‘Yaariyan’ turns 7 today. What do you think of it looking back?
I feel really proud of myself to have directed two films. When I started directing, I had no help at all. Nobody was guiding me about the creative and technical process. I had to learn everything on my own. But ‘Yaariyan’ turned out to be a super-duper hit in the theatres and satellite. I feel very happy that the audience gave so much love to my film, which I had made with immense hard work.
What made you choose ‘Yaariyan’ as your directorial debut?
The script was about college life and friendships; the youth angle appealed to me. churns out so many films but youth-centric films were not being made so back then. I was very happy with the basic idea, so, I put a script together with my writer. It was a fun film.
It featured several newbies. Was it difficult to manage them?
It was difficult to get good faces who would do justice to the characters. I auditioned all over the world and it was only after a year that I managed to find faces that fit the bill. Some of them did not even know Hindi. We had to teach them. We had to get them all together and make them look like one happy group of friends. They were raw but I had taken workshops with them for about a year-and-a-half before taking the film on floors.
The energy was really good; they were all excited about the film. There were also other challenges that I faced on the sets. However, the overall experience was creatively satisfying, especially when the film became a blockbuster and the theatrical run was so good even though it was a film featuring newcomers. All difficulties cease to exist once you get rewarded for your efforts.
How was your experience behind the camera?
It was one filled with growth. I had had no training, no other directors who could be my bouncing boards. I had just done a course in editing and cinematography and eventually, started directing music videos and some of them turned out to be blockbusters. It gave me courage and confidence. Jab tak joote nahi ghasoge tab tak kuch bhi nahi aayega. I know the amount of effort and pain and hard work that I have put into my career. Directing was definitely not easy. But what is life if you don’t have challenges? I always like to take up challenges and excel in them.
The film was a success at the box-office. Did you anticipate it?
The film was a huge success at the box office. When I had started making it, I had not anticipated that it would be such a big success. I just kept doing my work and left the rest to God and the audience. I was very happy when the film was a success. The first-day opening was so huge! I had choreographed most of the songs in the film and the songs were a hit too. I had worked very hard on the locations, looks and costumes–and it was all appreciated.
Fans have been eagerly waiting for ‘
Yes, we would love to take ‘Yaariyan 2’ on the floors but I would not like to say anything about it right now.