Another producer for freelancers to avoid is Mohit Chhabra. He is, or at least as he claims his friends describe him, a “Movie Buff, Witty & Wise (with a) go getter attitude”
That may (or may not) be what his friends say but those who have had a professional relationship with Mr Chhabra – and have failed to be paid for their work – are more likely to concentrate on a range of other, more earthy words when they describe their feelings about him.
That failure to pay workers (on the Bollywood Film “The Return“) should be sufficient warning to all freelancers that trusting Mr Chhabra to meet his obligations once filming has been completed is not a wise course to take. Asking, begging, imploring and demanding the pay and expenses that are owed to them have proved to have had little effect and legal claims are now in the pipeline for people to secure what they are owed.
So a warning: the best way to avoid being yet another one of his debtors is to take a very wide berth around any offer of work that Mr Chhabra may present in the future.
As he says on his Starnow page, “I aspire to be a star, a superstar and rule the world of cinema and entertainment one day. It’s never too late, Yes I want to make it big and yeah I even have my 1st award speech ready in my head already” .
Fond hopes. The first step along that road could usefully be to make some amends to the freelancers who trusted that he would behave professionally and pay his bills.
TV and Film freelancers have (like many others) had a tough old time for the last year or so, what with Covid forcing the cancellation of so much work. So what they really don’t need right now are companies and individuals hiring them to work on their productions and then not paying them.
People like Surabhi Bhatnagar (Rumbles Media/Sumo Films) who recently recruited a number of freelancers to work on a Bollywood film called “The Return“, made by Filmcard Motion Pictures (Rahul Mahajan) and Jar Pictures, declined to arrange payment for their work and then repeatedly refused to respond to emails.
Individuals like this (“Living a champagne lifestyle on a lemonade budget!!“) are – needless to say – complete liabilities in an industry like ours and really should not be put in charge of budgets or given responsibility for people’s livelihoods.
Freelancers and suppliers should therefore exercise extreme caution if contemplating having any kind of working relationship with Surabhi Bhatnagar, at least until she develops the habit of paying her bills and developing a better working relationship with those she employs.
If you have had any issues being paid by this individual or production, do feel free to get in touch.
Meanwhile freelancers beware!
The Filmcard Motion Pictures Ltd.
Suite F, 1-3 Canfield Place, London NW63BT
**UPDATE Nothing has changed. Surabhi Batnagar still appears to be living the champagne lifestyle without paying the freelancers owed money.**