ready for a friendly appearance in the film.

The film has a lot of outdoor shots, was it not tough in managing the same with permissions required etc?How did you manage it?

That was another challenge for me.We didn’t have any permission.We spent one full day in a train (mail/express) in a general compartment and travelled from Borivali to Dahanu.I was tensed if we will be able to shoot in the crowded train.But fortunately the crowd was excited to see the camera in the compartment and they supported us :).

Sucks'S Story 2What were the challenges involved in making Sucks’S Story and why?

Every step was a challenge.Convincing the female artists was tough.Some used to say yes and then disappear during the shoot or dubbing.I had to re-shoot a few scenes with different artists.Location was another problem but I still enjoyed the process and kept learning from every experience.

What do you feel about the medium of short films in India & how do you see the way forward?

It has a great future.People are getting more aware and fond of short films.It’s complete entertainment in a small package

Are there more short films in the pipeline from you? If yes could you tell us more about them?

Yes, I have already shot another film.It’s called “Seasons Greetings”.Finally in this film I have fewer artists..

In terms of the writing process,was it simple enough writing for Sucks’S Story compared to the TV shows you’ve written?Yes/No, explain?

Writing is mostly complicated.But writing for this film gave more satisfaction as a writer. Also may be because I had more liberty and time on my hands.

Why do you think the audience should watch something like Sucks’S Story when there’s so much content available online these days?

I guess this film will help the youth to understand the bitter truth and they can accordingly prepare themselves before landing in MayaNagri.And I didn’t ignore the entertainment part in the film too.I am glad people are loving the film and I get many calls from guys who recite the dialogues of this film… “aise logon ki bheed ho gai…../ ab kitne shaheed honge..”

We at MAM wish you all the very best for your future endeavours.

Synopsis of Sucks’S Story

The film depicts the consequences of manipulated Success Stories on the Indian middle class who are ignorant about the glamour world. It’s a short film about MayaNagri -Mumbai, the dreamland of India, where a single success story of a celeb attracts youth from all parts of India.

Given below is the trailer of Sucks’S Story

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