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Deepti: A helping hand and guide for artists

Deepti Singh, born in a small city in Uttar Pradesh, went to Mumbai with big dreams of becoming an actress. But in the capital of showbiz, it was not easy to make her mark. She had to struggle and her brownish complexion became a matter of concern, not for her, but others. Having realized the struggle of people like her, she started a production house to support wannabe actors flocking to Maximum City.

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I was born in a city in Mathura, Uttar Pradesh. I had my schooling at the state board before I took my Degree of BTech in Computer Science from UPTU (Uttar Pradesh Technical University). Soon after, I got a job in a software company India Infoline, and that was the first time I stayed away from my family.

Since my childhood, I always wanted to be an actress but most people and my relatives cautioned me, saying that it is not a good idea. What was their worry or grouse? My brown complexion. Besides, I belong to Jat community where girls are not allowed to pursue this kind of profession, but my family stood like a rock and supported me in every possible way.

I took a break from my job and went to Pune to meet my friend. During weekends, I started going to meet my friends who were studying at the prestigious Film Institute there. From here my life started to take a new curve, from there on I started gaining confidence and started believing in myself that I can be an actress. One of my friends, whom I met in Pune, helped me a lot to boost and recollect my confidence in myself. I started pursuing acting along with my job. To my surprise, I started getting good offers and I shifted to Mumbai, the ultimate place for showbiz.

But things were not going to be easy. It took six months to get a place to stay in Mumbai and I was not very impressed the way I was living in the city. My brownish complexion came up for discussion again and it was not too heartening to take the digs. I realized that it’s too tough to survive especially for a girl in Mumbai. Many people try to misguide you; they tried to wash your brains. Many people tried to cheat me, but I was lucky enough to stay away from evil people.

After spending considerable time in Mumbai, I learned so many things and I realised that in this industry people have talent but don’t know how to get the right opportunity. So I started my own production house, offering a chance to skilful persons with no conditions.

In my production house, talent is the only criteria and we choose people who are talented and have potential. Even language is no barrier. Anybody who can speak in Hindi or English or any regional language can join and try for good opportunities.

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How many projects have you done so far?

I have produced one short film The Cycle, which has been selected for many international film festivals. I also have done two feature films as producer and one is an international project called Best Friends, an Indo-Russian film. And there is another film is JL50, starring Abhay Deol, Pankaj Kapur, Piyush Mishra and this is all set to get a digital release. I have also recently finished the shoot of my web show Cookies in which I have made my debut as an actor.

It’s not easy to be in the entertainment business, and what is your business model?

Every business needs a plan. A production company is no different. We make short and long term goals and set our own goals to make our business grow. It also includes research and market analysis which helps us determine what type of films and scripts we should take up because content is our top priority

How much do you charge from wannabe actors?

If the person is skillful we don’t charge anything but we make sure the talent should get a good platform so that it would help them in future.

For a person who is coming to Mumbai with big dreams, how do you help them? What is the first set of things you do for them?

Those who come to Mumbai should have a proper plan. In this city everyone comes with dreams but rarely do people walk in with proper plan or guidance. Anyone who connects me through social media, personally or any medium I try to give right advice with no fake promises and hopes. For a person who walks in with acting skills may also have excellent writing skills and that’s where we should guide them to have their hones skilled.

Setting up a production house in Mumbai is huge. How did you manage the initial investment?

My family and friends supported me to set up everything initially. I started this production house in partnership with my friend who is my partner in the company. On the course, we have got investors too. We mostly work with freelancers. We also have plans to have tie-ups with universities to start film-making schools, especially in small cities and towns.

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