making of Krishna Vamsi
(As told to Jeevi by Krishna Vamsi)
am a movie buff since my childhood. Since my father worked as
Assistant Executive Engineer in PWD, we used to shift our place
of living from one town to another town. I stayed in Rayalaseema
for 2 and 1/2 years. I spent my childhood in Godari, Vizag and
Ongole districts. From 8th class onwards I got addicted to movies.
I used to watch all the movies that are released. My parents used
to get fed up with my movie obsession. I used to steal money from
parents to watch movies. I had gone to the extent of selling of
valuable items in my home to watch films.
I got interested in movies when i was doing my B. Sc. in Tadepalligudem.
I used to watch a movie a day. There were times, when I watched
5 movies a day. We used to go to Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Tanuku
and Vizag to watch Slick English Films and Hindi films. I used
to watch Speilberg films, Bruce Lee films and films like Madmax,
Exorcist, Enter the Dragon etc.
got attracted to the glamour of the Film Industry. I wanted to
get recognized by the people for my talent. I wanted to join films.
But my father was very particular about me completing studies.
After finishing my B. Sc., I applied for a film institute. My
father wanted me to finish my PG. After my graduation I went to
Agra for doing my MA in Agricultural Economics. The reason why
I chosen Agra University was that my marks in B. Sc are not enough
for fetching a seat in Andhra University for me. I can communicate
well in Hindi. I did my course for 2 years in Agra. Though I used
to be a movie freak, I never flunked in any exam. I used to pass
all the exams in second class. After my PG., I spent six more
months there before returning home
returned home. My father did not allow me to join films. He restricted
all my movements. I was house arrested for some time. I had a
horrible time. I was forced to apply for Civil Service Exams.
I started preparing for that. Mean time I worked as an exhibitor
at Tadepalligudem. We used to hire films and exhibit them in Tadepalligudem
theaters. I used to spend all my time doing that work. I used
to sell tickets, cut tickets, check auditorium, sound system,
projector etc. As Tadepalligudem is a pucca mass center, I used
to observe the viewers reaction to various scenes in the film
and I used to analyze the reason. I realized the importance of
money factor in making films, when I interacted with distributors
and theater owners. I chosen Madras as my exam center for civil
services entrance exam. After going to Madras for giving exams,
I did not return back to Tadepalligudem.
the age of 24, I finished my education. Initially I applied for
the film institutes. Later on I started developing contacts. Palakollu
is very near to Tadepalli Gudem. There used to be lot of Film
Producers, Directors and Actors from Palakollu. I used to go there
and try to make friends with the people who knew those filmy personalities.
I had a distant relative called PS Prakash (he expired recently),
a cameraman. I succeeded in obtaining a recommendation letter
and approached him at Madras. When I met him, he asked about what
I wanted to become. I did not have any answer for his question.
I was not sure what I wanted to be. Then he advised me to join
outdoor unit as a light boy. He also told me that it helps me
in understanding how a movie is made.
worked as a light boy for one and half months. Later on, I was
taken in as the assistant camera man. I used observe and learn
a lot about the functions of camera and the various technical
aspects of doing a shot. At that time there was a new technical
camera (very expensive) called ARRI3. That camera was used extensively,
when fights and songs were pictured. That camera helps us in doing
the slow motion sequence in a movie. I used to attend 4 to 5 shootings
a day, done by different directors. I used to observe how directors
work. I got an opportunity to read a few technical books on operating
a camera. I used to read those books during night times and get
clarified on practical implementation of theoretical techniques
by the cameramen during the shooting.
that time, and even now, fights and dances were directed by fight
master and choreographer. Director presence was not needed. I
used to ask those masters, how they would cut the scenes. I was
even interested in editing. I used to visit Editing rooms and
observe how they are cutting a particular shot. Then I used to
analyze what I read from books and see if everything is done according
the theoretical procedure. I used to learn from other's mistakes.
1987, I got the opportunity to join as an assistant director for
a film produced by Silk Smitagaru. Silk Smitagaru was the first
person who gave me money. She gave me Rs 500/-. And she got a
very kind heart. I felt thrilled. For the first time in my life,
I experienced the satisfaction of earning money. She was very
kindhearted, humble, nice and formal. She had no ego. I sensed
that she was struggling to produce the movie and people around
are taking undue advantage. Though she was very friendly with
me, I did not have enough to proximity to tell her about exploitation
by others. Silk Smithagaru's film was stuck for 2 years.
struggled a lot during that time. For six months, I had to survive
eating one lunch for 2 days. There were times when I did not have
food for 4 days. I used to visit all the famous directors like
Dasari, Kodi, Pinisetti, Kodanda rami Reddy for a job. Unfortunately
they had their own groups and setups. I had no money. I used to
walk for 10 km at a stretch for meeting all the directors.
2 years, Silk Smithagaru's film editing was going on. Goutam Raju
was the editor. Goutam Raju used to be very kind to me. He might
have observed the spark and interest in me. He used to allow me
to stay with him while he was doing editing. I used to watch him
at his work and assist him in editing. At that point of time I
got met an assistant director called Siva Nageswara Rao. He was
the co-director for Mr. Babu Rajendra Singh, who was doing a film
called 'Prema Yuddam' for Nag and Amala. Siva Nageswara
Rao was very experienced and a hot property as a co-director.
