Don’t Forget The Producer

Executive producers of massive films such as Harry Potter, Jodhaa Akbar, Mughal-E-Azam, Devdas, Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Sathiyo and other films are seldom appreciated by ordinary popcorn-crunching audiences like me.

Producers are like butlers in an English mansion.  They ensure that everything works like clockwork including unpredictable logistics like the weather.  Film critics seldom give them credit because they focus on the cast, rather than the men and women who make it possible for the director to say, Action!

This is quite evident in Jodhaa Akbar when the army general instructs the young Akbar to be-head a defeated Rajput raja.  I can imagine the logistics of that desert scene, the relevant costumes of the two armies, the hardware such as canons, swords and shields of that period in Indian history, the animals and everything else Sunita A. Gowariker, the executive producer assembled for that scene. 
After all that effort, Ashutosh Gowariker the director showed the general wearing well-polished shoes in one of the most historical battles in recorded history.  The producer provided the shoes but the director forgot roughing them up a bit, to fit a war zone.

It’s a small mistake but it is a rude reminder that films are fiction after all.  Having said that, we need more interviews with producers.  It’s the only way we can understand the art of filmmaking. 
"It's in the can."  Well! That was before digital
Nonqaba waka Msimang is the author of Sweetness the novel.




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