A very dear friend of mine who has this rather strange predilection of watching pretty much every Bollywood movie that releases and then bitching about them often asks me the same question – Why the f*$#% did someone invest so many crores into this shit? Interesting question which unfortunately throws up endless related questions of the same ilk…
Paise ko paani ki tarah bahaana is fine but sinking 100 crores into a movie about a geographically challenged ship going from London to India that somehow manages to sink in the Bahamas? Why couldn’t they just shoot one song with Lara in a bikini and be done with it?
And surely only a glutton for punishment would sacrifice 40+ crores in a movie about a widow who takes the idea of loving her spouse to death a tad too seriously – actually 7 times too seriously. (you’d think she’d have learnt her lesson the 3rd time around – masochist)
And what forecast was the dude following, who sank 50 odd crores into a tale of a couple who met, parted, met again, parted again and so on through two more tortuous seasons. One probably needed a totally different MET department just to keep track of their comings and goings. Sheesh! And couldn’t they just take a hint – every time they met and cootchie cooed, catastrophe followed. If any Ms. India’s were serious about world peace they’d just take a gun and pop off this calamitous couple. Or better still maybe they should have just gotten the dude to hook up with the widow from the previous mentioned disaster. (BTW didn’t that happen in real life?)
Anyway point being that producers follow a thought process that’s completely beyond the ken of normal mortals (meaning individuals who possess at least 1gm of common sense). Why they would opt for a 50 crore loss over a 5 crore profit is a mystery that must rank as high as the Bermuda Triangle or the optimism of flop actors who turn producers, cast themselves in the leads and imagine that the same audiences who till now were barfing at the sound of their names would now get super excited and cause maxi riots at the multiplexes. Yes Zayed, Amisha, Sushmita, Lara, Himesh et al, the only reason we never went to watch your movies is cause the produced by credit went to some dimwit loser instead of you…
So while I have no insight as to what is the Eureka moment for these esteemed folks who make it possible for gems like Drona, Tees Maar Khan, Prince – It’s Showtime, etc to inflict themselves on the masses, I have had some absolutely WTF encounters with them that I must share…
The first story is really short – but in terms of WTFness it’s right up there with the likes of Dolly Bindra and Pooja Missra becoming topics of conversation.
I had essentially gone to pitch my kids film to this fledgling production house. But I never got to even doing an elevator pitch cause in the first five minutes the lady I met said something that had my head spinning faster than an Egyptian belly dancer’s navel ring.
She insisted that before I said anything I needed to hear their company’s strategy – one that was radically different from that of every other studio and production house. I was fairly impressed by this, so I shut up and listened. And I suggest you do too cause these are truly golden words…
“We’re only going to make films that make money.”
I nearly fell off my chair. The simplicity of it, the sheer genius – they had stumbled onto something that even Spielberg and Lucas had probably never contemplated. Only making films that made money – what a winning idea!!! And here the rest of the industry in their stupidity and ignorance were only going about making films that lost them money.
Wait a minute – Drona, Tees Maar Khan, Prince – It’s Showtime, Mausam, Blue, Saat Khoon – damn it the woman was right – they were the only production house that was clear that they would only make films that made money. Which could be the reason why till this day (3 years after my life changing meeting with them), they still haven’t made a single film… but that’s not the point.
Anyway coming to my second story. This was with one of the biggies, one of the largest and most prolific studios in the country. And my meeting was with a fairly senior guy and had been arranged by a well known writer and director. Nevertheless having tried to peddle my sub 2 crore price tagged film for over 6 months now with absolutely no success, I wasn’t very optimistic.
However everything changed within the first ten minutes of our chat. It so happened that the previous Friday three films had released – Phoonk, Maan Gaye Mughal-e-Azam and Mumbai meri Jaan. And as it turned out Phoonk rocked the box office and the other two pretty much died.
This phenomena became the topic of conversation for the first 27 minutes of our meeting. The man with the money found it super amusing that a film that was marketed around a crow had drawn more crowds than KK or Mallika or Paresh.
“Ek Kauwe ne KK ko khaaya.”
This was his repeated refrain. I mean he must have said it at least 21 times. And of course he went on and on about how this was a 3 crore film and the others were all close to 9 or 10 and how this was smart film making and marketing and this was how business should be done.
By now I was dancing on the ceiling. If this was how he thought, if this was what gave him the jollies, in another ten minutes I would have my contract and signing amount.
Or so I thought…
When finally we had finished with the Kauwa and its dining habits he asked me about my project. And with full gusto I launched into my narration, prefacing it with how this was a kids film and it would cost less than 2 crores, thinking that I had just played my ace.
That was as far as I’d got. Said head honcho stopped my narration saying – “We don’t want to make small films, 2 crores and all no way!”
WHAT THE F*$#%? What about the Kauwa and KK and…
I do remember wishing as I left that I could summon the same Kauwa and have him feast on this man’s brains. But consider the guy’s statements and thought processes, poor crow would have probably starved…
I’m not going to say which studio it was. But here’s a clue. They produced one of the masterpieces I talked about at the beginning of this piece… 🙂
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