“How did you meet?”Posted by Alan McAlex
“I met Aamir Bashir almost 10 years back in 2004 on a feature titled “The Great Indian Butterfly” in which he was the lead actor while I was an assistant in the camera department. It was around the same time, that I had made my mind to pursue production, as focus-pulling was not my cup of tea. I remember discussing my switch with Aamir and the cinematographer, Shanker Raman and all three of us agreed that all the projects that we had worked till then, the production department was a mess. I wanted to fix that. Both Aamir & Shanker encouraged me to take the plunge and jokingly said that maybe one day I will produce their films.
Over the next few years, I went on to line-produce several independent films and in my first, “Frozen” , Aamir collaborated as an actor and Shanker happened to be the cinematographer. Frozen had its world premier in Toronto International Film festival 2007. We replicated this collaboration in another feature “Peepli LIVE, which had its world premier in Sundance 2010.
A year before that I was line producing a studio backed, spy thriller, a feature to be shot in Istanbul, Greece and Paris. While on a technical recce, the studio decided to pull the plug. Coincidently, around the same time, Aamir, having refused several acting jobs in mainstream bollywood films, was ready with his first feature film script set in Kashmir and called me while I was still in Istanbul, cleaning the mess left in the wake of the decision taken by the studio.
Two weeks later, I was in Kashmir as the executive producer on Aamir’s first feature, “Autumn,” where I had to start from scratch by opening a bank account. Eventually, the film went on to premier in Toronto and traveled to various festivals and won awards and accolades.
And today here we are where I’m producing Aamir’s next film “Winter”, the second part of his Kashmir trilogy”.