There’s something that sounds wrong in the phrase ‘an accountant in Bollywood’. But no film can be made within budget without the help of an honest accountant like Amol Gore.
Gore keeps a hawk eye on the budgets of all departments during the making of a film. He is accustomed to handling crores of rupees every day, working without a break, and is privy to every actor’s eccentricities. “My job is to see whether the line producers use the money for production or to fill up their pockets,” he explains.
Once the budget has been approved by the producer, it is Gore’s responsibility to make that budget a reality. “We talk to vendors to cut down their prices. We try to reduce the set’s cost. For instance, if you want a sofa, we try to get one that is cheaper but good and does not affect the look of the set.”
The modest Gore, 35, reluctantly recounts how he helped the producers of the lavishly shot film Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara save almost Rs50 lakhs. While shooting in Spain, the film’s cast and crew were on the verge of leaving for Pamplona, when sudden, heavy rain made the city inaccessible. When faced with the danger of losing out on four days of shooting and Rs50 lakhs, some quick thinking by the film’s producers and Gore led to the cast and crew moving to Barcelona, where they shot a few scenes that were meant to be shot at the end of the schedule.
Despite being raised in movie-crazy Mumbai, Gore’s childhood was largely untouched by films. “I wanted to become a chartered accountant. Movies happened by accident,” he says. Gore’s first assignment was Gangaajal in 2003. Many others followed including Waqt, Namaste London and the big-budget but colossal failure Love Story 2050. Gore admits his job is a stressful one. “If I tell the producer that we need Rs5 crore more for a job and if it is still not completed, the producer will question me,” he smiles.
Then you have the insane night shoots. “Banks close at 3pm so I have to withdraw cash in advance and arrange everything. You spend almost Rs5 lakh on one night shoot.”
It is the day-to-day expenses that throw Gore off guard. “Stars throw tantrums,” he explains. “One female star wanted papaya in June and we had to send someone to Fort, the only place where it was available that month. If I said no, she would have cancelled the shoot and I would have lost Rs10 lakhs that day.
But sending someone to Fort only cost Rs300.” A male actor, well known for his action movies, refused to shoot till he was served food from The Taj one night, at 9pm. “We told him it will take time for someone to go and come back. But he refused to shoot till we delivered it.”