Wake Up Sid has hit the jackpot and now it's a matter of seeing the kind of distance it would eventually cover. As someone, who has entrusted the responsibility of directing a film to first timers like Nikhil Advani (Kal Ho Na Ho), Soham Shah (Kaal) and Tarun Mansukhani (Dostana) earlier, he is ecstatic that his newest protege Ayan Mukerji has made an all around terrific impression amongst audiences as well as critics alike.
"Ayan has earned it all. Really, no one other than Ayan could have made this film. His story made me realize that we all have been Sids at some point in our younger days. We all have gone through that phase. We have thought like that. Pick up any family and you would find a Sid. It is this identifiable factor that had made Wake Up Sid click with audiences in a big way", says Karan Johar, who has been inundated with congratulatory calls ever since the film hit the screens and took an all around excellent opening.
Were there any special instructions from him to Ayan before the youngster started calling the shots? "These decisions are taken before you rope in someone to direct a film. Once you have entrusted the responsibilities, you should just leave an individual alone. He has worked with me for a good period of time and there are some things that do rub off on an individual. Hopefully some good things have rubbed on him as well", he continues.
In that case, he seems to have mentored the bunch of newcomer directors quite well. While Ayan Mukerji has just seen the release of Wake Up Sid, another debutant Rensil D'Souza is getting ready to unleash his Kurbaan this November. Tarun Mansukhani is getting animation flick Koochie Koochie Hota Hai in place while also working on Dostana 2.
First timer Siddharth Malhotra has already finished ground work on Stepmom remake while debutant director Punit Malhotra's I Hate Love Stories is also in news. Karan Johar's own My Name Is Khan would be releasing in early 2010 whereas newcomer Karan Malhotra has been entrusted with the responsibility of directing Agneepath remake.
"More than being a mentor, I guess they look up to me as someone older who is almost like a parent", Karan philosophizes, "The difference in their age and mine won't be more than a decade but I guess I am much older in my mind state. Also, I have always shared my way of working which is that one should always have an off screen relationship with the actors other than just on screen creativity".
Extending on his thought process, Karan adds, "See, 80% part of a filmmaker's job is to handle people and their emotions. Once you are able to do that as a director, creativity automatically steps in. If you can deal well with your cast and crew, your movie will by itself turn out to be something special. One should always possess people management skills; that makes the entire filmmaking process quite efficient."
He sounds like a Management Guru when he says that.
Laughs Karan, "Once you are on sets, you have so many energies to encounter. There are so many people around and you have to help them and waive off some turbulence that they maybe having around them. You have to get different people on the same page and ensure that creative parameters are met. Just because you are a filmmaker, you can't let go of managerial skills. Who said that one has to be just talented and creative to make a good film?"