Selvaraghavan On Why He Bore 40% Of Aayirathil Oruvan’s Costs

The director reveals that while the producers invested 18 crores, he used his own money to finish the film, which was eventually made for 30 crores
Selvaraghavan On Why He Bore 40% Of Aayirathil Oruvan’s Costs

Selvaraghavan’s first try at fantasy, Aayirathil Oruvan (2010), follows the adventures of a motley group (Karthi, Andrea Jeremiah, and Reema Sen) that embarks on a journey to find the existence of the Cholas. Although the film got mixed reviews upon release, Aayirathil Oruvan has come to be loved in pockets, gaining a cult following through the years.

Made on a budget of 30 crores, and shot extensively in the deserts of Jaisalmer, Rajasthan,  the film was also one of the most expensive Tamil films of its time. In an interview with Krishna, the filmmaker reveals that he contributed to around 40% of the film’s budget.

Speaking of Aayirathil Oruvan’s budget, Selvaraghavan recalls, “Aayirathil Oruvan is not really a big-budget film. Though it could be considered a big budget, the producers invested only 60% of the money. I used my own money to make the rest of the film and it took me 15 years to clear my debts.”

Selvaraghavan decided that he needed to take the responsibility for the budget after a point.  “I felt it was unfair to ask for more than what we had discussed for the budget. So I took up the responsibility. The producer was able to recover the money from the release. But I was paying my dues until 3 years ago,” says the director, who further adds that one can even mount a bigger film on a small budget, with experience and the use of technology.

Although he had also partly contributed to the production costs, the director doesn’t look at Aayirathil Oruvan as a big-budget film. “Aayirathil Oruvan was made for a total of only 30 crores, including the 12 crores that I spent. At that time, 30 crores was a big amount, but the film recovered the spends, and the business was good. Most people think it's a profit only if the film hits 50 crores. They do not talk about it if the film makes only a 5-crore-profit. That’s what happened to Aayirathil Oruvan. But honestly, for the strain that we went through with multiple locations and stuff, it was not that big of a budget,” the filmmaker says. 

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