I Find Story Telling More Challenging: Gorky!

Is it true that accounts become easy if you are good at Maths? Is it wrong to assume that every person who has a beautiful handwriting also draws well? Today, we at Rangmunch.TV, bring to you a person who captures faces not just in stills but in moving pictures as well. A person who is known for his sense of humour, intelligence and his ability to turn reality into imagination and vice versa.

Sunidhi Chauhan's snap taken at the Coke Studio @MTV
Gorky, the Director of Channel V’s High School Drama Humse Hai Liife, is an ace Photographer who has to his credit prestigious projects like MTV Coke Studio, Ishaan on Disney and also the movie Men Will be Men!

We caught up with him during our Rangmunch Set hopping sessions and needless to say, the conversation was worth capturing within the frames of our portal, for all of you to see.

Manish Malhotra's picture taken at the Chivas Studio 2011

Story telling v/s Photography:

I find story telling more challenging. Photography is more of luck. It all depends on what you capture in that second or micro second. When you are telling a story, it is more of a journey you are showing.

Primarily, I love to shoot people, so it’s their expression or their setting or their environment and what it conveys at that point in time that captures my attention. I personally hate to photo shoot those typical pictures that have a green or a white backdrop even though they are the most sought after ones, since you can shoot with a white background and replace it later with whatever setting you like. I like to have people guessing as to where the picture was taken and that is why you will always find an element of mystery in all my pictures.

Tricks of Photography in the Digital Age:

I do edit my pictures. As you know there are many pluses and minuses to it. The biggest minus is that you become overtly reliant and lazy. I think most people have become that way post advent of the digital age. In a certain situation, you become complacent. For example if the right balance is off in a picture, you can work on it later and adjust it. The discipline somewhere goes missing. However, for me it also acts as a check, because I keep going back to my basics to see what I have actually done. The good part about this is that, anybody with a decent sense of framing and composition can actually take up photography. Your tools are diversified. It gives a great amount of freedom. If you don’t have the resources, editing helps you. You may not be at a particular place at a certain time, but having the editing tools certainly makes it easier to establish the look and feel of what you can’t do otherwise. I would say edits have just extended the reach of what you can do as a photographer.

One Creative Quirk:

Music moves me a lot. I listen to a lot of Western Classical Music and have developed my music taste buds lately for Bollywood music too. Old Hindi melodies somehow do it for me! Off late, I can’t get enough of the Inception track. But if I were to pick from Television, the music of Humse Hai Liife is also fabulous. It is not conventional. In the very first episode, there is a number with Raghav that has a rap-hip-hop feel to it. It’s a song, at the same time it’s not a song as well. Similarly, there is also Arjun’s song in the second episode that I really like. Well, as you can see, I love music.

Heli  Daruwala aka Saloni of Humse Hai Liife
The Passion:

I didn’t per se always know this is what I wanted to do, but I have always indulged in things that have moved around the camera. It is only in the recent few years that I’ve taken up photography professionally. I was getting very fed up of not doing anything creative. So when I was called to do a look test for Red Chillies Entertainment, I gladly took it up. Then we did a show for Disney. From there on, I’ve been shooting and this is where I am today. But, when I don’t want to take up too much work, I end up over quoting and over charging (laughs).

Creative Corner:

My “Writing Desk” is my favourite Creative Corner. You will find all my paraphernalia there including my computer. I am a huge internet junkie. My computer and my internet are my inlet into all those places I cannot be at. I generally like browsing through tech stuff, watch music videos on Youtube, visit Photography sites. I am also a gadget freak!

When I see the video-mixes that the fans make of their favourite actors, I don’t know what to say at times. It is absolutely a great labour of love. I understand the spirit behind it is pure and honest. One can go into the whole copyright issue but keeping that aside, to make so much of an effort, at times I wonder how they manage it. Do they all have editing suites fitted into their home? How do they manage to collect all these videos? It’s crazy and amazing at the same time, considering they are not getting anything in return.

"The picture that started all the madness" - Gorky
Photographers Delight in the Industry:

I have not had that kind of body of work, but amongst the people I have shot, I really like shooting Drashti Dhami (who plays Geet in Geet-Hui Sabse Parayi) a lot. I like the colour of her eyes and the way they catch light. 

I have just started shooting the girls on Humse Hai Liife, since I have been caught up with directing them. I always carry my camera with me. Especially the day we were shooting introductions, I thought it was important for me to shoot and have three signature pictures for publicity as well as for the website. I shot pictures of the fight sequence as well. I think Abigail’s smile can light up a room.

