Filmmaker Ayesha Sood, who is awaiting the release of her upcoming docu-series ‘Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi, revealed that although she is an enthusiast of the crime-thriller genre and has been a resident of Delhi all her life where the crime rate is quite high, she didnt come across anything like the source material of the series.
The series traces the story of a notorious serial killer who ruthlessly dismembered his victims and scattered their body parts around the city. Scary, unnerving yet compelling, the series attempts to painstakingly explain the sequence of events that led up to his arrest based on investigation and coverage of serial killings in the Indian capital.
Elaborating on what went through her mind when she was approached by VICE India (the producers of the series), Ayesha said, “When the Vice India team approached me with the idea of developing ‘The Indian Predator’, I was truly intrigued because even though I consider myself to be a true-crime nut, and have been a Delhi resident all my life, I had never heard of this story.”
She continued, “On researching this case I realised that this is indeed an important story to tell. Our intent with this series was to give the viewers a ringside view to the journey of one of the scariest serial killers in Indian crime.”
However, while working on the series, the filmmaker had to face several challenges during the course of making it. The most difficult part was to call the people and nudge them to talk about the trauma that they went through during the documentation and research.
Shedding light on the same, Ayesha mentioned, “As is the case with any true-crime documentary, ‘Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi’ also had many layers and threads that kept unravelling through the interviews and conversations. It was tough to get everyone to come on record because of the tragic nature of the crimes and mostly people are wary of documentation or keeping a photographic record of their lives.”
“So, we had to be doubly mindful with our research and ensure that all aspects of the case are being accurately corroborated. Not to mention, there were physical difficulties also at play – whoever has shot post or during the pandemic knows how the health and security teams have to go all out to make sure the crew and our characters felt safe”, the filmmaker added.
Talking about what it was like to shoot in the thick of the pandemic, Ayesha said, “We had stringent Covid protocols in place – safe and controlled zones, disinfection stations and colour codes to mark crew as per their working zones and technical equipment. Then as we neared the end of 2020, we were hit by one of the most severe winters the North has witnessed in recent times.”
“While shooting in Bihar and Delhi with call times at 3/4 a.m. – hot chai was never appreciated more by our incredible tireless crew. So, yes we were really up against a lot of odds while creating the series but I believe we have created something that is truly worth it all”, she concluded.
‘Indian Predator: The Butcher of Delhi’ will drop on Netflix on July 20.