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Gut feel counts to green light a film


MUMBAI: Out of 800 films released a year, around 200 films are made by Bollywood. Among them, around 85 per cent of the films flop.


So do we know what the audience really wants? Do we go into researching to find out the answer?


“This is a kind of a 50:50 situation. Something that can and something that can’t,” said UTV Motion Pictures CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur. “You can feel that people need youth-based films, but researchers can’t find out the wants of the audience. Research can be extremely beneficial in marketing a film.”


Kapur was deliberating on ‘ Market Research for Indian Cinema: Gut Feel vs Market Realities’ along with Nielsen Media India region MD Farshad Family, iRock founder and CEO Siddhath Jain, scriptwriter Jaideep Sahani, filmmaker Sudhir Mishra and Eros International chief creative officer Ram Mirchandani.


Averred Jain, “ There is a lot of difference between consumers of a FMCG product and a cinema-going audience. While research does help in the first case, it doesn’t in the latter. Along with the sensibilities to make a good film, what one needs the most is gut feel. We are making a Vampire film, the country’s first space adventure, an animated sequel of Andaz Apna Apna. But, primarily , we have a set of 10 to 12 writers who are guided by noted filmmaker Shekhar Kapoor.”


Mirchandani gave an example of what Eros went through with their forthcoming film Chalo Dilli. “ We were quite pleased by the going on in the shooting when the director came up with the proposal to have an item number. This when such a thing was not there in the original script. We had to go through a lot of head scratching before we gave in to the director’s proposal. This is how we inserted the hit song Laila O Laila of Feroz Khan’s film Qurbani," he said.


Mishra said that research may be an interesting tool for a studio but not for a "filmmaker like me". When a studio decides to make a film of a particular genre, they should go in for a director who would be apt in handling such a film. A director goes by his creative talent and not one related to research.


Talking about the positives and negatives of research, Kapur said: “Way back in the 70s, Raj Kapoor used to call over his friends to find out how his film has turned out and the same thing is being practiced even today by Aamir Khan.”


Turning to the other side, Kapur averred: “If we had to ask people that we are going to make a modernized version of Devdas in Dev D, probably we would have got a “No No” sign or probably if we had asked views on Rang De Basanti, the film inspired by Bhagat Singh, we would be discouraged. It was our gut feeling that made us go ahead with the films and they turned out to be successful.”


Kapur summed up by saying, “Creations go with passion and gut.”

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