JAMES ERISKINE & RAVI BHAGCHANDKA
Interview By: Hasti Doshi
The movie ‘Sachin- A billion dreams’ will be a chance for Tendulkar fans to get a glimpse of the inner life of the master blaster. The producer Ravi and the director James had a great time working on this film and it was also a task to portray Sachin’s entire journey and his personal life. James Erskine is an Emmy-nominated documentary director and acclaimed narrative film-maker. We had a one to one conversation with film director James Erskine and producer Ravi Bhagchand here’s what they have to share with us about the film. Read On…
As a producer and director what kind of potential you see in Sachin’s story which made you do this film?
James- I was coming from outside so I didn’t know much I thought it would be a unique story of Sachin who is a historic athletic and an extraordinary person. So I can tell the story of India of last 30 years relating to him, I was really interested to tell these two stories coming together.
Ravi- Growing up in India so obviously I am fan boy. When I met him I told him that your story needs to be told, because you have always known on the field and nothing from personal life. So what we tried to do is while those glorious or low cricketing moments were happening we were trying to get into his head to know what was happening and in family, fans and kids. We have shown his journey parallel to India’s journey as well. It’s an inspirational story of a global hero and such kind of madness to follow him. We came to know that in innings entire India gets so much of cheering in stadium which Sachin used to get in single cover drive. The generations want to watch his story no matter any age the person is people will always remember him.
James- Yes, Story of the god, story of the man, story of the country.
James had you seen Sachin play live before or known about his remarkable journey?
Yeah I have seen him playing and I knew about his cricket journey and how important cricketer he was. But I followed it on sports pages and news pages.
No one is particularly casted for the film, so what was the reason or idea behind?
Ravi- There are two to three reasons. There is connectivity which is you have seen him day in and day out for 24 years and followed him, so due respect to all the actors, I couldn’t relate to any for him. Like for ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ Farhan was outstanding but no one have really saw Milkha so people related to the hero in film but in case of Sachin I wanted him to tell his own story.
James- Everybody is asking why Sachin has shot himself, it’s because we are watching a genius who is very different to what actors pretend to be. Films like Azhar, he was a very talented batsman and also Dhoni but he is not considered to be the greatest of all time. That’s why it becomes very hard to convince people watching, as people spend so much of time watching film. You can’t fool people especially sports fans and fake it as they won’t get connected to it.
Ravi- It’s difficult to create that Euphoria again so we had to add real clips.
James- Also the time, this happens in a fraction of the seconds in the cricket. That’s not possible with the actors. If you cast the big actor then you think of the actor and not Sachin.
Now knowing his life are you more of Sachin’s cricket fan or his journey of life?
Ravi- I will be a fan of both.
James- I admire him. It’s hard to be a fan when you are from a different place. He is a man whose story should be known and he deserves all the respect and attention.
As after this film what kind of production projects you are looking further, and what do you expect from this film?
Ravi- We are now just looking forward to release the film. I expect people to like the film. I want people to appreciate his journey and what he has done for this country as he has done lot of struggle. People should take away inspiring messages what he gives indirectly. And I hope fans are satisfied and I hope they don’t have any unanswered questions left after this. I don’t know what’s next but I am all focused on this now.
How has it been directing a legend’s story and also it was very important to have elements like cheering of Sachin Sachin and that feel, how did you make that happen on screen too?
James– Yes there was lot of things, because you can’t create every innings. For us the Understanding of what Sachin was important and what drive him to his dream like winning world cup. Also to know what was his awakening moment as he is a classic hero story. A boy who was so honest and so dedicated that he wanted to win the golden cup for his country. So that gave us a hope and that’s what we wanted to show, his cricketing moments and also his highs and lows throughout his life and his relationship with cricket.
When you work on such film and with such influencing persona does that make you feel to take back something of him with you?
Ravi- I take back the human side of Sachin. It’s very fascinating the way he lives his life with simplicity. Then obviously his cricketing brain and to out ball bowlers till three generations.
James- He is a person who takes pride in seeking perfection and putting in activity before ego. So it’s really very much about ego in film industry, it’s good to learn how to control and deal with pressures, he has to satisfy a billion people and now we have to satisfy billion people, so that’s what you can learn.