4 years ago
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Looting the Hearts: A Reel Deal
The producer who brought ‘Loot’ to theaters focuses on making movies with mass audience appeal.
Most of us dream of becoming either an actor, director, music composer or a singer. But if you talk to someone who is actually in the movie industry, they agree that a producer’s job is that of an all rounder.
It is the producer’s job to find right plot, right directors, right cast and crew to create magic in the big screen. They add the light in the lime, yet producers are often considered to be assuming less glamorous role in the movie industry.
When a film is in the development phase, a producer might be working closely with a few people for months. During shooting, they'll suddenly be in charge of a crew of 50 or more. It is also called a career for fixers, not perfectionists, and it isn't for everyone.
In 2005, one such person made his journey from watching the movies in awe to actually making them. Madhav Wagle was 39 years old when he collaborated with his childhood friends from Birgunj, Narendra Maharjan and Nandu Srivastav, for a movie that was later known as ‘Agni Jwala’. For an outsider who had no connection in the movie industry, his astute observation and participation in each and every process of the movie quickly transformed his fascination into passion.
He shifted filmmaking in such a way that Nepali movies now are based on contemporary issues rather than mundane rich boy-poor girl romantic formula.
Madhav is credited as a pioneer of Nepali cinema. He shifted filmmaking in such a way that Nepali movies now are based on contemporary issues rather than mundane rich boy-poor girl romantic formula and their constant brawl with the society or vice versa.
But, he also knew that the film industry was a place where people are hardly loved and easily rejected.
"Movie producing is a long journey from start to finish. Some movies are made in a short time while others take up to five or more years. From finding a story that people want to hear to financing, casting and screening- it’s a tedious task from the first day,” said Madhav.
In 2010, he launched his own movie production company called ‘Princess Movies’. Inspired by Bollywood’s legend filmmaker Raj Kapoor, Madhav decided to screen his own life in the movies and conceptualized ‘First Love’. The movie was a romantic love story set in the backdrop of urban college-going youth. The commendable story marked the beginning of his technicolor journey.
“Success comes from hunger and perseverance. Making movies kept me up at night. That is how I knew I was made to do this,” he added.
The ace producer believes that movie production is an excellent combination of business acumen and salesmanship. It is also crucial to know how to spot a great story when you see one.
He then went on to make one of the most iconic movies of Nepali cinema ‘Loot’. Written and directed by Nischal Basnet, ‘Loot’ is a quest for quick money and better life for five guys and their intertwined relationships, friendships and betrayal. “Nischal pitched a short story. His enthusiasm and narration was so intriguing and he was so passionate, I knew I wanted to tell this story,” he reckoned.
‘Loot’ had the hugest opening in the record of Nepali cinema, beating the opening records of all Bollywood movies in the country. Its success raised a bar in Nepali movies, and everyone was looking forward to Madhav’s next venture.
A year later in 2013, his banner produced yet another blockbuster ‘Chhadke’. It was the first time all the superstars were cast in one canvas under the same banner.
‘Chhadke’ was not only entertaining but also presented one of the most alarming social issues on animal poaching, and conservation and promotion of Nepal’s indigenous flora and fauna. After ‘Chhadke’, he produced ‘Mission Paisa Reloaded’ in 2015, a sequel to a 2009 hit movie ‘Mission Paisa’. The banner also released ‘Resham Filili’ the same year. ‘Resham Filili’ was the most financially successful movie after ‘Loot’.
Similarly, in 2017 he produced two commercially and critically successful movies ‘Love Sasha’ and ‘Loot 2’. Madhav has won several awards in national and international platforms for his movies.
“You need the right attitude, and be a multi-skilled multi-tasker and able to handle having more than one film on the go at the same time. The business is not for you if you crave security and constancy. You should treat it like your most intimate relationship and invest yourself in it,” he shared.
Madhav is preparing to release his latest movie ‘Lalpurja’. The movie revolves around two brothers’ ongoing dispute over land ownership. It stars Saugat Malla, Shristi Shrestha, Merina Magar, Bipin Karki, Harihar Sharma and Kameswar Chaurasia. He is also working on pre-production of ‘Changa Chet’, that depicts a story of three university-going youths who come from different family backgrounds.
Madhav aspires to entertain his audience by portraying the stories from Nepal and its people in the international arena by collaborating with big banners in Bollywood and Hollywood as well. He believes that the stories will be heard and appreciated all over the world when our movies are screened all over India, reaching out to each and every Nepali. “Only then we will be able to take the Nepali cinema to the next level,” he stated.
Kalpana is an architect and a freelance writer.