It takes a good business sense for an actor to become a good producer. A perfect example is set by Abhishek Bachchan who believes in the simple formula of making quality films within the right budget and giving box-office collections prime importance over moolah from corporate tie-ups and sale of satellite rights.
"Each script has a budget and I think it is important to budget your film correctly," Abhishek told IANS in an interview.
For instance, his first film "Paa" was made in just Rs.15 crore and he was lauded by the industry for making such a movie with such a low budget.
"Paa", which released in 2009, won not just critical acclaim but also walked away with a National Award for best feature film in Hindi and the best actor award for Abhishek's father, megastar Amitabh Bachchan.
The business dynamics have since changed. Nowadays, filmmakers recover most of their money by selling off their film's satellite rights and music rights and through various tie-ups, making box-office success secondary.
But Abhishek begs to differ. "Box office receipts still account for 60 to 70 percent of the entire collection. That will always be the bulk of the business. Satellite is still very speculative. Right now satellite rights are very good for the producers, but after two to three years it might fall," said the 36-year-old, who has acted in successful films like "Dhoom">Dhoom", "Guru", "Dostana" and, most recently, "Bol Bachchan".
"The emphasis has to be always on making a qualitative film. If your film is not good, then selling satellite rights and music rights won't help," he added.
It is interesting how actors are moving beyond their characters in a film into the business aspects of the movies, and Abhishek says it is a positive trend.
"That's just the way the dynamics of the industry work today! Stakes have become so high, cost of production has gone up so much that I think actors believe it's beneficial to be a part of it and become partners in the production houses.
"At the end of the day, we are responsible for the work that we are doing, we are responsible for our film. So I think actors, who can afford to do that, have decided that instead of burdening the film with astronomical costs, we'd become a partner in the film," he said.
Abhishek believes in giving 100 percent of himself to film promotions as well! In fact, during the promotions of "Delhi-6" in 2009, he broke the Guinness' world record for maximum public appearances in 12 hours.
"My attitude towards it is that you spend so much time and energy in making a film, then why not spend the equal amount of time and energy promoting and marketing the film as well," he said.
(Priyanka Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)