I am a film producer and also run a real estate business. Although both ventures are commercial, one involves a high degree of creativity, while the other requires a good sense of commerce. And for the right balance, a businessman has to cultivate awareness and be able to switch on and switch off, depending on what the situation demands at any given point of time. For instance, a director could be giving me a narration and at the same time, I could be mulling over a flat that a potential investor wants to purchase in my newly constructed building.
So, while on one hand, I am paying attention to someone’s imagination, I am also working out a price for an apartment. Both demand attention to detail and, for that, one requires a sharp and alert mind. And believe me, there is nothing you cannot achieve if you set your mind to it. The mind is the sharpest tool every individual in the world possesses and if used positively and for the right purpose, it brings about everlasting results.
While writing this column for Box Office India, I can only think of Mukesh Ambani, who multi-tasks and handles over 600 companies while also spending quality time with family and enjoying a social life. It is all in the power of
As a businessman, I have realised that sometimes a project may take off instantly. It happens instinctively and on impulse. It simply clicks, whether it is making a film or constructing a building. So let us not assume that only those projects that take a while to materialise will turn out to be exceptional. Yes, creativity does require time for instance, I have to allow my director and scriptwriter the time to process their thoughts. Execution is done on impulse.
Also, I have been repeatedly asked where one draws the line between the head and the heart. My answer is that where money is concerned, one has to play smart and use one’s head; whereas, when it comes to telling a story, one must think from the heart. And I keep coming across these situations as a producer and a businessman. When it comes to selling property, I think in terms of money. When it comes to films, I think from the heart. While telling a story, I want to convey my character’s emotions to the audience. I cannot think of how I might like to wrap the scene in a specific budget. I would fail miserably.
Finally, it is the call you take from the heart that works best. And this applies even to your core team members. You have to love the people you work with. If love and emotions are missing, the team will lack self-worth and the whole exercise of creation will be futile. In the 20 films I have made in the last 15 years, I have always used my heart. Of course, I have had bitter experiences too. There have been times when I have been cheated and it has left me disillusioned. But that has not stopped me from taking decisions from the heart. I continue to make films and am active in the construction business too.
One major difference between the two is that while in construction, the situation is usually under your control, in filmmaking you are largely dependent on others. However, both professions require a good team. If you don’t have a qualified architect, your building won’t have a proper structure. Similarly, if you don’t have a sound editor, your film will lack structure. And how can I forget two of the most important basic things in film making and construction – the script and a plot of land.
If you don’t have a good script, you can’t make a film. Similarly, if you don’t have a good plot, you cannot construct a building. But there is no formula for success. It is still a mystery to me.