While directors have the freedom to make their films with whoever they wish to, in the current scheme of things, many have curtailed the idea of associating with different production houses. A host of Bollywood directors, including Karan Malhotra, Aanand L Rai and Vijay Krishna Acharya, among others, have been working with specific production houses repeatedly. While some cite comfort as the reason, others claim that they don’t wish to jeopardise their relationship with the people they work with.
“A film-maker should have the freedom to be creative, and make independent decisions while making a film. If a production house wants you to work exclusively for them, and the director accepts such an agreement, it means that he or she is afraid to hamper the rapport with that particular production house,” says a film-maker on the condition of anonymity.
However, not everyone backs this view. Vijay — the director of Tashan (2008) and Dhoom:3 (2013) — who has been working with Aditya Chopra’s production for many years now, says that comfort is his only reason for him to stick with the company. “If I request him (Aditya), he would allow me to direct films for other production houses too. In fact, I have been approached by some producers. But I am confident that if I have a subject that I wish to work on, Adi sir will back that as well. So, why should I work with any other production house?” Having said so, Vijay reveals that he has signed a contract that “does not allow him to work for any other film production house.”
But, there are others, who even though not bound by any contract, still don’t wish to venture out. A case in point being Aanand, who has made films like Tanu Weds Manu (2011), Raanjhanaa (2013) and Tanu Weds Manu Returns, for one particular production house. “I do not have any agreement, which restricts a collaboration with other producers,” he says. But the director also understands that relatively newer directors might not have such a liberty. “New talents oblige to such agreements, since that particular production house has launched them. But I am open to working with any producer backing a good concept,” adds Aanand.
Others, who have tread the same path, are Shakun Batra (who has been with Karan Johar’s production house for many years now) and Maneesh Sharma (who made hit films like Band Baaja Baarat; 2010 and Shuddh Desi Romance; 2013, with Aditya’s company).
Putting things in perspective, producer Ramesh Taurani says that it’s all about business for both the parties. “Most young directors are in contract to make films that both the parties believe in. In the past, directors like Nikhil Advani and Mohit Suri have proved their potential by making successful films for one particular producer, and then they got work from others.”