Rapid-Fire Questions with Filmmaker, Director & Entrepreneur Mukesh Modi
It’s a TRUE story that’s captivated audiences around the world and has now come to life in the dramatic family film, “The Elevator.” Directors Jack Cook and Mukesh Modi, along with Oscar- Nominated Actor Eric Roberts & Actress, Model and Comedian Eugenia Kuzmina bring to life the harrowing story of family, unexpected turn of events and piecing together the truth behind what happened when a family’s beloved husband/father doesn’t return from work on his daughter’s birthday.
“Do not keep anything pending and take care of your family first.” — Mukesh Modi
Tap into this rapid-fire interview segment with Filmmaker & Co-Director Mukesh Modi with these surprising details behind the scenes and about the making of the movie.
“The Elevator” is inspired by true events. How did you first come across this story?
I heard many accidental stories, but when I heard about “The Elevator,” I realized that these incidents must have happened to many people, as it did happen to me as well.
What about this film touched you personally?
We should spend more time with family, as life is uncertain.
Have you always been a filmmaker?
No! This is my 1st feature film.
What are the most interesting behind-the-scenes moments that audiences would be interested to know?
While we were shooting the elevator scene, Eric Roberts, along with my Co-Director Jack Cook and the other 2 crew members, actually got stuck in the elevator for 9 minutes.
How was the cast chemistry on set?
We really had a great time, cast chemistry was really amazing. Every cast member whom we had on the set were really fun — it was a like a family for us.
Who are some of the key players in writing, developing and editing the film whom you’d like to acknowledge?
I would like to thank Jack Cook who has directed the movie, as well as helped me in the post. He was there with me from the beginning until completing the movie. Also, I would like to thank Wayan Palmieri who edited this movie. He worked on this project for almost 1.5 years. He has worked very hard. I have learned a lot from him throughout this project.
I would also thank following:
Eugenia Kuzmina — She played the role of Nicole in the movie, but other than that she has helped me a lot in the entire process.
Kripa Prasad who is the Executive Director and worked very hard, before and while shooting. Manoj Narul — Director of Photography
Raaj Rahhi — Creative Producer
Sonali Chterjee — 2nd Assistant Director who worked very hard ,before and while shooting. Peter Swartz — Colorist
Dominic Castro — Sound and Dialogue mixer
Navaja Daniel — Foley Editor
Sudha Deora — Executive Producer
Megan Ryan — Nassau University Medical Center
I would like to thank those who have helped me during the filming of the movie: Shalika & Navneed Chordia, Bobby Kalotee, Bob Chiz, Brian Nevin. Patick J. Ryder, Jay Singh and many more.
What is the main lesson you can take away from watching this movie?
Do not keep anything pending and take care of your family first.
Where can people access more information about the film?
Our website is www.theelevatorfilm.com, and via Instagram or Facebook @theelevator2021
Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit of the ‘backstory’ of how you grew up?
I was born and raised in India. I grew up in a middle-class family in Mumbai. I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and a Diploma in Textile.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
I always liked a glamorous life, so I decided to go into the film industry or fashion business. I joined dance class to learn dance, as in India (Bollywood) dancing and singing are as important as acting. As I am from a middle-class family and didn’t have enough money nor connections to get into the film industry, I went into the fashion industry. However, in the back of my mind, I always wanted to get into film industry. This is the best industry to give a message to a mass audience.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that occurred to you in the course of your filmmaking career?
While we were shooting our movie, “The Elevator,” Eric Roberts and my co-director Jack Cook both got stuck in “The Elevator.”
Which aspect of your work makes you most proud? Can you explain or give a story?
I believe in one thing — if any human being can do anything, I can do it too. I believe that anyone can fulfill their passion with dedication and hard work.
What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started.”
1) Do not trust anyone.
2) Please do your homework.
3) Please check the background of the people you work with.
4) Please give any one small project or give them a trial work and see how they do it, before giving them a big project.
5) Always hire a lawyer to sign any contracts and agreements.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I always believe in education, not the education you get in school or college. I mean that people should have knowledge. I would rather teach people how to catch a fish, rather than give them a free fish.