“I dream in technicolour”
Gustad doesn't walk the usual path. That he proved with his critically
acclaimed first feature film, Bombay Boys. Now with as unusual a
storyline Boom makes expectations run high.
You are credited for initiating the "different" film genre in Bollywood. What motivates you to write the kind of scripts you do?
The stories are personal to me. At the end of the day, it's difficult to write about stuff you don't know or that doesn't interest you. I don't write for a perceived market anyway. I like to write stuff that's relevant or interesting or amusing to me.
Does it mean that you are not looking at the commercial aspect?
I don't think any writer
starts off to write a commercial story. One can't define ‘commercial
film’ anymore. I hate definitions because they end up becoming labels.
Writers tend to write what they like to write and obviously the
intention is to be read or seen and being accessible to whoever views
I don't really know. We didn't think that the market was as big or strong as it turned out to be.
When Bombay Boys succeeded what response did you get?
Fortunately, it succeeded. There were a lot of offers to do whatever I wanted to. But unfortunately, I take a long time in writing anything. It took me as long to come up with Boom.
But doesn't it mean that the success of your first film allowed you to make this one?
I think every film stands on its own legs. I want to keep making films that I want to make and that's not driven by any thing.
What drives you?
Life. It's such a miracle to wake up everyday and do something new. No two days are the same in my life and I try to keep it that way. And there are so many things to do.
How did you come to films?
I studied film in New York University. As a student I made lots of short films. One of them won some international awards. This gave me the opportunity to make Bombay Boys.
Were you always a film addict?
Huge. My father and grandfather owned some theatres in Wadi, a small village. So I grew up watching films. I always wanted to be a filmmaker.
Do you see yourself as a writer or director first?
I write otherwise too. Anything that interests me, anything that keeps me on my toes, basically.
So what are you doing is realising your dreams.
Every filmmaker does that—actuate his dreams. My dreams are in technicolour cinemascope, so it's easier for me to actuate them.
Is Boom an expensive film?
No, not really. We've got a big cast; we had to go to Dubai and we’ve shot in Sri Lanka and Prague.
Would you direct a story written by someone else?
I've a lot of respect for writers. I'd love to be able to direct somebody else's work but I don't know. There are a couple of foreign films I'm associated with as a director—one is called The Film written by John Winter. It's a big Hollywood/Bollywood type of project, with international stars. Then there's a film Chocolate Vanilla which I'm directing right after this. But again, it’s my script. TWF