In film industry, goodwill matters more than money: Imtiaz Ali

Having made his directorial debut with film Socha Na Tha in 2005, Imtiaz Ali gained fame as a director, writer and actor. But it was his second film Jab We Met followed by Love Aaj Kal and Rockstar which met with commercial success in the industry. Now February 21, 2014 will see the release his latest film Highway featuring Alia 

Bhatt and Randeep Hooda.

In an exclusive interaction with Adgully, Imtiaz shares his experiences while shooting for Highway, his thoughts on creating goodwill in the industry his forthcoming ventures and more.

Right from his first film Socha Na Tha to Highway, his stories have always depicted the theme of discovering oneself while travelling, a trend quite visible in all his films. Elaborating further on this Imtiaz says, "In Jab We Met, it was about finding someone where as in the other films it was about reaching a destination.  In Highway, protagonist Veera (Alia Bhatt), realises something very elemental not just about herself but also about living life, about the whole concept of safety and home. Home is not necessarily the house you live in, it could be any place like even the highway. You have that feeling that people with whom you grew up with will provide you company and often times you don’t get it from them but from a stranger."

The film Highway has been shot in Eastern and Northern regions of India, such as, Delhi, Haryana, Kashmir, Gurgaon, Firozpur, Himachal Pradesh, Bikaner, Ajmer and other locations.

Briefing us about his experience while shooting for the film, he said, "The film is very special for me as I enjoy travelling and we actually did travel a lot for Highway. We've used folk music in this film which goes very well with the story and songs have been sung by actual folk singers of that place. The film doesn't have an end as it's all about the journey of life and shows a relationship between two people which grows with time."

The shooting of the film which started on 1st March 2013 was wrapped up by May 2013. 'We shot this film at a stretch. At some places it was really tough to convince the local people,  and we had to request them to give us permit to shoot at those particular areas," he added.

Commenting on the  new pair Randeep Hooda and Alia Bhatt whom he cast for the film and who are different in terms of experience and age, Imtiaz said, "Being a director, writer and producer my profession demands actors who suit that particular story and not their stature or the experience they have in the industry.  The role of Veera Tripathi which Alia Bhatt plays in the film goes well with her background and so also Randeep  Hooda as  Mahabir Bhati  because I wanted  actors who could  do justice to the characters in terms of texture and language," explained Imtiaz.

The film soundtrack album has been composed by A.R. Rehman and the film has 9 songs. "I have worked with A.R. Rehman in the past and for this film he has sung a Punjabi number Maahi Ve," informed Imtiaz.

As a director and writer he has fared well in the industry. When asked what led him to become Producer for Highway he avers, "Earlier there was no intention of producing the film  but I did not  want anyone ending up in loss or feel bad about it hence the decision. We are very positive about the film, but with every step we take, there's a risk involved. In this industry, goodwill matters more than money. It's like laying an egg, as goodwill is created when other people manage to make profits out of your work."

Imtiaz is of the opinion that his efforts in directing/producing Highway have been worth the while. In this regard he shares, "I get anxious when my films release and I watch and wait for audiences to walk out from the theaters after watching the film. The expressions I see on their faces gives me the satisfaction that the efforts were worth taking."

The marketing for the film began from November 2013 wherein series of behind the scenes footages as episodes titled under the head 'Highway Diaries' were released.   As a part of merchandising, head gears, jackets, map scarfs, bags and shirts, consisting of fabric prints of title logo have been made available for online sale.
Where his future projects are concerned Imtiaz is working on his next film starring Ranbir Kapoor which is being produced by Sajid Nadiawala.
On an end note Imtiaz Ali concludes, "In my films I do not try creating realism, but I don't like being artificial either."


News in the domain of Advertising, Marketing, Media and Business of Entertainment

More in Entertainment