four friends from Dharwad engineering college did reunion for
a single cause. Their goal is not to make money by gambling in
films. They wanted to make the lifetime ambition of their friend
Venu to become a hero a reality. They formed SP Entertainments
banner. Shaym, the man with money power, is the producer. Sai
and Prabhu are the strategists. And Venu is the hero.
launched this lanky hero Venu with 'Swayamvaram' and established
him as a hero to reckon with through Chirunavvuto.
SP Entertainments banner has taken a director Vijaya Bhaskar who
has given a flop 10 years back in the form of 'Prardhana'
and made movie 'Swayamvaram'. He went to on to prove again
Kavali'. SP Entertainments launched G Ram Prasad as director
with 'Chiru Navvuto'. He is doing a film with Balayya for
Balaji arts now. Idlebrain.com has met Shyam, the supreme of SP
Entertainments on 14th April 2001 to find out the recipe for success
in movie production.
us how SP Entertainments banner was born?
I was never interested in watching or making films. Venu wanted
to become a hero. He went to Chennai and tried with different
directors and producers for a role. He got an offer in a Bharati
Raja film. But it was stalled after a shooting of 3 days. Then
we floated SP Entertainments to make Venu a hero.
us about the making of your first film 'Swayam Varam'?
were very confidant of our project right from the beginning. But
people used to give us false impression about the trade circle.
They used to say that if a movie runs for a couple of weeks, you
would get all your investment back for a small budget film. That's
the wrong attitude. But, our objective was different. The goal
of SP Entertainments was to launch Venu as a successful hero.
This company is formed for Venu and would continue to do films
only for Venu.
decided that Venu couldn't be launched as an action hero. We determined
to get a good soft subject with variety point. As we are new comers,
the audiences expect nothing from us. Hence, if we come up with
a good film, they are going to like it. G Ram Prasad was the first
choice for the film 'Swayam Varam'. But, he has taken advance
for the film 'Samarasimha Reddy' by that time. We could
not wait, till he is freed from Samarasimha Reddy project.
He did suggest the name of Vijaya Bhaskar. Vijaya Bhaskar is also
another assistant director of B Gopal.
were very confident about the film till the release date was announced.
We paid all the cast and crew the entire amount much prior to
the release of the film. But everybody was laughing on our back
saying that we are making a low budget film when the industry
is in doldrums.
seeing the first copy, we were satisfied with it. We knew that
we had a winner in our hands. The next step is to create curiosity
among the viewers by giving good publicity. Buyers are willing
to buy this film, but at a cheap rate as if they are doing a charity
to us. Thanks to Dr. Rama Naidu garu. He came forward to distribute
the film on a commission basis. Ultimately, we released the film
on our own through Suresh movie distributors. Even the money for
print and publicity cost came from our own pockets.
days prior to the film's release, the tension mounted to the peak
level. People started asking us a genuine question - 'Why should
a viewer come to theater and watch your film?'. I was angry and
upset at that time for being asked such a question. But, in retrospect,
that's a very good question every moviemaker should ask himself
before venturing into a new project.
you look at the scenario today, all the small budget films are
opening with 20% crowds and if the movie is bad, a termination
letter would be given in a week. We did a lot of publicity to
the film and created awareness about 'Swayamvaram'.
movie Swayamvaram was released, finally. We went to Kanaka
Durga Temple in Vijayawada and then watched the morning show at
Vinoda Theater, Vijayawada. The theater was full and the response
by the crowds was amazing.
in places like Cuddappah, Swayamvaram got very good talk.
It went for housefuls for the first 28 shows in Cuddappah. It
was supposed to give a way to a Narayana Murthy film next week.
But the exhibitor continued 'Swayamvaram' in that cinema
hall. Dr. Rama Naidu called me up a day after the release to congratulate
for the excellent publicity and told that he never dreamt of Swayamvaram
getting such an openings.
