indian cinema heritage foundation

Few Facts About Film Production

21 Oct, 2020 | Archival Reproductions by Cinemaazi
A still from Devdas (1955) taken from Cinemaazi archive.

India at the moment occupies third place in the field of motion picture production in the world, the other two being Japan and America. Bombay, Madras and Calcutta are the chief production centres. Pictures are produced in seven major languages. We have 73 studios with 160 sound stages having a total floor space of 900,400 sq.feet, with 180 floors. The annual output of pictures remains at an average of 290 feature films produced by 630 concerns. The average per studio comes to about 4 feature films a year.

The production is increased here mainly by the new-comers. These new-comers appear at random most frequently in the motion picture industry every year for varied reasons and motives. Due to the absence of any experience in the line of film production, they lack confidence, imagination and originality of planning and thinking. The new-comers work with meagre resources and most of them are not able to produce more than one feature film. Every year a great many of them lose heavily and make their exit from the field giving way to others to suffer the same fate. The fact that most of them come to grief somehow does not deter others from jumping in. Hundreds of films remain incomplete every year and investment turns out as total loss. However, it cannot be denied that they account for a major part of the production activity and provide that finance which the industry continues to forgive in losses every year.

In Indian film industry, about 4% of the feature films turn out to be hits, about 11% prove above average, 15% average and the rest 70% flop. Coming to a breakdown of the whole position, it can be seen that the gross takings of the industry are Rs. 40 crores per year. Out of this amount, Rs. 15 crores go to Entertainment Tax, Rs. 14 crores to the exhibitors. Rs. 4 crores to the distributors and the producer got only Rs. 7 crores. The entire cost of feature film production comes to 13 crores. It, therefore, leaves an annual deficit of 50% that is about 6 crores. This loss is met with by the investment of new comers as well as by such producers who are wiped away every year.

This is a reproduction from the Film Industry of India compiled by B K Adarsh in 1963. The image used is taken from Cinemaazi archive and was not part of the original article.

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