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  1. guns and thighs by ram gopal verma.pdf
  2. Guns and Thighs : The Story of My Life
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Start by marking “Guns & Thighs: The Story of My Life” as Want to Read: In these delightfully candid musings about his life and his cinema, RGV reveals the man behind pioneering Telugu and Hindi films such as Shiva, Rangeela, Satya, Sarkar, Bhoot and Company. RGV provides his. Guns and Thighs book. Read reviews from world's largest community for readers. In these delightfully candid musings about his life and his. mitliotrachighgold.ml - download Guns and Thighs: The Story of My Life book online at best prices in India on mitliotrachighgold.ml Read Guns and Thighs: The Story of My Life book .

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Guns And Thighs Book

Editorial Reviews. About the Author. Ram Gopal Varma is a film director, screenwriter and Add Audible book to your download for just $ Deliver to your. Guns & Thighs: The Story of My Life [Ram Gopal Varma] on mitliotrachighgold.ml Refreshingly contrarian and politically incorrect, this book discloses a perspective as. Have the 'Guns and Thighs' TV series by Ram Gopal Varma been aired yet? , Views · How can I watch Guns and Thighs episodes online? I download “Gun Digest , 73rd Edition: The World's Greatest Gun Book!.

But the plain truth is that I gave them their breaks, not because I divined some great genius in them and could foresee future acclaim for them. Quite honestly, I never thought anything of anybody. The reason I took Anurag Kashyap in Satya had 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 the film. And later on, he got Saurabh Shukla to join as a co-writer. People thought Anurag was the main guy of the two because I continued to work with Anurag and not Saurabh.

This book is another platform for explaining my ideas and the way I view the world, examining what motivated me to enter the film world, performing an honest post mortem on my filmsthe hits as well as the flopsand talking about some of the people who have shared my lifefilmy and personal.

I have never, ever since Ive been old enough to have a mind of my own, believed in God, respected elders, valued friendships or cared for education. The one thing I have ardently relished, respected, valued, loved and trusted is film-making.

I share some snippets from my filmy journey here with my readers. This book is a mere penning down of my thoughts, some of which might irritate you, some amuse you, some entertain you and some even make you hate me, but, at the end of the day, it wont stop me from speaking my mind and doing as I please.

Irrespective of what anyone thinks of me, I will forever remain who I amand if you think Im bad and outrageous and terrible, I wont lose any sleep over it. Friedrich Nietzsche said, There are no facts, only interpretations. It follows that more than what I meant, whats important is what you make of this book. But the plain truth is that I gave them their breaks, not because I divined some great genius in them and could foresee future acclaim for them. Quite honestly, I never thought anything of anybody.

The reason I took Anurag Kashyap in Satya had 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 the film. And later on, he got Saurabh Shukla to join as a co-writer. People thought Anurag was the main guy of the two because I continued to work with Anurag and not Saurabh. The reason I did so was because Saurabh got married and he did not have as much time as Anurag to hang out with me. On the contrary, I believe that given the material of Ab Tak Chappan, Prawaal would have made a better film and given the material of Gayab, Shimit might have come up with a worse film.

But thats just my opinion and its not necessarily true. I made Satya and Daud back-to-back. So who is the real me? Why did Ashutosh Gowariker waste his time and talent on Baazi if he could make a Lagaan? The fact is that each and every one of us is as good or as bad as the material we take up at that particular time, and how things fall in place after that. Fair enough, the material I or anyone else picks up 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 either very talented or has lost it.

In effect, I am saying that if Anurag had come to me for Daud, we would have ended up making as bad a film and if Sanjay Chhel who wrote Daud had written Satya, it would have turned out as good. Incidentally, Sanjay Chhel also wrote Rangeela. I am not taking away the credit from Anurag or Saurabh, or the various actors and technicians of Satya. All I am saying is that we all shone in Satya because of the material I picked up by chance, and chance is the operative word here.

If I knew unerringly what material to pick up, why would I also be making bad films? In a good film, everything just falls in place. Everyone connected with it should just be happy its panned out so and not believe themselves to be the architects of its success. They should feel thankful that nobody realizes that a good film or a bad film happens just by chance. What I tell young filmmakers is that the day you start thinking that the film is only you, that is when.

In other words, it spells hubris. If I come up with a hundred ideas, ten could be film ideas and ninety could be other ideas and many a time they fail too. But people only know of my failed films because they are in the spotlight. For instance, my video library business from the perspective of my family and my colleagues in the video business was considered a huge success at that time.

Only I know it was a big flop and heres why. The reason I started the video library was that I knew around twenty of my friends and relatives owned video players. So I thought that if between them they hired twenty cassettes, at 10 a cassette a day, I would get a day or 6, a month, which was the running cost of my shop.

Anything extra, I thought, would be a profit which I could take a chance upon. Within a month of starting my shop, I was renting out more than cassettes a day, but none of the twenty people I had counted upon ever came to my shop. If they did, they never paid, as they were my friends or were related to me.

So in effect, what I had counted upon didnt happen and success came from unexpected quarters. But I know in my heart that if I had not banked on those twenty people, there was no way I would have started my shop. So am I a success or a failure? I would say that I am a failure in terms of intent and successful by chance.

