The safe route ahead

The safe route ahead

The safe route ahead
Movies have always been a risky business. With the tragic incident that happened on the sets of ‘Masti Gudi’ last year that lead to the death of two actors, there have been continuous discussions about ensuring safety of film crew,  including actors and technicians on sets.

Following this, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce and the Kannada Film Producers’ Association are set to persuade producers to take insurance cover for all productions in the future. Since it does not form part of  the core budget of the film, insurance is often shrugged away as an additional expense.

Producer Pushkara Mallikarjunaiah from Pushkar Films of ‘Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykattu’ fame believes that this is a step forward for the Sandalwood movie industry.

 “In other industries like Bollywood and Hollywood, insurance is an intrinsic part of the project and it’s high time we pick up this trait. In our banner’s upcoming projects,  ‘Humble Politician Nograj’ starring Danish Sait and ‘Avane Sriman Narayana’ which will see Rakshit Shetty in it, we have taken an insurance package,” he says.

The expense will differ according to the projects but will not exceed the cost by more than 5 %, vouches Pushkara.  “It depends on the insurance coverage too. We regret that we didn’t do it for our projects earlier but we have taken a decision to do it from now onwards, whether this step made mandatory or not. We always want our crew to feel secure,” he says.
Big budget movies are associated with huge expenses and filmmakers believe that in such projects, extracting the expense from just the producer can seem unfair.

 Director Dinesh Baboo  says “This can be seen as a burden to producers but there is nothing to equate to human value. In many big projects, popular actors or technicians charge a lump amount. They could help pool in some amount to the insurance,” says Dinesh.

He feels that this will be a welcome move as everyone working on a movie set will feel a sense of securityMostly accidents occur on movie sets when there are high-intensity stunts or fights that involve big names.  “Producers take the risk of investing in movies, which provide jobs to many, but these have uncertain results in theatres. In such circumstances, the producer shouldn’t be taxed more,” he says.

Most of them feel that making insurance a mandatory step for all productions might not be a practical step and should depend  on the producer and the project.

Director P C Shekar says, “This is the decision a producer should be able to take. Films which have risky scenes and schedules and a lot of outdoor shooting should go for insurance. But there are also small-budget movies which are shot at few locations. These might not even use trolleys and so a lot of risk doesn’t exist.”

Others like director and producer Pradeep Raj, who is working on upcoming project ‘Kichchu’, feels that most filmmakers would opt to insure their projects, if feasible options were made available.

“To get individual insurance is not possible. If the Chamber helps producers to connect with insurance companies to find the best plans or packages to cover the whole project, then I’m positive that not just me but everyone will come out in support of such an initiative,” he says.