An Open Letter To Every Producer

By Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial

Dear Producers

Take a leaf out of Yash Raj Films book on how a film should not be revealed to the world (especially movie critics) before release date. What is the harm if the review comes on a Saturday, instead of a Thursday or a Friday or sometimes even as early as Wednesday?

No harm done. In fact, it makes perfect business sense as Yash Raj Films have been showing us these past few years. Any YRF film is shown to the critics only on the day of the release (Friday) at around 12 noon at their studio. Which means, even if a review on the internet is up, it will not be until 6.00pm in the evening. By that time, the suspense of a new movie would have gotten to the movie buffs and quite a few (who would have otherwise given it a skip if a bad review is up), would go to view it. By the time the print reviews are up on Saturday morning, a sizeable audience would have already viewed it.

Does it not make perfect business sense?

So my question to you is; why ruin the fortunes of your film by showing it before its release date?

Those few days when the reviews are up prior to the actual release, does a lot of damage to a film's Box Office collection if it's an average fare. And the life-span of any movie is maximum seven days. Another week if it is exceptional fare!

Moreover, having a special screening costs money. Apart from the hiring of the multiplex (screen), there are also snacks. Add to it the cost of a journalist (like me) coming from Wadala, to say PVR, Juhu, where most of the screenings are held now. It's almost Rs 500. Also add to it refreshments of my choice and it is roughly around Rs 700!

Now if there are around a 100 journalists on an average and even if you multiply Rs 300 (the lowest travelling cost) by 100, it's a whooping Rs 30,000. Add this to your screening cost and I believe it would go beyond Rs 1 lac.

Believe me, it becomes economical for me to watch a movie at IMAX, next door to where I live, rather than travel all the way to Andheri. And I haven't even mentioned the travel time of roughly around 4 hours (going and coming).

If you compute this entire cost to the ultimate cost of the Box Office collections of Friday and Saturday (considering the reviews will be up late Friday and on Saturday), the returns will be huge. In fact, very huge!

So, does it not make business sense to follow the YRF module of having a screening on Friday, or rather, having no screening at all? Let us watch it on the day of its release at a theatre next to us!

The money thus saved can be used for so many good things. It can be used for education, sanitation, medication and infrastructure of the less fortunate. I mean, just look around you; there is so much good we can do in our neighbourhood itself among the poor (if we do not want to go into the interiors to find out how the less fortunate are making do without basic amenities).

In the good old days, when I was growing up, I looked forward to reading the reviews on a Saturday morning. Can we please go back to that module?

It is a win-win situation for all concerned.

Let's think out of the box. If you need places to direct your funds to the needy, do drop me a line. I can direct you to a lot many places I am involved in. As a matter of fact, I am privy to one of the places Mrs Pamela Chopra diligently sends funds to. I too am associated with that particular place.

This is another page we can take out of YRF's book!

Sincerely

Martin D'Souza

(This weekly column tries to be as honest as honest can be... )

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