Individual financiers, corporate studios, crowd financing and online appeals are not the only means by which Bollywood can produce films. The latest trend seems to be making a film on zero-spend. Starting the trend is director Tejas Padia with his debut feature film, Lo! Ho Gai Party. However, industry experts have a mixed reaction to the viability of the free movie concept. “I haven’t spent a single rupee on the film. From my writing team to the camera to the house we shot in and my movie website in the end — everything is free. Everything was borrowed,” Padia tells us.
A ‘bucket movie’ too
“I’m not a struggler making a movie with strugglers. My lead actors are all well earning TV actors. I only want to say that if you are making a Rs. 100 crore movie, there is a lot of risk and at least small filmmakers like me should get a chance,” adds the 30-year-old, who shot the movie in 21 days but took two years to complete the project. He also managed to rope in seasoned actors Satish Kaushik and Manoj Joshi to star in the film for free, and did not spend on marketing either.
Industry experts are skeptical. “If this model can deliver a good quality product in the end, this could be a trigger point which could pave the way for a new way in movie business. But you can’t fully alienate commerce from films ... there has to be a commercial angle attached to it,” warns trade analyst Joginder Tuteja. Filmmaker Onir, who raised funds for his National Award winning movie, I Am, through social networking websites, says, “I’m strongly against this concept of a free movie because it completely devalues your work. At the end of the day, it’s your hard work, you have to value it.” Filmmaker Raj Kumar Gupta, however, retorts: “This shows that if you have a story to tell, the budget does not matter.”
Oscar winner sound designer, Resul Pookutty, has made a movie, I.D., that will release as a ‘bucket’ movie — audiences won’t have to buy tickets in advance, but can put whatever money they think the movie deserves in a bucket placed at the exits of the theatres, at the time of leaving.