Sajid Nadiadwala is one filmmaker who has seen more successes than misses. However, he is someone who has also seen his own share of fair criticism coming his way. Last year it was Kambakkht Ishq that was almost savaged in reviews. The ghosts of clash of his Jaan-E-Mann with Don have still not gone away, as a result of which he totally avoided the clash of his Housefull with Kites. The results are there to be seen as Housefull has taken a fantastic start all over.
Joginder Tuteja gets conversing with one of the few independent producers who is still making films for which budgets run into tens of crores and is managing to play his cards well despite industry struggling to rise on it’s feet for close to two years now.
This week sees your family entertainer Housefull running in theatres while a few months down the line, there would be a young love story Anjaana Anjaani that you would be releasing. Really Sajid, do we ever see you making any serious cinema?
That depends upon your definition of serious cinema. If by serious you mean dark cinema then sorry, that can never be the case in my films. I have always been a part of big cinema and this is why each of my films even from the past, whether it is a love story (Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega), comedy (Judwaa) or action (Jeet), all of these have been out and out commercial films. My father made Taj Mahal years back. I can’t help it; it is in my genes.
If by serious you mean dark cinema then sorry, that can never be the case in my films
But then big films also mean big money that further translates into bigger risks…
Film line is run so much by faith and one should just love the process of making films and work hard. In any case, whenever I have decided to make money I have lost and whenever I have felt ki yahan paise doob gaye, I have only ended up raking profits. Woh kehte hai naa ki dimaag paisa ganwata hai aur taqdeer paisa laata hai. Mere saath aisa hi hai!
When corporate houses are falling off left, right and centre, how are you, despite being an independent producer, still managing to make at least one film every year?
What happened was that costing went wrong for everybody in the last 3-4 years. Since I make one or two films at a time, the quotient of loss is reduced. Moreover, the entire cost around infrastructure and overheads are also less. Due to this, survival becomes relatively easier and no one drowns. Another strong element that reduces the risk is that people who work with me are focused only on a couple of films at a time. Not that I don’t have choices available for me when I have to kick start a film but then out of those 4-5 very good ideas that come to me, I only pick the best. Thankfully, 90% of the times I have been proven right.
Since I make one or two films at a time, the quotient of loss is reduced
There were rumours that with EROS, you had a three film deal where you sold Kambakkth Ishq, Housefull and Anjaana Anjaani for a lump sum Rs.150 crores deal so that profits and losses could be balanced out.
This is a plain rumour. Aise thodi deals ho sakti hain ki aapne package bana diya aur bech diya. It is not possible because times keep changing and accordingly figures too keep changing. How can you have any agreement run like this? If you do that then there are bound to be rifts between the two companies. The moment you enter into such a commitment, it could only end up being suffocating.
So how does the deal work out with EROS?
We work in the capacity of individual producers and I look at them when there is a requirement for somebody to execute a world wide release. My relationship with them go back a long way. I have done Har Dil Jo Pyaar Karega with them. So when they decided to go corporate, there was nothing that could stop me. They are pioneers in this line and one of those few corporate houses where heads are owners as well. That assures that there is a human quality involved as well rather than just some chair talking.
Meanwhile, after giving breaks to Shirish Kunder (Jaan-E-Mann) and Sabir Khan (Kambakkht Ishq), you seem to have moved on to far more established director like Imtiaz Ali for an upcoming film of yours.
Yes, Imtiaz would be making a film for my production house later this year. It would be after Kick. Though people do ask if this is going to be yet another romantic comedy for him, we would like to divulge on the subject only at a later stage. Imtiaz takes his own time to script a film and that’s good because what he delivers at the end is simply superb. We will make other formal announcements at the right time.