HAIL Academy on Floor
Real Scripts. Real Shooting. Real Training.
Every year, more than 7,00,000 aspiring actors and actresses come to Mumbai in pursuit of their big dreams. They wait for that one opportunity, that one big break, that will kickstart their career as actors and carry them to stardom. The reality is that more than 95% of these aspiring artists don’t even land an audition with a big banner. They join prestigious acting institutes in hopes of learning how to act, spend lacs of theirs or their parents’ hard earned money, to receive 3 months of training in a closed room and a certificate. In the end, it gets them nowhere.
For all artists, in whichever fields, a platform is necessary to showcase their talent and their work. A stage where people can watch them perform, appreciate their art, and offer them more opportunities. In our age, the film industry is dominated by a few, and entry to the new and the fresh is almost impossible. Add to this mix the children of big stars who have now grown up and wanting to become actors themselves. This further greatly reduces the opportunities available for newcomers.
The acting institutes that train new artists are unable to solve this problem. They train them; they teach them the basics, they hand them the certificates, but they are unable to provide them with a platform. Their training remains just a theory with no practical applications.
“During the 60s, ‘method acting’ was largely unknown. Neither did artists learn the principles of acting in schools under the instructions of professors. Rather they were known to learn and evolve on the job.” – Salman Khan
First of its kind, ‘HAIL’ is an on-the-floor acting academy that trains artists in acting by making them a part of actual web series and short films. The idea is to train the artists on set, on the shooting floor, guided by experts, so that they gain extremely realistic training, real experiences, and understanding of the practicalities of filmmaking. But HAIL does something more, something unique: it provides the students, the newcomers, with a platform.
Web series and short films will be created featuring the students as the main cast, with original scripts, and posted on the academy’s YouTube channel. The videos will become a part of the actor or actress’s portfolio, which can then be shared with potential talent seekers who can assess their performances in action. It simultaneously realises the dreams of many young and aspiring artists by giving them the opportunity to showcase their talents. The short films and web series that we will produce for our students will be of the highest quality. Teams of experts, along with Mr. Vikhram B. Modi, will work tirelessly to produce quality shows that will both entertain our audiences and also move their hearts. Heart-touching stories from the plethora of scripts that Mr. Modi has written over the years will be used, along with stories from new writers, to create all genres of shows with strong emotions; be it heart-clutching laughter, edge-of-the-seat drama, or soulful tears.
The project is conceived by writer, director, producer and distributor Mr. Vikhram B. Modi, maker of the state award winning Gujarati Film, Moksha. He has spent more than 24 years in the industry and devoted his entire life to filmmaking and understanding filmmaking as an art form. Through his film Moksha, he launched more than 10 new artists in major roles in one stroke, sparking their careers and giving them that initial push, which helped them getting major roles in films and TV shows later on. Sharing his deep knowledge and harnessing the talents of thousands of aspiring artists is a dream he has cherished for a very long time. He does not believe in the conventional methods of teaching acting; in a small room with make-shift, dummy scenes and scripts. He wants his students to learn to act by actually doing it. By actually working on a real shooting floor, working with real characters and scenes, actual cast and crew, and creating something worthwhile in the process. “Don’t act acting,” he says, “do it.”
Our ideas are ready and our planning is concrete. All we need is the initial capital to start our project. We will need this money to promote ourselves pan India and hunt for deserving artists. After the first 2 batches, our project will be financially sustainable and will not need any further funding.
How much do we need and how do we plan to use it:
We need INR 16,00,000 to establish our academy, promote ourselves on various social media, gather students, coach them pre-shoot, and produce our short films and web series. The core training will take place on the shooting floor.
