Musical producer

“I’m happy to start my journey as a producer with Roop Nagar Ke Cheetey” – Mannan Shaah – Planet Bollywood

Although it is quite common for actors and directors to become producers, there have been very few examples of music composers becoming film producers. Known for his melodies in films like ‘Commando’, ‘Namaste England’, ‘Commando 2’ and ‘Commando 3’, composer Mannan Shah decided to produce ‘Roop Nagar Ke Cheetey’ because he felt it was a story that needed to be told. The Vihan Suryavanshi made the Marathi feature film releases in theaters on September 16.

In this interview, the rookie producer talks about the challenges associated with managing production tasks, what made him don the hat of a producer, get a Malayalam composer to score his film marathi, upcoming projects and more.

What led you to become a producer?

Honestly, I never planned on becoming a producer. Eight years ago, Vihan was supposed to do “Roop Nagar Ke Cheetey” in Hindi. I was composing the music for the film and Javed Akhtar saab wrote the lyrics. For some reason the producer pulled out of the project and the film could not be made at that time. We were all really disappointed because we really believed in the script. After some time, Vihan got the opportunity to direct a film for Rohit Shetty whom he had assisted on several films. This film will be released shortly after the release of “Roop Nagar Ke Cheetey”.

When Vihan and I were talking in 2020, Vihaan came up with the idea of ​​me producing ‘Roop Nagar Ke Cheetey’. He knew I was deeply attached to the script and what it was trying to convey. He wanted to make the film in Marathi because the sensibility of the film is very rooted in Maharashtra. I thought about it for a few days and then decided to produce the film myself. I’ve always really liked the script. It’s a very grounded story and one of the genre that can appeal to a wide audience.

The theme of the film seems to be friendship.

The film is not only about friendship. It is about relationships as a whole and covers a range of emotions. The relativity of the script is its greatest strength. When people watch the movie, they will remember their college days and the beautiful times they had with their friends during those magical days.

Despite being a composer yourself, you decided to step back and only composed one song (“Houn Jau De”) for your first feature film production. Why?

I had composed ‘Houn Jau De’ a long time ago when the film was to be shot in Hindi. This song has stayed with us throughout the long journey this film has had. Even when Vihan decided to make the film in Marathi, he wanted it to be used in the film. It’s the campaign song for our movie and it’s become very popular. ‘Roop Nagar Ke Cheetey’ is my first film as a producer, so I wanted to focus entirely on the production aspect. I was completely occupied with my duties as a producer and I didn’t have the time it took to put together the whole soundtrack.

Shaan Rahman is one of the most sought after composers in the Malayalam film industry. However, he had never worked on a Marathi film before. Why did you ask a Malayalam film composer to compose for a Marathi film?

Vihan listens to a lot of Malayalam music and suggested that someone from there compose the music for the film. He was a great admirer of Shaan Rahman’s music and approached him to do the score. Shaan composed three beautiful songs for the film. The background, set up by Mujeeb Majeed, is of international standards. We informed Shaan of the situations we needed the song for. The next morning he had three compositions ready. In ten days, we had recorded the whole album.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a first-time producer?

Every day was a challenge and I learned a lot during the production process of this film. I am not an experienced producer. For me, this film served as a training ground. The whole team worked really hard to make sure the final product came out great. We spent six months on the pre-production process. We spotted almost 320 sites in Pune and Bengaluru. From this, we have finalized 75 locations. In Pune itself, we shot in 55 different locations. Managing a team of 200 to 250 people on a daily basis was difficult. Our first major program, which lasted 36 days, was very difficult. We shot the film during the second wave of Covid-19. It was a passion project and not a business venture for me. I’m happy to start my journey as a producer with ‘Roop Nagar Ke Cheetey’.

‘Roop Nagar Ke Cheetey’ was originally conceived as a Hindi film. Do you plan to do it again in Hindi in the future?

We discussed this possibility. If we do it again in Hindi, the film world will be very different. It will be set in a different setting and we will have to work to get the right cultural nuances of that particular place. The treatment of the film will be very different.

What do you do next?

I gave a year and a half of my life to this film. Once it comes out, I’ll take a long break. I will release some singles independently in the near future. If I get the right scripts, I would like to produce more films.