I have always been an incredible fan of the thriller genre where there is an unknown or a known element which is out to kill at random a group of people trapped in a certain situation whether it is Ridley Scott’s ‘Alien’ or John Carpenter’s “The Thing”. Not to forget the “Blair Witch Project” in which the genius of the concept has gone to the extent of not showing the antagonist at all. I have titled my film based on this concept as ‘AGYAAT’ meaning the unknown.
Thrillers of this kind are a very popular genre abroad, not to forget the success of numerous dubbed one’s here in India as well. But as yet no film in the same genre has been seriously attempted with Indian actors with a story designed for Indian audience. This movie’s intention would be to explore that and also would be about the emotional complexities that extreme fear would unleash and how the triumph of human spirit refuses to give in even against impossible odds.
A film unit on a shoot in a far away land and in a certain situation gets trapped deep in a forest and one by one the members start getting killed. They all are terrified not knowing whether it is a man or an animal or a creature or what?
Why I selected a film unit to be the protagonists for this story is because a film unit is literally like a walking office in terms of its various hierarchical elements.
A star who is obsessed with himself, a leading lady who bears with him because of his stardom, a director who thinks he will be the next Steven Spielberg, a producer who thinks that the director is screwing up his film, an assistant director who has a crush on the heroine, a script girl who has quite a few things for the assistant director, a frustrated action director who has a hidden maniacal streak in him, a highly subservient spot boy with a very perverted agenda, are just a few of the assorted characters in this story.
Whatever the entity is as it hunts them down, their suppressed passions come forth and they realize that it is not only their lives they are fighting for but it is also for their loves. As they are killed one after the other the remaining desperate characters struggle to survive the entity which is not visible to them, faster than them, smarter than them and hell bent on destroying them.
The film will be very near to a reality show in a certain sense as in putting a set of people in a certain situation and to see what happens to them.
It will have a cast of unknown or little known actors based on the complete suitability of the way the characters are written in the script.
The entity in the film is really a premise and what really is exciting for me in the story is the human drama of how in a given situation the whole film unit’s hierarchical differences get erased and all of them become as human as anybody else when faced with death.
To capture how their attitudes, personalities and inter-relationships change rapidly in the face of the impending danger is what for me is the most exciting and challenging part.
I am intending to start the film in December and finish the principal photography by January 1st week. There will be quite a lot of Special EFX work after that which will take as long as is required to get the intended effect. The movie will be ready for release in May/June 2009.