Goutam Raju requested Siva Nageswara Rao to help me out by giving
me a job. Likewise, Gowtam Raju used to ask directors like Mohan
Gandhi, Muthyala Subhaiah to help me out.
fine day, Siva Nageswara Rao met me accidentally at the editing
room and told me that he was going to work as a co-director to
a film produced by Annapurna Studios. That film would be directed
by a new person called Ram Gopal Varma. He asked me if I was interested
in working as an assistant director. I used to be a great fan
of Akkineni Nageswara Rao. Ten years prior to that, I visited
Hyderabad to see Akkineni Nageswara Rao. I could not meet him
in spite of waiting out side the gate of Annapurna Studios for
8 hours in hot summer. It was a great opportunity to work for
Annapurna Studios. At that time scope films were very less. I
was told that Annapurna's film would e made in scope.
used to criticize Annapurna Studios and Nag's decision to make
Ram Gopal Varma, a small time video parlor owner, direct their
venture. They used to think that Ram Gopal Varma got a chance
because of his father's friendship Akkineni Nageswara Rao.
for me it was a means of survival in the industry and a matter
of bread and butter. I gladly accepted that offer. Then it turned
out to be a big farce. I used to call Siva Nageswara Rao up and
request him about the job. He used to say 'later'. Then I got
suspicious that he might have taken someone else for that job.
That thought got on my nerves. I used to irritate him over phones.
He got so wild that he shouted me over phone not to call him up
fine day, I was standing out side the office of Annapurna, Madras
smoking a cigarette. Two people crossed me, who ere entering Annapurna
office. One of them was staring at me. I expected the guy, who
stared at me to be a relative of Nag. Siva Nageswara Rao called
me inside and introduced me to the same guy who stared at me.
I got the shock of my life when Siva Nageswara Rao told me that
I was introduced to, none other than, Ram Gopal Varma. As I was
aware that Ramuji was a boxer, I expected him to look like a hunk.
Ramuji greeted me and asked me about my experience. I gladly lied
to him that I worked as an assistant director for 7 films. I also
boasted that I worked under Balachander for a few Tamil films,
thinking that he does not know about Tamil films. Then he posed
a few questions about editing and direction. I responded with
the right answers. He was satisfied and told me that I was qualified
and asked me to meet him in Hyderabad. Those managers of Madras
were not keen on me going to Hyderabad.
boarded my train to Hyderabad. Then I entered the Annapurna studios.
Initially the staff out there thought that I was a costumes guy
from Madras. Then Siva Nageswara Rao and Ramuji met me. Ramuji
gave me the script and asked me to read it and tell him my opinion.
I read it and felt nothing exciting about the script. If I told
them that the script was bad then Ramuji might take me out of
project. So I told him that Script was nice. Then he asked me
what i felt so nice about the script. I did not not know what
to say. Then I told him that I did not understand what is written
inside. But by the look of it, it looked like an action film.
As Ramuji was new to camera, we started doing rehearsals. My job
was to assist Ramuji technically. We used to shoot outdoors with
local artists using a video camera. I used to control the crowds,
who come to see the shoot.
the real shooting started. I started realizing the depth and strength
of Ramuji as a film maker. Whatever little I read (glamour of
the films, nuances, implementation of the emotions, how to conceive
a scene and how to execute that scene and how to edit that scene)
in the books, I could see that being applied by Ramuji in the
making of 'Shiva'. Though I was aware of all these concepts,
I could realize the impact of it by looking at Ramuji's implementation
of those concepts. By the time shooting of Shiva was over, I became
the most important person in the team. I got grip over certain
aspects of film making I could get command over all departments.
From Shiva (Hindi) onwards I was an important part of the
whole team. Later on, I worked with Ramuji for KshanaKshanam,
Raat, Rathri, Antham, Drohi and Gayam.
dallying with Direction
Gayam, Ramuji wanted me to direct a film under his banner.
He asked me to come up with a script. I was nervous and modest
in the beginning. Then he forced me to accept his offer. I came
up with a story line which was very much liked by him. Then I
prepared a script for the same story line. Then Ramuji and me
had a difference of opinions about how to go about it. After prolonged
discussions Ramuji decided it will not workout for us. Then I
worked as an assistant director for Money. Money,
directed by Siva Nageswara Rao, became a runaway success.
wanted to make a sequel to 'Money', as no sequel had happened
in India. And he wanted me to direct 'Money Money'. I expressed
my reservations that I did not want to launch myself with this
kind of film. Then he told me that I had to direct it. I kept
a condition that my name must not be there in the titles (ghost
direction). He assured me that if i see the finished product,
I myself would ask for the credit. Then 'Money Money' was
started under my direction. I tried all types of techniques and
experimented with it. In that film I shot one song with just four
shots (Kota song 'em kompa munagadoi') and another one
with 357 shots (Chakri and Surabhi duet 'Left and Right endukanta'
at Golkonda Fort). The Kota song took 6 hours to shoot and the
Chakri duet took 6 days. Ramuji scolded me about my inconsistancy.
May be, I was selfish in taking that film as a rehearsal for launching
my directorial debuet. I finished that film. Ramuji gave me a
choice to change my mind about the director's name. After my refusal
to it, Ramuji requested Siva Nageswara Rao to lend his name and
it was released. I detached myself from that film.
seeing the texture, format of 'Money Money' and the way
I handled the artists in 'Money Money', Ramuji started
'Anaganaga Oka Roju' with me as the official director.
