Sneha Shetty, chief assistant director at popular filmmaker Rohit Shetty’s production house Rohit Shetty Picturez shot to overnight fame in 2019 when her music video Naagin for Sony Music starring Aastha Gill and Akasa broke the records on music charts. But little did people know that the journey to success has been a long one. Sneha has been associated with Rohit and his films for the last 10 years and is now proceeding towards making her individual identity as an independent filmmaker. Her work profile boasts of films like Singham, Simmba and the upcoming project Sooryavanshi, and recently she has been in the limelight for all the right reasons - her latest music album titled Hermosa is climbing the music charts.
In an exclusive interaction with PeepingMoon.com, the budding filmmaker sheds light on her equation with Rohit Shetty, the influence he has on her work, and when she will be directing a feature film!
Excerpts from the chat:
You have been assisting Rohit Shetty for 10 years now before moving to the music video direction. How was the transition like?
Answer: Rohit bhai has pampered my vision a lot. I studied advertising in college then I got an opportunity to work with Rohit bhai. During that time, he had done Golmaal. So, as our journey continued, he understood my positive points and taught me to work on it further. He guarded me so beautifully and gave me energy to work towards my plus points. Today, wherever I am, it is just because of him. Over the years, when I learnt all the aspects of filmmaking, I learned what were my strong points and then started working on it individually.
When you started off as an advertising student, was direction your primary career choice or you wanted to become an actor?
Answer: Honestly, I never had a plan B. I always wanted to be a director. I thought it is cool to be a film director so I was keen on pursuing it. I used to do a lot of short films as it was a part of our curriculum. We were forced to do a short film and I was happy. I used to direct as well as act. I was lucky to get professional help and the right kind of job after graduating from college. Speaking of being an actor, as of now, there is no such plan. I will be a great director but if I divert towards acting right now, it will all be a mess.
Your music album Naagin was a chartbuster. Did Rohit Shetty give any feedback for the same?
Answer: He loved the song and that’s the reason I directed it. I don’t take up any work until I get a go-ahead from Rohit bhai because anything I get, I have to show it to him first. I ask him whether it is worthy or not. After listening and watching the song, he was very happy and I was satisfied. Frankly speaking, he is very critical when it comes to filmmaking and direction. He believes that if there is anything that’s missing, it should be corrected before it is presented to the audience. I show my edits to him and in Naagin, he didn’t see any flaws and found it to be perfect.
Are your music videos (Naagin and Ankahee) influenced or an ode to Rohit Shetty’s larger-than-life aesthetics?
Answer: Aesthetically, yes, it is an ode to Rohit bhai. I also believe one has to be talented and hard-working to keep improvising on your art. I do a lot of research and like a school-kid, I have a notebook to keep noting down things. But Rohit bhai is a big influence.
Hermosa, your new video, released a couple of days go. What’s the story behind the title and its theme?
Answer: Hermosa means beautiful in Spanish. It is multilingual as it is a Punjabi song with a Spanish name and Hindi lyrics. Unlike Naagin where people expect us to go commercial in terms of treatment, Hermosa was an experimental song. It comes across as a fun song where you can imagine a situation wherein friends are chilling, playing volleyball on the beach.
Given a choice, who would you like to direct in your next- Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn or Ranveer Singh?
Answer: Ajay Devgn. Of all the actors I have worked with, Ajay is the most sorted actor. He lives up to the true definition of a Bollywood actor. Some people have to really work hard on their personality but he comes on the camera, he is the man.
There was a buzz that you are directing a film for Rohit Shetty...
Answer: I don’t want to reveal details about it right now. We are planning something and it will happen at the right time.