Aiming for a big directorial debut in Bollywood: Jitendra Singh Tomar

Arijit Bose

Mumbai: Today a name known to many in the entertainment circuit for his quiet hard work in music videos and serials, for Jitendra Singh Tomar its been a tough trek uphill. Born in a middle-class family of Dhanbad, Jitendra did his early education from a school in Dhanbad. Then after tenth he went to Hazaribagh for further studies but acting and direction was always his first love. During his school and college studies, he did many stage shows. Once in Mumbai like anyone reaching here it was struggle for a long time.

Each day he would be leaving Borivali and wander in  Malad and streets of serial and film producers and directors in Andheri. One day he reached the set of a serial in Kandivali. The security guard did not let him in but he did not give up. He would reach everyday and knock the door. After repeated visits, one day the guard let him in,  He got work in the same serial on the condition that he would not get the money. But the passion to learn was such that he kept working on that serial. He understood each and every detail of shooting and production and thus his directorial career started.

In the year 2008, Dhanbad lad Jitendra Singh Tomar became part of the now popular show Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma with his hard work and nose for direction. Shooting for the show started that year and as soon as new episodes kept coming on TV, the hearts and minds of the audience were captured immediately. The audience showered a lot of love on Jethalal.

Behind the camera, the supremely talented  Jitendra Singh Tomar of Dhanbad won the hearts of Mayanagari as an assistant director. Having started his career with Sony TV’s popular show Adalat, where he learnt a lot, he went on to work for Devon Ke Dev Mahadev and a wide range of music videos in which he found much solace in.

His turning point was when he started a production house named JST Films. The video song filmed under the banner of this production house was released by a famous music company like Shemaroo. Since then for Jitendra things have been sheer writing of history.  From Zee Music to Volume and B4U, many big music labels have released their songs among music lovers. Many budding artists also got a chance to make a mark. Soon another video album titled ‘Dil Ki Khwaishein’ is also going to release.

In an exclusive conversation, e tells The Lucknow Tribune that shooting and directing a Bollywood film is the ultimate goal. He has recently been in the news for Dil Ki Khwahishein, Kahanaibaaz and Surmayi Nain Tere.

Q: Tell us about your education and experience in the entertainment sector?  
A: My education in entertainment sector is my experiences and advices from mentor. I have the potential of grasping things quickly which helps me in proving myself better from others. I started from assistant director and in 3 years I am working as an individual.
Q: From adalat to now, how do you see your progress in the Industry?
A: I have made a huge progress as 2 years back I was working as an associate and at present I have done more than 15 music videos as a director and producer.
Q: Tell us a little about Surmayi Nain Tere and Dill Ki Khwaishein? How has the audience reacted?
A: I am quite happy with the audience reaction and got positive response and appreciation from my mentor.
Q: Five big lessons on Direction that you learnt on the job?
A: 1. We should always open to opinion and feedback.
2. No need of yelling at technician and other small departments.
3. As script is the base, we should focus and stick to it on floor.
4. As direction is about the vision so one should be polite to hear one’s advice.
5. If story and cinematography is well executed then direction becomes a little bit easy task.
Q: Im sure your experiences like Tarak Mehta Ka ulta Chashma taught you a lot, How was it like working for it?
A: The team of tarak mehta is very hard working and disciplined. I loved being part of it. As it is one of the high TRP show so there were lot of things to learn and experiment.
Q: Your three tips to youngsters on framing and filming technique?
A: Script should be good and after that cinematographer should know to bring out your vision.
Q: When you did Devon ke dev Mahadev, how did you prepare yourself? Is spirituality or mythology a tough genre to build from your point of view because you are building something that you have not seen?
A: Definitely mytho shows are always tough because there are crowds and lot of chroma scenes involved. So it’s always difficult to shoot a mytho show.
Q: You are off late doing a lot in the music video scene, what drives you in the music business?
A Through music videos you get response from the audience very quickly and you get recognized very fast. Currently music video is at trending scenario. So there is possibility of getting popular at short span.
 Q: Coming from a non-Bollywood background, how tough has it been to come this far?
A: I had faith on me. It took 6 months of patience and hard work to start working as an assistant director.
Q: As someone understanding the process well, how do you see OTT shaping future careers?
A: OTT are shaping careers of many underrated actors and directors. As there are many Ott platforms so there are lot of opportunities coming.
Q: As a director who is the biggest inspiration in the entertainment scene for you today?
A: Sanjay leela bhansali. I believe him a true filmmaker and my fav director. There is a lot of detailing you learn from his films.
Q: A big collaboration that you have always wanted?
A: Collaboration with reputed music labels
Q: Should students do a course on direction or should they learn from the masters directly?
A: Direction is always an experience tool. But it is better to atleast know the basic of direction from an institute. It will make you confident on field and will give a good impression on master.
Q: As Directors do you think the creative minds are doing great work on short films? Your favourites?
A: Yes. Short films are always worth watching and there are lot to experiment. Short films doesn’t demand high money so you can easily showcase your creativity and story. My favorite is my own short film kautumbik. I loved the team efforts to bring my vision to reel.
Q: An international star from the West you would like to shoot a music video with?
A: I would love to direct Taylor Swift. As each of her video is unique and she never compromise with creativity and imagination.
Q: How do you define your original style of filmmaking? What is your choice? How do you perceive cinema?
A: My choice is doing thriller. I connect myself more with the thrilling scripts. Cinema is an art to show the inner layer of emotions and human behaviour.
Q: Your message for your fans?
A: Keep loving our work and keep supporting us. We always read your valuable comments and try to revert back.
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