That title 'Anaganaga Oka Roju' was suggested by me. It
was a crime thriller with Ramuji favorite idea of ' the couple
on run' (KshanaKshanam, Govinda Govinda, Daud and Anaganaga
Oka Roju). As the shooting progressed, there were a few difference
of opinions about what I visualized for that film and what Ramuji
expected of it. I shot a chase scene in that film ( bikes and
fiat car) and three sequences. After two schedules, Ramuji realized
that the accounts for that film are going haywire. Then Ramuji
called me up and told me that he would lose to the tune of 2 crores
if I continue directing this film. He asked me what should he
do. I accepted that it was fault of doing over budgeting, as I
was very keen to prove myself and working too hard to reach my
expectations. Then I told Ramu that whatever he does is acceptable
to me. Then Ramu told me that he would direct the film. He asked
me to go and search for the projects with other producers. Then
I told him that I was willing to work as an assistant to him.
the making of 'Antham', Nag asked me if I had any interesting
story line for him. He was willing to give me a chance. I was
looking for a suitable story line. I saw a paper news about 'Ameena'.
'Ameena' sold a 14 year old girl to a 70 year old Dubai Sheik.
Later on that girl was rescued by 'Amita Nangia', an Air Hostess.
Then I adapted that point and did backward integration. I had
chosen that point as the climax. Then I had to develop a love
backdrop that had violence, action and emotions. That story should
suit the image of Nag. It should make an impact like Shiva,
yet it must have the mark of Krishna Vamsi. The script came up
very well. But it needed a huge budget. Due to that reason, I
changed my opinion and made it suit for a small budget film.
Chakri was very good friend of me and acted in two of my films,
'money money' and 'anaganaga oka roju', I wanted
him to be hero in this film. So I changed the whole plot except
for climax that happened in the airport. Then I got the script
ready. I narrated it to my close friends and they immensely liked
it. Then I started narrating it to the outsiders, especially to
women (wives or girl friends of my friends) . Some of them cried
after listening to the story. At that time Rasool was the cameraman
for Varma's films. Myself and Rasool were very good friends. I
narrated the story to Rasool and he was impressed and told me
that I need to cast a very good heroine for the film. Then I narrated
it to Sameer (Cameraman for 'Seetaramaraju'), nephew of
Rasool. Sameer cried after listening to the story. Sameer told
me that Taboo will be the best cast for the heroine role. As Sameer
knew Taboo well, I narrated story to her. I gave Taboo a two and
half hours narration and Taboo started crying from the 5th real
onwards. Then Taboo told me that she would do that project at
any cost. Then I expressed my concern that I would not pay her
much and I would not provide her a stay in expensive hotels. I
wanted to make that film in 50 days with a budget of 50 lacs.
Then Taboo told me that she was willing to stay at her relatives
house and she would come in her own car to shooting. She was ready
to compromise on her remuneration. As the stage was getting ready
for the launch of film, suddenly these guys started developing
a cold feet. I started knocking the doors for chances, once again!
was busy with 'Rangeela' in Bombay. When he came to Hyderabad,
he heard about my script. He called me and asked about what was
I doing. I told him that I was ready with a Script. Then he asked
me about the budget for that film. I told him 50 lacs. Then he
smiled at me and told that if I make a film for him it would cost
2.5 crore, else I would make a film for just 50 lacs. Incidentally
the cost incurred for the shooting of two schedules for 'anaganaga
oka roju' was 54 lacs. As we all ways had the difference of opinions
when it come to the emotion of the film, Ramuji told me that he
would set this project up for me and he would not interfere in
the project. He added that the budget for the film would be 75
lacs. Ramuji was reluctant to listen to script. He told me that
he would watch it in public theater after the release of the movie.
The only constraint he fixed for this project was the budget.
As long as I control the budget under 75 lacs he would not be
Babu was also keen on doing film with me, as he came to know about
my script. He was trying to locate me. At the same time, he wanted
to enquire Ramuji about me regarding 'Anaganaga oka roju'
budget fiasco. Ramuji gave me a choice of Suresh being the producer
as he too was keen to produce a movie with me. When I approached
Suresh, he made it clear that he must be convinced about the script
before starting up the project. I had two options. One was to
go for the Varma's film that would give me creative freedom and
no-interference and other one was to go for Suresh's film where
I need to prove myself. Obviously, I preferred the choice number
Anaganaga Oka Roju announced, many Big heroes sent feelers
that they were willing to work with me. When I was thrown out
of 'Anaganaga Oka Roju', I approached all of them only
to get politely rejected. When I approached Jagapathi Babu, he
told me that he needed big banners and big directors, as he could
not do experimentation at that time. He assured that he would
do a film for me later. I was really frustrated. I was having
an excellent script. I was capable of doing very good job. Still
I was not getting any chances.
that frustration turned into a constructive (innocent) revenge
when I was offered to direct Gulabi by Varma.
was a small time unestablished hero. Maheswari was branded that
she is not fit for a role of lover gal. Sashi Preetam was a non-entity.
He was so raw about cine songs that he did not know how many minutes
a song last. I used to sit with him during nights and days and
screw him to deliver the songs. Jeeva left the industry 10 years
back. He was in Guntur. I searched for him and got him. Chalapati
rao, who was doing the rowdy characters, was given a soft role
as a father of the heroine. Chandra Mohan was the only senior
established actor acted in Gulabi. I picked the raw people up
so that they suit our budget. At that time nobody was willing
to do their recording at Ramanaidu studio. After six months of
its inception, I recorded the first song (e rojaithe choosano
ninnu) in that studio, as that song uses minimum number of
instruments. We did back drop score and mixing in that studio.