I believed in Raat more than in Shiva, and only made Shiva first because the producers wouldnt let me make Raat. 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 thought it was better? I believed in all my leading actors from Nagarjuna Akkineni to J. Chakravarthi, Manoj Bajpayee and Vivek Oberoi.

guns and thighs by ram gopal verma.pdf

I believed in Urmila, Antara, Nisha, and Anaika to the same extent, and in Anurag Kashyap, Jaideep Sahani, Sajid-Farhad and Prashant Pandey; and despite the ups and downs of their career graphs, my belief in all of them remains unshaken. Anyway, the point Im trying to make is that all my successes were by default and all my failures were by intent. Then what has made me carry on for so long? It is nothing but the ability to keep on making decisions.

A decision led to my making an appalling film like Daud after the super success of Rangeela, and a decision led to my making a highly experimental film with sweaty bearded faces like Satya after the failure of the much-hyped Daud. I would any day go on deciding to make good, bad and ugly films rather than sit in a coffee shop, having endless cups of coffee, tearing down others films and planning a masterpiece in the future, which might never go on the floors.

To those critics who complain that I make films in a hurry, my answer is that I would rather live in the moment and make my film right now, than endlessly plan in the hope of it becoming a masterpiece. Incidentally, the longest time I have taken and maximum money I have spent in my career are on three filmsDaud, Aag and Departmentwhich are three of my biggest flops.

I rest my case. Gopal at the time. In the course of those sessions, whenever its music director Chakravarti and director B. Gopal used to go for lunch, I used to chat with the music directors assistant and once in a while he used to hum tunes which he had himself composed.

I was very impressed with many of his tunes. One day, I described to him a scene from the script of Shiva and the way I intended to shoot it, and asked him what kind of music he thought there should be in the scene.

He replied that there should be none. I was mighty impressed with the answer, and committed to him that if ever I got a break, I would sign him on as my music director. Finally, when I got the break I suddenly had the opportunity of signing on Ilayaraja.

Feeling very guilty, I told the assistant music director that I wouldnt be taking him for the film as I was getting Ilayaraja. He was obviously very heartbroken, but said that he understood the situation and wished me all the best.

But because of the time I had spent with him and the association I had developed, the guilt was killing me and the moment Shiva became a big hit, I went back to him and signed him up for my second film. The assistants name was Keeravani also known as M. Kreem and the film I signed him on for was my second telugu film Kshana Kshanam.

Of all the films Ive made till date, I consider Rangeela and Kshana Kshanam the two with the best musical scores. A keyboard player used to be working for Keeravani and I used to interact with him a lot, especially when he was doing the background soundtracks and I always believed that he could become a very good music director if he tried. He, however, didnt want to, saying that he was technically not a composer. Much later, when I had a problem with R. Burman during Drohi Antham and I could not get Keeravani as he was busy, I forced that keyboard player to do one song.

Both the song and the film didnt work, but later on when a film with megastar Chiranjeevi came up, I told Chiranjeevi that the Drohi song hadnt worked but I really believed in the keyboard players potential as a music composer. Chiranjeevi said that if he was good enough for me, he was good enough for him.

The keyboard player was ecstatic, but after a great celebratory launch, the Chiranjeevi film was shelved for a variety of reasons and the poor guy was devastated.

However, on the strength of the impression he made on Chiranjeevi through a song he recorded for the shelved film, he was given another film by the latter, called Choodalani Vundi, which set him firmly on the path to becoming one of the top music composers in the Telugu film industry.

The keyboard players name is Mani Sharma. Cycle II When my first film Shiva was ready for background score, there was a musicians union strike in Chennai, and so Ilayaraja and I shifted to Mumbai to record the score. The musical team chosen by Ilayaraja in Mumbai saw the film, and one particular violin player walked up to me and said that the film would create a sensation.

Technically that was the first compliment I had ever received from an outsider in my career. After that, the violin player and I would chat once in a while in the period the background score was being recorded. A few years later, I signed R. Burman for Drohi and went to Mumbai for recording a song.

Those days I used to operate from Hyderabad and kept flying up and down to Mumbai. I again bumped into the violin player. After telling me how happy he was at Shivas success, which he had predicted, he brought a guy and introduced him as his closest friend and told me that he was a lyricist. That guy gave me a visiting card. I put the card in my pocket, and in the evening I returned to Hyderabad and forgot all about it.

Like I mentioned earlier, as I fell out with R. Burman for various reasons, I had to record a song with a new music director. As I was leaving for Chennai in the evening, my mom brought in a bunch of visiting cards collected over a period of time to ask me if she could throw them away. I quickly glanced through them and just kind of registered the card which the lyricist had given me before telling her to throw the lot away. By the time I landed in Chennai, I got news that Javed Akhtar who was supposed to come with the lyrics to Chennai was not coming as he was stuck with some work.

I got cheesed off and asked my guys in Mumbai to send a lyricist that night itself as I didnt want to cancel the recording. I was told that none was available. I suddenly remembered the visiting cards my mother had shown me. So I called her up and asked her, and she said that she already thrown them in the dustbin. She rummaged in the bin and luckily found the lyricists card and gave me the number. I immediately got that lyricist flown to Chennai and he wrote the song for Drohi, and it was composed by Mani Sharma and recorded.

Both Drohi and the song bombed but my relationship with the lyricist continued, and whenever I was in Mumbai, the violin player, lyricist and I used to meet up once in a while. At that time I was just beginning to work on the idea of Rangeela. When I mentioned the story to both of them, they got very excited and the violin player composed a tune for which the lyricist wrote a song. I was very impressed and committed to both of them that they would be doing the music for Rangeela.

