Kota Factory – Behind The Scenes

Kota. Whenever you hear this word… …the first thing that
comes to your mind is… …a world where you prepare
for medical and engineering. I've personally seen this world up,
close, and personal… …because Kota is my hometown. Saurav Khanna,
the creator of the show… …he went to Kota for IT preparations. Saurav Khanna hasn't
just studied in those classes… …in fact he's tutored there too. In fact, 50% of TVF's core team members
went to Kota for IT preparations. This story is an integral part of TVF. So Kota's economics and emotions… …is education. So that was essential to capture. And when Unacademy
came to us with the idea that they wanted to
do something around Kota… …so that's when we realized
that this is the time when.. should tell the story
that we always wanted to tell. "Within a span of 30 years,
Maheshwari Classes…" Kota Factory is in black and white. It took me a lot of
time to understand, grasp. It felt right. I knew it felt organic. But we can't just go
on a whim and a feeling. I had convince my department's heads. It was never that we had to try something
else which TVF hasn't done before. If you feel good about something,
it's always universally accepted. I am just… glad that people understood what
that black and white actually meant. At TVF we strongly believe in lights,
camera, experiment. For Unacademy,
it was an bold decision also. Nothing like this was
ever done in India before. Whenever I read the script, and every
discussions we had with the writers… The city is also
a character in itself. It's one for people who
have already been to Kota. Who have lived there
and already been there. I've been mugging
up for two days straight. And if I don't talk to her tonight,
we're definitely going to breakup. But at the same time we had to loop in
people who didn't know anything about Kota. The kind of students that live there,
the hostel culture, their Mess. You can
keep your stuff in here. He has converted it into a common fridge. We tried to capture how that city is
different from any other city in India. How long have you been here, mister? Well son, I've been here since Kota
used to be a city and not a factory. The rickshaw driver's character
was an organic choice… …so if anyone's visiting for the first
time can get a glimpse of the entire city. At the same time, most of the
students of Kota believe that.. …only they are studying out here… …only they are observing Kota,
or maybe teachers. But the people living there
also have a perspective about Kota. Casting the rickshaw driver
was extremely difficult. It's the only city in India
where Nokia dominates Samsung. Students out here,
eat, live, and even breathe IIT. Its exhilarating. I honestly,
personally would've like… …Amitabh Bachchan sir
to be the rickshaw driver… …so that it's an element of surprise. I am humble for this opportunity. So I had to finally go and request
Deepak Kumar Mishra to do this role. I had to beg, plead, cry, and… promise him things that I can't… mention on camera. I am not interested. I don't even want to hear about it. Mishra is the kind of actor whom I want to see what he's going
to do new for this character. On my part I wrote the best I could. What do you think about it? But a student who doesn't get selected
from here was never meant to be. The students of your Kota have arrived… So like a couple of
lines here and there like… Focus on your studies as well,
which he shouts out of the rickshaw. Focus on your studies as well… So that's his addition to the script… Because he likes to have fun
with the words written. His own children
couldn't get into IIT,.. ..but he helpled
thousands others get in. So now that we had Deepak
Kumar Mishra onboard,.. ..two days before the shoot… …we just assumed that
Mishra knows how to ride a ricksaw. Of course, I can drive without learning. Tomorrow I can drive a bus too. The Rickshaw driver shoot
was quite difficult. Creatively it was
not difficult to shoot. So I think it was more
difficult for actors, especially because we
didn't shoot in a fake way. It was very real. It was at a real location,
where the process was going on. Lets do some the variations. Let's see what happens. Rest we'll figure out at the edits. So Mr. Mishra is taking his dialogues… …and he barely can see ahead. Like I remember Mr.
Mishra had to ride… …but I had not given him space
to even see the front of the road. We were in front of them, so we'll
make sure that it's a safe road and.. ..we're riding at a same speed. We were in a different car… …the actors were in a rickshaw. The rickshaw is heavily rigged. The sound guy is facing
a lot of problems. He's sitting in between
papa and Vaibhav. So if you see there is
enough gap for him to just… …scooch in there and
like record all the sounds. So our sound guy
has done a fabulous job. Ashish Shinde. If your dialogues aren't over yet,
just keep going straight. Keep going straight… Follow the white car in front of you. You rely on him.
