He was seating in his sophisticated cabin in the plush office of his Pharma Company. Looking confident and chilled out he welcomed me for the Interview. In few minutes of conversation, we were talking as if we know each other from years. That’s Santosh Deshpande for you, the Producer of the Marathi movie “Cappuccino” which is releasing on 25th April, 2014. His ability to connect instantly with people has gained him many friends in the Marathi Film Industry within a short span of time since he started on this movie.
Recounting old days:
“I was very active in Marathi Plays in my college days. I was even planning to pursue it as career. In fact, I was in the final shortlist for the Super Hit Marathi Play “All the Best” which made careers of today’s Marathi Super Stars like Bharat Jadhav, Sanjay Narvekar and Ashish Chowdhury. When I could not make in the final cast, I decided to concentrate first on making money to earn livelihood. After spending 15 years in business, I felt the need to connect back with my soul which is passionate about creative media.”
Santosh continued telling his story, “So me and my wife Sayali Deshpande started this company “S. D. Motion Pictures” to produce movies. This way I got into movie production starting with the Marathi Movie “Cappuccino” which I am releasing on25th April. Sayali is a costume designer for the movie and also have taken care of a lot of technical aspects.”
Trouble with the Marathi Movie Industry:
With the mention of release date, Santosh looked little upset, so when asked about it he explained, “Recently there has been a lot of mushrooming in Marathi Industry. A lot of people are producing movie and competing with each other for a small pie of business which is already less. Already there is dearth of theatres and Multiplex screens for Marathi Movies. Number of shows are very less. In such situation, when multiple films release, the business gets divided and no one benefits. Theatrical income of Marathi movies is almost negligible.”
When I mentioned about commercial successful marathi movies like “Timepass” and “Duniyadari”, Santosh replied, “These movies are promoted by big corporate houses who have the muscle to for marketing and distribution. In fact, media houses like Zee and Viacom 18 has hammer the movie and make sure it gets the footfall when released. Not all producers can get such backing. So they must accommodate each other about release date. I myself postponed Cappuccino’s release date 3 times to accommodate others. When I found a date with no other movies releasing, I fixed 25th April only to know recently that there are few others too releasing. So if Marathi Producers talk to each other and plan this out, everyone will benefit. Fortunately, I got a good distributor like Daar Pictures to promote my movie.”
Giving break to new talents:
Regarding business expectations from his movie the debutant producer replied, “Ofcourse everyone likes to earn money. I want my movie to do good. But that is not the sole intention. I love art and films and I want to serve the industry. I am giving chance to new talents. It is deeply satisfying. My Director, My DOP, My singer, few actors and few technicians are all doing a movie for the first time. I have purposely kept 40% new talent in my movie along with 60% veterans. Because I want to give chance to newcomers. No one does that very often. I feel good to do so. Now these all newcomers are going out of their way to make sure the movie does good in the areas they belong.”
Regarding support from Marathi Industry:
While he is trying to help others in getting break in the industry through his production, did industry too helped him in getting his production done smoothly?
Santosh happily accepted, “That’s the greatness of Marathi Industry. It welcomed me with open hands. Every person not only worked with me in professional manner but they have gone out of their ways to ensure I am comfortable. In fact on the initial shooting days, I was little star struck and kept respectable distance from the starts like Sanjay Narvekar and Stalwarts like Mohan Joshi. They made me comfortable by saying how actors like them are dependent on producers and how producer is most important. Sanjay called me “Annadata” just to make me feel comfortable. And after few days, I became good friend with all of them. They all cancelled their schedules for my promotional events. They make sure they are available whenever I need them.”
About the movie “Cappuccino”:
Santosh provided us with details about he movie, “I had the germ for this story in my mind from the day I saw an episode of “Satyamev Jayate” where they interviewed an couple who got married in old age. Then and there I wanted to make a movie regarding that subject. I then discussed it with Shiv Kadam who is the Writer, Director and Lyricist of Cappuccino. He did all the writing and I kept on giving my inputs to him which he incorporated. We discussed the script in August 2013 and finalised it by October 1st week. We went on the floor by 3rd week of October. I was personally involved in casting of the actors and I got bulk dates from all. We finished the movie in a single 28 day schedule. I am thankful to all my actors for their professionalism and affection for me. I feel like part of their family now.”
Regarding the story, Santosh replied with a smile, “For that you should watch the movie. I have not disclosed the story to anyone yet.” Still on my insistence, he spilled few beans, “It is a story about two elderly persons falling in love and deciding to get married. They intimate their Sons about their decision and then the movie is about what happens after they do so.” He continued, “It is also about 2 brothers and their relations.”
“Even though the story handles a serious issue, I made sure it is an entertaining and commercial product. I want my audience to give the value of their money. I want them to come to the theatres and enjoy. Already in day to day life, we face so many problems that we do not want to buy tickets to watch someone else’s problems. That’s my philosophy behind movie making. I want my audience to relax and have and entertaining experience. So my film has lite comedy, subtle emotions, good songs and everything the audience will enjoy.”
About the Music of the movie :
While talking about Song, Santosh’s face lit up. He added, “I think music is USP of my movie. It has many good songs. First time, I have used arabic music for a song in the movie. It is a great dance number called “Alifiya”. Music is by Avinash Vishwajeet who had done great work in past. I think people will enjoy the songs on big screen.”
He continued, “Apart from music, I have given special attention to the background score also. We have used sync sound for the first time in Marathi Industry. I have done my best. Now the result is in the audience hand.”
So what are the future plans of S. D. Motion Pictures?
“We are starting our next movie which is a Hindi Film, soon after the elections are over. We are trying for Paresh Rawal in lead role which is almost finalised.” Santosh informed NagpurToday.in, “We are going about this very professionally. We have a properly setup office in Pune where more a lot of staff is working on our next production. Soon S. D. Motion Pictures will be a name to reckon with.”
— Prashen H. Kyawal