They were thrilled to bits. A few days later, Mani Ratnam made me hear the songs of Roja at his home in Chennai, and I was simply blown away with the orchestral brilliance of A. I became greedy to have that sound in my film at any cost, and went back on my commitment to the violin player and signed on Rahman instead, which understandably left the violin player very angry and heartbroken. The lyricist pleaded with me not to renege on my promise to his friend, but I said it was a professional decision in the best interest of the film.

I spoke to Rahman about the lyricist and told him that his first song hadnt worked, but I believed he was very good. Rahman said, If he is good enough for you he is good enough for me.

Thus Mehboob came into Rangeela minus the violin player, and the first song he wrote was Tanha Tanha. I played that song to Mani Ratnam and he was mighty impressed with the fact that it was the first song hed heard in a long time which didnt have the words dil, deewana and sanam, and he signed on Mehboob for Bombay.

With the super success of both Bombay and Rangeela, Mehboob became a very big name, and then he recommended his closest friendthe violin playerto Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who was looking for a new music director for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and thus was born Ismail Darbar. After the tremendous musical success of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, which also coincided with a couple of Rahman albums, including my own Daud, not doing well, Ismail Darbar was hailed as the new musical kid on the block.

I called him up to congratulate him but he didnt answer my calls. Later on, Ismail gave an interview where he said that now that he was a success, everybody was calling him including Ram Gopal Varma. That was obviously his revenge for the heartache I gave him by dumping him for Rahman. The close friends Ismail and Mehboob, who were responsible for the success of each others career, broke up after Devdas because of differences which they didnt spell out in public and both went into a decline professionally after that.

Now, when they sometimes try to call me to patch up and bury the hatchet, I dont pick up the calls of either as I have moved on to a new set of people and dont have either the time or the inclination to dwell on old relationships. Anyway, the whole point is that I am just so fascinated with how the cycle of fortune keeps on throwing people in and out of dustbins.

On the negative side, they can be corrupting, not necessarily in terms of who is given what award, but their very structure itself. To start with, filmmaking is a team effort and the director is the only person to judge the contribution of the team members, as their work is being benchmarked against his vision and requirements. Its possible that the director screws up fantastic work by a very capable technician by using it in the wrong context, and its equally possible that bad work by an average technician is easily covered up by the overall effect.

In both cases, it is the directors vision and skill that make or break the work done by other team members. I find it strange that for all the euphoria generated amongst Indians by Resul Pookutty winning an Oscar, it did not even occur to them to ask what he has done before.

He must have worked in fifty-odd films before Slumdog Millionaire and they would have ranged from the good, to the bad and ugly but the point is that his sound designing in them went unnoticed.

With the media screaming about his great achievement, everybody was suddenly talking about his great talent. Did anybody think to ask or care, let alone know, who had got the same award the year before or after Resul? Does anybody even know, for that matter, what sound designing is? I have never heard of or met a single person who saw Slumdog and singled out sound in particular, until the time Resul got an award; and from then on everybody talked knowledgably about sound design without having the faintest idea what it means.

A film has a live effects track, a dialogue track, an atmospheric track and the background score track, of which the sound designer is responsible for only a part.

All of these are made to come together by the final mixing engineer to create the desired effect, sometimes in consultation with the director and sometimes without. Anybody hearing the mixed track has no way of knowing who is responsible and to what degree for the final effect.

The only person who would know is the mixing engineerand possibly the directorwho decides what to keep, what to throw out and the sound levels.

Im not trying to undermine Resuls work here, but to point out that better work by Resul may go unnoticed while something more average can create an impact for reasons unrelated to his work. What Im asking is, are they giving awards to actors or characters? If its characters, then they are written by writers and how that character translates on screen is dependent on a number of factors such as screenplay, co-actors performances, editing and direction, and there is no justification for the actor alone being given the credit.

Guns and Thighs : The Story of My Life

Unlike the stage, the only true judgment of cinematic acting can be done between the start and cut of a shot. It is because it is only here.

So, how well he has matched the character to the directors vision, only the director can know; and then its also possible that even a great performance can be completely screwed up by the director on the editing table, or if it is wrongly placed in the screenplay, or by an ineffective performance by a co-actor.

So, a number of peoples talents and their complex interweaving pool together in the sum total effect of a film moment or the film itself; and there is no way an outside body, irrespective of its expertise, can judge the individual contributions.

I have always maintained that my successful films owe to team effort and my failures are mine alone. The reason for that is that each and every actor and technician is contributing his work and talent as per my vision, and in many cases delivering far beyond my expectations.

If I use their contributions wrongly, the film does not work. But when it works and I am being praised, I know in my heart which individuals specifically lifted a particular moment in the film or the film in its entirety even. So in short, the success of a film is due to the contribution of the actors and technicians in excess of my expectations, which is why it belongs to them, while failure belongs to me alone, as it means that I failed in channelizing their equally great contributions to their intended destination.

It has to be realized that in the making of a film the technicians and actors are working towards satisfying the director, and the director is working towards satisfying the audience. So I find the concept of an outside body giving awards ridiculous, knowing as I do the mechanics of making a film. He reckoned that with an investment of just 20 lakh, he could make a crore in the very first year. There was a huge colony on that road and not a single bar within 5 km either way of the location he had chosen.