If he stops, you stop. Raghav and I were very worried
if we will be able to do it. And… but at the end we finally got it. Done. It was probably the toughest
shoot of all the 31 days. At TVF we try to keep
our casting as real and.. ..as true to the character… …what's been written, as possible. We've been lucky to find
these actors that we have. Vaibhav is a regular,
tier 2 city, naΓ―ve,.. …innocent kid who
hasn't seen the world yet. So we took many auditions, but wasn't sure of anyone. Give him a zero. If this is how Batla tutors us, then our
feedback will be nothing other than zero. The casting team said that
there's a guy called Mayur More,.. ..and you should meet him. He's done a short film, where
he actually played an IIT aspirant. So when he showed me that short film,
and the way he is in it… …it gave me more confidence, he could do it. He had to show a confused character. So we needed to stay on Vaibhav's
face after regular intervals. Because he's our main character,
the story goes through him. Audience is feeling through him. Music in most cases
was how Vaibhav feels. How he's reacting to the
situation that's presented to him. All Raghav said that he
wanted it to be a piano base,.. ..composition most of the time. Twirling the pen is our
writer Abhishek Yadav's habit… …as well as IITians do it too,
apparently. So we thought of many different ways. Vaibhai tried to perfect it. He saw many youtube videos as well. But it happens only when you're scratching your head over
one question for a long time… How am I going to do it?
How am I going to do it? And the pen starts
twirling on its own. It's easy, it's pretty simple. It just needs a slight pressure and the
pen starts turning around automatically. So… You saw that. You saw that. Meena was a character we
wanted to use in another show. I am Meena. Prodigy. A5. Because we've had friends like him. – Kachori.
– Let's start… It's too spicy today. So it was pretty easy to
write the character of Meena… …because he was pretty
clear in our heads. We searched very hard for Meena. The writers and I reached
that point where we realized… Okay, Ranjan. Relax. We told him to send
his own audition clip. He kept his phone on his
bed and recorded his audition. If you've all the amenities, then why
didn't you go to Maheshwari instead? Smaller cuts… He's a little mischevious. He just comes in and goes out. Like he's sprinkled here and there. Uday is the only
guy who is overacting. Look… If you look at other, they
are acting realistically… They are relaxed. But uday is always in his zone. – Let's go get a cup of tea.
– Shivangi,.. …you bite really hard. We wanted to develop Uday's
character like he's a brat… …and he's not bothered. I may appear a miser,
but I am not. I've taken the annual subscription
to Unacademy Plus, only for you. Go and attend all the
live lectures you want. So that in the fifth episode
we break that character… ..that we've developed
all the four episodes. I cannot do it anymore. I cannot concentrate, I cannot sit
for six hours straight like you guys. And then we give him this one monologue,
and then the camera stays on him. Parents might take a wrong decision… …but their intentions are never wrong. No ionic compound is completely ionic. And no covalent compound
is completely covalent. There's a girl who is
always quiet in the class. And when marks are declared.. ..she's always rank one and two. I always revise my periodic table
before lunch and after dinner. That's great! Very nice! She's a little bundle of crazy. 'Where did you go, potato?' 'I was sleeping in monkey's hut.' 'Monkey kicked me and I was crying.' 'I was crying and sleeping.' In the very beginning,
she took a little bit of time.. ..to get into the character. Even if you are caught by a policeman… ..watching porn.. then too Jeetu Bhaiya
will come to your rescue. But eventually once she started shooting.. ..she became Meenal. She became wild. She became crazy. A stuff like 'hello, friends'. Hello, friends. It was the lines that she brought herself. No, don't study. Jeetu Bhaiya has asked us to relax. So just relax. Oh, yes. Hands up. Give me all your money. Give me all your money. Maths was always strong. It was Biology that was weak. But papa is IITian
so I am going into medical. Not only IIT but they
also prepare students for.. ..NIT, NEET and AIPMT. So that character is being represented by. So you were in? Shivangi. I am a 'girl' not a 'woman'. If I had to bet who is
going to be selected finally.. ..then it's Shivangi, according to me. And she will definitely be selected. We've worked with Ahsaas in past. She has a space that she always breaks. She always brings something
new to her character. She's an actor of a
different flare altogether. Move. Move. With that whole sweetness.. ..we somewhere deep inside
knew that Revathi is it. Oh my God! She's such a magician. Listen. He got in. I am happy for him. And he isn't my hero. She was exactly what we needed. Exactly what the script demanded. I've prepared everything. Tomorrow is my exam and I am not even scared. So, Vartika and Vaibhav are average type of students who are studying hard. They knew few things and few they do not. So, we tried to fill in
like all kinds of people. Every type of student. We wanted to show the
universe of that place. Jeetu Bhaiya is an organic choice. Character like him will solve the problem. Not just academic problem.. ..that you face in life. But also the mental issues that you face. He will solve all those. Yes, there's a loss. People do not understand that. Children leave Kota in two years. Kota can never leave
students for years and years. Teachers today in Kota and
even back in our times ..motivate a lot. They used to guide you. Vaibhav Pandey.
