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Karan Johar: I want my directors to be their own brands

October 3, 2009 4:34:48 PM IST
Joginder Tuteja, Bollywood Trade News Network
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While there are corporate houses like UTV that have always remained in news due to close to a dozen odd projects in different stages of production, there is also an independent production house of Karan Johar, Dharma Productions, which is not far behind and has already green lighted more than half a dozen projects.

While Ayan Mukherji's WAKE UP SID has just released, another debutant Rensil D'Souza is getting ready to unleash his KURBAAN this November. Tarun Mansukhani is getting animation flick KOOCHIE KOOCHIE HOTA HAI in place while also working on DOSTANA 2.

First timer Siddharth Malhotra has already finished ground work on STEPMOM remake while debutant director Punit Malhotra's I HATE LOVE STORIES is also in news. Karan Johar's own MY NAME IS KHAN would be releasing in early 2010 whereas newcomer Karan Malhotra has been entrusted with the responsibility of directing AGNEEPATH remake.

So, is this a new game plan for Karan Johar and his company to flag multiple projects, most of them with first timers?


'Yes, now is the time for new age Dharma Productions to start making a mark. It's a new reality that we are facing and the new energy that we are experiencing. This is what is keeping me so excited because I have number of movies in production, all of which are being made by different set of film makers', says Karan.

When asked if it becomes tiring for him to supervise such a large number of films, Karan says, 'With so many films in different stages of production, it would be unfair on my part to be involved in each and every aspect of the film making. When I get someone to direct a film, I better allow him to take over the reins completely while being there for support only if required.'

Isn't it difficult for a creative person like him to hold it all back?

'Believe me; it's not difficult at all. All of you have to do is follow a three point 'mantra' - 'Delegation', 'Outsourcing' and 'Trust'. Along with that, if you have the right vision and infrastructure in place, which we do have in Dharma Productions, it isn't difficult to crack it all. That's the way you manage things and I have been fortunate enough to have a team with which it has become possible to helm number of projects at the same time', explains Karan.

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This was the guiding principle that he applied for WAKE UP SID too.

'Ayan has worked with me for a year and half and he very well knows the ethos of Dharma Productions. He is equipped with what we stand for. He has gone through the kind of experience which qualifies him for making a film like WAKE UP SID in the way he wanted. Whether it is the story or the screenplay of WAKE UP SID, it has nothing to do with me. He called me after we were through making KABHI ALVIDA NAA KEHNA, narrated me the film script that he had written in three months flat and came with a very strong conviction. I decided to make the film there and then', Karan narrates the origin of WAKE UP SID.

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One can't take away the fact from him that since he is an experienced film maker and has been around for more than a decade, there may have been a natural instinct to throw some suggestions.

'No, I refrained from doing so till I was asked to', informs Karan, 'Whether it is WAKE UP SID or any other production of mine that has a different director, I choose to step away even if disagree with something. Why should I come in the way of any film maker's vision? It's their baby and it should not necessarily look like the way I want it. I don't want them to be me. I want my directors to be their own brand.'

Also starring Anupam Kher and Supriya Pathak in important roles, WAKE UP SID with music by Shankar, Ehsaan and Loy has released to a fabulous commercial and critical acclaim this Friday.