In our Problemsoftelugus post No. 591 , and Problemsoftelugus post No. 613 we have discussed how the Telugu film industry was in a moribund condition in 1941 itself, discussing an article by Shri RARAJU who has correctly identified the extreme dangers involved in paying huge remunerations to Heros and Directors. We, are, now in 2016. Even after 75 years, there is no change in the rash reckless state of affairs.
Supporters of Private Sector and Free Enterprise Capitalism in India, present Private Businesses as a paragons of virtues, and the State Enterprises as dirty turtles. In India we have all the three i.e. the Press, the TV Channels, and the Film Industry, all in Private Sector. What a Great Efficiency we see in Indian Private Sector Media !
The most reputed Surgeon in India, may not charge Rs. 85 million for a surgery. The most reputed lawyer in India, may not charge Rs. 85 million for taking up a case. The President of India, Vice President, Chief Justice of India and his Associate Judges, Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Chief Ministers, Lok Sabha Speaker, nobody gets an annual salary of Rs. 85 million. But, surprisingly, one Telugu film director by name Mr. Puri Jagannath, takes Rs. 85 million for handling a film. The Telugu film industry is not the largest film industry or the film market in India. The first rank in India goes to Bollywood, i.e. the film Industry of Mumbai, Hindi films.
If Rs. 85 million is the remuneration taken by a Telugu film director, what will be the remuneration taken by a Top Hindi film Director? Among Bollywood Heros, it is said that Mr. Salman Khan charges Rs. 600 million, approx. a million U.S. Dollars. All these crores and millions for shoddy, shabby films.
Recently, there is a commotion as Mr. Puri Jagannath, the Rs. 85 million Director, has reported to the Police that he has been attacked by a batch of Film Distributors at his home, demanding compensation for the flopped Telugu film named Loafer.
TheHindu.Com , dated 17th Dec. 2015, published an interview with Mr. Puri Jagannath, the Director of the ill-fated film Loafer, which is worth reading.
A snapshot of "TheHindu.com" 's observation, and the words of Mr. Puri Jagannath are worth studying:
"...Director Puri Jagannadh rises like a phoenix after every two flops; a rollercoaster ride is a moderate term to describe his life. In a chat with MetroPlus on the eve of the release of Loafer, he says, “I believe I’m in a war zone. Every day I am fighting with myself, people and situations. I don’t believe God has been kind to me, he doesn’t think of us at all. From the seventh class onwards I stopped praying. Earlier I would go to Nagara Sankeerthanalu, poojalu and vrathams wherever they were held.yekkada ye vratham ayina nenu vellevadini God is there but pattinchukodu (he doesn’t bother). ...”
Supporters of Mr. Puri Jagannath blamed the Tamil Star Mr. Rajini Kanth, for starting a culture of artists compensating film distributors, when films fail.
The argument of Mr. Puri Jagannath seems to be that the Distributors have to approach the Producers of the films for compensation, and not their Directors.
The Film Distributors involved claim innocence, and they seem to want to sue Mr. Jagannath for defamation.
Assuming that film direction is an intellectual occupation or profession, if we compare a doctor, an advocate with the Film Director, what sort of analyses we can make? Surgeons and Doctors do not refund fees, when patients die. Advocates do not refund fees, when the clients lose cases. Then how is it that Film Distributors want part refund of Director's Fees?
In Traditional theory of Capitalism, Profit is regarded as a reward for bearing risk. Among the four factors of production i.e. Land, Labor, Capital and Organisation, the Land gets rent, Labor gets wages, Capital gets interest, and the Organisation i.e. Management -in Film industry the Film Producers and the Distributors gets the Profits. As Profit is the reward for taking risk, Risk should also be borne between the Producers and the Distributors, in agreed proportions. Thus, legally, Mr. Jagannath, comes under Labor (though he takes Rs. 8.5 crore), and is not expected to share profits or losses, unless there is a separate express arrangement for that.
Then, should the case of Film Distributors for some relief from the Diector who charges Rs. 8.5 crore, become absolutely hopeless. There are two ways.