His logic seemed infallible and I wished him all the very best. By the end of the year, he had lost his investment and closed down the bar for lack of business. Then, he sadly figured that none of the residents of the colony wanted to drink in a bar in the vicinity of their homes and thats why nobody had ever opened a bar there in the first place.

Whether his reasoning was correct or not, the fact was that both Raat and Chittis Bar flopped, with one major difference. Since I am part of the film industry, everyone got to know about my failure but no one except me knew about Chittis. In the run-up to the Iraq war there was a lot of opposition to America attacking Iraq, including among Americans.

They all questioned the authenticity of the information about Saddam Hussein stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, and said that innocent women and children would die in the war. But nobody ever doubted that America would be able to conquer Iraq. After the attack, the war was over in a week. Saddam and his sons went into hiding, and the US President gave a speech with a banner screaming Mission accomplished in the backdrop. But for years after that, the US did not know how to get out of Iraq without making things worse than before.

If less than Americans died in the war before they overthrew Saddams regime, more than 12, Americans died after that in insurgent operations.

guns and thighs by ram gopal mitliotrachighgold.ml | Cinema (60K views)

The interesting point here is that I dont remember either the American state or a single opponent of the war, including statesmen and common people, predicting this post-war scenario. But now, after the fact, every street-corner paanwala sniggers at Americas flop show.

I call it America ki Aag. Coming to films, over the years so many people ask me in surprise how I could have made such-andsuch a flop. What they dont realize is that a film is made on the basis of a series of decisions taken over a long period of time, each relevant in a particular context. There are a hell of a lot of things which can go wrong between the intent and execution of a film. Also how the film is eventually perceived by others, namely the audience, might be very different from the filmmakers vision.

This is because the audience views it maybe in a different time and context from that in which the idea was conceived by the filmmaker. I have always maintained that all my flops are by intent and all my hits are by accident. That is because any of us will act upon anything if, and only if, we are convinced about something but what comes of our action is rarely under our control.

I know of a friend who was dating this girl for seven years and when they finally got married, their marriage was a big flop. When I asked him why, he said that they had both discovered some things about. The point I am trying to make is that apart from films, lots of things in our lives flop regularly, because a flop is nothing but a decision gone wrong. We are all experts at criticizing and commenting on others failures, but very rarely are we experts at predicting and dissecting our own failures.

Mahesh Bhatt said that Sunil Gavaskar once told him that if he failed in a match, after coming back to the pavilion, even the attendant removing his knee pads would tell him how he should not have hit soand-so ball. It is another matter that the attendant might not even have known how to hold a bat, but he would feel free to advise and give gyan to Gavaskar since he had flopped. Coming back to Chitti, believing in his reasons, his family backed him financially. If the bar had become a hit, he would have been hailed as a visionary but since it flopped, he is now considered blindly stupid by his family because it could not afford the loss he made it undergo.

In the case of my video library business, on the other hand, my family thought I was being blindly stupid and hence did not support me financially, but I became a visionary once the video library became a hit. But why I thought the library would be successful was not why it worked, whereas why Chitti thought the bar would be successful was the very reason it failed.

So we both failed in what we intended but I succeeded by accident. In the era of commercial formula films like Deewaar. I remember seeing Chitchor seven times somewhere in the late s or early s, and the simplicity of narration that I learnt from it was pretty much what shaped my vision of Rangeela.

Cut to twenty years later I was at my office in Mumbai, when my receptionist called me and said that someone called Basu Chatterjee had come to meet me. I asked the receptionist, Who is he? I got a shock and wondered why he had come. I walked to the reception to see a gentle-looking elderly man and welcomed him into my room. I offered him coffee and started telling him how I used to stand in line outside Ramakrishna theatre in Hyderabad to watch his films.

He smiled and told me that he was aware of it, as I had mentioned it many a time in my interviews over the years. After a chat, he finally told me why he had come. Apparently, he had a script and a producer but he did not have access to any actors. He was desperately trying to get in touch with Manoj Bajpayee, but was unable to do so.

So he had come to seek my help in accessing Manoj. I said Sure, went into the other room and called Manoj. His phone was switched off, so I called his secretary. The secretary told me Manoj was out of town, and when I asked him if they knew that Basu Chatterjee was trying to get in touch he said, Yeah, I am figuring out how to get rid of him.

I was pretty taken aback. I realized that while Manoj couldnt have been capable of such abruptness, he, for whatever reason, was not interested in working with Basu Chatterjee. I came back and told Basuji, Manoj is not in town, so I will talk to him and get back. He chatted for some more time and left. Then a few days later Basuji called me and said, Apparently Manoj is back in town, but I have a feeling he doesnt want to work with me.

I didnt know what to say to that. Then he asked if I could recommend to Aftab Shivdasani that he listen to hisBasujisstory. He said, Sure, sir, but who is he? Considering that Aftab is perhaps two generations removed from Basu Chatterjee, that answer didnt shock me.

So I explained to him that Basuji was a highly successful director who had made cult films like Chitchor. Aftab asked, But sir, what does he do now? I told Aftab, Look here, I dont know what hes. Aftab said, Ok sir, please give him my number. With a sigh of relief, I gave Aftabs number to Basuji and got back to my work. Two days later, I got a call from Basuji thanking me. I asked him if Aftab had come to meet him.

