This is Dr. Ravi. I am a Pittsburgh based Doctor and I direct independent movies. Means, I will gladly direct studio movies too, if they would consider hiring me. My latest movie, called “ Help Me Help You” featuring Steve Guttenberg (Three Men and a Baby, Cocoon), Rondell Sheridan (Cory in the House, That’s So Raven), Sabrina Bryan (Cheetah Girls, Dancing with the Stars), Bill Nunn, Franco Harris (Steelers) and Richard Kind (The Serious Man, Curb Your Enthusiasm) got released on the DVD. I believe in my movie and I have an unusual idea to demonstrate that fact. My idea can charitably be described as crazy. But is not as crazy, when you take a closer look at it. It is crazier. The movie, because of its star value has good solid domestic and international distribution. Domestically it is sold by multiple vendors across multiple outlets. I thought why not offer it from my movie website and give the people their money back if they don’t enjoy the movie.
Most money-back guarantees are fake as you know. I grew up in India and came to USA 16 years ago. When I was new to this country I used to fall for this money-back guarantee often, only to realize that it is not all that simple.
My money-back is simple, genuine and honest. If you buy a printer and it does not work, you get your money back. Why can it not apply to a movie that you bought with the reasonable expectation of being entertained? It should. If you buy my movie from my website (I can’t realistically offer it, if you buy it elsewhere) and do not like it. Then you get your money back.
What could be the reason that you disliked it? It could be anything. You did not like the cover, you are a Raiders fan and they lose to Steelers that day, you don’t like my jokes. You don’t have to tell me the reason. You are welcome to, if you want to. But no reason required. You say the word and we send the money back to you.
Sending the money back is no big deal. I won’t be doing you a favor. It is your own money! So I will make it even more personal by sending you an apology as a director. I will say, “ I am sorry. I could not entertain you. Here is an apology along with your money.” If you have emailed me the reason (though it is not required) I will tailor my apology to your grievance.
Now how do you send me the movie back? That’s a pain. Can you imagine going to the post-office? And then I can always claim that I did not get the movie or it was damaged. So I made it simple. No need to send the movie back. You are welcome to keep it. If you have not liked the movie, you are not looking at it as a collectible item but you don’t have the hassle to send it back. You can always gift it to a friend, you don’t like! If you have liked it, you can buy 2 more and gift it to the friends you like.
We were on the Associated Press new-wire and about 218 news-papers across the nation carried this story. I don’t think it is a big deal that I am offering the money back. I think my apology would be sincere and heartfelt. If you exchange 90 minutes of your life watching my movie and if you don’t feel entertained then least I could do is to say sorry. I have to, of course, warn you to read all the other details on the website but there are no traps there. We do not refund shipping, which is $ 3.99 . We are crazy but not that crazy. All the details, trailers, pictures, reviews and the BUY NOW button is at the website. The website is www.HelpMeHelpYouMovie.com.
I have shot a YouTube video explaining it, too:
I have directed three movies so far and I have three more in the works. My next one is called “Thursday the 12th” and “Dial N for murder”. For a struggling independent movie-maker, that’s quite a lot. And that’s just what I am setting out to prove, that it is not as difficult as it sounds.
My first movie was a comedy on mid-life crisis called “ Dr.Ravi & Mr.Hyde”. We finished the principal photography in 5 days and were lucky enough to land a DVD distribution deal and really kind nation-wide reviews. My second movie was a murder mystery called “I am a schizophrenic and so am I” My current movie is my most ambitious to date because I not only did it with SAG but also managed to get some names from Hollywood.
“Being a busy doctor (I work 7 days a week, and take calls 24 hours a day) is hard. But a little inside secret. We doctors just pretend to hate our life. It is pretty good actually. It is a serious business. So film-making by comparison appears very easy.”
Being a busy doctor (I work 7 days a week, and take calls 24 hours a day) is hard. But a little inside secret. We doctors just pretend to hate our life. It is pretty good actually. It is a serious business. So film-making by comparison appears very easy. Even if my DP shoots a scene with the lens-cap on, that wouldn’t nearly be as important as any patient related decision. Also because I am a doctor, people take my calls. Once they know, why I am calling, they may not call me back, but generally I always get to make at least first impression. The obvious question is how to balance it? Patient care is like story telling in the movie. It comes in the beginning, the middle and the end. Let me make clear however that I don’t consider film-making my hobby; otherwise it would be weird of me to ask you to pay for it.
concept to a shiny disc…”
The process, to my mind is simple. You have to set simple achievable goals and meet them. I did not try to hire Steve Guttenberg for my first movie. I made my first movie to demonstrate that I can take something from concept to a shiny disc, So when I contact people, I can turn back and point and say, “I created that” My friends received it well and told me, “ You keep at it. People watch anything!”
The Catch-22 people get them into is, without money you can’t attract a name and without a name, you can’t find the money. I won over a top notch Hollywood producer, showing her what I had done. With her help I got to a reputable casting agent, winning her over with my script and making a solemn promise to myself that I will not waste the time of the name talent and I will find a way to pay them, even if the movie is not made. Once you believe in something yourself, it is easier to make people believe you. Once I found the names like Steve Guttenberg and Richard Kind, everything else fell back into place. I have a great team. My DP, Editor, Lighting guy, lawyer, Producer all own a part of my movie and care for the project as if they owned it, which they do.
I learned two things from this project. The first was actually a dialogue from my first movie. “If you want to make a good movie, talk to 10 different people. Don’t listen to any one of them”
Second thing, being, the world is materialistic, times are hard and we tend to get cynical. But I think, most people are really nice and they help you if they can.
Like they say, in 10 years, you are more likely to regret the things that you didn’t do than the ones that you did do. If you want to make a movie and you are serious, drop me an email and I will help.
Independent film-maker Ravi Godse not only writes and directs his trademark comedy movies, he acts in them as well. Godse, a real-life physician, always typecasts himself in the role, “Dr. Ravi” – which becomes both a first and last name for his flawed, yet unique, characters. In his latest film, Godse is joined by a tremendous ensemble of both accomplished actors (Richard Kind, Steve Guttenberg, Sabrina Bryan, and Rondell Sheridan) and promising new talent (Patrick Jordan, Robyne Parrish). Help Me Help You – his most ambitious film to date – is about a doctor with a terminal illness whose new goal in life is to make the people around him happy. In this family-friendly farce, as in life, nothing is that simple.
Help Me Help You is Ravi Godse’s third movie and was shot primarily in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Originally from Mumbai, India, Godse now practices medicine and lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and kids.