Dibaker Banerjee on directing kids in Ghost Stories: You need to treat them like an equal

Sana Farzeen
dibakar banerjee movies

Dibakar Banerjee's short in Ghost Stories is getting good reviews from fans. (Express Photo)

After Bombay Talkies and Lust Stories, Anurag Kashyap, Dibaker Banerjee, Zoya Akhtar and Karan Johar have collaborated for Ghost Stories. The anthology on Netflix has the four filmmakers helming one horror short film each.

Dibaker Banerjee recently interacted with indianexpress.com about his segment in Ghost Stories. Sharing how he came up with the idea of his script, he said, "I was driving down to Mumbai and stopped at a junction. There, a bunch of enthusiastic youth, all well built, wearing bandanas were stopping cars and asking us questions. They said they are doing public duty while the police stood away 20 feet from the spot. When I came back to the office, I was doodling those men and developing it into something. It was also the time when Karan Johar had suggested we do something in the horror space. That's how the idea culminated into this short film."

Also read: Ghost Stories release LIVE UPDATES

Apart from Gulshan Devaiah and Sukant Goel, Banerjee's film stars two young kids - Aditya Shetty and Eva Ameet Pardeshi. When quizzed if it is challenging to direct kids, the filmmaker said, "I am a dedicated parent and so I enjoy being with kids. Also, the most vivid memories I have is when I was a child, so I remember how it feels to be one. I have a simple formula that a child is an adult with an undeveloped mind and past. The brain is already there and they can make the same connections as anyone of us. On set, I treat them as an equal, and that does bring a lot of change. Also, one has to have knowledge about things that they know. Being an involved parent, I knew a few talking points, so it was pretty much smooth."

Speaking about the trend of anthologies, Banerjee shared, "It was a lucky break for the OTT space. Anthologies give the audience a chance to speed from zero to hundred and then come back to the starting point. I think this works better in an environment where you can have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, so that you can dip in and out of the experience. It's exactly the way you would treat a collection of short stories. This is why I feel that the web is converting film watching experience closer to book reading, where you reread and stop, put it on your bedside table, and get back anytime you want. It's definitely a better opportunity as the audience is getting four films in the price of one."

Also read: Karan Johar floated the idea of Ghost Stories: Zoya Akhtar

Ghost Stories is currently streaming on Netflix.