The Mumbai film industry has finally come on paper. Be it actors or the directors and technicians, production houses are rushing to seal names and projects.
Yash Raj Films initiated the trend by signing directors for three- film deals. Soon, other production houses like UTV, Percept Pictures and Sahara Motion Pictures followed.
First and last
Akshay Kumar was the first one to be offered such a contract.. lately, there have been reports about Hrithik Roshan inking a four-movie deal with Adlabs, reportedly worth Rs 35 crore.
Advocate Rizwan Siddiqui, legal advisor to Sameera Reddy and Tanushree Dutta, says, "From the number of working days to the ways of working, these contracts cover everything. Although deals with big production houses like Yash Raj Films or UTV are unalterable, other banners can be swayed by the big stars they sign."
Apparently, Shah Rukh Khan and Vivek Oberoi never sign a contract. Their business managers do it for them. Rani Mukherji, Kajol and Aishwarya Bachchan are said to be strict about their contracts.
Another legal advisor, on the condition of anonymity, adds, "Top actresses know that heroines add a considerable amount of market value to a regular commercial film. Their terms and conditions are stricter and clearer."
While clauses regarding exposure are prominent in contracts in Hollywood, it's comparatively easier here.
Rizwan feels, "Indian actresses are yet to reach that stage." However, it's still a messy job for newcomers.
As one says, "The industry has its own way of dealing with us. Filmmakers alter the contracts at the last minute." While actors have to abide by the exclusivity factor and limited public appearances, directors are bound by time, budget and quality .
With the pull from the production houses getting stronger, newer inclusions like creative freedom and nonexclusivity for both, actors and directors, are being incorporated in the contracts.
Recently, Priyanka Chopra signed a four-film deal with UTV, which also assures her of creative involvement.
The actress sees this as "an extension of my creative contribution to the final product. I am looking forward to create cinematic magic." Although Hrithik has been tightlipped so far, he too will be involved in scripting and the casting of the film. Amen.