A singing chair, a fulcrum and the first production center
Interview with director of the production center Alen Simonyan.
“Give me money, a little time and I will make even a chair sing on stage.” This is how the director of one of the well-known production centers presented show business in Russia during a famous Russian talk show. Of course, a chair might truly “sing” in an age of super, developed and progressive technologies, but… Show business has gotten kind of out of control. Perhaps chairs don’t sing in the most literal sense, but with no intention to offend anyone, if we really take a look at the reality, we’ll realize that sometimes it would be much more preferable for chairs…to sing. I am referring to the “show business” phenomenon in all parts of the world because having money is still not directly comparable to talent and art. The word-combination “production center” might be comparatively new and perhaps it is those production centers that help fill the field with all types of “right and wrong” to a certain extent. But on the other hand, they go on to become the “filters” that help talents emerge, after which those talents turn into the “stars” with the chance to do what they do and leave all technical and financial issues aside. Finally, the field is left with those who are “competent” to stand the test of time and their audience. Production centers are basically multifunctional organizations involved in “creating” stars, as well as managing their work and disseminate the multimedia. Some production centers also organize different ceremonies, corporate evenings and concerts, but the main particularity is the artist’s development as a creator and his or her activities. Production centers have proved the importance of their role and activity in show business around the world and it was time for Armenia to follow the developments and try not to stay behind. Perhaps the creation of a production center seems like an end in itself in the Armenian reality where everything starts and ends within the limits of the acquaintance-friend-relative “triangle”. But… Now there is the A-company production-management center, which will be involved in small and large show business. The director of the production center is Alen Simonyan, who is the head of the first and main “Sicilia” Mafia Club, a lawyer by profession, a showman, producer, lecturer and actor. You remember him, right? He is also the first to create a production center because he is not afraid of attempts and innovations and, most importantly it always works out since he does correct calculations and takes full responsibility for his job. Alen has been involved in this for the past 6 months, but as he says, it was time to establish an organization. The company will go from organizing evenings, corporate gatherings and wedding ceremonies to revealing new names, promoting them and managing the famous individuals’ activities. “Why should they come to us? Well, first of all, perhaps because we are a company that works with quite a lot of singers. The singer and the client will benefit from the prices. Why? It is because we will form a pricing market that doesn’t exist today and there will no longer be the “people will pay for whatever they want” version,” says Alen. New names “I would like to say right from the start that I’m not investing any money in this. But if a person has the voice, the great desire and money to become a singer, I will help that person make his or her dream come true. Let’s go back to the question why a person who has the voice and the money should come to us. Whether you are an experienced singer or a beginner, you need someone who has a good understanding of the market, knows what is in demand and, though it sounds a little rude, can sell your “product”. This is especially important when you are a beginner and are just coming onto the scene. Everything depends on how you start. Our organization’s “package deal” for the “right start” includes 2 fully ready songs, that is, the music, the musical arrangement, lyrics and a video clip.” “Star” management “Even world superstars have managers because they understood a long time ago that having a manager is something like a vital demand in this field. A singer has to sing and create, while the producer should be busy with the other issues such as selecting the right song; making an adequate video clip; ensuring the singer’s place on the hit lists, on television and radio stations, as well as organizing concerts and concert tours. It is wrong when a singer makes a deal to earn money by singing at a wedding. Not only is it wrong, but it doesn’t look nice. There should not be such relations between an artist and his or her audience. This is how a concrete market is formed and there are no longer any questions on why a singer gets paid a certain amount for one song and the other gets another amount for 10 songs.” “Most surprising” “This is not all our organization does. Now I will present the most interesting. We are collaborating with the U.S.-based Mantashov Production and through this collaboration, our organization has the opportunity to make video clips and advertisements and include the most famous faces in American show business such as Kim Kardashian, Robert De Niro, Dustin Huffman and others. This is real. Yes, in this case we’re not talking about big money. But we have huge, powerful companies, say, mobile phone operators and other organizations for which those sums are not a problem. In exchange, they will receive truly high-quality and advertisements that work. As a matter of fact, political figures can also use all this during their pre-electoral campaigns.” Market means prices “In terms of prices, I must say it all depends on the singer, the event, the site and time, the number of songs and many other different factors. It all matters. Do you want figures? Fine, I will give you figures, but no names because it sort of won’t be right. One song starts from 100 dollars and may go up to, say, 5,000 dollars. But on the average, it’s 1,000-2,500 dollars. As for beginners, the price for 2 fully ready songs, a video clip and the sum paid for my work ranges from 12,000 to 13,000 dollars.” The field of show business formed quickly, sometimes very firmly and sometimes with very faltering steps and now is the time to make sure it goes in the right direction. The first step has been taken. Although there have been individual producers in Armenian show business, A-company is the first production center in the country. Anybody who has the talent, certain features and the money needs someone to help him or her find a fulcrum and turn the world to the side that it needs to turn. Lilit Grigoryan