– Yes, sir. Do you enjoy begging? Don't beg.
If you want something work hard. And snatch away. We wanted to show Jeetu
as the new age Gandalf. What did I say? Jeetu sir can never be wrong in physics. Jitendra Kumar was our obvious choice. And I don't think anyone else.. ..could have done it better than him. Did you solve this? Jeetu does so much with his eyes.. ..that he gives three
expressions in five frames. I am not shouting at you
but waking up you. Sit down. With Jeetu's character we've
tried something different. When he starts delivering his monologue.. ..or when he starts saying something.. ..we kept the camera on him so that audience feels.. ..that they are talking to Jeetu. Chatur never go to IIT but Rancho do. Haven't you seen 3 idiots? We were lucky to find like
a fabulous secondary cast also. Aunt asked my date and time of birth. Don't just look at the food in mess. Quietly pick up a piece of flatbread.. ..dip in anything in the plate and eat. Do you have a girlfriend? No, right? I am not surprised. Sit down. If you don't know this excpetion,
then what you studied till date. Deepak, the guy who runs Prodigy classes.. ..is our Associate Producer of the show. You all are genius students. He's not an actor. Look, you'll get selected
there as well as here. But here, you will be the topper. You will get a prize. Casting a non-actor
is a big deal and it is.. ..frowned upon, but not at TVF. And that was one of the
greatest things that we do. We are the 'Kachori'
(fritters) shop right now. And this is the scene
where the kids realize that.. ..it is a faculty that
makes kids understand a subject. Sir, rules can't be broken in science. Who told you that? What have you studied till date? Do this. Go home and tell mom
that you can't crack IIT. Inorganic Chemistry means exception. And it's the third
episode's credit roll scene. So this scene sets
the rest of the episode. These aren't just wrappers, but my trophies. My fourth chocolate problem. There are some general tips and tricks.. ..to crack exams in Kota factory. They may not be true for like everybody.. ..but most of the students
will learn a method from it. And those who won't learn
will go to their respective.. ..teacher and discuss with
him what may work for them. Even if you leave 60% syllabus.. ..you still have a chance
to get admission in IIT. Third episode,
don't read inorganic chemistry.. ..that is specific to Vaibhav. So many students loved physics.. ..because it is in small minority. I think inorganic chemistry
will be somebody's favourite. They teach Dalton's & Bohr's model.. which was very annoying for me too.. ..when I was in 11th, 12th and 13th. I changed 3 teachers. Changed teaching strategies,
but what is the end result? Same! The rant was one of
the most crucial scenes.. ..that demanded attention. Problem is not in the teacher.. ..but in this stupid subject. Learn from Maths.. All digits from 0 to 9 are fixed. Because it was written in
the way that it is seamless rant.. ..which is going on in multiple places. But still with the same notion. And the same emotion which Vaibhav had to do. This stupid subject. It's nonsense and boring subject. The start and end was still fine but.. ..in the middle when
I wanted him to exactly.. ..do something which I guess.. ..had shot three or five days back. It was not even back to back. Hey, bro, how's.. Get lost. Go. Listen. Four different days,
four different costumes. And four different locations. But the energy level had to be the same. There are so many models of a single atom. Every atom acts and reacts as it likes. Anything can happen. Chemistry is not a subject but subjective. So, we shot the last chunk
where he meets Jeetu Bhaiya.. ..on the first day. Shot 5 and 6. Take 1. So, to get into the zone
he used to stick a pen.. ..in his mouth and just go like this.. And take his lines with
full gust of energy. Roll cameras. Rolling. On the edit it's a simple cut. Match cut. We did that. When we shift from
one place to the other.. ..there's simple match cut. I wasn't so confused watching Inception.. ..as I am with this exception. Every atom acts and reacts as it likes. The intensity that
is shown in the beginning. It grows and grows and grows. By the time he reaches
Jeetu Bhaiya's house. Changed three teaches. and strategies of studying. But what's the end result? Same! He wasn't stopping, Jeetu Bhaiya. That's why I brought him to you. You are right. Problem is not with the teachers.. ..but with the subject. Which class did you get into? A3. Ahh. And A3 batch has 80% probability.. ..of getting selected in JEE. Every year thousands of
students take such calls in Kota. I just appeared to pass time. They are exploring from
one shop to another shop. Keep taking risk. Then why did you give the exam? Just to check where I stand. They are ready for this
diversion just so that they can have one percent more chance… …that they will crack IIT-JEE. They will do everything
under their control. So we've to understand that it
was completely new for Vaibhav as well… …he doesn't know either. Everything is settled here
and he is leaving. What happened? Did you decide? And obviously its difficult,
that's why it needs to be done. Goodbyes are tough. To shoot, to implement. The shot where Vaibhav
is leaving and Vartika enters… If our camera is placed here, there is
an easy-150 people just around the camera. Vaibhav. And we had to shoot the whole area.
