New Delhi: Indie filmmaker Hemant Gaba's debut work 'Shuttlecock Boys' was a test he wanted to pass desperately and after several hitches including damage to its negatives the film is all set to hit theatres next month. The film revolves around the lives, successes and failures of four friends who hail from lower middle class backgrounds in Delhi and who play badminton every night.
"For me, 'Shuttlecock Boys' has been a test. A test that I wanted to pass. I was optimistic but never sure if we will be able to pull off the project," Gaba told about his venture made with a budget of just Rs 35 lakh.
"It is about courage, determination and destiny. It took 2.5 years to get made and 1.5 years to get released in theatres. And it's the journey of characters in the film that has kept our optimism alive till date. We had lost it, we wouldn't have made it this far and actually release it in theatres," he says about the film's August 3 release under PVR Director's Cut Rare Initiative.
Gaba quit his IT job and with friend Pankaj Johar started their production house Penny Wise Films.
"Before production, our only objective was to get through the shooting. We didn't even plan about how and where we are going to edit our film or who is going to compose the music. During post-production, our only target was to finish the film. We didn't plan how we will showcase or exhibit the
film," he says.
However in post production, the film negatives were ruined in a post production lab in Mumbai. "They refused to fix the damage, instead asked for money
to restore it... this phase lasted for 9-10 months... that was the time when we thought we may not be able to complete our step of post-production. But we finally managed to pull that off too," he adds.
Every evening, protagonists Gaurav, Manav, Pankaj and Loveleen meet for a couple of badminton games in their neighbourhood joking about their lives and pulling each other's legs. This part of the day is the most pleasant part of their otherwise dreary lives. While playing badminton one such night, they decide to do something on their own. This very attempt becomes their
lifeline putting them on a litmus test of determination, courage, luck and spirit of friendship.
"The most interesting thing about the film is that these four actors met each other for the first time during the film shoot but three of them live as roommates in Mumbai; so friendship on the reel got converted real life friendship which is commendable. Chemistry among these friends is really remarkable in the film," says Gaba, who has also directed the documentary
"Still Standing", which received rave reviews and won the Dadasaheb Phalke Chitrnagri award for the best debut film at the Mumbai International Film Festival, 2012.
"Shuttlecock Boys" film was shot on more than 18 locations in just a span of 22 days in New Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida.