Arif Zakaria: Digital Format Shooting Allows More Trial and Error for Filmmakers

Actor Arif Zakaria has been in the entertainment industry for over two decades and has witnessed a lot of subtle changes. He feels the current wave of OTT has ushered a lot of change, including the fact that a lot of filmmakers get to tell the story they want to.

“A lot of small, perceptive and real narratives are finding space on OTT. So much content that wouldn’t have found theatres is now getting space. Being in the business for two decades I have been a witness to a lot of subtle changes in the industry,” he told IANS.

While a lot has been for the better, there are changes that Arif Zakaria fails to fathom. He says: “There is a culture of screen tests that wasn’t prevalent earlier. I really don’t understand this. I mean what do you gauge by performing a scene in front of a young rookie with a handycam or smartphone in a decrepit room in Aaram Nagar?”

He says while technology can help rectify small mistakes, acting is something that remains to be the same.

“The technology has changed as digital format shooting allows more trial and error for filmmakers. A lot of bad shooting ends up looking very good after the post-production. But as actors, we still have to do what we have to in front of the camera.”

Talking about his new film Ahaan, he says that he was blown away by the script. The film directed by Nikhil Pherwani narrates the story of a young man with Down’s Syndrome, who develops a friendship with a neighbour suffering from Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Arif Zakaria, who plays the role of the neighbour, says the story is heartfelt and unique.

“I was blown away when Nikhil Pherwani narrated the story to me. In fact, Abuli Mamaji, who plays the lead part of the person with Down’s Syndrome, suffers from the same in real life, too. So that’s totally real. The passion of the filmmaker was infectious. He had no money to shoot, which earlier I thought would be an impediment, but he managed. The finished product has a nice feel to it, which money could’ve never brought to the film, I feel. We shot it for fun around Mumbai and that was it,” he says.

The film briefly had a theatrical release in March. “Nobody was venturing to cinema halls then because of the pandemic, so it feels like the film never released in theatres,” Arif Zakaria says.

The film released recently on Netflix.

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