Gulabi was the first movie to be recorded in Ramanaidu
the production of Gulabi, we used to have fun doing mischief's.
Then thing started rolling like loving gals, line maroing a gal
and pataoing gals over the sets. During that time I understood
the psychology of youngsters. We used to fight and had a lot of
fun. During that time myself and Chakri developed a misunderstandings.
Nag was looking for a female to cast as a second heroine in his
'Ramudochadu'. Somebody told him that Maheswari was looking
damn good in Gulabi. So Nag requested me to send him two
songs so that he can decide on choosing Maheswari for that role.
As my assistant directors could not separate scenes from the songs,
they sent the leads scenes together with songs. He was very impressed
the way I handled that lead scene. I got a call from Nag immediately.
went to Nag's place after four days as I was busy doing post production
work of the Gulabi. Then Nag asked me if I was interested
in doing a film for him. I was totally shocked, as he was one
of those famous heroes, who sent feelers that they were willing
to work with me during the days of 'Anaganaga Oka Roju'
and later on gave me a cold treatment. Then I acted smart by saying
that Nag had not seen the whole film of Gulabi. I started
throwing tantrums by saying I had to think over it. Then he scolded
me thoroughly and made me accept his offer. I was keen on showing
him the result of Gulabi before accepting his proposal.
But, Nag was the least person to care about the box office fate
of Gulabi. He offered me a film by Annapurna Studios. He
asked me to take my own time and come up with a suitable subject.
On the next day, much prior to the release of Gulabi, Nag
made an announcement of his project with me. After the first copy
of Gulabi came, i shown it to Nag. As everybody was raving
about the film, Nag told me that the second half of the movie
was not good, as there was too much of violence. And he told me
that first half was very good. I can understand his concern about
second half, as he was very sensitive person by heart and he could
not stand too much of violence. Nevertheless, he made sure that
he would make a film with me.
I thought of a subject for Nag and went to Vizag to have a look
at the locations (Incidentally, that same subject is getting a
shape now as 'Samudram'). I got a feedback from numerous
teenage people that the second half of 'Gulabi' is very
violent. Some other people complimented(?) that Gulabi
is like a Ramuji's Film. I got disappointed, as I did not want
myself to be compared with Ramuji. I wanted to be different and
to make a mark of Krishna Vamsi.
I decided to shelve the subject of violence and do a film that
is sans violence (contrast to Gulabi) and it should have
total entertainment and that subject must not be touched by Ram
wanted to do the casting with unestablished and failed actors/technicians
and wanted to show the world that I can do it!! At that time i
have seen Hum Aapke hain Kaun (HAHK) and Dilwale Dulhania
Lejayenge (DDLJ). Then I decided that I should go that way.
Then I called Nag up from Vizag and told him that the original
story line was shelved and I had a different subject in my mind.
I came back to Hyd and went to 'Ramudochadu' shooting and
narrated the story line of 'Ninne Pelladatha' for 3 minutes.
After listening to the story line, Nag went to the shot without
saying a word to me.
I developed that subject. Though DDLJ and HAHK kind
of culture is not existing in telugu people, I had to convince
the people about it. DDLJ and HAHK does not have
any reality in it, as they were just idealized dreamy set ups.
Though, I did not want the format of DDLJ and HAHK
(as they were not native for us), I wanted to capture the soul
of those films and make it adaptable to the telugu people. With
in 15 days, the script was ready. Then I gave a final hearing
to Nag and he liked it. Finally the project was happening. We
started searching for heroine. I have inspected about 65 gals
from Bombay and Madras and we were not convinced. Suddenly we
realized that Taboo was the right gal for that role. I traced
her and met her at the Vile Parle (w) ( apposite to the domestic
airport, Bombay). We were standing on the road amidst heavy traffic
and she asked to narrate the subject. I did it in a couple of
minutes and she was impressed and asked me to finalize her for
the project. Then I met her in Madras to narrate the whole script.
She was on cloud 9. Then 'Ninne Pelladatha' happened. The
rest is, as they say, history.
Pelladatha' became a blockbuster. But I had no excessive joy
for the success of that film, as I started detaching myself from
my films fate at box office. There were so many reasons for the
success of Ninne Pelladatha. Only Nag could do that role
with perfection. No other heroine, sans Sridevi, could look as
sensuous and serene as Taboo in a saree. For Gulabi and
Ninne pelladatha, I was complimented that the dialogues
were very realistic. I continued that trend of delivering natural
dialogues for the rest of my movies.
motive behind my home production was the ambition to come up with
a film that complements my creative urge towards a social awareness.
If you look at the film producers of present generation, there
are very few film makers are there. Remaining of them are businessmen.
All these producers wanted my name to be associated with their
films, but not my creative work. They wanted me to make another
'Ninne Pelladatha' or 'Gulabi'.
wanted to make a film that gives entertainment and message that
is worth their money and three hours of time. I wanted to work
with youngsters and talented, yet unrecognized people. At that
time, I happened to see 'Bad Boys', which influenced me
a lot. I wanted to make that kind of film in our village backdrop.
