A few years back, it was difficult to get in touch with the Ramsays. The brothers rarely had press outings. For a Bollywood horror fan, that was a tragedy. One could only pray that they decide to return to films and therefore, back to the press circuit. Our prayers were met the Ramsays got back to making films – this time for the web.
Saasha Ramsay is one of the few blue-bloods of Bollywood. A member of the third generation of the first family of Bollywood horror, she did a web series titled ‘Phir Se Ramsay’ for a 101 India. Saamri.com got in touch with the young director and had a chat. She spoke to us about the series, her thoughts on horror and her future plans.
How was your experience making ‘Phir Se Ramsay’?
When we started the show, it was very nice. There was a lot of buzz and people were very excited. It was consciously made to become a cult show. Because the channel that was involved, they wanted to pitch it as a cult one. So, the graphics, the music and the look of the show is very consciously made to look like what it used to be like. But they changed the titles without me knowing. That really affected the show. I had done a Twilight story, and the story was initially called ‘Illusions’, and they titled it ‘Khoon ki Pyaas’ (The Thirst for Blood). There was this story about Halloween. A bunch of youth go have a Halloween party and I shot it like that. I wanted to title it Halloween, and they titled it ‘Besabar Kabar’ (The impatient coffin). When I saw the uploads, I was really disappointed. I stopped talking about it. On the whole, the content is better than the packaging.
Looking at the storylines, they are much different than what we see on a regular basis in Bollywood horror films. Was that a conscious decision?
When we picked the stories, we bounced a couple of stories to 101. We very consciously picked the stories. For example, the dance bar story, it happens to a lot of women today. Post 35, they got through this crisis. They give all their lives and then they get to know that they are not working, and that’s because youth is not in your favor. But they are still living in the illusion that… I personally feel that anything that has a human connect and a human touch will connect to the audiences. You cannot be superficial. Even if we speak about the witch story, it’s got some kind of connect which is very realistic. It can happen with anything, that you are in a villa and somebody just comes in and you are trapped. I tried to pick stories which have a connect and are in the realistic space.
So, Why A Webseries?
Digital reaches people. The reach is global. You can talk your mind. It’s just that a lot of people have not been doing that. I think it is the one space where you can talk your mind and digital is zooming ahead, I feel that it’s in every hand. You have one TV in the home, but every person has an access to watch digital content. I think it is only getting bigger and bigger.
What goes behind picking the cast of a Ramsay series?
The Halloween Night required a bunch of kids, they were brought together very consciously. In the Bar Girl story, there was this girl called Sarah Khan. She is a very popular TV girl and a fabulous actor. Like the story of the witch, it’s got Pavitra Punya, she is a popular TV girl also. We had a bunch of good actors. We clearly followed the story.
Web isn’t the medium where you see the face and click, it is not a starstruck medium. It is a content-driven medium. Whoever suits your concept and script, that’s the right way of going about it.
Blood has come back to the screens with your stories. How important is gore for you?
See, I have always been told that we should always follow the content and the story. If the story requires pulp and gore, then you should put it in there. But as a filmmaker, you should not start your day with thinking that ‘I will put blood and gore and all that’. I think, you should always make your draft and then see the ingredients that are required.
Coming to stories, we haven’t had a real slasher film for India. Do you think the Indian audiences are now ready for a slasher film?
I think the Indian audience is ready now, for a varied type of content. There are some really bizarre films that are appreciated. With digital coming in, its global. With digital coming in, you can’t fool the audience. Now you can’t go out there and get films back home.
These films were under 10 minutes. Do you think the directors should strive to go for the lowest duration?
I think the duration for web should not be more than 10-12 minutes. The web is a free time medium. On an average, in one go, you will only get 10 to 12 minutes.
You will not get a 40 minute slot in digital. TV is ‘mumma’s medium. Mumma can watch 28 minutes in a day and follow up with the ads.
The digital audience is an impatient audience. I think for digital, you should tell your story in 10-12 minutes.
So, what are your favourite Horror films?
I love ‘Evil Dead’ as a film. The remake of ‘Evil Dead’ really scared me. I am also a huge fan of ‘The Conjuring’.
What’s next from the Ramsay stables now?
Watch this space, that’s all I can say for now.
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