For Habib Faisal, filmmaking is by serendipity

Mumbai: Perhaps more dramatic than the on-screen unfolding of romantic drama `Ishaqzaade` is the real life journey of director Habib Faisal who became filmmaker not by "cliched dreams" but by sheer serendipity.

For Habib, whose last assignment before veering towards direction was as a cameraman with an English news channel, filmmaking occurred accidentally and was not his natural choice per se. "Unlike most filmmakers today, I had no cliched dream of making movies at the age of five," confesses the screenwriter-director Habib Faisal.

Faisal, who grew up with the dream of becoming a doctor, says, "I failed in all my entrance exams…I had fascination to become a doctor but I had no brains. For us being in IIT or IIM was glamorous".

In the colourful corridors of Kirori Mal college in Delhi, Faisal was introduced to theatre and cinema. "I somehow got into doing a play. I was not interested in doing films but wanted to do theatres," he said.

After completing his education from Delhi, Faisal studied cinema at South Illinois University and joined NDTV as a cameraman. He worked for the news channel for five years and learnt the tricks of the trade. "My job as a cameraman happened by accident. I used to shoot features for the channel….the experience over there helped me travel across the country and get in touch with real characters. It did help me connect with the pulse of the masses. From that point on there was no looking back as far as writing dialogues is concerned….Films all happened by accident," Faisal said.

When asked about the changes in the field of media, Faisal says, "A lot of changes have taken place. Like there is addition of music also in news section, there is more competition, hence the fight for TRPs. But I must say in this field one needs to keep patience".

His initial few projects as a screenwriter were for Yashraj Films` `Salaam Namaste`, `Ta Ra Rum Pum` and `Jhoom Barabar Jhoom`. All these films which were set out of India failed to make any dent critically or commercially. "Flops don`t bother m…one has to deal with it. I made a name while writing dialogues," Faisal said.

He returned with two stories set in Delhi – `Band Baaja Baraat` and `Do Dooni Chaar`- and of them did well at box office and received critical acclaim as well.

Habib`s first outing as a director was `Do Dooni Chaar` in 2010 which even bagged a national award for best film. His second directorial venture, `Ishaqzaade`, produced by Yash Raj Films, is slated for Friday release.

"Ishaqzaade` does not boast of big stars. It features Parineeti Chopra, cousin of Priyanka Chopra, who went on to bag several awards for her portrayal of the brazen Dimple Chaddha in `Ladies vs Ricky Bahl` (2011), and debutante Arjun Kapoor, director Boney Kapoor`s son, in the lead. Habib said he was anxious on the eve of the release of `Ishaqzaade`.