The creative couple

Debarati Palit Singh
Saturday, 23 May 2020

Kriti Vij and Prany Manchanda, who have worked together in the second season of Firsts, talk about their work relationship and how content consumption is changing

Real-life couple Kriti Vij and Prany Manchanda have turned reel-life couple for the second season of Firsts. The Dice Media’s popular web series is an unusual love story of a couple who meets online in the middle of the COVID-19 lockdown. 

While Dice Media’s Pranav Tonsekar has written the series, Pranay has directed them. The couple shot the series at his parent’s house in Delhi, where they are living for the past 50 days. Kriti says that the whole lockdown has been crazy, which is the same for everyone else. “But the best part is that Delhi is now opening up and hopefully things will be better now,” she says.

Fun working together

Ask them how it was collaborating with each other and Pranay says, “It was a fun project to do. Kriti and I understand each other’s working style because we have worked together in the past. We are also taking care of the production work, so it was quite an interesting experience for both of us, working in capacities we have never worked in before. We had to do the art decoration, make-up, costume together. We also learnt a lot more about each other through the experience. It’s always fun working with each other.”

One-minute episodes

Each of the episodes is one minute long and airs on Dice Media’s Instagram page. Because they are just one minute, were there any challenges? Pranay, who has worked on Baked, Love Travel Repeat and Official CEOgiri, says that the biggest challenge for him was to be able to convey the message in one minute.

“For that you have to be a little ruthless on the edit table. Even though I might like something one of us has done, sometimes I may have to delete it if it doesn’t fit into the time limit. You have to be ‘ok’ with letting go those little bits,” he says, adding, “Also, I did not see this as a complete story but small snippets of a long story. That’s what helped me in my mind to bring it down.”

Taking for granted

Not many know that the first time the couple met, Pranay was directing Kriti for a play. The What The Folks, Baked, Love Travel Repeat actress says that Pranay is an easy director to work with. “He is such an articulate human being and because he is also an actor, he understands the actor’s point of view and how to reach a particular vision.”

The couple agrees that there are both pros and cons of working together. “The advantage is that you have a comfort level that is unmatchable because you understand each other’s strengths and weaknesses but at the same time, you take each other for granted. No matter how hard we try to keep things professional while we are shooting, we end up taking each other for granted,” says Kriti.

What are we watching

Since the lockdown, there has been a change in the way people are consuming content. “Not just unconventional, people are also lowering their expectations. I watched a lot of things that I would not have watched otherwise. But we, as content creators, actors, directors, producers, should not lower our qualitative standards,” says Pranay and Kriti adds, “We are trying to get out of our comfort zone to watch something different. It’s happening because we have the patience now,” she adds.

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