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Chitchat with KS Rama Rao
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KS Rama Rao, who made blockbusters like Abhilasha, Rakshasudu and Challenge with Chiranjeevi and also produced heart touching films like Chanti, Punya Sthri and Matrudevobhava, is currently acting as the president of AP Telugu Film Producers Counsel. He is instrumental in getting percentage system and anti-piracy bill implemented. Here is the chitchat with KS Rama Rao about the grave situation that is prevailing for Telugu film producers on the eve of suicide attempt by Chengala Venkat Rao -

23rd May 2005

Most of the film producers are not in a better position than C Venkat Rao
The recent suicide attempt by Narasimhudu producer Chengala Venkat Rao should be treated as an alarm bell for all the other producers. I can confidently say that most of the Telugu film producers are in no better situation than what Chengala Venkat Rao is in. It was C Venkat Rao's answerability to public as a responsible MLA that prompted him to attempt suicide. If you checkout the assets of certain famous producers of Telugu cinema then you would realize how this hero-director dominated system made a dent to producers' money.

Most of the Directors-Heroes treat producer as an outsider
The crux of the problem lies in over budgeting and skyrocketing remunerations of heroes and directors. Most of the heroes and directors are treating producer as an outsider. They are keeping producer outside their circle of trust. The director should take producer into confidence so that it would help the whole process of filmmaking.

Atrocious and irresponsible negative exposure by certain directors
A few directors are taking as much liberty as exposing 3.5 lakh feet worth negative reel to make one film. The film which we see on screen consists of around 15 reels (15,000 ft). It is a thumb rule that the final footage to the wastage ratio should be 1:4. A decent film should be made within 75,000 ft exposure. An exception could be made for high budgeted films to use exposure up to 1.25 lakh ft. Using 3.5 lakhs feet of negative is atrocious. It costs negative reel of good quality around Rs.25,000 per 1000 feet. Using 87.5 lakhs of rupees just for negative reel is absurd.

Certain heroes should not force producers
Certain heroes are sensing that the movie would go for a toss and they start demanding producer to pay up full remuneration (which is very high by any standards) failing to which they would stop dubbing for the film. There are even certain people who kept boxes at their home as security to remuneration. It is high time for certain heroes to do 'self-questioning' (aatma vimarsa) regarding these kinds of demands.

Certain heroes should do what they are supposed to do - that is to act!
Till 10 years back, producers used to have control over the reigns of production and script work. Now a days, certain heroes think that what would be the use of producer if hero-director could produce it. That way certain heroes started home productions and paid price for it. Heroes should do what they are supposed to do. That is to act in the films. They should not interfere into things like budgeting and other activities that are meant for producers to do.

Producers should also be blamed
The producers themselves are to be blamed at this pathetic situation. There is no unity among most of us producers. Most of the producers are bypassing morals and ethics by luring heroes and directors who already committed to other producers by paying far higher remunerations than others.

NTR has the heart of gold
NTR is a magnanimous hero. He shown tremendous maturity by paying up all the remuneration of 3 crores back to the producer. That incident shows that NTR has the heart of gold, that's too at the age of 22. Chengala Venkat Rao failed to asses the economics of Telugu cinema. Hero NTR gave 3 consecutive flops and he made Narasimhudu with huge budget which is much bigger budget than his previous three films. He should know how much a hero commands in the market when his three successive films were failures.

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