Vikram Bhatt, wrote an open letter to his daughter (Krishna Bhatt) ahead of her directorial debut. These are some of the interesting excerpts…

Free Press Journal

Bhatt, who was an early-starter, spoke about the ‘thankless misery’ that is the profession of directing.

I remember I was fourteen when my Father gave in to my desire of wanting to be filmmaker and ferried me along to meet Mahesh Bhatt. I can never forget the question Mahesh Bhatt asked me that day. “Why would you want this thankless misery Vikram?” he posed. I had no idea why he called filmmaking a thankless misery but as the years went by, and I have been here for thirty-five years now, I realised what he meant. It is not misery, as one understands misery but the misery of continuously grappling with changing circumstances and attitudes around you. However, it is what I call job profile and every job has a unique one.
Mid Day

He talked about the idea of cinema is to ‘entertain and NOT educate.’ He couldn’t stress enough on the fact that people come to the theatres to have a good time, and not to be schooled.

Firstly, remember, filmmaking is the business of entertainment. People come to us to be entertained. People don’t come to us for education, moral science classes or civic lessons. Don’t talk down to people or claim to know more than them. We really don’t know more than them. We just have a skill that is all.

He then came to the difficult part. Bhatt told his daughter, that it was important to acknowledge that she was a product of nepotism. And she shouldn’t apologise for it, because the world isn’t fair as it is.

There will be some who will call you a product of nepotism and run you down. Don’t try to pretend that you are not. You are the product of nepotism and that is fine. I have worked hard all my life so that you have it easier than me. If someone rues that, too bad! Screw this game of fairness. Nothing is fair. But nepotism will only give an opportunity and not success. Success depends on talent and not opportunity. There are scores of examples of nepotism in this place that have failed, some even after more than one chance at it so remember its only your talent that will get you by in the final analysis.
Mid Day

He had this somewhat skewed perspective on the critics vs filmmakers debate. No one would really blame him for that though.

On professional critics, know that like you and me they get paid to do a job, their job is to more often than not dislike stuff more than like it. If they like everything it makes for boring reading. The fun in any reading is disagreements, and that is what critics are paid to do, to disagree. But remember if you take them seriously when they praise you then you will have to take them seriously when they bash you. They will control you by applauding you and control you by denying you applause. Don’t fall for that trap!

He also spoke about the one, solitary ingredient for a good film.

Stories, stories and only stories work and nothing else works in the business. No stardom, no marketing, no praying and no gimmicks. Like Elia Kazan said, “The audiences are like blood hounds. They smell a good story miles away. You cannot fool them.”

And some father’s wisdom towards the end.

Try to answer calls and return calls when you can. Don’t humiliate people by not answering their calls. There will surely be a person who will not answer your calls and when that happens save that feeling in your memory and never dish it out to someone else. Unless of course you have a stalker!

You can read the whole letter here:

Krishna Bhatt is all set to helm her first web series, 1921, and it would be interesting to see if she manages to make a name for herself. And get out of the shadows of the Raaz franchise.

Your thoughts on the letter?