INTERVIEW WITH BUNTY BAHL – CEO OF CARVING DREAMS
Posted by Vivek on July 9, 2009 | 1 Comment
So how did Carving Dreams come about?
Before Carving Dreams (“CD”) I was working with Coco Cola India as their celebrity Head of Operations. I used to handle all the celebrity endorsements for the brand Coke and their other subsidiary brands, like Thums Up, Sprite, Fanta, etc. Coke was based out of Delhi and I was looking to move back to Mumbai, where I am originally from. So I disconnected with Coke although they got be back as a consultant.
So there is this myth floating around that it takes a MBA to run such a company, whereas the contrary opinion is that, when human emotions are concerned since celebrities are humans, the MBA is not a requisite, if you had to turn the clock back would you now get that business degree?
I am absolutely comfortable who I am and the way I am doing things. It is an entertaining challenge every day. Afsar being a business graduate is a good mix, cause we combine our skills of typical Bollywood and the business background and our clients appreciate the combination as has the market we serve. If a star needs to understand their structure, how and where they are going in terms of graphs and also understand the pitch to a film, they can get both their needs serviced under one roof.
Bollywood is going global, so any plans to manage celebrities in places like London or Los Angeles?
We initiated a process where I went thrice last year to LA. I lined up meetings with CAA, UTA, Warner Bros, William Morris, all of these guys, this was early 2008. We had some great meetings, but there was still a question mark in their mind of how strong is Bollywood still to come into their area, or Hollywood coming into Mumbai. Of course then Slumdog happened and the folks in Hollywood appreciated our coming to meet them then along with the appreciation of Bollywood and the fact that the world is becoming smaller. They have been continuing talking to us, we have been exchanging emails…more on what is the best way to get a film which works both ends. So those talks continue and we shall see where we go from there, but it is looking upbeat.
Are you guys also looking to manage British Indian or American Indian actors?
We currently are managing Nicholas Brown, who literally came out of nowhere and is acting in Hrithik’s KITES. Nicholas is an Indian origin guy, but after he was age 3 he moved to Australia. He is playing one of the main characters, a negative role, in KITES. He has signed up with CD. But we never thought of taking a managing for India, a Brad Pitt, or a George Clooney or a Julia Roberts …because frankly it does not make sense if I have them in a Hindi film, the Indian audience here will not be too excited by that idea.
What about a Gurinder Chaddha?
Absolutely, or a Mira Nair, these kind of people will make a lot of sense cause those are the people who can take you to different levels. Or even a Danny Boyle. In fact we are not only managing celebrities we have also signed on new fresh directors.
Do you also manage television folks?
Not television, we did not want to get into that area because television is a completely different form of medium with a totally different approach to business, so we are concentrating on various areas in films, so it could be a director, actor, music director and we will also get into the sports segment.
Where do you see CD going and how do you differentiate yourself in the market?
Top line we see ourselves being a management company for talent. The second big area is production…we will be coming out with our slate of films, which will be presented by one of Corporates like Studio 18, UTV, Eros, PVR, etc. The third area is television production because we have the stars. We want to venture into reality shows with celebrities.