We wanted a wide angle of it. In which you can see
both of them standing alone… …and Vartika entering. But the area where we were shooting… …was Kota's most crowded area. Raghav wanted the lane to be empty,
but he wanted the shops to remain open. We needed silence,
and controlling 150 people is not easy. Please cooperate with us. Let us complete the shooting peacefully. Please don't take videos from your phones. I went to Mr.Mehboob. I said I think this shoot can't happen. I can't do this. This is impossible. We had a problem on our hands,
and no solution of any kind. Then suddenly we came up with the
idea that people want to see the shoot… …then let's show them one. Let's show them a fake shoot. Go… Action! My production manager,
few members of my crew… …one of them posed as the cameraman. The camera is turned off.
It doesn't have any batteries either. This way…this way… Get the people back. This is not a joke. They were trying to show that
this is the main shoot happening… …so all the people ran
towards them. And luckily because of
that we could shoot in peace. Vaibhav. Because it was the climax. It was very important for
us to get the sound, the dialogue… …and to actually do it
as calm and composed as we can. We didn't want to rush it because
this is their final scene. What happened? Is everything alright? Even for the actors,
they had to give their best… …because it's an emotional scene,.. ..it requires more efforts
for them to pull off. – What about the rest?
– I'll use it on my hair. Ewww…yuck! All the teams got together
and we executed it in one night. Believe it or not, but the
entire climax was shot in one night. What was written made a complete circle. Right from the first scene… …to the last scene in the 5th
episode which ends in the same manner. When Vaibhav comes to Kota there's
that individual shot of him on a rickshaw. He's on the right hand side of frame. The same shot repeated when Uday
is taking him to his new PG. He is again on the
right hand side of frame. When the Vaibhav enters the world of Kota,
we've used the track called "the Gentlemen". Different version of 'The Gentlemen'
which we used in the first episode. We needed to show that
Vaibhav is coming of age. And he's kind of grown up, and mature now. The actual sounds,
the ambience…we've used that. On playing the same music what happens is… …your subconscious understands a lot of things… …that your conscious
brain does not understand. So while executing, this is how
we made a narrative circle in the episode… …and in the show. In a nutshell, from a series like
Kota Factory, in my opinion… I would like to use
words quoted by Mr. APJ Abdul Kalam. "Small dream is a big crime." Prepare for IIT only because it is tough.
It's very difficult. Easy exams or target which you think you can ace without any personal growth.
Don't even waste your time on it. Not worth it.


  1. Binge watch all the episodes here: http://bit.ly/AllEpisodesKF
    If you would like the Kota experience right at home, get the Plus Subscription – https://unacademy.app.link/rugWBGw7sW.
    India's Top IIT-JEE Educators are teaching live on Unacademy Plus.

  2. Such a great series, bloody hotstar should learn something from these guys. The office ki vaat laga di

  3. woah i was like i had seen this man somewhere and then realized he played the role of maheshwari sir πŸ˜…

  4. I wish bollywood directors actors think in way this guys thinking . Brilliant. This kind of craft need hard work .Deep thinking-meaning behind every scene every frame. Perfect! Waiting for season 2.

  5. To people who are saying Bollywood mei hona chahiye ta.. Thank God ye masterpiece Bollywood mei nahin YouTube par hei. Hum Chhothi se Chhothi detailing yahan par mehsoos kar sakte yahan par Show ko present karne ki koi boundaries nahin hei.. Making a film comes with time boundation unless it is presented in Harry Potter series kind of manner.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *