Friday, September 23, 2011

Seven Films Next Friday!

By Anant Mathur (September 23, 2011)

Seven films (Chargesheet, Force, Hum Tum Shabana, Na Jaane Kabse..., Saheb Biwi Aur Gangster, Soundtrack and Tere Mere Phere) are releasing next friday (Sept. 30, 2011). I know we live in the world of multiplexes but which genius scheduled these films. Releasing 7 films on the same weekend is suicide. All seven films will be fighting with each others business not to mention competing with the previous big releases (Mausam, Mere Brother Ki Dulhan and Bodyguard). 

People in the Indian film industry have been suggesting for the last few years that it's not the stars but the script that works at the box office, well if that's the case, how do you explain that of the 8 hits this year 7 films had budgets over 10 crores. Two of these starred Salman Khan, one was with Ajay Devgn, one had the Deol Men and the others were made by prominent directors and/or production houses. 

The truth is no matter how good a script is Indian films still require star power to draw the audience into the theaters. There have been some cases in the past and recent present when some small budget films have been successful, but these films are exceptions not the rule. It's easy to see that all 7 film that are releasing on September 30 will flop at the box office - anyone with an ounce of intelligence could tell you that. Chargesheet is Dev Anand's next venture - I think it's great that at 87 Dev Anand is still making films - but let's get real... do people really want to watch a film starring Dev Anand, Jackie Shroff and Riya Sen in the lead roles. 

Would anyone in their right mind really want to spend 200 buck on a ticket for Chargesheet or would the audience rather save it for a film like Bodyguard, Ready, Singham, Don 2 or Ra.One, starring their favourite actor(s), especially when they can watch Chargesheet for free in a few weeks on Television. The same is true for the other six films releasing on Sept. 30th - none of them have any A-list actors - and John Abraham is not so popular that a 20 crore film (Force) riding solely on his shoulders will recover it's cost. 

If Force was made for a 5 crore budget it might have had a chance but at 20 crores it was going to be a flop before shooting ever began - the producer should've known this. When the star cast doesn't seem profitable on paper then how can you even think of filming it. If you have 20 crores to spend on a film, it's not difficult to generate another 5 crores and get A-list actors, unless of course the story is so bad no A-Lister wants to do it - in that case the money should be given to a charity or research organizations to help mankind - what's the point of wasting 20 crores on a film no one is going to come to watch.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Tip # 11: Film Score

By Anant Mathur (September 18, 2011)

The Film Score is original music written especially for a film and along with the dialogue and sound effects it forms the film's soundtrack. The film score comprises a number of orchestral, instrumental or choral pieces called cues which are timed to begin and end at specific points during the film. Songs are usually not considered as part of a film score.

The film Love Story (1970) probably has one of the finest film scores I can use as an example. Although most of the film uses orchestral compositions for the score, there are times in Love Story where you only hear a piano - no other instruments are used by composer Francis Lai - it's very effective and enhance the dramatic narrative and the emotional impact of the scene in question. It touches your senses in a more dramatic way than an orchestra ever could.

If you've watched any Hollywood Blockbusters chances are you've had a taste of composer John Williams' musical talent. John Williams is identified with many popular Hollywood film scores and themes. He has composed for films such as the Star Wars saga, Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones films, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, The Towering Inferno, The Poseidon Adventure, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Home Alone and the first three Harry Potter films. John Williams has been composing music for films for more than 5 decades. Inspired by the 19th century large-scale orchestral music, Williams is especially said to be influenced by Richard Wagner. He began his career working with the likes of Franz Waxman, Bernard Herrmann, and Alfred Newman. Today John Williams is perhaps the most popular composer in Hollywood, he frequently collaborates with Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. If Superman made you believe that man could fly it was partly because of the incredible compositions created by John Williams. His theme has been synonymous with Superman. Any film or television program based on Superman since he created the original Superman theme has used that theme in some form. He not only created a theme he gave a character life on the screen. Superman just wouldn't be the same without that theme. The same is true for Indiana Jones, Star Wars and the hundreds of other John Williams compositions, he not only provides a score for a film, he give it a soul. 

