Mani Ratnam weighs in on actors' salaries and the rise of pan-Indian films
"We see Tamil dubbed Hollywood films, so why not watch dubbed Kannada films?" Mani Ratnam said.
A star hotel in Chennai witnessed the presence of veteran director Mani Ratnam, producer TG Thyagarajan of Sathya Jyothi films and actor Prashanth for the launch of a new software named Honey Flicks that its makers promise to manage film productions better while also making films cost-efficient.
After the launch, while addressing the media people, director Mani Ratnam fielded questions on the use of technology, artist remuneration and the pan-Indian film trend. When asked about how a software might intrude on the artistic properties of making a film, he said, "Films aren't completely the works of art as it also involves other aspects like commerce, coordination and man-management. I don't think a single film in the world is made without using multiple software. They are essential and software becoming an end-to-end means is definitely a breakthrough for the industry. While it doesn't mean that the usage of software will make my films better, they aid in making the process efficient.
The high salaries lead actors command have recently become a point of debate after several industry bigwigs have come out and stated that to be the reason for big-budget Tamil films not being up to the mark. When questioned about that, the ace director said, "How much an actor is paid is in the hands of the producer. What happens there is between just them. Everything else that's spent comes under production cost. How to be efficient and effective with that is integral and software like Honey Flicks lends us a hand in getting that right."
Speaking about how films made by other industries are turning out to be a success in Tamil Nadu, Mani said, "This isn't something new. But since the frequency at which the films are coming out has increased and they are also making an impact in the North, it has become a topic of conversation. We did a film like Chandralekha which made a mark even in the northern states and we didn't ask this question when that happened (smiles). A film garnering additional eyeballs is a positive trend which cannot be stopped by anyone. We see Tamil dubbed Hollywood films, so why not watch dubbed Kannada films? We just have to be mindful to be extra-efficient while doing bigger films. The film should reflect the budget that has gone into making it and that should be the aim." When asked if Tamil films can do something similar in other states, he replied smilingly, "If a film is good, it will definitely break boundaries. It's all in our hands. Tamil cinema's standard is very rich. There are a lot of talented new filmmakers with brilliant ideas. I'm very proud of that."