Sartaj Singh Pannu all set with Soch Lo

Sartaj Singh Pannu all set with Soch Lo

August 26th, 2010  |  YahaWaha Published in Bollywood News & Gossips  |  7 Comments

Making Soch Lo was like climbing Mount Everest: Sartaj Singh Pannu

Trial by fire makes old school Bollywood come up with new-age cinema! Sun Entertainment presents director Sartaj Singh Pannu’s debut film as writer, director and actor, ‘Soch Lo’ (Mirage), which releases on August 27, 2010. ‘Soch Lo’ is the first ‘Indie’ film in India to upload its show reel on You Tube to accumulate funds for completion. The response was path breaking. Starting with US $400, the Producers raised funds of US$ 100,000 s through You Tube, friends, acquaintances and full length cutting edge flick was ready. The theatrical and look of the film scheduled for August 27 has already created curiosity within the youth on social networking sites.
The 7th script of the talented multifaceted personality, ‘Soch Lo’ (Mirage) stars Pannu, Barkha Madan (a former Miss India finalist and actress), K. P. Nishan, Himanshu Kohli and a model, Iris Maity. It has been shot at Jaisalmer, Ganpati Phule and Mumbai. The core team of Soch Lo has 27 graduates (mostly rank fresher) from the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) who have contributed in areas like acting, editing, music, sound and cinematography. Golden Globe Creations (GGC) will release the film in USA in Hindi and with English subtitles for mainstream American audience

Sartaj Singh Pannu has been working as a freelance Assistant Director to Hindi film directors in Mumbai. He always wanted to make a mainstream film with his style of film-making. He has written 6 scripts (he calls it the Bank of scripts ) which are still to be made into motion pictures, SOCH LO (Mirage) being the 7th of his scripts , is his debut film as writer, director and actor.  He tells us, “The idea of ‘Soch Lo’ was to make a student diploma film to showcase his talent. I wrote the script keeping with the aesthetics blending with a mainstream taste, yet new for Indian audience. asically a contained script for a quickie film, the script got bigger in scale gradually in the process of writing and so did the dream but the budget remained the same.”

Talking about the obstacles, Pannu says, “It was like climbing Mount Everest!! When I look back I have no idea how this film got done. The odds that were overcome were nothing short of miraculous. It started with me wanting to test myself as to whether I am capable enough to be a filmmaker. The chances of me getting a break were not that much, because I don’t gel with the existing system of the Indian film industry. I was a man of limited means and actually had a strong sense of conviction….ironically an overdose of conviction is not always appreciated here. That being said, I tried to get talent from NSD, FTII, etc since these were the people who have studied filmmaking are passionate to start with and they have that fire in their belly like my DOP Sandeep Patil.”

Talking about actors, Pannu says, “I was never in the running for the role of the protagonist, however, the person short listed walked out on me and that is when I decided to cast myself, since I did not want to risk my limited resources on people who were not able to keep their commitments. For the other actors, I actually chose them from various walks of life and trained them. They were selected cause I felt that they looked the part or enacted it in real life. This resulted in actors such as newcomer Himanshu Kohli and FTII’s KP Nishan, coming onto the project.”

Pannu contacted freshly passed out students from FTTI (PUNE) (India’s premier and oldest film institute), promised them little money, lotsa hard work and good content to work on. After the first schedule in (Jaisalmer ) Rajasthan the shoot was just  40% complete and it consumed the entire budget, but the film looked good on rushes. The show reel of Soch Lo  was cut and uploaded on You tube, and through You Tube Sartaj got the rest of his funds, yet the prime contributor was Sartaj’s brother  Karanbir Singh Pannu and SOCH LO, a   full length  film Hindi feature film was ready. Pannu brothers managed to raise funds three times to what they had initially budgeted.

“Due to budgetary constraints going to established music directors was out of the question. What I did was to go after talented musicians who were looking for a break. The musicians that I did end up working with, Nitesh Pires and Charu Mohan, gave me music that is very different from the run of the mill, yet very appealing. The music has a lot of fusion. There are three original songs in the soundtrack,” says Pannu.

The company exhausted its $50,000 budget (which was just on papers) within 7 days of shoot but went ahead with shooting for a total of 21 days because we had the stock, equipment and luckily the unit was absolute new, they demanded no immediate wages. Therefore shooting ran on credit. The company was in debt of $100,000 after the first schedule, hard to believe but trust in leadership and in the film gave hope to the unit and the local Line producer.

Indian labs RELIANCE MEDIA WORKS (Krishna Shetty) and QLAB gave credit on Processing, Digital Intermediate and Sound. Soch Lo was finally complete.

A thriller love drama, ‘Soch Lo’ is powered by very good cinematography with great sound with an entire new cast and crew. The film is about the disparity between Urban India and Rural India, how we think we have grown whereas in fact we have not, so it deals with what happens when you juxtapose the urban mindset in a rural setting. There are three spectrums, one about a brother sister relationship which deals with the past, then there is a husband and a wife who have had an arranged marriage and finally this commingling of the rural/urban process. While the film is targeting the youth of today, it is also a compelling watch for all ages, ethnicities and actually even a global mindset. It is for all the people who have fallen in love, gotten married and who also have to deal with the past baggage of the partners in a relationship

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