Bernard Herrmann composed the score for Alfred Hitchcock's thriller North by Northwest. Next time you watch the film, turn the sound off. It's incredible the impact the score has on the action sequences in the film. Bernard Herrmann was a Hitchcock favourite, they worked on 9 films together. Herrmann's score for Vertigo is considered masterful. In several key scenes his score takes center stage and dramatically conveys the main character's obsessive love for the woman he tries to shape into a long-dead, past love. Herrmann's most memorable scores include: Citizen Kane, The Devil and Daniel Webster, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Psycho, Cape Fear and Taxi Driver.

Throughout film history there have been many great composers, from the brothers Dorsey (Tommy and Jimmy) to Henry Mancini, Franz Waxman, Bernard Herrmann, Alfred Newman and AndrĂ© Previn to Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Bill Conti, John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Hans Zimmer and Danny Elfman Hollywood film scores have always made the visuals come alive and we've been able to enjoy various genres of music including Jazz, Rock, Pop, Blues, Classical, New Age, etc. in the process. 

The score is one of the most important elements of a film it can take the audience on an emotional journey or scare the living daylights out of them.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Bodyguard Shatters All Records.

By Anant Mathur (September 08, 2011)

It's official, the Salman Khan starrer "Bodyguard" has shattered all previous first week records set by Ready, Dabangg, 3 Idiots and Ghajini. As expected the film had a phenomenal first week - collecting Rs. 105.43 Crores in nett collections in the first 7 days - becoming the first Hindi film ever to collect 100 Crores in the first 7 days. Beginning on opening day itself, Bodyguard shattered the 1st day collection record of 14.5 Crores nett set by Dabangg last year by collecting 21.60 crores. The film broke the opening day records in all circuits accept one (Tamil Nadu/Kerala). On the second day Bodyguard also held its own and continued on the record breaking pace by collecting 19.50 Crores again beating the 16.5 Crores record of Dabangg. By day 3 (Friday) Bodyguard had broken the first 3 day record of all previous films by collecting 14.17 nett and bringing the grand total to 55.27 Crores (The previous 3 day record was 49.5 Crores by Dabangg). Advanced bookings of Bodyguard were sold out for the first 5 days at many locations.

Not surprisingly, on the fourth day, the collections picked up slightly, when Bodyguard had collected 15.13 Crores at the end of Saturday night. Collections on Sundays usually pick up but no one expected to see the great jump Bodyguard took when it earned 18.68 Crores on its 5th day. After the first weekend the collections of a film drop substantially during the weekdays - but Bodyguard was rock steady as it collected 9.09 Crores on day 6 and 7.34 Crores on day 7 bringing the first 7 days grand total to Rs. 105.43 Crores.

Bodyguard has been produced by the husband/wife team of Alvira Agnihotri (Salman Khan's sister) and Atul Agnihotri. Last year it was his brother Arbaaz Khan who was reeping the benefits of Salman's Eid release, this year it's his sister's turn. Now what remains to be seen is if Bodyguard can hold on to break the all time record of Rs. 189.38 Crores in collection set by 3 Idiots to become the highest grossing blockbuster in Hindi cinema.

 © Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Salman Khan Has Done It Again!

By Anant Mathur (September 01, 2011)

Salman Khan may very well become the first Bollywood actor to deliver two Hindi films in a single year which have grossed over 100 crores. Ready released just three months ago (it's still playing on some screens) has already joined the 100 Crores club. And now with the flying start Bodyguard has taken by collecting 21.25 Crores nett on the first day while shattering all previous records in all circuits across India - apart from Tamil Nadu/Kerala - it's not difficult to see the film may cross the 100 Crores mark in it's first week. Especially since it has also been able to take advantage of an extra long weekend with many shows booked full in advance for the next few days. Now it's Salman's sister's (producer) turn to rake in the moolah!

Even more than 2 decades after his debut film Maine Pyaar Kiya, Salman Khan can draw crowds in hordes to the cinema halls. With his popularity growing in the overseas market he may soon be giving Shahrukh Khan a run for the money in that market as well.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.