During a chat session at the Diorama International Film Festival, the co-founder of DAR Motion Pictures, Rangachari spoke about the process of selecting scripts and the lack of good writers in the country.
We are greedy people, we want good content: Vivek Rangachari on the process of greenlighting films
New Delhi - 17 Jan 2019 17:00 IST
What do the films The Lunchbox (2013), D-Day (2013), Ugly (2014), Monsoon Shootout (2017), Haraamkhor (2017) and Madhuri Dixit’s Marathi debut Bucket List (2018), have in common? They were all produced by DAR Motion Pictures, a production house set up in 2009 by brothers Vivek and Arun Rangachari, that slowly but surely made its mark in promoting films with formidable content.
Their first film as a production house was the Marathi feature City of Gold (Lalbaug Parel in Marathi) in 2010, but it was Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox that catapulted them into the big league, when the film was showcased at Cannes, winning the Critics Week Viewers Choice Award and won the Best Screenplay and Jury Grand Prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2013.
At the ongoing Diorama International Film Festival in New Delhi, Rangachari talked about the decisions that inspire the selection of scripts, their focus as a production house and what writers need to keep in mind while sending their scripts out. One of the key factors that writers tend to overlook is thinking about the target audience. Highlighting this, Rangachari said, “You should appeal to a large number. You should know who your target audience is.”
While discussing the integral question of the constitution of target audiences, Rangachari pointed out that films are usually pitched at the young adults, as it is the age group of 14-35 that makes up the largest numbers of theatre goers. In terms of revenue share, the theatrical revenues from the box office constitutes the largest share of the pie, but change seems imminent with the growing popularity of OTT (over the top) platforms.
Talking about some of the impediments that production houses face when it comes to the recovery of investment, he said, “We don’t budget our films properly. People are usually very exuberant about the films that they make. You need to be honest to your product.”
What makes a good film is a good script and Rangachari emphasized the need for good writers and the lack thereof saying, “We have rarely had independent writers, unlike Hollywood… I feel we have a dearth of good writers and it will take some time to get some trained writers in the industry.”
He took the audience through the process of selecting and developing films at DAR Motion Pictures, where it typically takes six-nine months to develop scripts. He also cited examples where additional writers would be brought in in keeping with the demands of the project.
Finally, while addressing a question about the number of projects selected by them in a year and the space for new projects to be pitched to their production house, he said, “As a production house, we are greedy people. We want good content and we consider good projects whenever they come to us.”