Opinion: Producer sir, don’t dole out advances

Abhishek Agarwal needs to hire a financial consultant. Seriously, he would do better if he donates the money he is spending unnecessarily on office and staff salaries to buy oxygen cylinders and other essential stuff for Covid patients. A couple of years back, the producer paid an advance of two crore to Bellamkonda Srinivas for Tiger Nageswar Rao. The film was to start immediately and advances were paid to the character actress, heroine, music director and others but Bellamkonda Srinivas hiked his remuneration and the project got shelved. Will Bellamkonda return that money? The director who had a perfect script is not seen or heard anywhere. Why pay an advance when talks are not completed? Now Abhishek is making a similar mistake. He is working with director Teja and has so far paid him a whopping sum of two crore, the project hasn’t started yet and will not start till things in the industry return to normalcy..say 2022.

Abhishek Agarwal

We can’t blame Teja either because it is Abhishek’s fault for not getting into a proper agreement. Why advances for a film that will start rolling next year? The director knows what to do, he is not letting producers slip out of his hands when the latter approach him with a request to direct a film. The director might already have one film, which is an existing project but he will keep the other producers like Gemini Kiran, BVSN, Nallamalupu Bujji and himself in good humour. The latest we hear is Suresh Babu and Gemini Kiran will present the film to launch Abhiram. Suresh isn’t like others, he usually gives a room in his office building and greenlights the project only when he is completely satisfied. Here Agarwal was made to believe that the film will start soon but Covid 19 prolonged the process. Till the other day, the names doing the rounds was Narne Srinivas’s son, Teja’s son, now Abhiram. Whatever, for Sita, he lost 6 crores..as distributor. After Rana’s film came out, Rana hasn’t been giving dates as promised. Teja is at his best again, roping in a writer who (who delivered two flops) has a story worth forty lakh. Will Abhi starrer go on tracks first or will he utilise this time to get stories ready for his son and Junior’s brother in law? Fyi, we repeat only when the producer is valued, the industry survives.

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