Star Plus, the leading Hindi general entertainment channel, has never shied away from doing shows and investing in properties it truly believes in. Attempts like Mahabharat, Satyamev Jayate, Saraswatichandra are examples.
The channel is, yet again, launching a property which is high on investment and going by what the general manager of Star Plus, Gaurav Banerjee, says "is the most expensive show on Indian television and at a scale bigger than any other show".
Bollywood is moving to the smaller screen and the next director to have turned towards the TV industry is, Ashutosh Gowariker. Star Plus has partnered with Gowariker, to launch a finite fiction titled 'Everest'.
The show is about a 21 year old girl who gets to know that her father dislikes her because she is a girl. Anjali Singh Rawat sets on a journey to conquer the highest peak in the world, Mount Everest, to fulfil her father's incomplete wish/unfulfilled dream and win his heart. Everest will portray her struggle, hardship on the way to the top of it.
Making it relevant for today's audiences, the channel states that it's about a personal challenge and that everyone has a personal Everest to conquer - willing to go to any lengths to overcome that challenge. And finally when one is able to achieve it, the feeling is nothing short of conquering the highest summit in the world.
The show, that was conceptualized two years ago, started shooting in December last year. Ninety per cent of the show, which is scheduled to air 100 episodes, has already been shot.
According to the channel, a project of this magnitude and scale, which demands extreme physical and mental strength, required a world-class crew to do justice to the concept. Produced under the AGPPL banner (Ashutosh Gowariker Productions Private Limited), the series has brought together some of the finest artistes from both Bollywood and the Indian television industry.
Directed by Glenn Baretto and Ankush Mohla, the music has been composed by ace composer - AR Rahman. The directors of photography are Mahesh Aney, Alphonse Roy and Piyush Shah. The story - and series screenplay - has been written by Mitali Mahajan, with inputs from Gowariker.
Bhavani Iyer is credited with the episodic screenplay, and Preeti Mamgain, Lalit Marathe and Manisha Korde for dialogues. The art direction is by Aparna Raina, costume by Preeti Sharma and Makeup Designs by Vikram Gaikwad. Lochan Kanvinde has done the sound design, Dilip Deo has edited the show and Amar Shetty has directed the action of Everest.
Says Banerjee, "We believe in women who are not daunted by the most difficult of odds. This is why we are excited in partnering with Ashutosh, one of India's iconic film makers in a story where a girl's dream is to win over her father's love by conquering Mt Everest."
Talking about the investments made on the show, he shares that due to climatic conditions in the hills, the show could only be shot for 4-5 hours a day, increasing the number of days it was shot for. The locations are real. "That's where the money has gone," he says.
Gowariker adds, "The crew has been an integral part of this show. Considering the challenging nature of the terrain, the process of making Everest forced each one of them to push beyond their own creative, physical and mental fitness boundaries. In a way, this show has been everyone's personal Mt Everest."
And what about the music? "The theme for the title track has been made, keeping in mind the scale of Mt. Everest. The show has high impact visual, and now that we have HD and 5.1 sound, audiences are in for a better experience. It's a great platform to express music and play round with textures.