He said, No, he didnt have time so he sent his secretary to hear the story. So after a long pause I asked, So did his secretary listen to the story? He said, No, the secretary after listening for ten minutes, said he had to rush somewhere.

So I couldnt finish it. Anyway thanks for whatever you tried to do for me, and hung up. Thats the last I heard of Basu Chatterjee. It was sometime in , and for the last fifteen years, I havent even heard his name mentioned.

What remains is a faintly uncomfortable memory of my respectful interaction with him. I say this because a film in a true sense is.

A film is made because the filmmaker has a story, which he desires to tell, and film business is about carrying the film effectively to as many viewers as possible and in the process making money out of it. There is the hardware of the film business, which is the hundreds of theatres in existence and hundreds still being built across the country, and they need software to play.

And then there are the thousands of people cinema gives a livelihood toactors, technicians, producers, distributors, suppliersand thats why its called an industry. Now the industry needs to fill the theatres to run the business and it doesnt care as much about the quality of the film as about the turnover. Quality is important only from the filmmakers perspective and the individual viewers perspective, as it is very subjective because each individual has very specific taste, sensibility and intelligence.

We keep hearing that 90 per cent of films are flops, and nobody even thinks of asking how any industry can run if it is losing money 90 per cent of the time. This is how it happens. Lets say a producer spends 10 crore in making a movie which goes in payments to various artistes, technicians, suppliers, etc.

Then lets say somebody downloads it for 12 crore. The downloader further retails it to various others for, say, a sum total of 13 crore and the film finally collects 15 crore. Now this would be a case of the film making money for everyone involved. Lets say now the producer spent 16 crore, but the film was bought for only 12 crore because the sale price never depends on the cost price.

It depends on the producers compulsion to sell in order to safeguard himself and the downloaders perception of its value for the consumer. In the above case, it is a flop for the producer, but for the downloader it is a hit. This is the financial part of it. Coming to the creative part, Darr is a superhit for Shah Rukh and a super flop for Sunny Deol as far as their star branding is concerned. Murli Mohan Rao, was released around the same time, and collected much more than Satya.

But was it because the audience genuinely liked it better than Satya, or was it because Salman is a crowd puller? The fact that a film has good collections does not necessarily mean people liked it more than films that collected less. It only means that more people saw it. For instance, Satya was taken off from the theatres on the second or third day in parts of UP and Rajasthan for lack of audience.

So it registered a super flop in those areas. But a year later, when I went to those areas for some other work, everybody recognized me as the director of Satya. How did that happen? It was simply because when it was released, nobody had heard about it and did not go to see it.

By the time they heard about it, it was taken off from the theatres. So they must have finally seen it on video or cable. Today I doubt that youll find a single individual who will say that he liked Bandhan more than Satya, but the collections at that time told a different story.

Now coming to the individual viewers point of view, I will try to explain it with the help of an example. Suppose you go to a crockery store to download a dinner set. You will check out the various designs available and pick the one you like best.

You will never ask the salesman if its a hit or flop, and neither will you ask a critic to review it. Anyone with a mind of his own will do the same with a movie. Often you will hear about a films opening in terms of percentage. Lets say a film opens in ten theatres, each with a seat capacity. On the first screening, if all shows are full, it will register as per cent opening, meaning 2, people saw it.

But if the distributor opens it in twenty theatres and it registers 50 per cent opening, it is considered below the mark; but the bottom line is that 2, people still saw it. Undoubtedly, the additional theatres will incur extra theatre rentals and print costs, but that decision will always be with the distributor of the concerned circuit based on his perception and vision of how many people will watch it and has nothing to do with the filmmaker.

But eventually, it is the filmmakers branding which will suffer on account of ignorance and a bad decision made by someone else. To sum it up strictly from a filmmakers perspective, I would define a film as a hit or a flop going by what the film cost the producer to make, and how much he could recover on first sale.

Any further trading of it is strictly dependent on various peoples decisions about how to and how not to market it, which cannot be controlled by the filmmaker unless he is also a producer and a distributor. If a wholesaler or retailer tries to sell an Ayn Rand book to a Mills and Boon-reading public, he is bound to be unsuccessful.

And I dont think Ayn Rand could really be blamed for the failure. Going by his worldview, a filmmaker will make a film which some will love, some hate and some ridicule on an individual level, which is perfectly alright. What is not so straightforward is that the filmmakers and actors branding will also suffer on account of decisions about print deployment, occupancy percentages, box-office figures, etc. But I guess thats a professional hazard. Be it the gun in Amitabh Bachchans hands in Zanjeer.

Even after finishing my civil engineering, getting married and managing a job as a site engineer, my obsession didnt die; on the contrary it reached fever pitch.

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My father was a sound engineer in Annapurna Studios in Hyderabad, and owing to that had reasonable access to the big guns there. One fine day, when my film mania reached its absolute peak, I went to him and declared that I wanted to be a film director. He looked at me as if I were stark raving mad, and with good reason, because there was not a single constructive thing that I had done in my life until then.

I was a bad student and had the reputation of being a useless bum. Realizing that he wasnt going to help, I started trying other means. A few years before I decided to try my hand at film direction, Andhra Pradeshs biggest newspaper magnate Ramoji Rao, had started a production house which had made quite a fresh bunch of non-run-of-the-mill films like Pratighatana and Srivaariki Premalekha.

