How we add value to a movie we produce

 In Movies, Producer

After producing and releasing three movies(Chhello Divas, Buddha in Traffic Jam & The Tashkent Files) in the last three years, the experience I have gained in film production has granted me at least this much perspective which I’d like to share with you on what I think matters in movie making. Value is mostly considered a quantitative figure and in financial terms, a figure of exactitude and measurable in a given duration, curved along the X-Y Axis. Films, however, possess a value which is subjective and hence variable to a great extent.

To create a certainty of value requires that we should take a few things into consideration which I have explained below:

  1. Great Script
  2. Cast & Crew
  3. Technical Expertise
  4. Financial Discipline
  5. Distribution Deals

Great Script:

  • A great script is a foundation for anything we produce and release. I have always been upbeat about quality stories. What decides a quality story, if not for the suspense held in the plot, the uneven surprises it lands you in but also leaves behind memories you could recall from the images instantly?
  • As a matter of practice, we are open to ideas, concepts, and scripts from talents of various background, from new as well as established writers. If it’s good and workable, I am up for it.
  • At times, I also commission to rewrite an existing script we have acquired which fits into our production and shooting seamlessly and in these days, there are plentiful options available.

Technical Expertise:

  • Three areas where technical expertise is needed: Light, Sound, Editing. The best equipment such as high-quality movie cameras, sound equipment such as lapel mics, overhead mics, software and hardware for film editing are a must if we want to create films that are pleasing to look at and have 2K-4K quality.
  • This will allow the crew operating them to work at their level best and to deliver projects in a timely fashion. The role of CGI effects is also increasingly making its presence felt and so animators and graphic designers are an important part of the post-production process.
  • We keep ourselves aware of the best available practices and we make sure to provide a qualitative value in what we do.

Financial Discipline:

  • As a producer, my role is to ensure that production schedules are followed promptly and financial control on expenditures are as per estimates.
  • In the past, there were no mechanisms for controlling expenses and many times, over budgeting led to higher expenses as are known in many cases where the film budget exceeded estimates.
  • This affected the overall working environment and also decreased investor confidence. With strict enforcement of budgeting rules and regulations, we minimize expenses to the best extent possible and any unforeseeable events are taken into account.

Distribution Deals:

  • Pre-establishing distribution channels are insurance against films, some of which don’t make a mark in the box office.
  • Even with the best efforts, good scripts, stellar cast, etc, there are times when a film is only realized as a masterpiece after years.
  • To make up for the deficient, negotiation in distribution may earn enough money to cover expenses on temporary basis and ROI may be achieved reasonably after few months and years.

As a producer, I want to make something which remains in the public domain, something to cherish. It is indeed a high vision, of scope more audacious than anything I’ve tackled so far. To make a movie of artistic worth and that too commercially viable is what I am upbeat and motivated about. So many barriers have come up my way in the past and they have only made me more experienced enough that I keep going on ahead even while behind me lay the graves of the past. A Never-Give-Up attitude is all it takes. As simple as that!

To end on a note, a saying which I think is apt here:

“Films are not made on excel sheets but on vision & feelings.”

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