I always find it very strange the tendency of people to emphasise on whose idea it is rather than the idea itself.
I for one have been credited many times for innovative ideas and also discovering so many talents both in actors and technicians. But did it occur to anyone what I might have thought about those ideas and the talents at that point of time?
The fact is that I never thought anything of anybody or anything or thought everything of everybody and every thing. The only reason I took Anurag Kashyap in Satya was nothing to do with my perception of his talent, but it was because he was the first writer to approach me after I decided to make that film. And later on he got Saurabh Shukla to join in as a co-writer. Why I credited Saurabh Shukla’s name first in the titles of satya was because he was older in age than Anurag.
People thought Anurag was the main guy among the two because I continued to work with Anurag and not Saurabh. The reason I did that was because Saurabh got married and he did not have as much time as Anurag to hang out with me.
Similarly I did not think that Shimit Amin was more talented than Prawal Raman just because Shimit made Ab Tak Chappan and Prawal made Gayab. On the contrary I believe that given the material of Ab Tak Chappan Prawal would have made a better film and given the material of Gayab Shimit would have made it worse.
I made Satya and Daud back-to-back at the same time. So who is the real me? Anurag writes “Satya” and “Main Aisa Hi Hoon” and makes “Black Friday” and No Smoking”. So who is the real Anurag?
Likewise why would Rakesh Mehra make “Aks” first and “Rang De Basanti” next? Why did Ashutosh waste his time and talent on “Baazi” before he could make a “Lagaan” and why were Yashraj making blockbusters last year and failures this year?
The fact is that each and every one of us here are as good or bad as the material we take up at that particular time. The rest of the hype is in the media’s, the industry’s and the audiences mind. Fair enough the material I or anyone picks up surely is an individual choice but without knowing what factors affected that choice at that particular time, one cannot take it for granted that someone is very talented. That is just being ignorant about what goes behind the making of a film.
In effect I am saying if Anaurag came to me for Daud, we would have made as bad a film and if some other writer was in Satya it would have been as good. I am not taking away the credit off him or Saurabh’s or Sandeep Chowta’s or the various actors and technicians of that film. All I am saying is that we all shined because of the material I picked up by chance and ‘chance’ is the operative word here. If I precisely knew what material to pick up why would I be also making bad films?
And what did all those actors and technicians of the film do before and since Satya released 10 years back? All you have to do is to list down the works of Anurag, saurabh, Manoj Bajpai, Sandeep Chowta, Mazhar Kamran the cameraman etc including myself for you to see my point.
In Satya an idea just fell in place. Every one connected should just be happy with it and forget it, and be thankful that nobody realizes that a good film or a bad film can happen as random as that.
The day you start thinking that your idea is you that is when you start taking yourself too seriously and you will start falling in love with the ‘I’ and start losing track of your thinking thereby loosing track of the source where the ‘I’ is coming from in the first place.
If I come up with a hundred ideas, out of which 10 could be film ides, 80 of the other ideas also fail and 7 of the film ideas fail too. The people will only know about the failure of my film ideas. For instance I am known to be a huge success in my video library business when I started which is true from the perspective of my family and my colleagues in the video business at that time. But only I know that it was a big flop and here’s why.
The reason I had started my video library was because I knew about 20 people among my friends and relatives who owned video players. So I thought that if they between them hire 20 cassettes, going by Rs.10- per cassette I would get Rs.200- a day and Rs.6000- a month which was the running cost of my shop. Anything extra I thought would be a profit which I can take a chance upon. Within a month of starting my shop I was renting out more than 100 cassettes a day but none of the 20, I was counting upon ever came to my shop or if they did, they never paid the money as they were my friends or were related to me. So in effect what I counted on didn’t happen and the success came from unexpected quarters. But I know in my heart that if I knew those 20 people would not come, there is no way I would have started my shop.
So am I a success or a failure? I would say that I was a failure in intent and successful by chance. I believed in Raat more than Shiva and I only made Shiva first because the producers did not allow me to make Raat first. I believed in Daud more than Rangeela and the proof of that is why would I make a film like Daud after Rangeela unless I think it is better.
I had the same belief in J.D.Chakravarthy to Manoj Bajpai to Vivek to Prashant to Mohit to Adhvik. I had the same belief in Urmila to Antara to Nisha to Amruta. I had the same belief in Anurag Kashyap to Jaideep Sahani to Sajid Farad to Prashant Pandey and my belief in any of them does not change till today. Some of them made it and some did not. But the people are seeing the effect of them and making judgments on them whereas only I know the cause of what made that happen.
Any way to cut a long story short the point I wanted to make was that all my successes were by default and all my failures were by intent.
Then what made me sustain all this time? It is nothing but me going on making decisions. Decisions led to me making an appalling film like Daud after the super success of Rangeela and decisions led to make a highly experimental film with sweaty bearded faces like “Satya” after the failure of Daud.
I would any day go on making my decisions and make my lot of good, bad and ugly films rather than sitting in a Barista or the Marriott coffee-shop having endless cups of coffee tearing down others films and planning to make masterpieces which will never go the floors.
I would rather any day live the moment and make my film right now which might not be remembered by others than endlessly plan and never make the film which I want to be remembered forever. But then I never said I am into public welfare. I am just a supremely selfish guy and my only intention is to have a ball which I am surely having. Cheers!
Yes, ideas are the main thing. But if the people who got the idea themselves do not know the power or value of their own idea what is the big deal? So it is far more profitable in every which way for all you concerned out there not to waste time on knowing or being in awe of ideators and concentrate on their ideas which worked for you.