Let's start with your transition from ad films to feature films?
I've not yet made a transition into feature films though I've been involved in the shooting of the Akshaye Khanna - Sonali Bendre starrer “Love You Hamesha''. I've directed it but it's not even complete. Everyone has been saying this to me because the music promos of this film are out. They want to know when the film is going to be released. The film has taken four years and has had long breaks in the shoot as the producers have not been very active on it. They disappeared and appeared after long duration. One of the main cast, Amitabh Nanda, who has to shoot some portions of the film is studying in London! So if they manage to finish the shooting it will be released. Till then I'll still be an ad-film maker. Of course I'm planning a couple of films which are being written but nothing is finalized. I'm toying with a couple of subjects and I'd like to do something with my old friend Salman Khan. We are working on a complete action film.
The classic fight between Salman and Subhash Ghai happened at a party at your place!
(Laughs) What about it? They had a fight. Everyone was quite drunk and they probably had something from the past. But now it's blown over. They've made up. But there was no great background to it; it just happened.
You were supposed to direct a Salman-Amrita Arora starrer?
I was working on it but they wanted to start right away which was not possible for me. Anyway, that was not my script; I want to do something which is completely mine.
Did you have any bad experiences during the shoot of ‘LYH’?
I've had a sort of uncomfortable experience with ‘LYH’, in the sense that I was pushed into starting the production without being fully ready on paper. There have also been very sporadic and erratic schedules. Honestly speaking, it has not gone as planned. As a director I can say that the film is looking great and it can look great if it's completed.
My experience with people in the film industry is that it's not very systematic. I’ve found that producers and financiers lose or ignore the basic essence of the film, which is the story, the writing and the treatment. They talk about all the other things like the set-up and everything. All that follows but it’s difficult to work without the basis of a good story. Here people want to write the story and tend to change things along the way during production. Basically I am more inclined to work in my own systematic way, and be
fully prepared on paper before I actually start shooting. I feel that if the film is nicely written one can make a much better production plan and save money. Also as a director I get a chance to pre-conceive every scene and not waste time or compromise while executing a scene.
What kind of films are you planning?
A film-maker should make a film that he enjoys watching. Honestly speaking, I enjoy watching all kind of films be it action, comedy or romance. So deciding on a subject is the toughest thing for me. Developing the concept, working out a treatment for it and
putting it together follows easily for a film-maker especially if he has some sort of reputation. Today I find myself moving more towards something more meaningful and topical, something which is Indian but which can be projected internationally.