Pather Panchali was made out of Satyajit Ray’s desire to create more realistic films with actual locations and actors who weren’t necessarily professionals. His dream came to life once he saw Bicycle Thieves while in London. He then knew that he could create the type of film he was searching to produce. Ray would use the novel written by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay as his source of inspiration for his story. On his way to and from London, Ray created a series of notes and images that became storyboards for his film. He did not create a script for the film and solely worked from the outline of his storyboards.
Raising funding for the film was a constant problem for Ray as many producers didn’t want to fund him because the film lacked stars and action scenes. The author of the novel’s widow was even offered money to allow another producer to make the film with a different director, but she declined as she had already committed to Ray. Ray would have to delay the production for nearly a year, but once back on track Monroe Wheeler, the head of the department and exhibitions and publications at MoMA saw some of Ray’s footage and encouraged John Huston to check with Ray’s progress. Huston said that he saw the footage and was impressed to see the work of a fine filmmaker. Wheeler would then help to raise additional funds to finish the film.