- Posted July 13, 2014 by
A CHAT ABOUT THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS WITH NEENA RICHIE
I started in Entertainment back in 2000. I was working for Asian TV stations from presenting, to doing news reading to having my own show. I went on to RADA where I did course in Shakespeare and another one on presenting.
2) When did you first realize you wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry?
Since I was 7 years old I wanted to be in the industry. Originally I wanted to be a police officer, was almost in cadets but my mother would not sign the paper work for me to register since she thought it was too dangerous for me. She said why can’t you do law? or be an accountant? Since we had our own business. I think she wanted me to do the accounts rather then paying accountant or lawyer’s fees. My daddy brought me a microphone as a birthday gift when I was 7 years old they thought I would grow out of it, but daddy had different plans for me. My friend entered me in the Miss Sussex contest, I came 2rd and then won a modelling contract.
3) In your opinion what's the freshest market for film?
It all depends on what you are looking at, the following explanation is a breakdown of the markets by numbers:
Action adventure movies make the big headlines with the record-breaking ticket sales. The big thing to note is that huge ticket sales are usually matched by huge budgets, which means that these movies bring in a lot of money, but not the best ROI. To date, "Avatar" has made over $2.7 billion, yet its ROI is "just" 500%, as compared to lower-budget action film "Mad Max" (1979), which returned 24,837.5%.
Drama, Romance and Comedies
Dramas and romance don't typically have huge budgets for special effects and sets, so when one really takes off, it can make an incredible ROI. The movie "Once" was made on a shoestring budget ($150,000) and took off, gaining Oscar nominations in the music category and taking in nearly $19 million.
Horror and Thrillers
Horror is another genre with enormous ROI. There are a lot of hits and few misses. The number one movie in terms of ROI is the hit "Paranormal Activity," which was made for $15,000 and had a box office gross of $161,830,890 for a return of 539,336.30%. "The Blair Witch Project" gave the studio a lofty 20,591% return. "Night of the Living Dead" comes in sixth with an ROI of 13,057.89%
4) Do you hope to make projects that are more entertainment geared, or projects that will wholly influence points of view on different topics?
I want to be involved with both, entertainment related projects and projects geared toward influencing points of view. I have been speaking to the CEO Of Fox Media Ajay Kumar in India and legendary figure David Winters regarding this subject. I’m also currently in talks with the CEO of Shlepp Entertainments Ltd. doing joint ventures in the music Industry with one of the top producers in the industry, Stephen Ellis.
5) If you had to work with one specific individual, who would it be with and why?
David Winters comes to mind first, he is amazing talented and a true legend as well as a dear friend. I didn’t even know he was my neighbour in Osterley where he had his studio. David is a real legend with over 400 credits in the industry in various vital capacities. Another person I’d love to work with is Clint Eastwood, one of the greats of all time.
6) What's your opinion on the current style of the entertainment industry?
Well, I really like the way old style of filming, films like Gone with the Wind, but times have changed and I know the public likes to watch films like Transformers, the money is more in visual than story driven.
7) What are some of your other interests?
My other interests include current affairs, media, politics and so on. I like to know what’s happening in the world. I enjoy helping the elderly and children that are living in Poverty. I go to India and do my charity work, I help feed kids and pay for 7 kids’ educations. These are orphaned kids ages ranging from 5 to 16 years old, I pay for their clothes and books.
8) In your opinion, is it harder for women in the entertainment industry?
It has changed in the last decade, it’s not as hard as it used to be but there is still a lot of competition in the Industry as a whole for that one particular opening and it’s the same all around. In the end it’s really up to the person to make a go of it without regards to gender, or the impractical and sometimes incredibly difficult nature of the industry.
9) What are some of your future plans?
I am studying law part time, and hoping to get my PHD. My future is really just staying busy, as it is I’m often either reading and researching criminal cases or do work for my company NR Entertainment LTD.
10) Closing thoughts?
My top tips for young people who might want to consider a career in the film industry:
1. It’s all about creativity. You don’t have to have the best equipment. Once we were on a shoot with a guy who had one of the top cameras in the market, and he didn’t even know how to use it.
2. Say yes before you say maybe. Take every opportunity and agree to it. You can work out the details later and negotiate, but don’t miss out on an opportunity because you’re hesitant.
3. Find something you’re good at and become the best at that one thing. Rather than being a jack-of-all-trades, it’s important to be excellent and to become well known for thing. Always become the brand you want others to buy into. Being able to get new commissions is one part talent, one part networking and one big part marketing, you are marketing your personal brand. It’s important to set yourself apart from others with a creative expression of who you are.
4. Get that website up, we want to know where to come to see all your latest work and how to get in touch. Channels like Vimeo are a great place to link content to, but it can’t beat your own personal page reflecting your personal brand.
5. Blog it! We would love to hear your story unfold in the future. Set up a blog we can follow on your website and share your insights, tips and learning curves along the way. What did you learn on a recent project? What ideas do you have for new things? How do we make ourselves look 10 pounds thinner on camera?
Thank you for your time Neena and your very insightful words.