Apoorva Lakhia

Apoorva Lakhia, best known for his works like Shootout at Lokhandwala, Mission Istanbul and Haseena Parkar, is all set to venture into the web space. The director is making his OTT debut with Voot's Crackdown, having an ensemble of Saqib Saleem, Iqbal Khan, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Waluscha De Sousa, Rajesh Tailang.

In conversation with International Business Times, India, Apoorva talked more about his web debut, how he feels filmmaking has changed since the time he debuted as a film director and will we see him helming lighter genres.

Excerpts from the interview:

The trailer is intriguing and has subtle hints of various subplots. Tell us more about Crackdown?

If I compare, the closest example will be of an onion. The show has various layers into it. Although. I have not made the show in hope to change the planet. It is a commercial show based in the contemporary world. The larger theme gets triggered from one instance which happens during the course of the show. It's a pretty fast-paced show with 25-30 min per episode and can be binge-watched in 4 hours.

Watch the trailer here:

What made you say Yes to this one, considering it was your Web show debut?

For someone who is in the creative field, it's nice to experiment with different genres; different aspects of filmmaking. When I met with the production house Voot, they also wanted to do a different show. During the meeting, we were on the same wavelength- something that is fast paced and contemporary. And while films are made for 2-2.5 hours, I wanted to take this challenge of making content for 4-5 hours and make it as interesting as possible. In films, you have songs, comedy scenes, etc. On OTT we have so many options it's easy to move on to some other portal. So I took it as a challenge.

Back in 2003, when you made your film debut with Mumbai Se Aaaya Mera Dost, how much of a difference do you see in terms of directing a film and all the intricacies that are involved.

Of course, it has changed. More professionalism has come into it. Now, actors are hungrier because there is much more competition, and so many platforms where they can prove themselves. The talent pool has increased and people can audition from any part of the world. The technology has changed a lot; the equipment you get to experiment with. When we, as a director, watch some amazing show, we become intrigued how did they actually do it. So, we have come a long way.

What about the religious undertones in the trailer?

There is no real undertone and none of us was ever trying to give a message. I believe in doing subjects which entertain me. As far as the dialogues, it has come out of situations that character faces in the show. We have branded a person, a community or a profession, because there are one or two bad apples. Eventually, the show is about terrorism and protecting the country which is so diverse- with different cast and creed. It all came up during the script. We were worried these dialogues should not go in the trailer but I had to fight for them because I truly believed in them.

Apoorva Lakhia

Your projects have usually dealt with dark topics- Drama, Thriller, Action. What attracts you to this genre?

I can work on projects only which I like to do. There were a lot of films which I thought were good but didn't work and vice versa. When I made Shootout at Lokhandwala, I didn't think it was going to be as big a hit it became. It was a film extremely violent for that time. It had a micro focal point which was the location- the Lokhandwala complex. But, that kind of worked. I like to make films where I have to research and I feel satisfied with character development. I am not a very busy director in that sense and average out 3-3.5 years per project. I keep reading scripts in the meantime too.

Will the audience ever get to see you helm a lighter genre, say Comedy or Romance?

You see, Comedy is a very difficult genre. And I don't think people will understand my sense of humour anyway, because they are politically so incorrect that I can get arrested. But it is still a pipeline dream. There was this one time, I went to a producer with a romantic script. At first, he had a good laugh at me and gave me another script which had 50 guys being shot in the first sequence itself. That's my life now.