TB Special Story: Axing perks a must in all departments

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Covid 19 is compelling the film industry to relook into the budgets. It isn’t like before anymore. The producers are soon collectively going to take a decision on cutting costs in all the three departments viz., production, direction and those concerning the artistes. There have been complaints that more than the artistes and the technical crew, the staff is flooding the sets. This is true. Each actor and character artiste has a make up man, hairdresser, assistant and again there is a customer and a stylist supplied by the production house. The artistes staff has become a major headache, not only do they charge anything from ten thousand to twenty five thousand per day, their demands have become uncontrollable.

They complain of not having a proper hotel and threaten to fly back if not given almost a star like facility. These people are all from Mumbai. Rashi Khanna used a company make up man and hairdresser for her first film and people say she looks the best compared to all her movies. Now no matter what, the production should fix a minimum wage for these people and the rest should be borne by the artiste. If not she can forego the film. These actors even want caravans to go outstation from Hyderabad because the ones available in Tamil Nadu or other States  in the South is of inferior quality.

The producer has to spend nearly seventy thousand rupees to send a caravan there that includes the wages of the driver and miscellany. In places like Kerala, the Malayali actors including staff and technicians all have a common lunch spread over the table, but strangely here they demand health food and organic stuff but refuse lunch from a buffet.

This should hold good for all States as well, look at Kangana Ranaut. She has a 16 member crew, 3 managers, cooks, assistants. It is insane however big the star is. The number of people on the sets should be reduced, for a Mahesh Babu film..there are atleast 300 peple; it would be good if it is reduced to 150. In every area, if five people are said to be required, two of them are a waste. The main problem is with the fighters and the dancers department, the silly union rule of having  fifty percent of the local staff doesn’t help any apart from those people from the other language state who hardly impress, it is like a paid holiday for them.

They don’t show interest in the work if a non local shooting team arrives. Why does anyone need so many art assistants, set assistants, and lightmen from the other quota too?There are 13 people let us say, out of which three are non local. We should have our own people. The buzz is Siva Koratala has already started cutting cost. Chiranjeevi is said to have reduced his assistant’s pay from 2500 to 1200 per day so that others will follow suit. The direction department should ensure that the movies should not extend beyond a certain number of days. The pre production is never perfect which is why budget goes haywire. Take for instance Matthu Vadalura, the team spent every penny on the script and visual and never crossed the limits.

Some producers have been telling so many times that film shouldn’t begin without a bound script. Now the producer should make another rule, he should tell the director’s team to be prepared with a break down sheet and fifteen days should be given maximum to get all the properties required ready. Only this can control wastage. Six people in the director’s team is enough. Why does anyone need extra people other than a co director, two associates and two assistant directors? There will be interns anyways.

If the direction and production team help each other by sharing info and not the night before, lot of wastage can be controlled. Primarily a producer should be treated with respect, not as a man who okays combinations, dates and figures. If that doesn’t happen stars should produce their own films, act in it and distribute it themselves.

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