Gurmeet Singh moves from working on films like ‘Don’ to the streaming world with ‘Inside Edge’. With a filmography spanning 18 years, Gurmeet knows the film world quite well. He has donned the assistant director’s hat for films like ‘Gandhi my Father’ and ‘Jodha Akbar’.
He then went on to direct films like ‘Warning’, ‘Sharafat Gayi Tel Lene’ and ‘What The Fish’. He is now an associate producer for the controversial series that talks about a cricketing franchise in India. With so many controversies surrounding the series and so many questions raised, we got in touch with Gurmeet to clear the air about the series.
How did ‘Inside Edge’ happen?
Karan Anshuman and I go way back. ‘Inside Edge’ was his idea and perception. He has always had this interest in franchise cricket and what makes it click. It gives the possibility of a lot of drama and fiction. A lot of Indians are interested in cricket. So, he got me involved and we built the project together.
We have heard that ‘Inside Edge’ is made on a very big scale, with lavish sets and all that. Can you comment on that?
The term ‘web series’ is used quite lightly nowadays. We see a lot of independently produced content that’s on the video platforms like YouTube. ‘Inside Edge’ is of a pattern that the international shows follow. Amazon Prime has international series that are made at a huge scale. ‘Inside Edge’ matches the scale at which a foreign web series or a full fledged film is made.
How different is it shooting a web series as compared to a film?
A series involves a lot more work. A feature film is a 100 meter race and a series is a marathon. There’s a lot more content and we are shooting all of it together. It requires a lot more effort from everyone involved and also more time and patience. We are shooting a lot more than what we would for a feature film. Apart from that, the process remains very much similar to a film.
Most of the cast are having their web debuts. How was the experience working with them?
As far as the actors were concerned, once they got into the world of ‘Inside Edge’, everyone was very enthusiastic to put it through.
We were keen to get a cast on board that’d be keen to experiment with this format. We were very lucky. Whether it was Richa, Vivek, Sanjay Suri, Manu Rishi, Angad Bedi, everyone was very cooperative. They were backing us and were supportive when needed.
There’s this talk that the series is based on real life events and also about the sexual content. Can you comment on that?
Inside Edge is absolutely fictional. It is not based on any real characters. Sexual content is not forcibly placed. It is part of the story. It is obviously a lot more matured than the general content that we see on cinema screens. But that can’t be the driving force. We had to concentrate on the story.
Out of all the characters, who’s your favourite?
I am too close to the series to have any favourites. There are too many things that I am attached to so selecting a favourite would be difficult.
Do you think sexually explicit content will make web films work?
See, like other mediums, even this one will settle down and find its own path. Naturally, the audience will always come back to see something that they are hooked on to. If something is explicit, at best, we get some eyeballs, post that, the quality of the product will have to take over. I don’t think showing explicit content should be the way forward. I still think that the story should take prominence.
Most Indian web films have a duration of 7 to 10 minutes. Do you think that’s a staple duration for Indian film-makers of web series now?
The beauty of the web platform is that there’s freedom to stay away from limitations such are time, or a star, or look, or set modules and music. I think that’s the freedom that everyone should be enticed by. In our case, we have 40 minute episodes.The non standardisation of such aspects is something that should entice.
Lastly, do you think web series will be the end of theaters?
Nobody expected it to start off so fast and spreading so quickly. When it comes to films on television, you don’t have the freedom to watch what you want when you want it. This format is Video on Demand, which gives the audience that freedom. This is catching on very fast. Because of data charges dropping, mobile phones are available everywhere. So, it will take some time to take over the tv circuit. The streaming medium is for an audience that’s untapped, the one that doesn’t have the time to wait for some program at a set time.
‘Inside Edge’ will stream on Amazon Prime from 10th July. You can watch the trailer here: