Members of Tamil Film Producers’ Council (TFPC) decided to slash salaries of big stars and technicians in the Tamil film industry at least by half. This decision was reached in a meeting convened on July 7 via video conferencing.
Producer SR Prabhu, who was part of the meeting, said that the meeting was the first of a series of meetings they have planned. “This is not just about top stars. We are looking at ways on how to tackle this loss of 40-50% faced by producers in this scenario. For some 50% may be reduced, but for others, 20% may be sufficient. We are trying to bring in a basic guideline of what can be reduced. This is our first agenda. We will discuss other production costs as well,” he shares.
“We are looking at ways on how production costs can be reduced and professional fees feature on the top of the list as the biggest expense. Producers have spoken among themselves and we will consult with other associations following which we will have a joint announcement. This cannot be unanimously decided and announced by just one association,” he adds.
The decision has been taken in the light of the lockdown that has brought all film activities to a grinding halt.
A public relations member from TFPC confirmed the news and added, “Since the Council does not have an elected representative at the moment, this decision was arrived at unanimously by the producers.”
He further shares that the absence of a formal body of elected leaders will mean that an official circular to this effect may not be issued.
“This is a unanimous decision but this is not the first time producers have decided to reduce salaries. Such meetings have been held in the past too where producers have decided to cut down salaries of big stars. However, it has not worked out as intended always,” he adds.
According to reports, directors Ajay Gnanamuthu, Hari, music director-actor Vijay Antony and young actors Harish Kalyan and Mahat, have announced that they would take pay cuts in their salaries to support producers.
Tamil Film Producers’ Council has been embroiled in controversies in the past and at present has no office bearers. In April, it was announced that the election for TFPC will be held on June 21, however, the lockdown has indefinitely postponed the elections.
TFPC has seen factional disputes with a group of producers accusing elected members of not delivering on their election promises, in addition, to fund misappropriation among other allegations. The state government appointed a special officer to oversee the functioning of the body in April last year and this did not go down well with council members. Actor Vishal, who was its former President, had moved Madras High Court challenging this appointment but has not been successful.