“Nightmare” is a thriller film which follows an edgy story of a young man who is trying hard to get out of a creepy situation.
With Nightmare, Nihar Palwe engages and keeps his audience to the edge of their seat. This gripping and creepy short film is a great entertainer. After 5 nominations, including best film and best director & two awards for Best Editing and Original Background Score at Short of the Month’s July Online Short Film Festival, 2015, let’s find out what the director has to say about his award winning creation.
Q1. Nihar, I must tell you that your film was very thrilling. So tell me, when you were making the film, what motivated you to make such a complex film?
I’m a big fan of those movies that make the audience think after they watch them. Movies that are complex in nature. Movies that have interesting characters and an insane depth to their storyline. And after watching movies like these, the first thing you do is go on the internet to find answers and explanations to the questions they raised. Movies such as Primer, Inception, Interstellar, Mulholland Dr. and even Anurag Kashyap’s ‘No Smoking’ are great examples. I knew from the very beginning that at the end of it, my film HAS to make the audience think. And therefore, I myself had to do a lot of research and thinking when I was writing Nightmare to make sure that I’m factually correct. Hence, even my writing process was interesting and kept me thinking and analyzing, making me believe in this film.
Q2. Your film had only three lead characters and was shot primarily in two specific locations. How did you manage to balance your budget? Did the budget of your film affect the production of the film?
My film has only one lead character. The other two are fictional characters that appear in my protagonist’s Nightmare. I waited months for this film, as I wanted to make this film at the right time, with the right people and at the right locations. After I managed to get all three of these, I decided to shoot this film in my hometown. The reason was, I knew I’ll get everything there for cheap, or even for free since everyone there knows me. And, the cast and crew consisted of friends. Hence the budget wasn’t really an issue. Yeah, a few things went completely against the plan, but those kind of things happen on every set…well almost!
Q3. Frankly, I come across such edgy thriller short films very rarely. I was really thrilled to watch the film with such a grippy concept. How did you come up with such a story?
Actually, it’s a very weird story. I usually can’t sleep before 3-4 a.m. every night. And the weirdest part is, I don’t dream. Like, the last time I saw a dream was ages ago. I don’t know why that happens. So one night, I was in my bed; it must be around 4 AM and here I was, wondering why I don’t dream. Also, since it’s in your head, you have the liberty to think whatever the f**k you want since nobody’s going to know what you’re thinking. As I was wondering the cause of this stupid problem, I suddenly thought to myself, “What if I am already in a dream? Maybe that’s why I don’t dream. And I will wake up from it only when I die!” Boom, there! That’s how ‘Nightmare’ happened.
Also, judge me if you want for thinking something as stupid as that at four in the morning, but hey! Because of that, I made a film. Like literally!
Q4. Being a different and a complex concept, this film has been presented with brilliance. How difficult it was to convince your crew & cast for such a story?
I think before convincing anyone from my cast and crew, I had to convince myself. Right from the beginning, I knew my team will be there for me. I worked on my script with the help of my friend Karan, who is the Cofounder of Desi Cut Productions along with me. I knew he’d be the right guy to criticize this film, and be honest about it. I actually made as many as five drafts of this film. Finally, we settled for the fifth one, and that is when I was convinced.
Obviously, some of them had a few doubts at the beginning, but after explaining to them everything they had to know about the film, they were all just as excited as I was.
Q5. I read that your first directorial venture was “Trip”. What changes do you see in yourself from “Trip” to “Nightmare” as a director?
Ah! ‘TRIP’ was a project I undertook just to convince myself of something. I made TRIP after a few of my close friends didn’t take me on their team in the First Year of my college. Saddened by this, I formed my own team and went ahead to show them what I’m capable of. And in that process, I discovered something really important about myself. And that is when I knew filmmaking is what I really want to do. After this I met Christy, who actually helped me fall in love with films and the process of filmmaking. And since then, I’m learning and growing every day. I knew nothing about filmmaking when I made ‘TRIP’. And when I made ‘Nightmare’, I knew just as much as is required to be interviewed by you. I’m yet to commit a lot of mistakes. I’m yet to learn a lot. And I’m yet to be good Director.
Q6. I would really like to see more films from Nihar Palwe & team. When do we get to see your new venture? And I wish it comes soon.
Oh yes! Nihar Palwe & Team recently took a big risk and made a short film. We’re in the post-production stage, as of now. But I think this is the biggest thing that we at Desi Cut Productions have done so far. We might just fall flat on our faces at the end of this, but what if it works out just the way we wanted it to? My next film will be coming super soon, which stars an eminent Bollywood personality in it. Don’t FREAK out, because the SHOW is just about to get real..
Also, thanks a ton!
Watch Nihar Palwe’s Nightmare here. I know it has been password protected but you can always contact him and convince him for a personal screening at your place.
Indie Shorts Mag Team wishes all the luck and success to him and his team for their future ventures.