‘The viewer is an important stakeholder’ — Saad Khan

The actor-director says he creates content keeping the audience in mind

Saad, wears many hats including writer, director and improv comic.

Under his company FirstAction Studio, Saad has produced content including films such as Station, Love and She as well as the famous Humble Politician Nograj, which made Danish Sait a household name.

Saad, who describes himself as a “typical Bengaluru huduga”, (boy) talks to MetroPlus about his passion for films and what makes him tick in the creative world.

Edited excerpts.

Why was Humble Politician Nograj made into a series?

It is a new show. The film ended with Nagraj becoming an MLA. The series takes off from where the film ended. It is like a sequel and we decided to make it into a series thanks to the way digital content is thriving.

You have dabbled in horror and comedy. Which is easier, making people laugh or scaring them?

(Laughs) That is tough to say. It is difficult to get and keep people’s attention for any content you create. There is so much content on offer and people have short attention spans. As a director, my aim is to create content that will capture the audience’ mind instantly otherwise they are bound to lose interest. I believe in the three ‘E’s in mind — entertainment, engagement and enlightenment. Even if one or two of these touches the viewer, then I believe we have fared well.

It is important to always think about the audience when I am creating content. They are the consumers of the product we create. They also become advertisers with praise or criticism through word of mouth.

When I write, I ask myself, why would I pay to watch something? For me, the audience is an important stakeholder.

Where do you draw your inspiration from? Has the pandemic affected your creative process?

I make it point not to dive into anything if it does not excite me. One has to strive at every step. When the film, Humble politician Nograj, was released, I would sit in the theatre with the audience. If they did not enjoy a particular scene, then I knew, that area needed to be worked upon.

What are your plans for 2022?

I am working on a Telugu film, titled Sangeeth. It is a romantic comedy, produced by Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Chandru Manohar. The film will go on floors in February. We have two web series in the pipeline.

Could you share a treasured memory from your journey in the world of theatre and cinema?

My very first interview, that appeared in The Hindu, when I was just starting out. I was just 17, I was a brash teenager and walked into The Hindu office. I met the city editor, who asked me my age and seemed amused. He started talking to me and I responded enthusiastically. I thought it was just an introductory chat and that I would be sent away politely. To my pleasant surprise, however, he suddenly picked up his intercom and asked the photographer to come into his cabin. When the photographer began to take my picture I realised that he had interviewed me. That is one of my fondest memories.

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