New Delhi: Imtiaz Ali says he braced himself for a free fall while working on his experimental road drama `Highway` but the director is happy that the risk has paid off.
The film, starring Alia Bhatt and Randeep Hooda, was made on a budget of Rs 18.25 crore. Ali says the film earned Rs 15.50 crore before its release and made Rs 22.38 crore from 800 screens in its first week of release.
The director, who turned producer for `Highway` with his Window Seat Films, says the project was his attempt to have more creative freedom.
"With `Highway` I was trying to plant a seed. How else do you create an elbow room for yourself? I want to direct what I feel is interesting not what is supposed to be my zone. I don`t want it to be narrow. It was a huge risk as I was into completely uncharted territory but luckily it paid off," Ali told.
Things started falling into place when Sajid Nadiadwala pitched in by turning a presenter while A R Rahman came on board for music again after collaborating with Ali on `Rockstar`.
Still assailed by doubts, Ali says he promised himself that he will abandon the project midway if the story did not come together as it was an open script.
"I took money from Sajid bhai hoping that I will manage to return it and if I don`t I will pay him by working. I have always tried to make profitable films because people`s offices shut down if films fail and I will do everything to avoid that.
This is why I wanted `Highway` to be my risk alone," says Imtiaz.