Check out what Sukesh Motwani of Bodhi Tree Multimedia had to say about their new production, The Gone Game. The show has been shot during the lockdown and released on the popular OTT platform VOOT.

Voot Select is all set to launch its next big original, The Gone Game. Backed with its critically and commercially acclaimed shows like Asur, Marzi, The Raikar Case and Illegal, the next from VOOT Select – made for stories is, The Gone Game.

Shot entirely in isolation during the lockdown, The Gone Game has been executed through remote direction, ingenious cinematography and limited equipment. Marked by nuanced performances and inimitable viewing experience, the show will build intrigue and unravel a mystery at every step of the way. Directed by Nikhil Nagesh Bhat, The Gone Game is a one-of-a-kind concept that puts creative freedom in the hands of the cast of the series to innovate while shooting from their homes.

Set in a global pandemic, with a nation in lockdown, the story starts amidst a mysterious disappearance. Sahil Gujral is gone. Did he fall prey to the virus? Or is something more sinister at play? 2020 has changed the world forever, but for the Gujral family, the nightmare has just begun. Backed with a power-packed cast including Sanjay Kapoor, Arjun Mathur, Shriya Pilgaonkar, Shweta Tripathi Sharma, Rukhsar Rehman, Lubna Salim, Indraneil Sengupta, Dibyendu Bhattacharya and produced by Bodhi Tree Multimedia. We had the opportunity to interview the show’s Producer, Sukesh Motwani from Bodhi Tree Multimedia. He talked about the show and everything that went into making it.

Here’s all Sukesh Motwani had to say about The Gone Game:

Can you talk about your experience of working on the show?
“So, what happened was when the lockdown was announced and we were brainstorming internally, we were trying to see how the situation today with our families around speaking to us on calls during the lockdown while the work is happening on Zoom calls, in that situation, does that lend itself organically to a plot. That along with, obviously, with the fear of one of us getting COVID. So, that entire fear we just transported that and put it on to a large family. We tried to see if we could crack a storyline. The pandemic was the context and the catalyst that then became a thriller.”

How was it shooting an entire show during this lockdown?
“What was important was that we were challenging ourselves with the idea of whether we can shoot in this condition as obviously the actors are going to be home, can we shoot it virtually and how we can create an engaging show that does not look like a slightly lesser quality than the usual. We also shot the trailer as well and after editing the trailer we sent it to VOOT and a good cast and good director was on board.”

How challenging was it to complete the shoot?
“The learning curve on this one was not when you are writing the story. When you write the story with all care but at the same time only when you plunge into the story you polish yourself. Because then you realise that you have to identify a location within the house of the actor, we have done everything on Zoom, we have to direct our actor etc. It took some time to get used to it and at the same time because the intention was good and the trailer had turned out to be good. It is more like you are trying to learn new things every day. Trying to understand how we are going to light up the scene, and explaining how the actor gets into that frame of mind, the actor is at their home so they have to do their household chores and are also taking help from one of their family members while the DOP is instructing them on Zoom, the director is telling them what emotion to use. A lot of time we also discussed how we can improve the scene. So the process of the director, DOP, my creative producer and the whole team and even I used to go on Zoom and see the process and advise them at the end of the day. What was interesting in that whole process every day there would be new to learn. The process where you are trying to take different shots of your character and then sitch it together on the edit shows how every department had to reinvent.”

How did different aspects of it come together in the end? Is it close to or exactly what you’d hoped for? Or did it evolve into something by the end of it?
“The end result is fairly what we imagined it to be. Obviously the next time we do it, we’ll improve by 5% maybe. But the point is that what we visualized we were sort of sensible enough to know as a team that certain things will happen. But yes, the time anticipated shooting it was a lot more than we imagined it. We thought we’ll complete it in 30 days but it took 40-42 days. That is something that happens when you get into the process you want to keep improving. And you also realise that it is much tougher than the usual shoot. In that sense, there may be more learning experiences, but what we set out to do in terms of quality, it’s largely there. A lot of efforts also went into getting the right cast. If the performers are right it will automatically hold your story as they give credibility to the kind of characters you want to create.”

According to you, how has entertainment changed over the years?
“Entertainment as in with fiction, one good thing that has happened is that the shows have become more real. They are becoming more grippy perhaps in the digital space. Because Television has always been for family viewing. It is always for a community to sit together and the dynamics of tv are within the family. And in the family too in such a way that only certain issues are discussed. Certain issues that can be appealing to the older or younger generation or both. There has been some kind of family universal. Here what happens is that it is the individual. An individual can pick up the phone or Ipad and watch it. Of course, in some cases, they may watch it with their partner or their kids. But it is largely about one person and it can be edgy. It can bring out many truths. It can bring out many hypocrisies and can be dark. The erotic part is the least because that is not something that I feel is going to hold but the rest of it can keep improving. The grammar of the stories, what pace you tell them in, and because you have only 10-12 episodes in one season depending on the show. That way I think it is a huge amount of gratification for all kinds of viewers.”

Catch the trailer here:

The Gone Game is now streaming on Voot Select.

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