Last week, Farhan Akhtar had a happy surprise when director Ang Lee dropped in on the sets of his film Karthik Calling Karthik at Film City. The Hollywood director quizzed Farhan on his film, and B-Town's shooting styles. Farhan, who has seen all of Ang Lee's films, including Brokeback Mountain, Hulk, The Ice Storm and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon among others, still has to get over the thrill of meeting Lee.
He recalls, "Last week, we were informed by one of Ang Lee's line-production guys that they wanted to come on our sets. I thought it was a joke till he knocked on our doors alongwith his writer and design researcher. Meeting Ang Lee on the sets of my film has been the most surreal experience of my life. He hadn't seen my work so I told him I would send over some DVDs of my work to him, which I have."
Farhan adds that Ang Lee was interested in knowing about the working of the film industry. "He wanted to know about our working environment, conditions, production details and about our studios. He had a look at our sets, and wanted to know how we work. I think he was on some kind of research for one of his films. He is a soft-spoken gentle man and it was a candid discussion." The director was on the sets for almost an hour.
It is always inspiring to meet someone whose work you admire. And Farhan says he will always cherish the experience, "I love his treatment of various subjects and his style of storytelling. There's a certain calmness and serenity in his work that is reflected in his films. His pace of work is not frenetic and that reflects in the philosophy of what he says."
Lee even watched while director Vijay Lalwani took one of his shots. When asked if the first-time director was nervous, Farhan laughs, "I don't know but if I was a first-time director and I felt Ang Lee was watching my shots, I would definitely be nervous!"
Farhan is excited about the bridging of the gap between B-Town and Hollywood. "Last year, Shah Rukh, Arjun, and I met Robert De Niro in Dubai. It's wonderful to know that the film community is getting closer and we are bridging the gap much faster." Farhan Akhtar, Ritesh Sidhwani and Amit Chandra are producing KCK.