I wanted to show the beauty of Godari using all our nativity.
observed that important and innocent people were getting killed
in the social movement and for our society. There were people
like Vyas, who were killed while they were doing their duty and
working for society. I wanted to show why these guys were sacrificing
their lives? For whom they were doing it? In spite of them sacrificing
their lives for us, we are treating them as just news paper cuttings.
the urge to find the truth about these killing became a devil
in me and it was urging me to make a film about that issue. Then
I started watching all these red films (erra cinemalu).
I found those films to be very crude and raw. For every film,
they were giving same solution to take the gun and kill the people.
I captured that point from Erra Cinemalu and began the film. Opening
shot of Sindhuram describes about what would happen if
you a take a gun and kill the people. I did a research about the
people, who were joining the naxlite movements. Why were the medical
and engineering students preferring guns to their education? I
started realizing the real stories behind these new paper cuttings.
I wanted people to understand about the people who were giving
their lives for our good.
Then the 'Sindhuram' shaped up. We knew that this film
was not going to have universal acceptance and it was aimed at
a particular section of people. All the big people of the industry
advised me to change the 20 minutes (in second half) of sequence
in that film, so that it would become a super hit. As I was doing
that film with a purpose and commitment, I did not heed their
the casting of RaviTeja and Brahmaji, I wanted to show that hero
need not be a type cast. I knew Brahmaji for a longtime and he
was good at acting and looks. RaviTeja was the assistant director
for me in 'Ninne Pelladatha' and I liked his imitating
skills, walking style and crankiness. After the release of the
film, I lost so much money. I did not care. I gained lot of popularity
and respect. I am very very proud of 'Sindhuram' and its
very dear to me. I have no regrets for making that film. I can
proudly say that its my best film till date (26th july 1999).
It was an achievement. I do identify myself with Sindhuram.
All the characters are part of mine. My anger, mischief, failure,
innocence was reflected in the characters of Sindhuram.
Sindhuram, I was emotionally exhausted. At that time Nag
and Ram Prasad were searching for a director. Nag casually asked
me to come and watch the malayalam 'Chandralekha'. I liked
the film. Then I asked Nag if I could direct that films. And Nag
jumped at that prospect. He asked me if I was ready do a remake.
Then i told him that I was a game. There is nothing wrong with
doing a remake as long as I like it. I did not want to be branded
myself as an unapproachable and tough guy. I never considered
doing remake as a demeaning and degrading thing. As Fazal and
Priyadarshani were involved with the original and there was a
lot of scope for the hero to emote, I got convinced more about
'Chandralekha' was announced, people started thinking that
Nag bailed me out of my financial problems and as a favor I was
doing a film for him. Nag and myself knew during the shooting
of the film that it would not be a very well receivable film like
'Ninne pelladatha'. On the day I saw the first copy of
'Chandra Lekha', I told Nag that ChandraLekha would
not run. But Nag was very happy to have made a sensible film.
Later on I have not seen that film in public theater and I was
insensitive to the feed back for that film as the soul of that
film does not belong to me.
couple of years prior to that, somebody gave me the cassette of
a tele film 'Not without my daughter', which was based
on the real story of Mrs. Betty Mohammed. She was an american
girl married to an Iraqi guy. That film was about her experiences
in Iraq. I loved that film very much. My mood was disturbed for
3 days as those incidents were lingering in my heart. Later on
I came to know that all our top directors and heroines have made
attempts to remake that movie, in vein, as they had no clue about
how to adapt. That film was about an educated and sophisticated
female go to a place where the primitive culture exists and how
she fights her self out of that situation. Immediately I captured
the soul of that movie.
Bharadwaja and Kiran approached me to make a film for them. When
I was thrown out of 'Anaganaga Oka Roju', Bharadwaja was
the only person who encouraged me. At that time he called me and
asked me to narrate the script. After listening to that script
he told me that he did not have that much of money to make a big
budgeted film and asked me if I could come up with script for
a small budget film.
the release of 'ChandraLekha', Bharadwaja told me that
he was in financial mess. Then I narrated the story of Indianized
version of 'Not without my daughter'. Narration went like
this ..... ' There is an Indian girl in Mauritius .... an island
with abandoned water .. a beautiful place ... that girl goes to
Rayalaseema that was boiling in factionalism and she struggles
to come back.'
listening to story line Bharadwaja told me that he was trying
to indianize that 'Not without my daughter' to make a film
for a long time. Along with the script of Anthahpuram I also told
him two commercial story lines. But Bharadwaja picked up the 'Anthahpuram'.
I worked over the script of 'Anthahpuram'. There were two
standards of living, two different environments, two contrasting
ways of expressing same opinion. There I identified the heroine
called 'Bhanumati'. How does she traverse from Mauritius to Rayalaseema
and go back to Mauritius. What her struggles were.
the script was ready, I wanted Aravind Swamy to play the role
of Bhanumati husband. Soundarya was Bharadwaja's choice, as she
had good market. I was not keen on sporting soundarya for that
role, as I thought she was a normal actress ( Later on I realized
that she is very sensible actress). I wanted to sport a new heroine.
I approached Aravind Swamy. He liked the script. But he told me
that he was not keen on doing straight telugu films, as he had
a bad experience with a telugu film. He also told me that he was
very uncomfortable with the pronunciation of telugu language.
He was ready to do it, if it was made in Tamil. He told that he
was regretting his decision of missing a good film. I was even
ready to shoot all his sequences in Tamil and dub it in telugu.
