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Spirit W | TV is challenging but films bring creative satisfaction: Ashvini Yardi

While she began her career as an assistant director at Zee TV to heading the programming team at Colors, Ashvini Yardi has travelled from the small screen to the 70mm space quite gracefully. Now the Co-founder of Grazing Goat Pictures, Yardi has, in her short journey as a producer collected successes quite early. A degree holder in Psychology and a post Advertising and Marketing from XIC, Yardi has managed is one producer that many new industry people are eyeing on.

Adgully caught up with Ashvini Yardi, Co-founder, Grazing Goat Pictures who shared her love for television, her interests, future plans and much more...

In her television days, Yardi has worked on some popular shows of the time like Saat Phere, Kasamh Se, Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge and Lil’ Champs on Zee TV and Uttaran, Balika Vadhu, Bigg Boss, Khatron Ke Khiladi, Laado among many others. Sharing her story on the shift from television to films, she said, “I have done TV for 19 years when I started with Zee TV in 1993 where I did direction and then moved to programming and that time I felt I’ve done it all. Later with Colors again I thought I have done a lot. I was looking out for doing something different; however I never planned to do films. I realised to ‘never say never’ as you end up doing something in life which you’ve never planned. Films just happened to me and hence I decided to leave TV for films. But while I was associated with TV, I thought to myself, what should I do after TV, and that is when I came across the script of Oh My God. I wouldn’t have made that switch if I haven't read the script of Oh My God. That script was the turning point for me. And now I feel I was lucky to make a move with it”!

On asking about the kind of responsibilities she has shared in her professional journey she shared that,

Sharing some of the responsibilities of her journey till date, she “I think each of the roles was meant to go one step upwards. While direction at Zee TV was a small set up, programming involved a lot of work because we are not handling one show but the whole channel. When it comes to film I think it’s a slower medium, people take their own time, if one decides to postpone the dates of work he or she can do so; but in television industry you don’t have time, you have to deliver content round the clock. TV keeps you on toes but film give you time to explore creativity. Television is challenging but creative satisfaction comes from films.”

She goes on to say that while she cherishes the teams was part of and holds pride in the projects she has worked on, she is looking forward to rollercoaster journey ahead.

Yardi with her production banner has recently announced a daily titled ‘Jamai Raja’ on Zee TV, the channel where she began her career. Sharing her delight of the first television production on her home-ground of sorts, Yardi said, “Whatever I am today I owe it to Zee, I wanted to share this story with Zee first. Zee liked the concept and picked it up at the first attempt. It took some time to work on it but concept was approved immediately. It’s our first television show and I am proud to say that it will be trend setter. Jamai Raja has a male lead Ravi Dubey who’ll fix up the issues between his mother-in-law and his wife. We hope for the best, and now leave it all up to the audience”.

Having spent nearly two decades in the television medium, citing some trends that she has witnessed over the years in the television industry, “I think TV follows some 7-8 year pattern. So, when we launched Zee in 1992, we started out with saas-bahu pattern and then Colors came and change the pattern with new kind of formats. I think it’s time to change the trend with ‘man’ as the protagonist. TV follows herd mentality when it comes to following concept/ format, so the concept which has been successful for one channel; it’s been taken over by some other channels.”

While Yardi spearheaded the move to bring Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Challenge and Lil’ Champs on television, she stated that producing reality shows is not something the production house is looking at in the near future. When it comes to fiction shows social issues are what Yardi always like to explore and work on.

Yardi’s partner on board at Grazing Goat Pictures is celebrated actor Akshay Kumar. Speaking about their partnership and Akshay’s thought on first TV production she said, “Akshay and I co-own the company and hence we both do different things. As the company is gradually growing, with the show ‘Jamai Raja’ we are starting the television vertical and hold plans to get into other ventures as well. There is no particular role which Akshay plays as he’s busy in shooting but yes he is very much part of it”.

On the film front, Grazing Goat Pictures opened the charts with Oh My God and recently produced Fugly with four newcomers. Concluding the conversation, Yardi mentions that ‘Singh is Bling’ starring Akshay Kumar is the next project in the pipeline for the production house. Singh is Bling is directed by Prabhudeva and is expected to launch by July, 2015.[By Ranjana Gupta| Twitter: @RGrightsreserve]

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