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|January 17, 2000||
His story would make for a terrific Hindi film.
A madcap musical comedy directed by his favourite director, David Dhawan. With foot-tapping musical numbers by Ismail Darbar. With one of his 'lucky stars', Govinda, Anil Kapoor or Salman playing the screen Vashu.
It wouldn't be all autobiographical.
Because, for Vashu Bhagnani, it's entertainment that counts. It's pleasing the audience that counts, not himself.
He would be on the sets every single day because he is the ultimate hands-on producer. He has suggestions to offer by the millisecond. Some would say that he is a control freak.
After all, Bhagnani often likes to say, "The director is the captain of the ship, but it's the producer who owns the ship itself!"
And when his bio-epic is done, he'll call in his numero uno editor A Muthu, who made his directing debut with Tera Jadoo Chal Gayaa, to do an ace job of recutting the film to suit Vashu's own vision, just as he did so brilliantly on Bade Miyan Chote Miyan, virtually reshaping and saving that film on the editing table.
But Vashu's real talent will be seen after the film's completion: Publicity.
That is where you will see him really shine. Because while some producers are adept in manage resources and finances, others are brilliant at handling people. Still others are expert planners.
But Bhagnani? His strength lies in promotion.
From the gutsy making and launch of his first films: Coolie No 1 and Hero No 1. To the unexpected casting even more unexpected success of Bade Miyan Chote Miyan.
The outrageous decision to release Biwi No 1 during the Cricket World Cup in 1999, and the film's defiant blockbuster success. The superbly promoted and presented Tera Jadoo Chal Gayaa, a film that may not have fared as well as his previous ones but still made an impact that was unmatched in a lacklustre year.
And now there's the upcoming Mujhe Kuch Kehnaa Hai, in which he launches Tusshar Kapoor, Jeetendra's son, a film that is already attracting tremendous buzz, making it an eagerly awaited film in 2001.
And you can be sure that there are many more tricks up the sleeve of this master magician, all presented with a fanfare and elan that's earned Bhagnani a favourable comparison to his idol, Subhash Ghai.
If Ghai is the bade miyan of showbiz pyrotechnics and hype, then chote miyan Vashu Bhagnani subhaan Allah!
In the last five years, this man has taken incredible risks and pulled them off more successfully than any other producer. And in this short span of time, he has also become one of the biggest, most influential names to reckon with in the industry.
What makes this Producer No 1 tick? How did a 13-year-old school dropout turn into one of the most successful and powerful film producers in India? How did a man with no particular skill or special talent make his mark so quickly and impressively?
How does he manage to keep hitting the right notes at the BO when other, more experienced producers keep losing their tunes (and their theatre bookings!)?
How does he get big stars to work at allegedly half the prices they normally charge and wrangle dates out of their impossible schedules?
Is it just his superstitious faith in numerology that keeps him No 1? Or has he really discovered the secret of film success?
PART II: The immigrant entrepreneur
PART III: Numbers... big numbers!
PART IV: What next? What more?
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