Ratnam started his career as a technician. He has observed the
vices of the industry from a close quarter and learnt the tricks
of the trade in a hard way. He is the most sought after producer
today and has biggest blockbusters like Bharateeyudu and
Kushi to his credit. In spite of his busy schedules, he
agreed upon to give us an interview at the office SJ Surya (director
of Kushi). He looked fresh, though he made a night-out at AR Rehman
studios for music of Nayak. Here are the excerpts of the
unassuming and hard-working producer AM Ratnam.
Tell us about your background, in brief?
entered the industry as a technician. Then I grew up step by step
and became producer and then directed two films namely 'Peddarikam'
and 'Sankalpam'. Then I started making Telugu, Tamil and
Hindi films and used to dub them in different languages. In the
past, Cinema used to be the only media of entertainment. But with
the advent of TV, satellite channels and DVDs, people started
comforting at home. People are coming and watching a film in theater
very rarely, when there is a talk on a film that it's a very good
one and one has to watch it in the movie theater to enjoy it.
My ambition is to produce those kinds of films. Hence I started
doing different and big-budgeted films like Bharateeyudu, Premikula
Roju, Oke Okkadu
is the project Kushi kicked off?
director SJ Surya directed a film called 'Vaali'.
Prior to its release, there was a positive report about the film
and the director. I usually don't watch other's film unless they
are really good. The insider's talk for the film Vaali speculated
interest in me and I wanted to watch the premier show of Vaali.
I was hoping that somebody would invite me to the show and fortunately
I got an invitation. I watched the film and liked it immensely.
coming out of the preview theater, I saw SJ Surya standing there.
I told him that we are doing the next film. Then we met and discussed
about what kind of film should be made. We decided to do a youthful
love subject. First, we made the film in Tamil and later we made
it Telugu. We narrated the story to Pawan Kalyan. He was impressed
and showed appreciation by clapping after listening to the story.
He also told that showing the sensitive thing like ego on the
screen is very difficult and director convinced him. Initially,
we started the both the versions of the film at the same time.
But Pawan wanted to finish off the Badri
first. So we went ahead with Tamil version and later remade the
same in Telugu.
feel that the decision we take about the kind of story we want
is make is vital. Once we are confidant of the script, we should
make sure that the final product is up to the expectations we
have in the beginning. And if we work hard and deliver a product
that satisfies us, it will become successful.
are the reasons behind Kushi becoming the Industry's biggest hit?
can only tell the reasons for the success. But the audiences would
tell the range of the success. Success knows no limits. Before
the release of HAHK, nobody guessed that Hindi cinema has
that much of potential at box office. Taking a cue from Rajasri
films, I started making big budgeted films with good script.
reason for Kushi performing so well is that, we could successfully
project all the scenes the way we expected them to appear. And
people are enjoying all the scenes, which we thought would work
well. At the same time, people felt that Kushi is good compared
to the other films released in that period of time.
first and foremost reason is the image of hero. If I had made
the same film with same cast and crew, but with different hero,
film would have been successful. But it wound not have become
such a big hit. The increased range of success of this film can
be attributed to the image of Pawan Kalyan.
other reasons include release timing, summer holidays, quality
of theaters and Sound Systems in halls. Another reason is that
there were no films released during that time that are strong
you look at the history of films, all the major hits are musical
hits. If a film is good, people may watch it for another time.
But people do come repeatedly and enjoy the film if the songs
in the film are good. Mani Sharma's music is another biggest reason
for the success of the film.
is the reason behind casting Pawan Kalyan for this film?
is the present youth hero and has lots of following. I have seen
the film 'Tammudu'
and was impressed with the scene in which he imitates while doing
a telephonic conversation with heroine. I don't think any other
hero would have perfected that scene like Pawan Kalyan. Kushi
too has lots of comedy scenes like that and it is the main reason
for taking Pawan as hero for this film.
if you look at Pawan Kalyan's point of view, all the films done
by him are love subjects. In the present scenario the hero wants
to change the image and become all rounder by doing action films
etc and increase his image and heroism. Pawan Kalyan is different.
He accepted this film..
us about his involvement in the films?
in the unit had worked hard and was involved in the project. Since
everybody's intention is to deliver a successful film, it helped.
the film industry in India in unorganized?
industry is a creative field. If you look at the era of Raj Kapoor,
you will observe that filmmaking needs more experience than money.
If you think that only money is needed to make a film, why not
people from other industries are jumping in and making films?
There is a risk in filmmaking. There is no guarantee of making
profits in film ventures. If you take other industries, there
is some raw material. But for films, the raw material is raw film.
That's too becomes useless if the film stalls in between.
of the risk involved, the producers have derived an empirical
formula about the maximum limit of budget for producing a film
with a particular hero. In spite of having good filmmakers, talent
and creativity, the film industry in India is unorganized because
of a few reasons. There is no support for the investment in the
films by government and banks. Hence few individuals and private
financiers govern the film industry.
do you sell your films?
don't sell my films out right. I will give them on MG basis.
is M.G basis?
stands for Minimum Guarantee. We take NRA (Non Returnable Advance)
from the distributors. After the film collects the advance, the
remaining share can be divided between the producer and distributors
on a percentage basis.
do you prefer MG basis?
invest lot of money in production and I have lot of confidence
on my film. But the market of the film can only be decided by
how much the hero's previous film collected. Hence I cannot get
the price I wanted. Hence, I give the film to distributors on
MG basis. It is safer for the producer and to the distributors.
Once the film becomes a big hit, the distributors come forward
to purchase the rights of the film outright. And we can get the
price we asked for. And even more, sometimes.
much do you think Kushi will collect?
cannot tell you anything now. I will let you know once the entire
run is over.
are the films you are doing now?
am remaking 'Oke Okkadu' as 'Nayak' in Hindi with
Anil Kapoor and Rani Mukharjee. AR Rehman is providing the music.
are the films under pipeline?
discussions are going on. I will let you know once the casting