Rana Daggubati and Prabhas starrer Baahubali changed the game or the Indian entertainment industry and will be remembered as a landmark film for many years to come but the makers were under an immense amount of financial pressure as they took on this mammoth task of making a film on this scale. Rana has now spoken about the amount of money that was borrowed to make the Baahubali films and since the Telugu industry did not follow a studio model at the time, the hundreds of crores invested in the film were taken from banks at enormous interest rates.
Rana was speaking about the money that’s invested in the Telugu film industry. “Three-four years ago, where was money in the movies coming from? It was either their (filmmaker’s) house or their property that was pledged to bank, made on interest, and it comes back. We used to pay around 24-28 per cent interest. That’s the borrowing in films. For a film like Baahubali, a borrowing of Rs 300-400 crore at that interest,” he said.
Rana told India Today that when they released the first part of the film, the makers had borrowed over Rs 180 crore at 24 per cent interest over five and a half years. “Part 1 was a struggle. We spent twice over the highest collected film in Telugu. So no math ever made justification of what we borrowed, how we made it. It was 180 crore plus borrowed at 24 per cent interest over five-and-a-half years. We shot a little bit of Baahubali 2 as well, so if this film didn’t work, we didn’t know what will happen,” he said.
Rana was also asked about the nepotism prevalent in the film industry, including the Telugu film industry and the actor said that “there has never been an organisational process that happened in the entertainment world. It was always independent producers or talent that was building organisations and building it only with their groups. I think now is the time when you can really create an industry because we are talking of India as one in some ways,” he said.
When asked if people from film families vs anyone who doesn’t have a connection are given the same playing field, Rana admitted that the film families are well connected and certainly have an advantage. “People in the world of film families might not be great actors but they’ll be great agents. It’s because everybody knows everybody. It’s like every other industry, it’s the people you know,” he said.
He added that for families that have spent generations in the movie business, it is seen that the next generation is responsible for taking the legacy forward. “If three generations of your family worked hard to build something and if you are not going to scale that… It’s your responsibility. You are called somebody who is not doing things right in your family,” he shared and added, “Its like if the son doesn’t do better than the father, the son is bad. That’s a regular thing.”
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