Thursday August 22, 2019

Ranveer Singh Claims, “Celebrity Life Not Easy”

"There are many things which you can do as a person who is not famous that you cannot do when you are a public figure.

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With celebrity status comes a certain responsibility

Bollywood heartthrob Ranveer Singh loves all the attention. He admits being in spotlight is like living his dream. The actor, who is fondly called the Hindi film industry’s livewire, thanks to his infectious energy and smile, says being a celebrity comes with some responsibilities — which he is happy to embrace – but doesn’t let any of it take away his focus from his first love, acting.

“Celebrity life is not easy. There is a lot of scrutiny. This is compounded with the coming of mobile phones and smart phones which have a camera. There is constant attention, sometimes too much of it,” Ranveer told IANS in a recorded response from Mumbai.

“But this is something you take in your stride. If you decided to be an actor, then with that kind of territory comes a lot of attention and I am only too happy to receive attention,” he added.

The actor, who made his debut in 2010 with the film “Band Baaja Baaraat” as a raw Delhi boy, says he was “an attention seeking kid while growing up”.

“So, for me this is like living the dream. People aspire to be in the limelight, so if you have been blessed with an opportunity to be there, then you should look at it as a positive. I don’t feel any kind of pressure in any aspect of my life,” said the actor, who lent his voice to Ryan Reynold’s Deadpool in the Hindi version of Hollywood film “Deadpool 2”.

With celebrity status comes a certain responsibility — and Ranveer is learning to handle that.

“There are many things which you can do as a person who is not famous that you cannot do when you are a public figure. I have started understanding that slowly. But in the midst of all of this attention and noise sometimes, you cannot lose the focus of what is the most important (thing) — which is the core of what you do — which is acting in films,” he says.

The actor feels “being famous, being a celebrity, being in limelight and being a public figure” are all by-products of his profession.

“I always make it a point to not lose focus of what I am really here to do — which is to act in films. That time between ‘action’ and ‘cut’ is what I live for.”

The 32-year-old asserted he does not work with any load of pressure.

Bollywood
I always make it a point to not lose focus of what I am really here to do — which is to act in films. That time between ‘action’ and ‘cut’ is what I live for. Wikimedia

“Pressure is only pressure if you take it as pressure. I think pressure stifles you. It will restrict you. I take each day as it comes, each gig as it comes and try and do my best at everything… It is just a habit, or has become a habit to try and give my best,” he said.

After making his debut, Ranveer has made a name for himself in the industry and a star on which people can place their bet on. There are more hits than misses in his filmography.

He has proved his mettle in the various roles in films like “Ladies vs Ricky Bahl”, “Lootera”, “Goliyon Ki Rasleela Ram-Leela”, “Gunday”, “Dil Dhadakne Do” and “Bajirao Mastani”. He added more power to his star status with the hit film “Padmaavat”.

“Expectation is only a good thing. I must be doing something right for people to have such expectations,” said the actor when asked about being under pressure to maintain his success rate.

Ranveer is always looking to try out new things, and that is what prompted his decision to be part of the “Deadpool” universe.

Read More: Sonakshi Says, Unfair to Judge the Competitiveness of Hindi Film Against Regional Cinema

Based on Marvel Comics’ most unconventional anti-hero, “Deadpool” is the original story of a former Special Forces operative who turns into a mercenary and is now out to seek revenge against the man who nearly destroyed his life. Brought to India by Fox Star India, the film released last week in English, Hindi, Tamil and Telugu.

“This is not something I have attempted before. But that was the large part of the attraction. The fact that I was keen to do something new in the creative space (was also one of the reasons). This is something that presented itself out of nowhere and I really jumped at it because I saw ‘Deadpool’ and I really enjoyed it,” Ranveer said, adding that he is happy to be the face of irreverent humour.

Apart from “Deadpool 2”, Ranveer has films like Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy”, Rohit Shetty’s “Simmba” and Kabir Khan’s “83” in his account. (BollywoodCountry)

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A New Mindset: Need of Bollywood

Till the 1980s it was usually traders, merchants and traditional money lenders

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Every generation since the beginning of the Indian film Industry has seen a fresh set of people finance it. PIxabay

If the Industry has survived (thrived?) so many decades it is because of the influx of fresh capital from new, glamour struck players. Every generation since the beginning of the Indian film Industry has seen a fresh set of people finance it. Till the 1980s it was usually traders, merchants and traditional money lenders. Then the exhibitors and distributors started advancing money and a lot more of glamour struck venture capital came in. Of course, sine the 1930s the top stars of the time always set up their own production companies and the trend continues to this day. Every decade technology delivers a bonanza to the perpetually cash-strapped film industry.