Handling Pressure:

I turn extremely funny when under pressure. When there is no other outlet for pressure, you have to be the one who takes the load and does it in a positive way. I don’t believe in shouting at people. I just have a word with them and ask them to stop screwing around. When you shout, it eventually leads to more confusion and erratic behaviour. Hence I prefer talking to them in person when pressure is building up because of someone!

Motivation Mantra for the Team:

I don’t follow any particular cheering up exercise to motivate my team. However, when an actor performs well, I ask everyone to clap for them. Especially in Humse Hai Liife, since they are all new, I ask the unit to clap for them or I go and talk to them separately. That becomes more important sometimes. If someone doesn’t perform well, or you have a problem with an actor’s performance I don’t say anything, in front of everyone, I call them later and talk to them personally. That always helps! Like for example in the scene where Sia had to leave home, I thought Aby(Abigail) was very good, I went her and gave her a  hug to let her know she did a good job and later Mama too demanded a hug which I had to eventually give him!

Television Today:

Television today is no longer a platform where you can nurture talent. Earlier you were raw, you would come here to hone your skills, sharpen, polish and then move on to a bigger better platform. That’s why you had an Anurag Kashyap, Imtiaz Ali, Anurag Basu. On Television, you do have talented people and you are working under different kind of pressures in order to deliver your best. Creativity is compromised at times with quantity taking precedence over quality. Earlier on Doordarshan one episode was like a film. Nowadays, day-to-day scenes are shot by people who don’t know the background of the story. The person who knows the background of the story and the person executing it on a day-to-day basis are not the same. So when there is a disconnect problems do crop up at times. Even for the actors, it’s not humanly possible to be on their toes all the time. Their personal life takes a toll; at times they have to continue shooting despite failing health!

Television viewing today has become more of a habit. You set your mind to tune into a certain channel at a particular time every day. When you don’t get what you want, there are so many other options. There are many shows, which people don’t even watch. There is so much emphasis on audio and the effect that you grasp the essence of the scenes even without watching them. Tumhara show koi dekhe na dekha, you understand the scene. Unfortunately Seasons, like what the Yashraj Banner experimented with, didn’t work too well. 

However, the notion that Television is a lesser medium than films is slowly changing; in fact, I would say it has already changed. If you look at the kind of budgets involved in Television today, and the kind of shows that are being made, you will vouch for the same. It’s about time an initiative is taken up to do a variety of shows, and then we will surely get to see all kinds of shows on Indian Television.

Rangmunch.TV would like to thank Gorky for candidly sharing his Creative Journey and Work with us.

Interviewed by:
Niharika Vidya Sagar
Swati Ghosh

Edited by:
Niharika Vidya Sagar 


  1. its a job well done !!!

  2. Drashti is a true beauty, she is beauty queen

  3. perfect! This one was an interesting bit.... His photographs are amazing... have not seen Gorky's interviews before this.... it was nice to know more about him... thank u RM...


  5. Very interesting indeed!! Really intrigued by your perspective!

  6. hmmmm....... do 4lions have good looks as criteria for joining d company??????????? first nissar........den gul...... now gorky.....

  7. RM, thank you so much for this-- Gorky is an intriguing character and your interview (which you have been kind enough to share with us in full form, I'm sure) is very interesting.

    I'm a great fan of both his stills and his visual style-- I thank you for the insight into his work-related thoughts!!

    Many thanks-- Fida Khurana

  8. Great interview RM Bunch, Niha n Swati...
    Gorky is like a mille-feuille, so many crispy layers and vanilla choc too. An amazing creative person.
    Thanks for giving us a further look into his work. And yes that DD picture did create the madness for us all ;)

  9. Nice interview....Drashti Rocks...as always

  10. Thanks a lot for publishing this interview and many thanks for the wonderful comments.
    There is something about Swati and Niharika that makes you want to talk, talk and talk. Oh, how my jaw ached that evening! :-)

  11. @GORKY: It was a priviledge for the Rangmunch team to get to do your interview :) Thank you once again for your time and we wish you all the best with Humse Hai Liife!!

  12. Fabulous interview!!

    It is an absolute delight to know the man behind the camera. Fascinating and insightful. Good to know you gave him jaw pain!!

  13. Hi Gorky!!

    Thanks for summing up what we were trying show in so many lines!
    And for also officially letting the world know what a pain we are!

  14. Excellent Interview.....very enlightening!!! :))

  15. "I love to shoot people" tum ne kia Bin Laden ki jaga lene ka faisla kr lia hai??? Sharp shooter, tumharay teeron ki shikar main hi banti hoon :'(


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