‘I don’t have the habit of writing a script. When I think of a story, I see it from a broad perspective with certain characters and framework in mind’
After the success of “Koshtoneer,” acclaimed director and writer, Ashfaque Nipun is back with his second work for leading international OTT platform Hoichoi. This time around, Nipun has written and directed an eight-episode series titled “Mohanagar,” with Mosharraf Karim in the lead.
Nipun, known for “Dwondo Somash” of Aynabaji Original Series, “Ei Shohore,” “Eti Ma,” Victim,” “Koshtoneer” among other notable projects, shares the challenges of bringing the script of “Mohanagar” to life with Dhaka Tribune.
“To bring the script of ‘Mohanagar’ to life was extremely difficult. I thought of the story of ‘Mohanagar’ in my particular way and presented it to Hoichoi, who, instantly liked the story and asked me to proceed with it. We immediately went to shoot with very little time for pre-production. The entire unit, including the actors, were staying in a rest house adjacent to the shoot location like one big family.”
Also read: First look of Hoichoi’s ‘Mohanagar’ revealed
Nipun shares that the team went on the floor with no script in hand. “The problem began after that, which is a typical ‘Ashfaque Nipun problem’. ‘Mohanagar’ is a story that takes place in a police station. My art team, costume team and DOP, everyone immediately got to work with few characters in mind and no script in hand.”
Shedding light into the Ashfaque Nipun problem, he said: “I don’t have the habit of writing a script. When I think of a story, I see it from a broad perspective with certain characters and framework in mind. But when it comes to writing the script, I’ve developed a habit of writing it on spot at the shooting location, improvising and changing it as the story proceeds.”
He added: “With this challenge in hand, we went for our first day of shoot clueless about what scenes we would be shooting or how many scenes would each episode have. Because the story takes place at night, we would begin shooting at sunset until sunrise after which everyone would go to their rooms and sleep till lunchtime, wake up have lunch and begin shooting again. But, me and my two ADs, would wake up at 9 am and write the script, decide on the days shoot and how we want to progress with the story. We did this rigorously for 15 days with less than 3 hours of sleep.”
Nipun concluded by saying: “To shoot like this non-stop for 15 days with our body cycle completely changed was a difficult task for the entire team. It was a very Herculean task to complete the 15 days of the shoot, which despite being challenging was extremely fulfilling. Thankfully I had a fantastic team who managed to bring my vision to life despite my habit. Hats off to them!”
Streaming exclusively on Hoichoi June 25, the story of “Mohanagar” takes place inside a police station in Dhaka within seven hours. In the words of Nipun, “’Mohanagar’ is a story of social hierarchy, between the very powerful and absolutely powerless and how one deals and reacts in such a situation.”
“Mohanagar” features Mosharraf Karim as O C Harun, Zakia Bari Mamo as Shahana Huda, Shamol Mawla as Afnan Chowdhury, Mostafizur Noor Imran as Moloy Kumar and Khairul Basar as Abir Hasan. The cast also includes Lutfor Rahman George, Shahed Ali, Rukaia Jahan Chomok, Nishat Priom, Jibon Roy, Liton Chowdhury, and others. The series is produced by Shopnoghuri.