Sumeet Mittal heads ‘ShashiSumeet Productions Pvt Ltd’. It is one of the leading new age ProductionHouses based in Mumbai. Headed by husband wife duo Sumeet Mittal and Shashi Mittal,currently it has four top running shows like Diya Aur Baati Hum on Star Plus, Punar Vivah on Zee TV, Kairi– Rishta Khatta Meetha on Colours and MainLaxshmi Tere Angaan Ki on Life OK on air. In Conversation with SumeetMittal….
Q: In the year 2012 you have launched four shows and all the showson various channels have achieved top positions. What is your magic recipe ofsuccess?
Sumeet Mittal: (laughs) Good entertaining story, good productionvalues and maintaining them is what works. Just never take the viewer forgranted. They are intelligent and have a penchant for new age stories.Maintaining the tradition and sensibilities of small towns Indian families, onecan dare to think modern, come up with some steps that challenge the rustedsocial norms. Whether it is Diya Aur Baati Hum or Punar Vivah or Kairi, we havetried to go a little beyond the pre-fixed social norms and succeeded. Even MainLakshmi Tere Angan Ki is not mundane social drama.
Q: Do you have any other new show planned within this year? Westill have five months to go.
Sumeet Mittal : Yes, we are making another show for SonyEntertainment. It’s under production.
Q: What has brought you into television production? Please tell usabout your journey so far?
Sumeet Mittal : Since beginning I and Shashi were involved in scriptwriting. We did a couple of shows and also wrote story for the film EkVivaah Aisa Bhi. So this mediumhas been our profession from the start.
Q: How come you moved into direction?
Sumeet Mittal: I also wanted to get into direction, so I worked aschief Assistant director for that film. I really wanted to learn all that goeson in making of a film. As a writer I could only create a visual in my mind buthow to execute it, can only happen when I actually go on the floor and do it. VivekBahl was in Star and he is really a good friend who has always helped me. I sharedwith him about my interest in direction. He was the one who motivated me andasked me get into it. Again it was Vivek’s idea to get us into productionsaying that it is not difficult. Another person who is a catalyst in making usproducers is Sameer Rao from Star.
Q: How was the experience with first serial as producer, directorand writer?
Sumeet Mittal: Sajan Ghar jaana hai was our firstshow and the setup was very costly. But I was very particular with my productionvalues and there was no compromise in any of my work. We still carry the sameethics of no compromise of the quality of the show. Shashi Sumeet productionPvt Ltd was thus born.
Q: Both of you areCreative persons. Are there any creative differences and fights?
Sumeet Mittal: On principle creative people should not think alike.Both should have different thoughts to present maximum options. Shashi and Iare like two different poles and our wits are completely different. That is thereason we got into varieties of ideas. Many times we quarrel, argue anddisagree with each other but at the end of the day we come up with fantasticproduct which my viewers appreciate.
Q: Is there some special reason that your stories are mostly dedicatedto family subjects?
Sumeet Mittal: We frankly believe that family oriented storieswork the best with Indian audience. In fact all television teams give moreimportance to family drama because Indians are rooted into it. To give agreater dimension, love stories are woven into the concept. I am lookingforward to making a serial around teenagers besides some other differentconcepts.
Q: Isn’t television all about success? Since you are alreadysuccessful in a particular genre why take chances with new one?
Sumeet Mittal: This is what real challenge is. You should alwaystry your hands at something new to keep the creativity charged. I really amkeen to do a Comedy show. Success will come once you come with a novel andinnovative concept and we are known for it. In Main Lakshmi Tere Aangan Ki the main lead was shown as greedy, a firston television. Our experiment worked.
Q: With so many serialson floor, how do you do Time Management?
Sumeet Mittal: Time management is not a choice, it is a necessity.Both of us have really distributed our responsibilities. These days Shashi hastaken over all the writing part in her hand and I handle all production hasslesincluding Baniagiri (laughs), execution and direction as well.Touch wood, I am very proud of my production team, without them we can’t work.
Q: What’s next in thepipeline?
Sumeet Mittal: I am planning to get into movies as well, butslowly and steadily. Let’s see what happens. Will surely do a good homeworkbefore getting into it.
Q: How do you shortlistyour artist for your serials?
Sumeet Mittal: Audition is really very important but I personallybelieve you can create actor out of anybody. So that’s why I keep observingpeople and many times I have even asked people on roads to come and giveauditions. When the rawness is there you can mold them accordingly. Heroine of SajanGhar jaana hai was an air hostess and I just asked her when I was in herflight.