Citing overshooting of budgets as the biggest problem for today`s filmmakers, director Madhur Bhandarkar has credited his commercial success to a tight budget for all his movies.
"The budget is the most important part in determining the success or failure of a film. All my films have had a good success ratio. That`s because of the budget," Bhandarkar said here at the Infocom conference.
Giving examples of all his films, from the 2001 hit Chandni Bar to the recent romantic comedy Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji, he pointed out that although the subject has varied, his habit of controlling the budget hasn`t changed over of time.
"Besides, of course, the content of the film, I am always sure of my budget. I had made Chandni Bar at Rs 1.5 crore, while Traffic Signal was made at a budget of Rs 4 crore only," he said.Dil Toh Baccha Hai Ji starrring Ajay Devgn and Emraan Hashmi made profits even before it hit theatres last month.
"It was pre-sold. I sold the music to T-Series at a very reasonable price of Rs two crore. But the satellite rights were sold for half the film`s budget. Had I made this film for Rs 40 crore, it would have been a flop," said the film-maker, known for making hard-hitting women-centric films.
On the increasing corporate interest in film production, he said that intense competition has made corporate houses overspend on films, resulting in huge losses to the industry.
"They are so desperate to make films that whatever fees the top-ranking actors demand they oblige them.
"Once, an actor was being chased to sign a film, which he didn`t want to. To get rid of them the actor demanded Rs 25 crore for the film, thinking they won`t chase him anymore. But the next day, the corporate house came to him with his signing amount," Bhandarkar said.
After making a forgettable directorial debut with Trishakti, Bhandarkar won the National Award for his next film Chandni Ba`, starring Tabu and Atul Kulkarni.
Since then his issue-based films like Page 3, Traffic Signal, Jail, Fashion, Corporate and Satta have got him two more National Film Awards.
Admitting that knowing the pulse of the people is the toughest task, the director said that no one can predict audience response.
"The person who says I can deliver hits one after another is an absolute liar. It is very difficult to catch the pulse of the people," the 42-year-old said.
On the role of critics, he said that the audiences do not necessarily go and watch films based on good reviews.
"Critics have their own perspective. But the audience applies its own mind. Had everyone been following critical reviews, then Rohit Shetty`s Golmaal series would have been a big flop as the film was trashed by all critics," said Bhandarkar.