The following is a breakdown of how the funds will be used:
Initial Marketing, Publicity and Promotion: INR 5,00,000
Pre-Production (Writing department – Preparation, pre-shoot training, production material, costume, recce, etc.): INR 2,00,000
Shooting expenses (director, DOP, sound, equipment, booking locations, make-up and hair, accommodation, art direction/set setting, daily wage staff, security and permissions, medical, food and other, travel): INR 6,00,000
Post-Production (editing, dubbing, titling, music, voice-overs, vfx): INR 3,00,000
A 4-episode web series and 4 short films will be shot in this budget, featuring our students as the main cast. We will try to cut back on all the expenses as much as we can. Whatever we save will be used for bettering the production quality and sustainability of the academy. The fees we charge our students, although nominal, will be used for future batches and hence making us financially sustainable.
From the man behind the vision, Mr. Vikhram B. Modi:
I am a writer, director, producer, and distributor by profession. My only love is films and filmmaking and I have been in this industry for the past 24 years. My grandfather R.K Modi and my father B.R. Modi both served in the film industry in various capacities and roles, as world right controllers, distributors and exhibitors. Perhaps that is where my love for filmmaking stems from.
Throughout my career I have strived to promote fresh talent in the industry; promoting new artists who don’t receive equal or fair opportunities. I see young artists struggling day in day out, waiting in long queues for auditions, and many don’t even clear the first rounds. Their certificates from big acting institutes that they paid for in lacs prove to be futile. As years pass by in such merry-go-rounds, they become mentally, physically, and financially frustrated.
Practices like Nepotism are widely popular in this industry, closing the doors for thousands of talented artists who lack the necessary contacts or genes. They struggle for years waiting for that one chance to prove themselves on screen. But they find that such opportunities are only reserved for the people with the right surnames or the right genes. This hampers the overall artistic growth of the industry, and keeps good artists away from the audiences who will ultimately love them.
I am intent on changing this culture, on giving fair chances to fresh artists to prove themselves on screen, as well as giving a fair chance to the audiences to see someone talented that they can fall in love with and become fans of.
“The West is open to talent, while Bollywood is only threatened by it.” – Irrfan Khan
About my projects:
Below you can find links to three different kinds of projects that I have done. I am posting them here so that you can familiarize yourself with my work. One is a full length, award winning feature film, one is a TV show, and the third is a devotional album.
‘Moksha’ full length feature film in Gujarati:
Writer, Director, Producer, Distributor: Vikhram B. Modi
Banner: Saryu Productions
Music: Gaurang Vyas
Lyrics: Anil Joshi/Avinash Vyas
Dialogues: Honny Chayya
Cast: Jay Mehta, Sharmili Raj, Prathamesh Mehta, Pankaj Goswami, Paritosh Goswami, Bakul Thakkar, Sanchi, Neha Mehta, Hetal Pancholi and many others
Full movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx1598NrDNQ&t=16s
‘Gujarat Police Service/Gujarat State Police (G.P.S-G.S.P): Ek Nidar Prayas’ Gujarati TV show featuring Gujarat’s super star Naresh Kanodia. The serial was based on real stories from the case files of Gujarat Police, starting from the first terrorist attack on the State of Gujarat till the attack on Akshardham:
Writer, Director: Vikhram B. Modi
Producers: Vikhram B. Modi, Dilip Sinh Solanki, Rajesh Thakkar
Cast: Naresh Kanodia, and various new artists
‘Maa Jagrat Gauri 108 Aarti Path’ devotional album:
Singers: Usha Mangeshkar, Suresh Wadkar, Shankar Mahadevan
Actors: Divya Negi, Manish Sharma, Daksh Sharma and others
You can connect with me on social media through the following links:
Like all business ventures, ours too entails some inherent challenges. Our biggest challenge will be to continually improve upon our past projects and relentlessly improve our production quality and quality of training. We want to deliver the best to our students from the first project itself, and keep evolving as we move forward.
Rewards for donors:
A link to our produced content will be sent to all our donors via a personalised email.
This will also include some good photographs and shooting stills of behind-the-set fun and bloopers.
We will also create a special thank you video for all our donors using images they send us, which will also be sent to them in the specialised email and also featured on our YouTube channel.
If you’re a donor and are in the vicinity, you can come watch our shoot any time.
Donors who are interested in joining our academy as students will get an exclusive 25% discount in fees.