Here’s looking at the highest paid professionals in various departments of filmmaking.
Asserting that the three Khans Aamir, Salman and Shah Rukh Khan are the highest paid actors, trade sources peg their basic remuneration to Rs 21 crore. “But they’re also producers of their films, like Aamir for Talaash, SRK for Don 2, Salman for Bodyguard, Dabangg 2. So a major portion of their remuneration comes from the revenue the movie earns,” says a trade veteran.
Reports may insinuate that Katrina Kaif was offered Rs 20 crore by Vashu Bhagnani to star in his next film but sources maintain that Kareena Kapoor is the highest paid of the lot. After being paid over Rs 3.5 crore for Golmaal 3, the Heroine is being paid Rs 5 crore plus a share in the profits for Heroine. But this is most likely to be a one-off instance, given the circumstances.
Rajkumar Hirani is known for a bigger hit every time, starting with Munnabhai MBBS till the mammoth 3 Idiots. Trade experts peg Hirani’s fees at Rs 15 crore plus at least 25 percent of the revenue the film earns.
Abhijat Joshi, with help from Rajkumar Hirani, salvaged the position of good writers. He’s the highest paid writer on the block with his paycheck bulked up to Rs 3 crore after 3 Idiots.
This pack is clearly led by Nitin Chandrakant Desai. His fee alone is at least a crore; in addition he recommends his own ND studio, the rent of which of course, is earned separately. Close behind is Sabu Cyril, whose take home too is over Rs 75 lakh.
Ravi K Chandran earned over Rs 1 crore for SRK’s RA.One. This fee may be justified by the fact that the movie cost about Rs 150 crore to make. In the same league is Binod Pradhan, who shot films like Devdas, Rang De Basanti, but was paid a fee of Rs 1.5 crore for South star Pavan Kalyan’s Puli. “What is amazing that Binod had signed the package deal of Rs 4 crore for cinematography, including fees of his assistants,” reveals a source. It is learnt that Pradhan has acquired a high-end camera and henceforth will shoot only on it. “So now he will also charge the rent for the equipment,” pointed out our source.
Without doubt, A R Rahman features on top. The Oscar winner earns Rs 5-8 crore per film, which also include his fees for creating the background score. Pritam comes second, with about Rs 3 crore per film. “And that works out at Rs 25 lakh per song, including fees for the singers, studio rentals etc,” says our source.
Thanks to the Oscar award, Resul Pokuttu beats everyone else in this department. He is said to charge Rs 50 lakh per film. He also earns through rent of his studio, as he doesn’t like working in any other studio.
Though a considerable amount of the budget is set aside for an action film, the men who call the shots are paid comparatively lesser. However, they make up for it in the daily expenses, reveal our sources. South based Peter Hein and Allan Amin, who directed the thrills for the Dhoom series, are the most expensive in their domain. They charge Rs 30 lakh per film, but to shoot with them costs an additional Rs 2.5 lakh upwards per day for the harnesses, cables and other equipment.
Farah Khan and Remo D’Souza, are among the highest paid choreographers along with Ganesh Hegde and Vaibhavi Merchant. Sources peg their fees (per song) at a minimum of Rs 25 lakh, going up to Rs 50 lakh.
Production sources swear by Shreekar Prasad, who edited films like Raavan, National Award winning Tamil film Kutty Shrank, Kaminey, etc. He’s believed to charge Rs 25 lakh per film, plus another R 8 lakh to cut the promos.
Javed Akhtar takes the credit as he’s said to charge Rs 10 lakh per song. Not far behind is Prasoon Joshi, who’s believed to demand Rs 8 lakh per number.
Sonu Niigam makes the most among the male playback singers, earning a cool Rs 10 lakhs per song. Among the females, Sunidhi Chauhan and Shreya Ghoshal rule the roost, making Rs 2.5 lakh per song. “And of course, the singers make extra moolah by singing those songs in shows.”