The popularity of radio and records and cassettes saw music royalty bring in extra cash in the 70s and 80s. This was pattern was replicated by the coming of TV and home video in the 80s and 90s and now streaming rights. However, the big break was the spread of Multiplexes. Suddenly, box office exploded as these modern hangout cinemas pulled the young urban youth and families back to the cinemas. The overseas market, largely driven by large South Asian diaspora, changed another market dynamic. Some younger filmmakers realized this and tailored their films for this well-paying market segment.

A paradigm shift happened in the mid-90s when some young media professionals-turned-entrepreneurs set up the first fledgling studios (after the demise of the earlier lot in the early 50s). A few of the old timers reimagined themselves and stayed in the new sweepstakes. Some music companies too became quasi studios venturing into film production and distribution. By the turn of the millennium, Bollywood had become not only a global brand but a billion-dollar Industry. Entertainment was recognized as Industry making institutional finance available to film producers. Import of equipment was liberalized and foreign shooting became convenient. Slowly the disorganized mom and pop business moved towards professionalism and eventually corporatization. Bank finance, insurance, contracts, copyright came into play.

Mindset, Bollywood, New
If the Industry has survived (thrived?) so many decades it is because of the influx of fresh capital from new, glamour struck players. Pixabay

However, more change was to come in the decade that followed. The rise of the Internet following the mobile revolution changed the game altogether. Rising income and aspirations and changing lifestyles altered the media and entertainment landscape. Digitalization of cinema from pre and post production to distribution and exhibition has also contributed to a dramatic change in Indian cinema. Today you can make a film on your smartphone and commercially release it. Now there are film makers who are making films only for the digital space.

By 2010, major studios — Fox, Disney, Reliance ,Viacom and Zee had arrived and further changed the market dynamics. In the last decade, video-on-demand and Over-the-Top (OTT) platforms together with broadcast TV not only brought additional revenue but newer niche markets. Audience is consuming filmed entertainment differently across different screens. Now Amazon, Jio, Netflix, Hotstar, Zee 5, Alt, Apple, Facebook, Google et al are commissioning films and are the new financiers of the movie industry. Thousands of new and old members of this large fraternity are getting back into the creative mainstream. There are at least a 100 production companies all over India. There are more trained professionals than ever before and encouragingly a lot more women in power in Bollywood. Every year at least twenty first timers make a mark and many of them from small towns with no family connection. For a change the big potboilers compete with small, new age films.

There are many young, often first-time film makers who are making path breaking cinema which a substantial enough audience is loving it. Today’s top actors are also a lot more adventurous. In any case, even the most commercial of films are much more rooted in reality than before. Production design, cinematography and sound are now of international standard. Unfortunately, marketing costs have spiraled up but without the adequate research and media planning resulting a lot of wasteful expenditure. Star prices still remain abnormally high, often being 40 per cent to 50 per cent of the entire budget. Interestingly, after a gap of many decades, talent from smaller towns and even villages are coming to Bollywood and many are making it to the top. Also, a lot more films are set in smaller towns reflecting concerns of a new class of film lovers.

The most heartening development, though, is the influx of streaming services. Not only do they bring a lot of money into the system but also offer a far, far wider variety of films: shorts, documentaries, animated, real-life dramas but also all genres of features films. They are not hung up on stars or big names. Besides, in another welcome development, a number of big producers and directors and even top stars have ventured into producing content for these digital giants. Thankfully, all of them are also giving breaks to new writers and film makers and some exceptionally talented actors.

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There are some endemic problems which still linger. Paucity of screens and over production make it unviable for smaller, especially independent films to get a release. The obsession with big screen in an age where 80 per cent of all content is watched on TV and increasingly online is rather an archaic approach. It is estimated that half the world will watch content on handheld devices by 2025. With a multitude of leisure alternatives films, including those made by Bollywood, have to compete with texting, social media, gaming, sport, live events, streaming audio and video, adventure and even travel and dining out.

Writing largely still remains a weak link and is invariably derivative and mediocre. We need a more energetic and creative fraternity which is willing to experiment and is willing to move to newer platforms. This obsession with the big screen has to end. A few hundred cineastes and critics hung over on purity of cinema cannot let opportunities drift away. Film making is ultimately about storytelling and an audience. Why should screen size be a limitation? A new mindset is what is most required in the Indian film industry, particularly Bollywood. We can, in the next five years, double the size of the filmed entertainment Industry to $6 billion per year. (IANS)