Then Aravind told that he does not want to do injustice to the
role. I started searching an actor for that role. Then I asked
Jagapathi Babu to do that role. Jagapathi Babu refused to do that
role, as he all ready played loads of characters of Hubby . Instead,
he asked me if he could do the other role, which was decided for
RaviTeja. So I casted Saikumar and Jagapathi Babu for those two
making 'Chandralekha', we had lots of financial problems
due to the effect of 'Sindhuram' and 'ChandraLekha'.
All the artists like Jagapathi Babu, Soundarya, Saikuar and Prakash
Raj were going through a lean phase at that time. Due to that
I could not even got a reasonable budget for that film as the
producers could not afford it. There were some date problems too.
'Anthahpuram' was released there was bad talk in the beginning.
It takes them to digest the violent and hard hitting film. Slowly
it picked up.
I look back and see ... I find 'Anthahpuram' to be emotionally
good .. but the format was not what I have conceived. The Impact
was not there. The 'Anthahpuram' was just 15% to 20 % of
what I conceived and what it should have been. It was appreciated
by viewers. Got a few awards. It was pretty nice. But I am not
proud of 'Anthahpuram'.
subject of 'Anthahpuram' is very dear to me. I want to
remake it into Hindi in the way I wanted. Three Bombay based Big
producers have shown interest. Negotiation are going on.
next venture is Samudram. This film is about an innocent
person called Sagar, who was implicated and framed for a murder
done by somebody else. Being a normal and common man, how Sagar
will react and what will happen. Its a film with realistic touch.
Babu is playing Sagar character. Saakshi Sivanand, the cute babe,
is playing the female lead. Prakash Raj is playing the role called
'Pasupuleti NukaRaju'. No. 124 constable. An innocent, bold and
little educated man, he is. That role is a welcoming change for
him as it is different from his earlier typecast evil roles. In
this film he is doing a role of humble and low esteem man that
is quite contrast with his earlier roles that have the force to
Raja shocked me with his acting in this film. He has an excellent
ability as an actor. He is playing the Evil Cop in this movie.
Srihari is playing the good Inspector role. Tanikella Bharani
is playing the main villain role of 'Chepala Krishna'. RaviTeja,
my friend, is doing a villain character in this film. Shashi Preetam
is doing the music for this film.
& A section
to make a film?
It is not an easy question to answer. You need a story. Then you
need to know all the technical aspects and requirements of a cinema.
You must know what kind of films people are watching and what
kind of films people will like. You need to know hwhat is screen
play. How to play story on the screen visually. You need to interact
and deal with interesting, idiotic, tough, rough, un cooperating
and sober people on the sets. With in the time frame, you need
to execute the scene perfectly the way you perceived it without
losing the impact. You need to convince the producer, who is a
'chintapandu vyapari', about budget . Your producer cannot
understand what you are talking about. He will get attracted and
spend more money only if the scene you propose to him resembles
any of the scenes of the latest hit film. When you want to make
your kind of cinema, you need to be convinced and confident of
of your perception. It is not the personal perception of yourself.
You need to have the perception of the market, the industry, people
around you and the centers.
you compare the people of Hyderabad and Tadepalli Gudem, they
are not the same. Though, feelings are universally unique, the
language choosen to express their feelings is different. If you
want to scold, people in Hyderabad say 'Badakhov' and the same
feeling is expressed as 'yedava na kodaka' in tadepalligudem.
If you say 'Badakhov' in Hyderabad, they do take it seriously.
If u say 'yedava na kodaka', they laugh at us. If I say 'Badakhov'
in Tadepalligudem, they laugh at me. 'Yedava Na Kodaka' is a serious
word out there. You must know the difference. Even people in the
same city are different.
you go to a theater, the viewer sitting in balcony is an educated,
rich one and comes with his girl friend in a car. He will always
compare the films that are released in the recent past with this
movie. He starts comparing films seen in Sangeet theater like
Matrix with Anthahpuram.
the same theater, there is another section of people, who are
viewing movie sitting on the floor or bench. His status, standard,
education, understanding and thinking level are entirely different.
You must attract and live up to their expectations of a cinema.
Once the lights are off and the flickering images of movie are
shown on the screen, all the viewers become infants. But to make
all the people innocents and infants in the theater, your film
has to be as good as 'Sankarabharanam' or 'Hum Aapke
Hain kaun'. Viewers from all sections start enjoying the movie
with equal interest. No one knows to make a film like 'Sankarabharam',
it just happens.
more important factor is casting for a film. You know how exactly
your characters are going to behaving on the screen. For that
reason you need to choose the right actor. Your actor might not
have the same intelligence of your character. You need to make
your actor understand the character. And every time one can't
get an artist like Prakash Raj. Prakash Raj is a thinking actor.
At the same time that right person you chosen must have the market
as an actor and should have the acceptance by the viewers.
your technical team of assistant directors, cameraman and editor
come into play. You must concentrate on locations. You must know
the time limit and budget. You must be able to finish the film
with in the budget. The art of movie making cannot be explained
in this limited time.
your advice for the youngsters who are interested in doing direction.
sincere advice for them is to work for 8 years in the industry
at various levels (from Light boy to assistant director). After
2 years of working, you can get the confidence that you can direct
a film. But I have waited. Even after I conceived things and executed
things, I waited for 4 years. I think, today my success lies in
the hard work I have done for so many years at various level in
the film industry. It comes natural for me to deal any sort of
situation. As a director you will be having a problem every other
second and you must be prepared to do the crisis management. After
that mixing, dubbing, editing, back ground score must be done
with your creativity. Sound plays an important role in the film.
