Joined: 26 April 2006
|By A. L. Chougule|
Gone are the days when TV shows were shot on a shoe string budget. Today shows with their grand sets and exotic locales cost anywhere between Rs 60 and Rs 80 lakhs. And when it comes to reality shows, where the presence of Bollywood biggies is a trend, then sky is the limit for the budget. Channels are going all out to woo the audiences and moolah is no constraint for them. Ramanand Sagar's grandson is remaking Ramayan in a grander way on a huge set in Baroda. The sets of Ekta Kapoor's Kahani Hamaray Mahabharat Ki is spread over 1.5 acres at the Film City in Mumbai. Besides the huge Hastinapur set, the show also has two smaller sets each spread over half acre. Apart from Ramayan and Mahabharat, today, every serial runs into lakh of rupees.
Besides lavish sets, channels also pay actors huge monthly pay packets. That's not all; reality shows bring in the best of Bollywood actors as anchors and members of the jury panels. Why is so much money being poured into fiction and reality shows? "Television shows of the 90s were shot in bungalows because they were closer to reality," says producer Asit Modi who has made Saarthi for Star Plus and is currently making a daily comedy Taarak Mehta Ka Ultah Chashma. For Saarthi which ran for three and half years and had 725 episodes, Asit had erected a huge set costing around Rs 70 lakh, which he renovated twice at the cost of Rs 20 lakhs each. Such expenses were unheard of in the 90s but are pass today. For his daily comedy Asit has again built a huge set resembling a housing society and Film City.
According to television director Sanjay Upadhyay, Sony's creative head (fiction), who has shot Saaya, Aatish and supervised the making of Kumkum says, "With dailies, television moved from reality to larger than life dream. With dreams being sold to viewers, things changed completely — be it the story, sets, costumes, jewellery or the look of actors. A set can be explored in many ways for visual beauty, charm, opulence and location variety," he explains adding further, "Sets are also a necessity because dailies are shot for at least 25 days in a month compared to weeklies which require just about eight to nine days."
Joined: 06 August 2008
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