Friends with Benefits


The collaborative deals also draw inspiration from Hollywood, where it is common for two or three production houses to get together and make a film. Madhu Mantena, partner, Phantom, says that such mergers allow more scope for experimentation. "Today, we are experimen- ting with newer genres in cinema. To do so consistently, our filmmakers need better backing." Kumar, whose company has been among the foremost labels in Bollywood music for years, believes this is a good time to expand. "It is a win-win situation for both parties. While I am expanding my business venture, I am also making sure the profits and losses are equally distributed, thereby reducing risks," he says.

The marriage of two different schools of cinema, while expanding the audience base, also promises better quality cinema, pointed out Johar at a press conference recently. Banerjee seconds the idea, adding, "When one collaborates with a studio like YRF, one is aware of its equities with the actor and is, therefore, assured of fewer issues on that front. At the same time, as a director, it lends my ideas a larger canvas."

Of the three films he is co-producing, Banerjee will direct two while his co-writer on Love, Sex aur Dhokha, Kanu Behl, will direct the third.

Such mergers, however, can also lead to clashes between the two parties involved, with each trying to gain superiority over the other. Kumar feels this can be avoided, if both parties concentrate on their respective strengths. "For instance, T-Series is an expert in music, marketing and distribution. So when we collaborate with Vikram, we are looking at supplementing his creative talent with our expertise," he says.

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