Producer, Writer & Director: Shlok Shukla Wears Many Hats in Hollywood
It takes a village to bring a film to life, whether it’s a full-length feature or a music video. With so many specialized roles on a film crew, it’s no surprise that many of the team members only understand the ins and outs of their own position. While this siloed approach can increase efficiency on set, it creates knowledge gaps that have the potential to hinder production.
For this reason, it’s prudent to work with multidisciplinary film professionals such as producer Shlok Shukla.
Shukla is a Los Angeles-based producer and screenwriter who is known for impacting projects he’s a part of in a big way. Though he studied screenwriting at the New York Film Academy, and has won several awards such as the Best Script Award and Best Dialogue Award at film festivals around the world, Shukla is most enamored with the role of producer.
“The buck stops with the producer,” Shukla remarked. “So many problems arise during the filming process, and I love the challenge of solving them creatively.”
Indeed, it seems like the producer’s role is never done. A typical list of job duties for a producer could include finding a new script or project, budgeting and securing funding, casting, location scouting, acquiring various permits and permissions, hiring a crew, coordinating shooting logistics, post-production, and distribution of the finished product.
You may be able to imagine why it’s important for producers to have at least a working understanding of each role, or department of the film crew. In Shukla’s case, his prior experience is invaluable.
“My education as a writer, and as a business manager before that, have really contributed to my career as a producer,” Shukla shared. “I often find a disconnect between writers and producers, so having the ability to think in both ways is extremely helpful!”
Shukla’s eagerness to tackle problems and learn as he goes, as well as his multidisciplinary background, were essential for the production of his first feature-length film, “ALonely”, which Shukla himself wrote, produced, and directed. “ALonely” is a thriller about an everyman named Alphonse who reminisces about his traumatic past while hiding a secret. The more Alphonse delves into his past, the more we realize something about him and the cabin he lives in is very very off…
While “ALonely” was originally optioned by Toy Boat Productions, Shukla was asked to co-produce and direct the film, due to his impressive background and passion for the project. “ALonely” is currently making its rounds on the festival circuit, and is not yet available to the public, but it is expected to release in the coming months.
“Working with Shlok can be described as peaceful,” mused cinematographer Joshua Fraser. “I’ve been on so many sets that have been problematic, but Shlok really took the weight off our shoulders and created a comfortable environment during the filming of ‘ALonely’.”
Shukla also worked with Toy Boat Productions on the film “Flesh Fresh,” a spoof chewing gum commercial aimed at adults. It follows two young adults at a party who, though they sense a mutual attraction, fear they have bad breath. Though their chewing gum doesn’t quite do the job, an announcer quickly comes to the rescue with “Flesh Fresh” — a chewing gum that never runs out of flavor, but has a very questionable origin.
As the producer, Shukla was responsible for everything from location scouting and casting to gathering props and dressing the set
“Shlok is a skilled producer because he invests time and money in his education,” said “Flesh Fresh” director Benjamin Williams. “He continues to seek new knowledge on a daily basis.”
Shukla is currently working on another feature-length film, titled “Love is a Game,” a vignette that captures a turbulent moment in the relationship of Ellie and Mia, a queer couple returning home from a dinner that went horribly. The director, Lu Mendoza, and executive director of this film approached Shukla to help them translate their ideas from script to screen.
At the time of writing, Shukla and the team behind “Love is a Game” have wrapped pre-production, and are beginning filming, with a tentative release slated for late June 2022.
“Shlok provides insight that I, as a first time filmmaker, wouldn’t have thought of,” said Lu Mendoza. “At the same time, he understands the personal importance the script has for me and he treats it carefully.”
Mendoza was also impressed by Shukla’s attention to detail and solution-oriented approach remarking,“He not only predicts the issues that might appear in production, but he also offers numerous solutions to those issues, making it less stressful and easier for me to focus on creative elements.”
With experience writing, producing, and even directing films, Shlok Shukla is equipped to handle the unpredictability and challenging nature of any production. His eagerness to get the job done well, combined with his positive attitude and passion for challenging work, distinguish him above many of his peers. With so many exciting projects on the horizon for this year, and beyond, Shlok Shukla has established a very exciting career for himself in Hollywood.
In addition to being the producer on the music video Temple Agents’ song “Young Soul,” and Rocky Rose’s “Let’s Ride,” Shukla also produced the films “The Decider” directed by Kevin Amaya (“Not Me,” “Beauty & Brains”), “Roadie” and “Magic Cushion” directed by Benjamin Williams, the director behind “Flesh Fresh.”
Apart from his success as a producer, he has made quite a name for himself as a screenwriter, with his script “All My Friends Are Dead” earning numerous accolades in 2021, such as the Best Feature Screenwriting Award from the Medusa Film Festival, the Best Feature Script Award from the Cult Valley Global Cinefest, Best Feature Screenplay from the Rome Prisma Film Awards, the Best Original Story Award from the American Filmatic Arts Awards and more. His screenplay “Hangman” also garnered incredible industry attention this year when it took home the Best Drama Screenplay Award from Fastidious Los Angeles, the awards for Best Fictional Screenplay, Best Social Screenplay and Best Plot from New Age Cinema & Scripts, and Best Feature Screenwriting from the Medusa Film Festival.