In order to somehow obtain access to him, I wrote an article for his now-defunct newspaper Newstime, titled The Ideas that Killed 30 Million People. The editor was startled by the title, but after reading it he agreed to publish it. Soon, on the strength of being the author of that article, I managed an appointment with Ramoji Rao and pitched my idea of directing a film for him.

He rejected my pitch outright on the grounds of my lack of practical experience. I argued that a director does not need experience, only clarity of vision and the skill to communicate it to the actors and technicians.

He did not download it. He, however, didnt want to, saying that he was technically not a composer. Much later, when I had a problem with R. Burman during Drohi Antham and I could not get Keeravani as he was busy, I forced that keyboard player to do one song. Both the song and the film didnt work, but later on when a film with megastar Chiranjeevi came up, I told Chiranjeevi that the Drohi song hadnt worked but I really believed in the keyboard players potential as a music composer.

Chiranjeevi said that if he was good enough for me, he was good enough for him. The keyboard player was ecstatic, but after a great celebratory launch, the Chiranjeevi film was shelved for a variety of reasons and the poor guy was devastated.

However, on the strength of the impression he made on Chiranjeevi through a song he recorded for the shelved film, he was given another film by the latter, called Choodalani Vundi, which set him firmly on the path to becoming one of the top music composers in the Telugu film industry.

The keyboard players name is Mani Sharma. Cycle II When my first film Shiva was ready for background score, there was a musicians union strike in Chennai, and so Ilayaraja and I shifted to Mumbai to record the score.

The musical team chosen by Ilayaraja in Mumbai saw the film, and one particular violin player walked up to me and said that the film would create a sensation. Technically that was the first compliment I had ever received from an outsider in my career. After that, the violin player and I would chat once in a while in the period the background score was being recorded.

A few years later, I signed R. Burman for Drohi and went to Mumbai for recording a song. Those days I used to operate from Hyderabad and kept flying up and down to Mumbai. I again bumped into the violin player. After telling me how happy he was at Shivas success, which he had predicted, he brought a guy and introduced him as his closest friend and told me that he was a lyricist.

That guy gave me a visiting card. I put the card in my pocket, and in the evening I returned to Hyderabad and forgot all about it. Like I mentioned earlier, as I fell out with R. Burman for various reasons, I had to record a song with a new music director. As I was leaving for Chennai in the evening, my mom brought in a bunch of visiting cards collected over a period of time to ask me if she could throw them away. I quickly glanced through them and just kind of registered the card which the lyricist had given me before telling her to throw the lot away.

By the time I landed in Chennai, I got news that Javed Akhtar who was supposed to come with the lyrics to Chennai was not coming as he was stuck with some work. I got cheesed off and asked my guys in Mumbai to send a lyricist that night itself as I didnt want to cancel the recording. I was told that none was available. I suddenly remembered the visiting cards my mother had shown me. So I called her up and asked her, and she said that she already thrown them in the dustbin.

She rummaged in the bin and luckily found the lyricists card and gave me the number. I immediately got that lyricist flown to Chennai and he wrote the song for Drohi, and it was composed by Mani Sharma and recorded. Both Drohi and the song bombed but my relationship with the lyricist continued, and whenever I was in Mumbai, the violin player, lyricist and I used to meet up once in a while.

At that time I was just beginning to work on the idea of Rangeela. When I mentioned the story to both of them, they got very excited and the violin player composed a tune for which the lyricist wrote a song. I was very impressed and committed to both of them that they would be doing the music for Rangeela.

They were thrilled to bits. A few days later, Mani Ratnam made me hear the songs of Roja at his home in Chennai, and I was simply blown away with the orchestral brilliance of A. I became greedy to have that sound in my film at any cost, and went back on my commitment to the violin player and signed on Rahman instead, which understandably left the violin player very angry and heartbroken.

The lyricist pleaded with me not to renege on my promise to his friend, but I said it was a professional decision in the best interest of the film. I spoke to Rahman about the lyricist and told him that his first song hadnt worked, but I believed he was very good. Rahman said, If he is good enough for you he is good enough for me.

Thus Mehboob came into Rangeela minus the violin player, and the first song he wrote was Tanha Tanha.

I played that song to Mani Ratnam and he was mighty impressed with the fact that it was the first song hed heard in a long time which didnt have the words dil, deewana and sanam, and he signed on Mehboob for Bombay.

With the super success of both Bombay and Rangeela, Mehboob became a very big name, and then he recommended his closest friendthe violin playerto Sanjay Leela Bhansali, who was looking for a new music director for Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, and thus was born Ismail Darbar. After the tremendous musical success of Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, which also coincided with a couple of Rahman albums, including my own Daud, not doing well, Ismail Darbar was hailed as the new musical kid on the block.

I called him up to congratulate him but he didnt answer my calls. Later on, Ismail gave an interview where he said that now that he was a success, everybody was calling him including Ram Gopal Varma. That was obviously his revenge for the heartache I gave him by dumping him for Rahman.

The close friends Ismail and Mehboob, who were responsible for the success of each others career, broke up after Devdas because of differences which they didnt spell out in public and both went into a decline professionally after that. Now, when they sometimes try to call me to patch up and bury the hatchet, I dont pick up the calls of either as I have moved on to a new set of people and dont have either the time or the inclination to dwell on old relationships.

