Tuesday, 22nd August, 2017

Urgent cost-cutting measures for Bollywood

21, Mar 2014 By Devang Pathak
Dear Rakesh,
I am terribly sorry that I could not write this letter to you earlier, otherwise we may have saved ourselves at the beginning of the calendar year of 2014. As you are aware, 2013 was a very good year. For minuscule costs of traditional film making, we have reaped huge rewards. The only worry is the growing power of the exhibitors and theatre owners. They are now clamouring demands for more shares, even though by end of next year, 500 a head will be the norm for ticket prices. They are asking for a form of insurance against the unpredictability of certain blockbusters. They say there are no “tried and tested” formulas. I am aware that you must be laughing at that statement. So did I!

Anyway, to more serious issues at hand, I am going to tell you about few important decisions we all decided last night:

1) We have decided that for any movie which requires a female lead for less than 10 minutes of the total run time, we shall not have any actress whatsoever for the part. The top ones charge crores and the irrelevant ones do not attract audiences. The ugly “actors” are.. well ugly even if they can act. We propose to use well designed mannequins instead which are almost life-like along with the aid of VFX. If you show enough beauties -real or fictional, the audience is distracted enough to call it a good film. We will address all the concerns of the directors. We have found the reliable guys to pull this off. And your job will be to shut up the writers.

2) We have tripled the previous budget for item numbers. Just in case we cannot pull off the point highlighted previously; we will have an all male cast with atleast 4 item numbers. The main priority as always is making the Hero look good. “Heroines” are needed to make them look good. To cry for help so the lead can beat up 50 men all by themselves. To run towards them as they open their arms. To give birth to the children we can make sequels off. To be stupid so that our heroes appear smarter. To improve the general aesthetics. Tried and tested formulas. But in order to double our already double profits, we will have to distract the audiences. They want to see skin, let them see it.

3) All the item songs will be sung by Yo Yo Honey Singh and any other rapper who has controversy written all over him. Let them dream with the lyrics and words. We have sufficient leverage in Producers Guild to ensure that the Censors do not create any problems for songs.

4) Out of the money we generate from these mainstream blockbusters, pool some of the funds to our subsidiary so that we make not more than two art and feminist films to get those activists off our back. Although, I think the fact that we are eliminating meaningless female roles, will serve the actress fraternity much more. And not like we are shunning them. If the script and more importantly the director and lead actor insist, we will get women to act.

I am so happy that 2013 finally marginalised critics to oblivion. They had to taper their hard stand to rate movies in a way that they retain their dwindling audience. They do not understand that making Hindi Movies is like performing a magic show- If you show audience two-three big and flawless tricks, they will forgive the scores of lapses and poor tricks like pick-a-card. Good beats, unhinged humor and slight titillation are the way forward for this industry in the New Year.

We need to sit down by the end of this week and discuss the intricacies of the plan. I will be flying away to a film festival next week where they are honouring my idol Martin Scorsese. I wish I could discuss this with you tomorrow itself. But the wife is busy dragging me to a Satyajit Ray Festival. Can you believe that there was a time that our nation did not make movies for money?Antiquated Idiots!

Regards, Shyam, Project Development Head, YDSG Productions.