For premium spots like Cable Bridge over Durgam Chevuru, it would cost Rs 3.5 lakhs, and shooting is allowed only in the midnight. (Image: DC)
With shooting charges ranging between Rs 15,000 and Rs 3, 00,000 per day for various locations in Telangana state, Telugu film producers are a worried lot. They have to earmark anywhere between Rs 15 to Rs 35 lakhs from their budgets for each film just for location fee which is surely pinching their pockets.
Adding to their woes, seeking permission from various government departments is another arduous task, so producers are migrating to other States to shoot their films. "No doubt, Andhra Pradesh is much cheaper and offers public locations free of cost for film shootings unlike in Telangana state," says producer-director Teja, who shot his film ‘Ahimsa’ in varied picturesque spots in Andhra Pradesh.
"We have to only pay Rs 1000 as document charges to APFDC for getting the permission to shoot in parks, flyovers, streets, hospitals, dams, and highways. We could end up saving Rs 15 to 35 lakhs per film and also shoot our films without any hassles. It is a blessing for small and medium-budget filmmakers. Whereas, no such luck in Telangana state and particularly in Hyderabad city where costs are a bit exorbitant," he adds.
Admitting the same, a Telangana-based producer, on condition of anonymity says, "In Telangana state, the location charges have shot up drastically in the last few years. A park which was costing Rs 5000 has now jumped to Rs 50,000 per day. Earlier, shooting in Tombs cost us Rs 5000, but now it is pegged around Rs 50,000. Whereas for interior roads and main roads, the cost varies between Rs 25,000 to Rs 1,00,000 with lots of restrictions," he says and adds, "For premium spots like Cable Bridge over Durgam Chevuru, it would cost Rs 3.5 lakhs, and shooting is allowed only in the midnight. Similarly, T Hub charges Rs 2 lakh per day even for a small budget film," he points out.
Although a single window system is in operation in Telangana, there are a few issues with local police while shooting at public places. "Single window system has to be strengthened because even though we get permission to shoot at a park or road, the local police fail to give us proper protection and give us one or two constables in place of six. When we ask the local police, they say they can’t spare more because they have other work to do. We have to put the lives of superstars, actresses, and technicians at risk because it is very difficult for crew members to control surging crowds. Whereas police can use lathis or push people back since they have the power. So we dread shooting in public places in Telangana," he says.
Summing up the argument, Telangana–based producer Abhishek Nama says, "We know that the Andhra Pradesh government is giving locations free of cost for shoot, but the logistics of flying down actors and crew would cost us more. On the other hand, I request the KCR government to reduce location charges in the state to make it affordable for small and medium producers too. However, I am happy with the single window system since it is quite useful and informative."