Production Houses and their Blue-Eyed Boys: In-house directors likely to stick with their Production Base Camp

The film industry does not guarantee any permanent relationship, similar how it does not guarantee success or even failure for that matter. For years, we have seen such relationships within the industry either built on complete trust or even out of complete fondness. For such filmmakers, its good to have a backing force to see eye to eye on a similar vision, what is eventually projected on celluloid. In most cases, a filmmaker’s journey begins from their conviction of the portray of their world – finding an similar eye and a backing of course is a blessing but in some cases can be a bridge falling.

In the Hindi film Industry, many producers which over a course of time established their so called ‘camps’ sticking around with their trustworthy pillars – their directors. Leaving their directors to their devices with the trust of winning gold. At the same time, many directors being the minds behind establishing the production house – some of which have branched out but many feeling comfortable in their producer’s shower of facilities during their journey.

A few directors now mentioning are those who have repeatedly have churned their work with the same production house establishing their relationship and to some extent mostly giving success. These are few directors who likely to stick with their camps in the coming years. As far we can establish for now!

Homi Adajania – Maddock Films


One of the key directors for this article after seeing the recent Angrezi Medium. Honestly speaking, Angrezi Medium for me was a complete disappointment with a lot basic flaws regarding the British Law, British immigrancy and the student life in Britain. Either it was the writer’s ignorance, or the lack of effort by the director or a team with zero research done. And of course the wastage of Kareena Kapoor adds to the tasteless cake. But coming back to Homi Adajania – which myself has never regarded as a good director but his career has had the fortune with the backing of people like Imitaz Ali, Saif Ali Khan and Dinesh Vijan who have taken forward his projects – Angrezi Medium being one of them – where one had completely did it out of their relationship with him. Ideally, it would be foolish for the non-Hindi speaking director to branch out or make anything outside of Maddock after the complete backing Vijan has given him, as it seems, only they have somewhat confidence in him.

Siddharth Anand – Yash Raj Films


This director is a little exception here, as Siddharth started his career with YRF as an assistant director for Kunal Kohli’s Hum Tum. Many wondering how did Siddharth get such fortune – well it happens to be that Siddharth is the grandson of late writer Inder Raj Anand and the nephew of actor/director Tinnu Anand also went to school with many established names one of course one being Ranbir Kapoor, so he already was an industry kid. He started his directorial career with YRF, later branching out but like they say “the best journey always leads us to home”, similarly with Siddharth he came back home. Last year, one of the highest grossing films of the year being YRF’s War which established Siddharth’s ability of action but also packaging his products to fit Pan India. Anand’s next two projects, the one in talks, is an action film with Shahrukh Khan as well as working on the sequel to War. Why would one want to go elsewhere?

Farhad Samji/Ahmed Khan – Nadiadwala Grandson


Sajid Nadiadwala being one of the most successful producers we currently have – known for his confidence and going ‘all-out’ for his directors. We are all aware that Nadiadwala truly believing in his commercial cinema, his products are even usually money spinners and even confidence in his products is what sells. Nadiadwala recently shared his concern with how there are not many commercial directors around to deliver, so it could that Nadiadwala is backing those who are capable. Farhad Samji, being around at Grandson for some time recently took credit for Housefull 4 and now Nadiawala has already trusted him with three projects, Bachchan Pandey, Kabhi Eid Kabhi Diwali and Housefull 5 working with stars like Akshay and Salman respectively. Ahmed Khan, giving two hits continuously with Baaghi 2 and Baaghi 3 is already working with Tiger again with Heropanti 2 and Baaghi 4.  

Shashank Khaitan – Dharma Production


Dharma has a reputation of launching a lot of new talent, especially new directors and writers.  Many of them have been repeated – a lot of lost out due to disastrous results but very few stick with the company but not everyone takes along a producer credit. Khaitan, who started with the ‘Dulhaniya’ series later going on to establish his presence in the production house, went on to bringing other assistant Directors from Dharma into the limelight. Currently, Khaitan is co-producing most of the products coming out of Dharma as well as directing on the side. Khaitan will be next taking the director’s cap with Mr Lele with his favourite Varun Dhawan and then will start working on his big scale venture RannBhoomi, which apparently is a reworked or reimagined version of Karan Malhotra’s Shuddhi which was shelved way back 2014.

Rajkumar Hirani – Vinod Chopra Films


This has to be a team who do not necessary seek out commercial vibes for their films but make the cinema they desire. Hirani, known to be a taskmaster who spends years on his scripts and time on his production. Hirani, earlier an editor for VVC had narrated an idea about a fake doctor spreading joy and since then there was no looking back for Hirani. Chopra, arguably is the definitive producer for any director, with his confidence and never turning away a demand, surely shows his faith in his relationship with Hirani. Even recently, during the #MeToo movement when Hirani has found himself in a soup, Chopra had backed him and refused to accept any of the allegations till a proper trial was to take place – the accuser went missing and so did the accusations. This is a relationship completely built of trust.


Contrarily, in the other ‘Direction’…..


Sajid Khan – Nadiadwala Grandson

sajid khan

Once upon a time, being a blue-eyed boy of Grandson. It’s no state secret that Sajid Khan was seen as obnoxious, egocentric and over-confident in the public eye. It was said post the Housefull success stories, he became too proud giving all credit solely to himself and even claiming to be the reason of the resurrection in Akshay Kumar’s career. He offended many which caused a big fallout with most people responsible in making him filmmaker from host. The last nail in the coffin, was during the filming of Housefull 4 when the stories of the victims in #MeToo movement came forward about Khan. Forcing the production house to remove his credit as director and even replaced him. Despite being best friends with Sajid Nadiadwala, there is no way this repeated director at the production house will be apart of any of their future projects.

Sabbir Khan – Nadiadwala Grandson


The director behind taking on a responsibility for launching one of the country’s sensations – Tiger Shroff. Sabbir Khan had earlier had hard luck at Grandson but it seemed to have found a new lease of life in Tiger Shroff with Heropanti, going down as one the most successful debuts in recent times. The confidence he had in Shroff went on for him to work on Baaghi, which began the a new successful franchise for the production house. So where did it all go wrong? Well – his feeling of ownership over Shroff. His spat with Nadiadwala over a project left him leaving the production house and making his next feature outside with Tiger. Sadly, no one really saw Munna Michael and Nadiadwala was not hesitant in passing on the Baaghi franchise to Ahmed Khan, who also now seems to helming the Heropanti franchise too.

Tarun Mansukhani – Dharma Productions


We all saw the fate of Mansukhani’s last venture Drive, a few of us even had the misfortune to even watch the film. The director who returned after a decade to the production house, after his previous success Dostana, ideally, the producers would consider his next venture after giving the house a merit. According to sources, the dispute behind Drive was quite heated, where the producer was not too impressed with the final outcome resulting to constant delays and the director fighting for his chair at the editing table. Things got so out of hand that the producer released the film straight to Netflix – a win-win situation for the producer but no such much for everyone else. Sadly, this state of conflict doesn’t seem that Dharma would be backing another venture from the director again.

Habib Faisal – Yash Raj Films


No fight, no dispute was ever mentioned between either parties. Faisal being great talent especially with his first film, then leading to his name joining with YRF. Being an asset as a writer, giving some great work to the house. His last two features. Daawat-E-Ishq and Qaidi Band bombed at the box office, one wonders where the director went wrong. But possibly a safer option for Faisal is to stick to the writing and maybe take a rest with direction?


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