Achievement Sajeed A. has just won the Best Reality Show award at the Asian Television Awards held in Singapore. He tells Prema Manmadhan that the horror show, Girls Night Out, directed by him, was a technical challenge that's paid off
Small-town lad Sajeed A, (from Anchal, Kollam) has beaten them all. The show he directed has just won the Best Reality Show award at the Asian Television Awards held at Singapore on December 8. There were entries from 16 countries. His show? The horror show, Girls Night Out, with Ranvijay as anchor that was aired on MTV last year. It also won the Best Thriller 2011 - Indian Television Academy Awards held at Mumbai.
“It was a 13 episode affair with three hot-looking girls having to spend a night in a place known to be spooky. No phones, no crews near them, but lots of contraptions to get them scared. We were more than six km away and it was a great technical challenge doing it, there were 22 cameras on the job, remote controlled cameras which worked mostly on infra red lighting. The sound engineering needed to be a handmaiden to the general spookiness of the whole show too.
Talking of sound, yes, Sajeed, who comes from the same area of Resul Pookkutty is related to him. “But it was after both of us worked closely for many projects that we came to know that we were related,” says Sajeed, laughing. The association with MTV started in the beginning of this century, after he finished his post graduation in Mass Communications from the School of Communication and Management Studies in Kochi. He graduated from St. John's College, Anchal. “I went as a trainee to MTV and stayed on. Girls Night Out was very different from the other reality shows. The Paranormal Society of India came with us to analyse the findings. Filming was in Kuldhara, Rajasthan, which is an abandoned village with many ghost stories related to it. Microphones were scattered around to pick up the smallest sounds.
There were other gadgets also to add to the ghostly aura. Both participants and crew got emotionally drained out after the shoot, Sajeed says. Down South, say MTV and you connect it to music and…and..? Bakra! Yes, Sajeed was part of the MTV Bakra project as also Fully Faltoo, Most Wanted and outdoor music concerts. He has directed music videos for artists like Nikhil Chinnappa.
“The Bakra association which started in late 1999 went on till April 2010. Though I have quit MTV, I still do projects for them,” Sajeed says. He was Creative Director for the Indian adaptation of the silent game show, Silent Library (Loudless in India). Back home, Sajeed's debut short film ‘Buddha Never Smiled,' got the India Vision Best Debut Director award.
Right now, he is busy with the Bollywood Musical, Mousiqui for the European market, to be launched at the end of the year. Sajeed has jumped on to the big screen feature bandwagon. His Hindi project with Imran Khan is midway, but now a chance meeting with the hugely successful 'Salt n Pepper' producer Sadanandan has resulted in a Malayalam movie called 'Goodbye December'.
Story and script are ready, (by him of course). The lead will be played by a well known Malayali actor but the leading lady will be from Bollywood. It will have Resul Pookutty's sound and technical expertise gathered from all over the country, he says. . The Imran Khan project will take off later.
Sajeed jumped at the opportunity to do a Malayalam film because of his love for the wonderful movies of the eighties, when Padmarajan and Bharathan ruled Mollywood. “Imagine making a film like 'Thaazhvaaram'. No one in Indian cinema, why world cinema, would have ventured to do it,” he says, talking of the movies of K. G. George, along with these via media directors, who wedded entertainment with craft smoothly and intelligently.
Groovy, Sajeed may be, but the bachelor is well grounded, for Sajeed can cook. Yes, sambar, chicken and Japanese dishes too,” he claims!
What about ghosts? Does he believe in them after doing the show? “Earlier, I did not believe at all. Now, I am not so sure,” he says, leaving you guessing.