Anyway, the whole point is that I am just so fascinated with how the cycle of fortune keeps on throwing people in and out of dustbins. On the negative side, they can be corrupting, not necessarily in terms of who is given what award, but their very structure itself.

To start with, filmmaking is a team effort and the director is the only person to judge the contribution of the team members, as their work is being benchmarked against his vision and requirements. Its possible that the director screws up fantastic work by a very capable technician by using it in the wrong context, and its equally possible that bad work by an average technician is easily covered up by the overall effect.

In both cases, it is the directors vision and skill that make or break the work done by other team members. I find it strange that for all the euphoria generated amongst Indians by Resul Pookutty winning an Oscar, it did not even occur to them to ask what he has done before.

He must have worked in fifty-odd films before Slumdog Millionaire and they would have ranged from the good, to the bad and ugly but the point is that his sound designing in them went unnoticed. With the media screaming about his great achievement, everybody was suddenly talking about his great talent. Did anybody think to ask or care, let alone know, who had got the same award the year before or after Resul?

Does anybody even know, for that matter, what sound designing is? I have never heard of or met a single person who saw Slumdog and singled out sound in particular, until the time Resul got an award; and from then on everybody talked knowledgably about sound design without having the faintest idea what it means. A film has a live effects track, a dialogue track, an atmospheric track and the background score track, of which the sound designer is responsible for only a part.

All of these are made to come together by the final mixing engineer to create the desired effect, sometimes in consultation with the director and sometimes without. Anybody hearing the mixed track has no way of knowing who is responsible and to what degree for the final effect.

The only person who would know is the mixing engineerand possibly the directorwho decides what to keep, what to throw out and the sound levels. Im not trying to undermine Resuls work here, but to point out that better work by Resul may go unnoticed while something more average can create an impact for reasons unrelated to his work.

What Im asking is, are they giving awards to actors or characters? If its characters, then they are written by writers and how that character translates on screen is dependent on a number of factors such as screenplay, co-actors performances, editing and direction, and there is no justification for the actor alone being given the credit.

Unlike the stage, the only true judgment of cinematic acting can be done between the start and cut of a shot. It is because it is only here that the actor alone is drawing up an emotion on cue and releasing it, and thus, is solely responsible for his performance.

So, how well he has matched the character to the directors vision, only the director can know; and then its also possible that even a great performance can be completely screwed up by the director on the editing table, or if it is wrongly placed in the screenplay, or by an ineffective performance by a co-actor. So, a number of peoples talents and their complex interweaving pool together in the sum total effect of a film moment or the film itself; and there is no way an outside body, irrespective of its expertise, can judge the individual contributions.

I have always maintained that my successful films owe to team effort and my failures are mine alone. The reason for that is that each and every actor and technician is contributing his work and talent as per my vision, and in many cases delivering far beyond my expectations.

If I use their contributions wrongly, the film does not work. But when it works and I am being praised, I know in my heart which individuals specifically lifted a particular moment in the film or the film in its entirety even. So in short, the success of a film is due to the contribution of the actors and technicians in excess of my expectations, which is why it belongs to them, while failure belongs to me alone, as it means that I failed in channelizing their equally great contributions to their intended destination.

It has to be realized that in the making of a film the technicians and actors are working towards satisfying the director, and the director is working towards satisfying the audience. So I find the concept of an outside body giving awards ridiculous, knowing as I do the mechanics of making a film. He reckoned that with an investment of just 20 lakh, he could make a crore in the very first year. There was a huge colony on that road and not a single bar within 5 km either way of the location he had chosen.

His logic seemed infallible and I wished him all the very best. By the end of the year, he had lost his investment and closed down the bar for lack of business.

Then, he sadly figured that none of the residents of the colony wanted to drink in a bar in the vicinity of their homes and thats why nobody had ever opened a bar there in the first place.

Whether his reasoning was correct or not, the fact was that both Raat and Chittis Bar flopped, with one major difference.

Since I am part of the film industry, everyone got to know about my failure but no one except me knew about Chittis. In the run-up to the Iraq war there was a lot of opposition to America attacking Iraq, including among Americans. They all questioned the authenticity of the information about Saddam Hussein stockpiling weapons of mass destruction, and said that innocent women and children would die in the war.

But nobody ever doubted that America would be able to conquer Iraq. After the attack, the war was over in a week. Saddam and his sons went into hiding, and the US President gave a speech with a banner screaming Mission accomplished in the backdrop. But for years after that, the US did not know how to get out of Iraq without making things worse than before.

If less than Americans died in the war before they overthrew Saddams regime, more than 12, Americans died after that in insurgent operations. The interesting point here is that I dont remember either the American state or a single opponent of the war, including statesmen and common people, predicting this post-war scenario. But now, after the fact, every street-corner paanwala sniggers at Americas flop show. I call it America ki Aag.

Coming to films, over the years so many people ask me in surprise how I could have made such-andsuch a flop. What they dont realize is that a film is made on the basis of a series of decisions taken over a long period of time, each relevant in a particular context.

There are a hell of a lot of things which can go wrong between the intent and execution of a film. Also how the film is eventually perceived by others, namely the audience, might be very different from the filmmakers vision. This is because the audience views it maybe in a different time and context from that in which the idea was conceived by the filmmaker.

