The lockdown due to coronavirus has brought the shootings and other film-related activities to a halt. This situation has resulted in loss of jobs with daily-wagers being hit badly.
People from the film industry have said Tollywood is experiencing a loss worth Rs 200 crore and even more. The big producers are facing the brunt as they are forced to pay interest for the money they have borrowed from the financers. This is the similar situation in other southern film industry and to cope up with the losses, there have been request from a section of producers to the A-list actors to reduce their remuneration.
But till now, there has been no official confirmation about the same. Neither the producers nor actors have issued an official statement that every actors has to agree with it. So till now, actors like Pawan Kalyan, Mahesh Babu, Jr NTR, Ram Charan, and others have not spoken about this yet and it looks like they might not have a pay cut. Also, this might be the same case with actresses as well.
When asked whether stars will agree for their pay cuts if the proposal came up before them, Abhishek Nama, who has produced movies like Yamudu, Srimanthudu, Rudhramadevi, Brahmotsavam and Goodachari, said, "I don't think that will happen. I did hear about pay cuts but that doesn't work here in the industry."
"For example, you are looking for a product that is not easily available and when it is back it will definitely be sold for high prices. It is up to you whether you want to buy it or not. Actors, especially the top ones, always have demand. And where there is demand, the prices will be quoted high." He further added that no actor himself will announce that he is going to cut down his remuneration because he that would continue once they start it.
Another leading producer of Tollywood, he doesn't want his name to be mentioned, said, "This is a business where everybody wants to get the utmost profits. Actors who already has a lot of money behind him are not ready let go some in these times and what about the crew, especially like spot boys who have a lot to do on the set? They don't have anything to do now. Zeroing in on pay cuts cannot be decided by one actor. It should be a collective decision and the whole industry should agree on it. As of now, there have been no such discussions held."
Also, there is one more angle to this, which not many might look into. Thanks to Rana's Virata Parvam director Venu Udugula, for giving us a clarity on it. He believes that it will be the producer who will be benefitted it actors reduce their remuneration, but not the general audiences.
"If actors, directors, and others in a film agree to this, it will be producer who will be happy. Because he will see profits, will he reduce the ticket price? Will he charge Rs 75 instead of Rs 150? No, right? When general audiences, who take risk and come to theatres to watch the film are not profited, why will any artiste or technician agree for pay cut?"
Till now, pay cuts have only been a topic to discuss on social media, and unfortunately, nothing about this has been spoken in between the biggies of film industry. Also, we have tried to get in touch with a few actors of Tollywood and they chose to comment on this topic.