Hir­ing a train for film shoots is dou­bly ex­pen­sive now, the film frat says the move is ‘un­fair’

Hindustan Times (Patna) - Live - - Front Page - Tor­sha Sen tor­sha. sen@ hin­dus­tan­times. com

Shoot­ing a train se­quence in a Bol­ly­wood film will set pro­duc­ers back by 100% more money than they are cur­rently pay­ing. As part of Rail­way Min­is­ter Suresh Prabhu’s plans to earn ad­di­tional rev­enues for the cash-strapped public trans­porter, the In­dian Rail­ways has in­creased tar­iffs of trains be­ing hired for a film shoots. Thus, the hire cost of a spe­cial train has been hiked to ` 4,74,345 per day from the ex­ist­ing

` 2,31,551, ac­cord­ing to a cir­cu­lar dated July 15. “Ac­tu­ally, this rev­enue stream com­pletely missed our at­ten- tion for long. It is an op­tion to earn a sub­stan­tial amount of money, given that films these days make huge amounts of money,” says a se­nior of­fi­cer of the rail­ways, not want­ing to be named.

In­deed, while Shah Rukh Khan’s Chen­nai Ex­press or Sal­man Khan’s Ba­jrangi Bhai­jaan, which have train scenes, earned big bucks, in­dus­try in­sid­ers think that the hike isn’t fair for films with a smaller bud­get. “You can­not de­cide rates based on block­busters. It’s un­fair. If 1000 films are be­ing made in a year, only 10 earn ` 100 crore or more. What about the rest of them? What about re­gional films, short films, doc­u­men­taries? This step will def­i­nitely make film­mak­ers think twice be­fore adding train scenes in their films,” says trade an­a­lyst Atul Mo­han.

Some like film­maker Anand L Rai con­tend that pay­ing a heftier sum should come with added ad­van­tages. “If you are charg­ing more money, at least sim­plify the per­mis­sion process and en­sure that there is no un­der- the-ta­ble trans­ac­tion,” says Rai. Film­maker Paresh Mokashi agrees with Rai and says, “Un­less the In­dian Rail­ways does some­thing about the red-tapism in­volved in tak­ing per­mis­sions, most film­mak­ers will want to avoid in­clud­ing a train scene in their films, given the high costs now. Also, they should have sep­a­rate rates for re­gional films.”

A still from Gun­day (2014) that saw Ran­veer

Singh and Ar­jun Kapoor us­ing a train

to es­cape

A scene from Jab We Met; large parts of the film were shot in a train A still from the iconic Shah Rukh Khan song, Chaiyan Chaiyan, from Dil Se (1998)

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