BOLLYWOOD’S JOYRIDE FACES A PRICEY JOLT
Hiring a train for film shoots is doubly expensive now, the film frat says the move is ‘unfair’
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
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)