Swayamvaram started a trend of small-budget films with
new faces and new banners. Lots of people were jobless in the
industry at that time. After the success of 'Swayamvaram',
shooting of lots of small-budget films was flagged off. Since
there are more films under production, the Industry people could
get more work. Films like Chitram,
Bachelors, 6 Teens are started after seeing success of
was successful both from critic's point of view and in the commercial
sense. It got three Nandi awards. Venu got the best new comer
Nandi award. Chitra got the best female singer award. Vandemataram
has got the best music director award.
did you choose Laya as heroine?
wanted a girl with pure Telugu nativity. Laya was the first and
last choice for the role.
did her own dubbing in 'Preminchu'
and it sound good! Why did you use a dubbing artist for her voice
is a kid. She just finished her 1st year of intermediate at that
time. Her voice suited the role of blind girl in Preminchu,
as there is lot of innocence in her voice.
you face competition from other films for Swayam varam and Chiru
was released with 14 prints and then went on for 35 prints. It
had a slight set back because of Chiranjeevi's Iddaru
Mitrulu in the second week. But it again picked up from 3rd
week onwards to become a 100 days film.
the biggest threat of the film is 'Nuvve
Kavali'. This film was released 35 days after the Nuvve
Kavali release. At that time Nuvve Kavali was in its
strongest position. Everybody wanted to see one and only film.
'Nuvve Kavali', that is. All other average films are flopping
because of Nuvve Kavali. If film has to become success, it should
be a better fare than Nuvve Kavali. Chirunavvuto
withstood the onslaught of Nuvve Kavali and went on to
become a silver jubilee film. There is no single negative comment
on this film. Chiru Navvuto would have become a biggest
hit, if Nuvve Kavali were not there.
us about Ram Prasad?
belongs to Guntur area. He finished his schooling in Guntur and
college in Tenali. He came to Madras in 1988, as he wanted to
become a film director. He joined as an assistant to B Gopal for
the film 'Aswardhama' (Krishna). From that film onwards,
he assisted B Gopal on all his films till Samara Simha Reddy.
It's very unusual for any assistant director to stick to one director
for a long stint of 10 years. He joined as first assistant (lowermost
cadre) in 'Aswardhama' and rose to the level of 'Co-director'
for Samarasimha Reddy.
met Ram Prasad for the first time when he was assisting B Gopal
for the film 'Gang Master' in the year 1996. He is a hard worker
and a very sincere guy. His experience helped us in the making
of 'Chiru Navvuto'. He worked without an assistant for
that film most of the times. I give all the credit for the success
of the film to G Ram Prasad for his direction.
you think Trivikram Srinivas has done an excellent work as story
and dialogue writer of 'Chiru Navvuto'?
true. He was never satisfied with his work. He used to rewrite
all the scenes to perfection. At the same time, we cant single
out Trivikram and say that he has only done a good job. Other
technicians too have done great work. Mani Sharma music is an
asset to the film.
Chirunavvuto songs have not become as popular as Swayamvaram.
What's is the reason?
good the music is, with out good lyrics, the songs would not become
very popular with the crowds. They need catchy simple lyrics to
hum. 'Keeravani Ragamlo' song of 'Swayamvaram' became
very popular because of catchy lyrics. Mani Sharma done great
work for 'Chirunavvuto'. But the songs could not become
popular, because of not-so-catchy lyrics. Mani Sharma got a filmfare
award for this music in Chirunavvuto. Mani Sharma's music is so
impressive that he was taken as the music director for the Tamil
and Kannada version of Chiru Navvuto.
is return on investment for Chiru Navvuto?
budget for Chirunavvuto was a little over 2 crores and
it collected a share of 5 crores.
us about your future ventures?
have three films in the pipeline. G Ram Prasad would direct the
first one. It will start once he completes his film with Balayya
under production now. Next we will have another film directed
by Vijaya Bhaskar (of Swayam Varam and Nuvve Navali)
fame, who would direct our venture after his film 'Nuvvu Naaku
Nachav' with Venky was released. Then we will have Trivikram
Srinivas directing a film. All these films will have Venu as hero.