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Thread: Recession? That's rich
09-11-2009, 02:07 PM #1
Recession? That's rich
Recession’s hit the telly industry and actors are being offered half their previous remuneration.
But there’s one area the industry is not compromising on - opulence in TV shows! In fact, recent times have seen a lot of money being spent on either the sets or the getup or even a car for a scene!
A phenomenal Rs 6 crore was reportedly spent on the sets of Chittod Ki Rani Padmini Ka Johur, designed by Nitin Desai, and that apart, a good amount on costume and jewellery, too (never mind that the show went off air in no time!). Other historicals and mythologicals continue to spend huge amounts on presentation. Each one’s trying to outdo the other.
Family dramas, too, are lavish especially when it comes to wedding tracks or the more recent dahi-handi episodes. With producers and channels willing to spend on the look, it’s not surprising that TV is seeing top fashion designers offering their expertise; the latest to join the bandwagon is Vikram Phadnis, who’s designed for a show.
It’s all about giving the audiences the best. A Rs 17.5-crore car was used for a scene in Rajan Shahi’s Mata Pita Ke Charnon Mein Swarg. Many shows these days are being shot in palaces or palace-like houses or sets, which cost a bomb.
Producers, on their part, are fine with channels’ decisions. Says Dheeraj Kumar, “For special sequences, channels go all out. That’s because they promote these special episodes in a big way and when they get viewership it boosts their gross rating points (GRPs).”
But actors are complaining. “They can spend on the sets and the look. Why not on us? We are offered half of what we were offered earlier in the name of recession. It’s so unfair,” says an actress on condition of anonymity. It’s a sentiment echoed by most actors, but they’d rather crib on the quiet than on record, lest they antagonise the channels and end up getting no work at all.
Actors/actresses who, just a couple of years ago, were paid between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000 per day, are today offered less than Rs 10,000.
“Just yesterday I was offered Rs 5,000 instead of my usual Rs 15,000 a day. I was shocked! Why are they cutting only on actors’ remuneration,” shoots another actor.
From the channels and the producers’ point of view, it’s a demand-supply situation, where actors today are available in abundance. So they’d rather spend more on other aspects.
“It’s imperative for broadcasters to spend smartly,” says a channel head honcho, Shailja Kejriwal. “Entertainment during recession is expected to provide a greater degree of escape. When viewers are watching a show, they would expect to see the bigness of it all. In Rakhi Ka Swayamwar, you needed to have all the trappings of a fairytale wedding.” About actors, she says, “I really think actors are paid and should be paid what they deserve.”
Producer-director Rajan Shahi believes that the ‘serial’ today is the star and not one particular actor. “Everyone’s realised a team in totality sells a show and not any one actor. That’s a healthy trend.”
09-11-2009, 02:18 PM #2