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The success of ‘Aruvi’ is just because of social media: SR Prabhu Producer


(G.N.S) Dt. 01
A beautiful smile, branded watch and many more things..these are hardly things you’d associate with the stereotypical Kodambakkam producer. But that’s SR Prabhu.
Even his films are a departure from typical commercial fare. Having completed a year that included successful films such as Maanagaram, Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru and Aruvi, this new-age film producer settles down for an interview. Excerpts: We tend to imagine producers as men sporting white shirts, veshtis and gold. Are producers like you an indication of the changing times?
I don’t think much has changed in the way producers look (laughs). I also don’t believe much has changed in the way the film business works. But the audience has certainly changed. They’ve become very judgemental. A single person can bring in as many as 25 other people to the theatre because they feel they must post their opinions on WhatsApp and other social media. In fact, the success of Aruvi is entirely because of social media. If they love your film, they will make you a hero. If they don’t, they will kill you.
But surely, the kind of scripts that are being pitched have changed…
Not really. I think producers have always attempted to make films out of good scripts. But there are dozens of reasons why a good script doesn’t end up as a good movie. Making that happen… that’s the real job of a producer.
How do you look at the job of a producer? Is it a creative profession or is it a commercial one?
That’s the tricky part. Most artistes and technicians can survive by sticking to the creative side. But a producer must think about the commercial and the creative side. It’s a 50-50 thing. We calculate the kind of audience a certain script can bring in and then start allocating a workable budget for it.
Is there pressure to make all kinds of films?

We don’t set out deciding, ‘Now let’s make a horror film’. We make films we want to watch. When we listen to an idea, the effort is to take that to the maximum number of people. It may need a big star for that. It may also need a bit of controlling, especially when it comes to portraying violence. But when you get started on a script like Aruvi, it becomes a responsibility. In such a case, we got into it thinking we could lose 80 to 100% of our total investment. But the risk was worth it. Aruvi is a blockbuster and has earned multiple times its investment.
When you have access to two big stars (Suriya and Karthi are his cousins), what is your motivation to take risks and make movies without them?
I don’t really have to fear failure because I have them. If not for Karthi’s Kaashmora, I would have been unable to simultaneously make Aruvi and Joker. But I try not to take the risks of these films to them. In fact, Suriya anna still hasn’t watched Aruvi.
Becoming a producer usually isn’t a childhood dream…
It wasn’t my dream either. When I was young, my dream was simple: I just wanted to make money.

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