PeepingMoon Exclusive: After Shefali Shah-Kirti Kulhari's 'Human', I'm directing a grand film set in the LGBTQ community: Mozez Singh
Director, producer, screenwriter and stylist Mozez Singh is all geared up for his upcoming show Human that is based on medical drug trials. On the eve of his birthday, the filmmaker spoke to PeeingMoon.com in an exclusive interview where he spoke about his upcoming show, his birthday plans and his future projects.
Excerpts from the interview:
Any special plans for your birthday on April 9?
The best way to spend my birthday used to be having a crazy party but with time that has changed a bit and now it’s just to be at work. So I hope, we’re just trying to work stuff out and we are in the middle of shooting our series Human and I hope we are able to shoot that day because a lot of restrictions have come up due to Covid-19 and we are figuring things out, but I just hope we can shoot that day and that will be a great way to celebrate my birthday. Just to be working and going out and shooting, given that there are hundred precautions that we have to take , it would be great if we could continue shooting and that would be awesome.
Indian showbiz has refrained from depicting medical trials, so how did you come up with such a concept for Human?
The thing is, the idea of the series came from my producer and co-director Vipul Amrutlal Shah. I wrote the series with my co-writer Ishani Banerjee but Vipul and I have directed it together. The idea came from him and I met him in 2019 and he said that he had a script based on human drug trials, a film script and I read it and I wasn’t crazy about the script. I did not like it much but I loved the idea of human drug trials and thought that it was very unique and new. So I told him that I would like to take the concept and come back with a completely brand new story and he has been an incredible producer and collaborator and he has really given me all the freedom to shoot the way I want to. So I wrote it with Ishani and went and developed it for three months, with characters and story and he loved it. What’s also incredibly cool is that he is willing to take chances. Human is a very out-of-the-box story and it pushes the envelope in many ways. I am sure it will surprise and shock the audiences and he was totally game for everything, so I am thankful to the universe for giving me such a great collaborator.
How was it working with Shefali Shah and Kirti Kulhari?
Oh my god! It’s like a director’s dream. Shefali and Kirti are so incredible in their own different ways. Shefali is like, you give her a scene and she adds thirty more layers and she comes back with so much preparation and homework done on how she is looking at the scene, and 9 out of 10 it’s better than what’s on paper. She literally takes the scene to another level and she works very closely with the director and it’s been a joy working with her. I look forward to days when I have to shoot her. On the other hand, Kirti is most intelligent and nuanced actor I’ve worked with. She understands the smallest details about every character and gets into the heart of every character. It is very real in the way she performs, she is very authentic and natural in the way she acts. We also have people like Seema Biswas. Seema ji is just a force of nature and she also has a very interesting role in the series so she is bringing a lot to the table. And we also have Vishal Jethwa who is just magic. So between the four of them accompanied by Ram Kapoor we have a phenomenal cast and they have all performed exceptionally well. They are all bringing their A game to the series.
Any inspiration from the novelist Robin cook who has written a lot of such medical thriller stories?
No not at all, it’s all a figment of imagination. What we did was once we decided we are going to do this, my co-writer Ishani and I flew to Bhopal, spent a lot of time there, spoke to victims of medical trials, spoke to doctors and one of the most interesting thing for me as a writer was doing the research. So I like to go and meet the people myself instead of relying on a research team and I feel it’s so much fun. So we went to Bhopal and met a lot of people from all spectrums of life, activists, victims, doctors; read a lot of stuff online for research.
You hosted the talk show Azaad Awaz that puts the spotlight on LGBTQ community. Are there any plans to direct a mainstream feature film too that will break the stereotypes that Bollywood portray the community in?
Absolutely. So the next thing that I am doing is a feature film, it’s a very grand film and its set in the LGBTQ community. I hope it comes out as powerful as I’ve written it. I wrote with a couple of more writers. I am doing it once I am done with Human and I hope I do justice to it so that we can break the stereotype. It’s like a personal mission for me.
What are your upcoming projects? Could you tell us?
I am in discussion with a few more series, apart from Human and the LGBTQ film. I have been approached by people to develop a few more series and a few documentaries. I am working on quite a few projects but I don’t want to take on too much on my platter. I will take up something full-fledged once I wrap Human and the LGBTQ film.
You are also well-known for your sartorial dressing style. How would you define it? Is there anyone who inspires you when it comes to style and fashion?
It’s like endless, I love fashion, I know fashion academically. I love clothes, I love buying clothes and inspiration can come to me in gazillion ways. I can get inspired by a Versace fashion show or I can get inspired by an Instagram story. I am a giant film buff so that also gets me inspired. However, inspiration does not come only through people who are fashionable but also from people who have a personality.
So how much inputs do you give for your series characters in terms of dressing and styling?
I work very closely with my stylist and costume department. I work on minute details for my characters right from the colour of their nail paint to clothes and look. So my input is always there.