“The Gone Game”, a Murder mystery, with the Pandemic as the backdrop for Voot Select Produced by Bodhitree with Sukesh Motwani at the helm shot this whole series during this lockdown. The shooting was done remotely with no physical contact but the Production house made sure that the quality was not compromised.
Sukesh Motwani, Founder & Director of Bodhitree and also functions as its Chief Creative Officer. His experience encompasses the entire gamut of the media business right from content production to broadcasting over a period of two decades. He takes us through this journey of shooting during the pandemic.
Storytelling for the web is different from traditional storytelling, your thoughts?
Web storytelling is more about the individual in the backdrop of a society or social mechanism whereas television GEC storytelling is more about family/community viewing. Web storytelling has to cater to the individual and hence can bring out darker, more nuanced, bolder aspects of life and society also the opportunity to tell a taut thrilling engaging story in just 8-10 episodes unlike a soap which is almost an experience of sharing a life with its characters on a daily basis
The lockdown has opened up a lot of experimentation, shooting a 1 min is not very difficult but to do a series with so many actors how was it managed?
I completely endorse the fact that this pandemic has truly made us push our boundaries. This lockdown may has bound us to our homes but it surely has let our imagination fly. The Gone Game is product of that.
We invested time and energy in preparing the team and our actors through various workshops and virtual meetings. We discussed every little nuance to make this web series look as good as a regular web series. We welcomed ideas that could be implemented and that made everyone feel involved in the entire process.
How did the DOP shoot the sequences? Also how did he manage the technicalities remotely?
The DOP played a major role in maintain continuity for the entire show. We did not want the audience to feel that our actors were shooting remotely in the safety of their own homes. Piyush Puty firstly identified appropriate spaces in each actor’s house and then went on to educate them about how to create a block, light it and then act. It was a learning experience for everyone and I must applaud the collective effort put in by all to make this web series.
How did you achieve the high quality production?
We conducted numerous workshops with the team and the actors to bring everyone on the same page. We also religiously conducted workshops and rehearsals ensure unhindered shoots. Our Director and DOP Piyush Puty also went the extra mile to select the perfect spots in the house, create the block, light it and allow the actors to act.
We also relied on a few professional apps to get quality shots. Finally, it helped that everyone was onboard that this shoot was going to take way longer than a regular shoot and gave it their best effort.
Normal shoot entails a whole bunch of people how was all the paraphernalia managed?
Yes, this was unlike any other shoot we have done in the past. No actor shared a single frame together and yet when you see the show it comes across like any regular show. Intense planning, regular communications and constant monitoring via video calls made this possible. We also had the support of the actors and their families who went the extra mile to make this happen with the limited means that we had.