Gul Khan has produced several hit shows on the small screen and she is co-creative head and co-producer of 4 Lions Films which she founded along with her husband Gorky Max.
She started her career as an assistant on the popular dance show ‘Boogie Woogie’, then she went on to write and direct some of the most popular and widely acclaimed shows like ‘Sanjeevani’, ‘Shaheen’ and ‘Rishtey’.
Why did you christen your production house as ‘4 Lions Films’?
4 Lions Films was actually Gorky’s idea. He took this from Ashoka’s 4 Lions and it also symbolises Buddha’s different phase of life. But for us, the four lions stand for honesty, integrity, courage, and confidence. It has an Indian touch. It is historical and rooted.
You have always come up with love-hate stories, why?
I like them and I guess people also like them. It’s not love and hate. It’s love story. But you need conflicts. That is the basic element. Without conflicts in a love story, nobody will watch it.
Why did you choose such a unique concept for ‘Ishqbaaaz’
First of all, this is the only show with three male protagonists in general entertainment space. We deal with contemporary issues of Indian people. The good part is people are watching the show. We discussed ex-girlfriend entry. We talked about blood line.
We speak about inner relationship space. How much space one has to give to others? Space in a relationship is the huge topic. This is a first time ever we are scrutinising on the main stream channel where boys will moot how much space their girlfriend should give them. These are the issues experienced by everyone and people are intrigued to watch them. So, if you see the show - it is a love story but at the same time it is also a debatable show. That is why ‘Ishqbaaaz’ is special to me.
Many people are comparing Annika’s role to Mahesh Bhatt’s show ‘Naamkaran’? What is your take on it?
In India, people will ask your surname and they’ll draw your profile. The minute you say, you belong to the certain place or caste or family, the other person will profile you. It is very feudal. The whole track of Annika and Shivaay is all about feudalism. We don’t want that. That is what Annika does.
She clearly states “Just because you are Shivaay Singh Oberoi, you are not superior to me”. This is another national crackling debatable point. I mean if you come from any influential family, doesn’t mean you are great. There is a girl who is saying she doesn’t believe in class, bloodline, caste, religion and region. I don’t like someone comparing Annika’s role with Bhatt saab’s ‘Naamkaran’. I’m not saying that is not great. But both are different.
Your shows ‘Humsafars’ and ‘Adhuri Kahani Hamari’ ended abruptly due to lack of TRP’s. What is your say about this?
It happens when the channel doesn’t give the creators to go with their convictions. Then the show always becomes a strange land. In both the shows I was not allowed to make it the way I wanted. I want to thank Star channel for making me run my show with my own notions. That is why the show is clear. There is no meddling.
If a serial doesn’t work, do you show the exit doors to writers?
No. Not at all. See the writers have to write. But sometimes the show works and sometimes it doesn’t. Either way, I have to take personal and professional responsibility for the show.
Your shows created stars - does it give you a sense of power?
Many people say this to me. I feel nobody creates anybody. They are destined to be what they are. You are just a medium to them. If someone was destined to be a star, they will be. At the same time it always is a joint effort. Two energies collide and bring the theme out.
Why are you making ‘Tanhaiyan’ as a web series rather than a soap-opera?
‘Tanhaiyan’ is a finite series with only 10-13 episodes. On television, it is not possible to do just 13 episodes. I really want to do a love story which doesn't stretch at all. I think that is the problem with our Indian shows, that we prolong our shows. I think it’s high time we do these types of shows. ‘Tanhaiyan’ is a crisp love story, which will end in 13 episodes like Hollywood. It is only in India where we do 2,000 episodes (laughs).
Why are you absent from social networking sites?
I’m not much comfortable over there. However, I have an Instagram account. Gorky says to me that I should be open-minded and have a presence in social media but I like to be this way.