You have to decide the sound when you write your screenplay. But
unfortunately most of the director think about sound when they
are doing mixing.
writes the screenplay? Director or Dialogue Writer?
are the part of screenplay. There is no separate section called
is the difference between Story line, Story, Script, Dialogues,
Screenplay and Direction?
somebody asks you the about the film, you cannot narrate 2 and
half hours of movie on the spot. Then you tell story line. For
Gulabi story line is 'When an innocent rich girl was sold
to an Arab Sheik and her lover fights and rescues her from the
clutches of Arab Sheik at the airport'.
lets come to story. There is a town. There is used to be a guy
called Chakri, who used to enjoy life with friends. He has a father
and no mother. Suddenly Chakri started receiving blank calls from
gal and she used to tease. She talks as if she is observing him
online. Then they started loving each other. By the time of Interval,
a close friend of Chakri sells heroine off to brothels. Then Chakri
searches for that guy and finds him. He tells her whereabouts
to Chakri. Finally Chakri saves her from villains. This is the
we will come to screenplay. The person who 'knows' the story writing,
direction and screenplay must have to ability to capture the moods
of viewers and arrest them in the cinema hall. Now we have to
tell the story in a very effective way to the viewers. In Gulabi
lets take the brothel scene and keep it in the beginning. Trade
of girls going on at a brothel house. One of those girls tried
to escape and got caught. The girl who tried to rescue that girl
was captured and was burnt alive using kerosene. As that girl
is getting burnt alive ...... cut ... there is a girl relaxing
on her luxurious bed.
you narrate your story like this, the curiosity of the viewer
gets aroused. This is called screenplay. How you narrate your
story to the viewers. How effectively you play the story on the
screen. Screenplay consists of dialogues. That is why there is
no title card for a dialogue writer in Hollywood. Here in our
films our directors do not know what screenplay is. That is why
they call a dialogue writer and ask him to come up with the punch
is nothing but the compiled collection of story line, story, screenplay
and dialogues. Its a bounded book.
is a different ball game all together. When on sets, a director
is not bothered about all the above things. He picks up his scene
paper. Reads it and thinks about how effectively he can execute
that scene on the screen without losing impact.
is why the director does not have the right over the cut in Hollywood.
A script is given to them and he has to execute the scenes. Most
of the directors do not even have the to right to enter the editing
room in hollywood, except for a few like Steven Speilberg, John
Lucas etc. Because of this reason most of the famous directors
produce their own films so that they have command over each and
every department. John Lucas seduced the producers with a 14 page
script for Starwars.
is the role of Dialogue Writers in your film?
me, there is no dialogue writer. I don't believe in a separate
department called dialogues. I do write my own dialogues most
of the time with the help of my group of friends and technicians.
We discuss about the type of character and his language, slang,
diction or accent. Then we do come up with our own dialogues.
For example, we used to talk words like 'Revulo Thadichettu'
in our home. We do use all that
whose name will be credited for dialogues in the titles?
do credit it to somebody as I do not want to put my name for dialogues.
many assistant director do you have?
are 8 of them. I have chosen them very carefully. All of them
are intelligent and well educated. They are well versed with the
art of film making. We are like a family. No formalities and no
special treatment for any one. I learnt it from my Boss, Ramuji.
did u keep your Andhra Talkies as your home banner name? Is it
inspired by Madras talkies of mani Ratnam.
we decided to make a film on my own banner we started searching
for a suitable name. Then I thought of using 'Godavari Entertainments'
as I belong to Godavari dist. My friends started saying that I
am regionalizing it to particular district of AP. Then I argued
that Godari belongs to many states. Then we thought of 'Alluri
Seetarama Raju Art Movies'. Then we thought of 'Kakatiya Entertainments'.
Then I thought of 'Nannaya, Tikkana, errapragada' etc etc. I did
also considered 'Chalam', as I like his books and his attitude
towards life. As we were under dilemma, I announced that I will
keep my banner name as 'Andhra Talkies'. And there was no resistance
over that name. Incidentally, mani also kept his banner name as
Madras talkies for his 'Iddaru'.
u feel happy if someone come and say that you did very well in
a particular shot?
do not get affected by criticism as i don't care for them. If
somebody comes me and tells me that i did take a particular shot
well, i do not get excited as the person, who is giving compliments
might not know what he was telling. He does not know the effort
and creative aspect that has gone into making that shot so good.
If a man with a caliber of Ramuji and Manirathnam tells me about
any of my shot, I get excited.
aware of the fact that 'Chandralekha' was inspired by 'While
you are sleeping', why did you remake 'Chandralekha'?
that time I was aware of the fact that Chandralekha was
inspired by 'While You are sleeping'. But Nag had already
bought the remake rights for huge amount. So I had to follow it.
'Anthahpuram', the characters of Prakash Raj and Jagapathi
Babu never meet. Was it intentional (because you were going to
partially dub/remake into Tamil?
It was a pure coincidence.
your movies, you are not sporting regular comedians like Brahmanandam,
Kota and Babu Mohan. Why?
think they are over exposed. And I did not find a right character
your opinion about controvarsary over Nandi Awards for Anthahpuram?
more question on Anthahpuram. I must be asking this question
to the producer. Why were the censored scenes exhibited in the
cinema halls for Anthahpuram? Who will take the responsibility
for doing so?
