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     Bhatti’s Joke Factory now a sought-after studio

Mohali, February 8th 2006, Tribune News Service

This factory churns out humour! And why not? Owned and run by the inimitable Jaspal Bhatti, his Mohali-based ‘Joke Factory’ is now one of the most sought after studios for many upcoming films and TV shows. Jaspal Bhatti is a 1978 Electrical Engineering graduate from PEC.

The unique production studio spread over five kanals in the Industrial Area here is wooing stars and big production houses to its funky interiors most of which have a joke to go with it.

“Other than the big sound shooting floor (40 feet by 50 feet), which is the main studio, we have a big lawn for outside shoots as well. And if you notice the small hut in the corner of the lawn you will realise it is called the pachhtava hut. This is the place where the producer can go and regret the project he has taken up. It happens so often that we thought we should give the poor man a special place to do it,” said Bhatti.

And this thoughtful gesture is just the beginning. The entire place is full of small jokes built within the structure. The studio has a set of small shops all of which sell things like the Dilkharab Sweet Shop: pichle hafte ki taazi mithayiana and bahumulya rishte todne ke liye Gift Shop and the Disposable Garment Shop.

Other than the nooks and corners of the building that are being designed to look like an office, a bedroom, a drawing room and a canteen the Joke Factory also has a big reception hall set, a clinic, a conference hall and a police station. Now we are thinking of having a dhaba built here. A lot of films demand a highway dhaba locale and it can be easily set up here,” he said, adding that most of the shooting for the super hit Punjabi film Jijaji was done here and the first of his son Jasraj- Ladla Driver was also shot here,” he said.

Stating that his was the only well equipped studio in the area, Bhatti pointed out that studio services were more in demand now.

“Earlier people used to allow shoots to take place in the houses but soon they realised that it was quite a bother. Now every producer wants to come to studios where most of the other accessories are available,” he said.

Stating that the Chandigarh Administration was going all over Mumbai trying to woo people from there to set up film production centres here, Bhatti added that he found the entire exercise odd.

“Its strange they never contacted us. We were one of the pioneers in the field. No one offered us any place in the proposed film city or even asked for any help,” he rued.

Jaspal Bhatti has larger plans for the studio. “This is not going to be merely a film shooting studio. We would be creating a data bank of original jokes and provide these to mobile companies for pumping into mobile phones. Weekly magazine cartoon strips and daily political cartoons and even funny features for newspapers and magazines would be made available,” he said


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