I have always maintained that all my flops are by intent and all my hits are by accident. That is because any of us will act upon anything if, and only if, we are convinced about something but what comes of our action is rarely under our control. I know of a friend who was dating this girl for seven years and when they finally got married, their marriage was a big flop.

When I asked him why, he said that they had both discovered some things about each other which they had never known in the seven years of dating. The point I am trying to make is that apart from films, lots of things in our lives flop regularly, because a flop is nothing but a decision gone wrong. We are all experts at criticizing and commenting on others failures, but very rarely are we experts at predicting and dissecting our own failures.

Mahesh Bhatt said that Sunil Gavaskar once told him that if he failed in a match, after coming back to the pavilion, even the attendant removing his knee pads would tell him how he should not have hit soand-so ball. It is another matter that the attendant might not even have known how to hold a bat, but he would feel free to advise and give gyan to Gavaskar since he had flopped. Coming back to Chitti, believing in his reasons, his family backed him financially. If the bar had become a hit, he would have been hailed as a visionary but since it flopped, he is now considered blindly stupid by his family because it could not afford the loss he made it undergo.

In the case of my video library business, on the other hand, my family thought I was being blindly stupid and hence did not support me financially, but I became a visionary once the video library became a hit. But why I thought the library would be successful was not why it worked, whereas why Chitti thought the bar would be successful was the very reason it failed.

So we both failed in what we intended but I succeeded by accident. In the era of commercial formula films like Deewaar and Zanjeer, he successfully went against the grain to make cult films like Rajnigandha, Chhoti Si Baat and Chitchor. I remember seeing Chitchor seven times somewhere in the late s or early s, and the simplicity of narration that I learnt from it was pretty much what shaped my vision of Rangeela.

Cut to twenty years later I was at my office in Mumbai, when my receptionist called me and said that someone called Basu Chatterjee had come to meet me. I asked the receptionist, Who is he? I got a shock and wondered why he had come. I walked to the reception to see a gentle-looking elderly man and welcomed him into my room. I offered him coffee and started telling him how I used to stand in line outside Ramakrishna theatre in Hyderabad to watch his films.

He smiled and told me that he was aware of it, as I had mentioned it many a time in my interviews over the years. After a chat, he finally told me why he had come. Apparently, he had a script and a producer but he did not have access to any actors. He was desperately trying to get in touch with Manoj Bajpayee, but was unable to do so.

So he had come to seek my help in accessing Manoj. I said Sure, went into the other room and called Manoj. His phone was switched off, so I called his secretary. The secretary told me Manoj was out of town, and when I asked him if they knew that Basu Chatterjee was trying to get in touch he said, Yeah, I am figuring out how to get rid of him.

I was pretty taken aback. I realized that while Manoj couldnt have been capable of such abruptness, he, for whatever reason, was not interested in working with Basu Chatterjee. I came back and told Basuji, Manoj is not in town, so I will talk to him and get back.

He chatted for some more time and left. Then a few days later Basuji called me and said, Apparently Manoj is back in town, but I have a feeling he doesnt want to work with me. I didnt know what to say to that. Then he asked if I could recommend to Aftab Shivdasani that he listen to hisBasujisstory.

He said, Sure, sir, but who is he? Considering that Aftab is perhaps two generations removed from Basu Chatterjee, that answer didnt shock me. So I explained to him that Basuji was a highly successful director who had made cult films like Chitchor. Aftab asked, But sir, what does he do now? I told Aftab, Look here, I dont know what hes been doing recently or what he is going to do now but being such a respected senior director the least you can do is to meet him and hear his story.

Aftab said, Ok sir, please give him my number. With a sigh of relief, I gave Aftabs number to Basuji and got back to my work. Two days later, I got a call from Basuji thanking me. I asked him if Aftab had come to meet him. He said, No, he didnt have time so he sent his secretary to hear the story. So after a long pause I asked, So did his secretary listen to the story?

He said, No, the secretary after listening for ten minutes, said he had to rush somewhere. So I couldnt finish it.

Anyway thanks for whatever you tried to do for me, and hung up. Thats the last I heard of Basu Chatterjee. It was sometime in , and for the last fifteen years, I havent even heard his name mentioned.

What remains is a faintly uncomfortable memory of my respectful interaction with him. I say this because a film in a true sense is a one-on-one experience between the filmmaker and each individual viewer. A film is made because the filmmaker has a story, which he desires to tell, and film business is about carrying the film effectively to as many viewers as possible and in the process making money out of it.

There is the hardware of the film business, which is the hundreds of theatres in existence and hundreds still being built across the country, and they need software to play.

And then there are the thousands of people cinema gives a livelihood toactors, technicians, producers, distributors, suppliersand thats why its called an industry.

Can be read once! The maverick! The man most responsible for bringing new flavor to the Bollywood of the 90s; rustic yet hyperrealistic aesthetics to Hindi movies.

He gained a solid cult status. He's known for kickstarting a lot of careers, including Manoj Bajpayee and Anurag Kashyap among many others. By , he had more bad films than good films. And now, he is known for his explicit Twitter rants and making highly publicised flop movies. This bo No guns and hardly any thighs discussed. Most of the book is just talking about about what his thought process is. He doesn't dwell much into his later career. In fact, the latest this book goes in terms of movies is RGV ki Aag.

We all know what happened to that look it up kids.

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