Censor Board. I should not answer this question. If you want I
can tell you the real reasons off record later. (as walkman was
busy recording his voice)
I saw Anthahpuram, I felt that songs are obstructing the
pace of story. Do you think songs are necessary when you produce
film like Anthahpuram?
love shooting songs. I love watching songs. If songs are disturbing
you when you are watching the film, it must be my failure as a
director. I take the responsibility.
did not mean it. You are such an intense story teller. As the
story was really getting on nerves of viewers and as they are
getting tensed about what will happen next. At that particular
time if a song appears?
am doing songs with the same intensity. May be you have chosen
to two songs. One in Sindhuram 'O Cheli' and another in
Anthahpuram. But you have forgotten other songs. They are
very well knitted into the script. I have done 5 films. Only remark
I got is twice. Once in Sindhram and Another in Anthahpuram. If
you consider five songs per film, I did 25 songs. 2 failures in
of 25 songs are excusable. Are not they?
somebody wants to joins an assistant to you. Is there a procedure?
present, I do not have a vacancy. I have 8 assistant directors
as Ramuji used to have only 3 (myself, Siva Nageswara Rao and
Uttej). All the 8 people, who are with me, are not ready to leave.
If I ask them to leave they will kill me (laughs).
am asking you this question, though you gave the answer earlier.
Is it possible to direct a movie, without working under anybody?
not possible. And its not advisable too.
a frank person, did you land up in any sort of troubles with your
uprightness by losing any projects?
never lost anything. If I lose anything I don't consider it as
a loss. (laughs).
do you think are responsible for you to be in this position today?
you have any woman behind your success?
My success lies in my team work and with my team. I am not inspired
by any woman. I am inspired by our society, nature, world etc
parents were worried about you when you escaped to Madras. Now
what's their reaction?
were very much worried about me. They thought that I would become
good for nothing. They thought that I would become a useless fellow,
pauper, drunkard. This is the general notions about filmy people.
And most of the filmy people became like that. Generally people
get attracted to this industry by the glamour, fame and name.
But whoever are successful today are sincere hard workers. Right
from NTRama Raogaru and Chiranjeevigaru, whoever attained great
success in films did immense hard work. In that process they are
losing and sacrificing so many things. After Gulabi, my parents
realized my success and the sincere hard work. I love my mom very
are your future projects?
do not know.
KS Rama Rao announced a film with you and Venkatesh
That film is there and I have been doing that film for the last
four years (giggles). I do not know when I will materialize that
film. KS Rama Rao has been patiently waiting for me to do a film
for him. Till now no idea has come up in my mind for that film.
But I am doing it ..... I am thinking of doing it.
can we expect a film to be announced in your direction for Chiranjeevi
or Bala Krishna?
I have to make a film with Chiranjeevi or Balakrishna, that film
should be made at that level. It must worth that film.
do have something called Discussions. Lot of fans of Chiranjeevi
and BalaKrishna discuss why their favoritee heroes are not making
films with Krishna Vamsi.
would like to thank them all. Its very nice to know. But I do
get scared whenever I listen to these kind of things. And, sometimes,
I think I am not worth it. There are 40 to 50 people around me
who make the things happen to me. I want to tell you one thing.
'Idli Pinditho Chapatilu cheyyalemu. Gulaka Rallatho Diamond Necklace
cheyyalemu'. We need diamond and Gold to make Diamond Necklace.
I am like a gold smith here. I am telling you this honestly from
my heart and soul "I am just doing the work of a Gold Smith".
I need so many talented people to make what I am making. May be
I can guide the people to certain extent. But after that they
are the people who deliver the goods. That is my conception of
myself as a director. I am a slow paced worker. I am always disappointed
with my works. I am having so much of anger, pain and agony inside
mark did Ramu left on your working style?
worked with 9 colleagues under Ramuji at different points of time.
But it was only me who could mark for myself. Even Ram Gopal Varma
worked with a director called B Gopal. That shows that its does
not matter who your Guru are! What matters here is who you are!!
I have a different style of film making. Even now I show my films
to Varma and get scolding from him.
many days your films were taken when they were under production?
depends on the script. Gulabi has taken me 55 days. Anthahpuram
was made in 47 days. Samudram is taking around 75 days. Ninne
Pelladatha has taken 90 days. Chandra Lekha took 77 days. Sindhuram
has taken 130 days. We worked 18 hours day for that film.
are your unforgettable moments?
of them are there. I do not regret for anything. That is my motto
of life. I all ways want to be happy. I live through memorable
moments. If there are none at that time, thenIi will create them.
your year of birth?
will be completing 37 this 28th July. Do you celebrate Birthday?
do celebrate every day, if I have time. I am scared of birthdays,
as that day reminds me thatIi have lost an year in my life. My
friends do ask me for a party and we have it. I don't think I
am aging at heart from my teenage time. I feel like I am stuck
at 22. I just realized that I will be 37 when you mentioned it
are going to get married?
soon as I find an exciting girl.
you in the process of looking for a suitable girl?
am not searching for a girl. It has to happen. Love happens like
an accident. You will never know. We cant be sure of our future.
are your family members at this residence?
My mother, My brother and his wife.
here for the Part - 2 of the interview