Apoorva Lakia, after his success with Shootout at Lokhandwala, is getting a pay raise for his next film Mission Istanbul. Suniel Shetty has hired him as director to make the spy thriller for his banner Popcorn Entertainment and is going to pay him Rs. 10.25 million.
Shetty said he does not understand why that figure is so “eye-popping” and that when he singed him for the film the salary was not decided yet. “I had that much faith in his abilities. And what I’m paying him is just the base price. In return, I get his full commitment for the project.”
Adding, “Apu won’t just come on the sets, call the shots and leave. He will give full time to Mission Istanbul. He won’t direct any other film during the shooting of my film. In fact, I’ve made him my partner. We will share the profits from the film, with more incentive for the director.”
“And tell me, if I want to hire a good director, how can I get one without incentive? All the super-directors, from Aditya Chopra to Karan Johar, are working in-house. Rakesh Mehra has tied up with UTV. And look at how productive their team is,” Shetty said.
Shetty is structuring his company around the model that the directors and actors are part of the company and work on one film at a time, “Bobby Deol and Vivek Oberoi are more or less finalised for the film. The stars who work for my company will be paid their base price. In principle they won’t work in any other project until my film is over.”
Shetty said that this innovative way to run a production company is the way to go and that he feels everyone should be well compensated for the incredible work they do, “Directors are the real stars of any film. It’s about time they got what they deserve.”