First, the Distributors can prove with some evidence, that there is an implied custom which has emerged in Telugu film Industry , -the custom of artists also sharing the losses and risks.
Second, the Distributors can prove that the Director failed to exercise reasonable diligence and skills in discharging his job. Then, what should be the level of "reasonableness of skills" ? What should be the reasonableness of diligence? Is there any negligence on his part? One test which can be made to gauge this lack of required level of diligence can be: "Would he have exercised the same diligence and skill, if he himself were the producer and the Distributor" ?.
Main problem is Film industries are rotten all over the World right from Hollywood to Vollywood (Visakhapatnam Film Industry). If Film Distributors of Loafer were really honest, they can have the courage to show that they were prepared to pay only Rs. 1 crore, but they were induced to pay Rs. 8.5 crore by misrepresentations or false representations. But it may not be the case factually. Anything may happen. The Distributors in their craze might have even offered Rs. 10.5 crore, but Mr. Jagannath might have reduced it to Rs. 8.5 crore, giving a concession of Rs. 2 crore.
This blog post is not a post mortem of the reported failure of Loafer. We are not going to write from a hind sight of failure of X film or Y Film. This is because, 90% of Telugu films fail, for myriad reasons. The burning crucial question is how the Telugu, Tamil, HIndi, ... Indian Film Industries can be nursed back to their natural health?
Distribution of Films involve commercial risks. There is a big science of Economics, called "Risk Management" about which the MBAs of IIMs are expected to know much. Do Film Distributors maintain knowledgeable staff for Risk Prediction, Risk Measurement, Predictive quantification of Risk losses ? No. The Film Distributors take risks from their past experience, if they have any, and depend on their hunches. The dividing line between gambling, and working on hunches, is very thin.
At least theoretically, the Film Producers and Film Distributors can incorporate a Film Risk Insurance Company, as a Commercial Venture, to share risks. Reason: General Insurers in India, both Private Sector and Public Sector may not come forward to provide Commercial Risk Insurance cover to Indian films. We can't blame them.
It is reported that Mr. Puri Jagannath has gone to Singapore, to work on a script. What is the need to work a script in Singapore?
It has become a fashion for Telugu Film Directors to shoot films abroad, whether the storyline requires it or not. The best example for this craze can be seen in case of Bahubali directed by Shri Rajmouli, who went to Bulgaria for a 25 day shooting. What Bahubali has got to do with Bulgaria? The ostensible explanation: Strike by Telugu film federation employees. Interruptions by rains.
In case of Loafer, a large part of the film was said to have been shot in Jaisalmer. If desert-type locations are required, the film could have been shot in Anantapur Dt., somewhere near Madakasira or Rayachoti or Kalyanadurgam. Alternatively, the Loafer could have been shot somewhere near Atchampet, in Mahaboobnagar District. Why should everybody stand in queue in Jaipur / Jaisalmer / Bharatpur / Udaypur ? Shooting in Madakasira or Atchampeta, could have generated some local employment, while reducing the budget of the film from Crores to Lakhs.
Bahubali collecting big bucks from innocent addicted spectators by jacking up prices (Rs. 1,500 per ticket) and cornering large number of theatres across the two States, does not justify its extravagance. Simply, they have wasted the resources of the country.
It is very disheartening to note that criminals have entered the film production, film distribution, film exhibition businesses.
SOLUTIONS WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF CAPITALIM
Telugu audience have to discourage huge budget films which shot abroad, and films which indulge in wasteful expenses.
Telugu audience should give preference insist on affordable fares in theatres. Only low budget films can do it. How can a Director who charges Rs. 85 million for his about six months work, can produce a low budget film? How can he help in reduction of Theatre ticket prices?
In respect of controlling film production expenses, according to my understanding, Late N.T. Rama Rao (& his brother Trivikrama Rao), Late Nagi Reddy and ChakrapANi used to be very planned and, effective and efficient.
Subject to corrections and deletions. To continue. सशेष. ఇంకా ఉంది.