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Interview with Marthand K Shankar
Date: June 25, 2009, Hyderabad
marthand k shankar

Marthand K Shankar – brother of Marthand K Venkatesh – is making his debut as director with Varun Sandesh’s third movie Evaraina Epudaina. This movie is hitting the marquee on 26 June 2009. caught up with Shankar for an exclusive interview. Here are the excerpts -

My father Marthand was a popular film editor. My father ran away from our home in Kakinada to join movies in Chennai under the supervision of BA Subba Rao. I was born and brought up in Chennai. I completed my BA in Chennai. By then my brother Marthand K Venkatesh was settled as a film editor. I shifted to Hyderabad along with my brother when Telugu film industry migrated from Chennai in early 90’s.

I wanted to become a director, but my father asked me to join editing. As I was not interested in editing, I joined computer courses in Hyderabad. During that time Jayant C Paranji was directing TV serials and a friend introduced me to him. I joined Jayant and used to work for 3 days a week with him and used to learn computers in the remaining time. Jayant was offered Preminchukundam Raa and I joined him as an assistant. Generally, they ask the first timers like me to observe for a film. But for Preminchukundam Raa I was assigned the work of sounding clapboard. VN Aditya, Kasi Viswanath and Chandra Mahesh used to be my colleagues who worked with Jayant. I worked with Jayant till Takkari Donga movie. During the time of Takkari Donga, I got an offer to work with VN Aditya for his directorial debut Manasantha Nuvve. After Manasantha Nuvve, I worked on my own scripts. I also used to attend story sittings of other directors.

Gemini Kiran has shown interest in producing a film in my direction with Uday Kiran as hero. But it was put on backburner later. I narrated another subject for the producer of Itlu Sravani Subramanyam which will feature Sairam Shankar as hero. That project didn’t materialise. During the time of Sivaji, AVM’s project coordinator Pulla Rao asked me stories for a small budget Telugu film. I narrated the same script (the same story I did for Sairam Shankar) to him and he liked it. My brother Marthand K Venkatesh was impressed with Varun Sandesh work in Happy Days film and he recommended him to me. I narrated the story to Sandesh and he liked it very much. At the same time, Pulla Rao asked me to meet producer Guhan in Chennai. Guhan liked the story and that is how the film got materialised.

What is Evaraina Epudaina all about?
Anybody can fall in love at point of time. It is an entertainer that is driven by the characterization of hero. I followed Vamsi, Varma, Puri Jagan and Karunakaran style of characterization while penning hero character in this movie. The movie starts with hero and ends with hero. Each and every character in the movie falls in love with the hero character.

Tell us about Varun Sandesh’s work?
After listening to the characterization, Varun Sandesh came up with three types of body languages and I selected one. He carried the entire film on his shoulders. He is a sharp and dedicated actor. He will be completely different in this film compared to his earlier two films. He is more mature and more hyper active. He dances are energetic and fights are more emotional. His dialogue delivery is going to be spontaneous with a tinge of vetakaram.

What is the reason for casting Vimala Raman?
I watched Hrudayam movie during my 10th class. I have fallen in love with the heroine Heera’s characterization in that movie so much that I watched it three times for her. She is not of feminine type in that movie. She was like a man and had a bold nature. Vimala Raman’s character in this movie is also like that.

I was little apprehensive about how to ask what I want from Mani Sharma. He took me out for lunch and made me feel comfortable. He asked me not to hesitate to say no to any of his tunes. He came up with fabulous music for Evaraina Epudaina.

Writer Rajasimha worked under Jayant along with me. He has got very good humour sense and it shows up in the dialogues of this movie. New lyricists Rehman and Krishna Chaitanya penned lyrics. And both of them are spontaneous and they didn’t take more than 30 minutes to pen a song.

I approached a few good cinematographers in Hyderabad they were engaged with other films. I got Venu Gopal from Kerala. He is extremely efficient. He gave us the best output in minimum time. He is very fast at setting the lighting. He is also a clam and gentle type. Visuals of this movie have come out well.

What is the contribution of your brother Marthand K Venkatesh to this movie?
He is the one who got me this project. He is the one who looked after me after my father. He gave me lots of valuable advices. Marthand K Venkatesh contributed a lot to the climax and pre-climax scenes of Evaraina Epudaina movie.

Being a first timer, could you able to deliver the movie under budget?
I overshot the movie by 8 days. We planned to use 80000 ft of raw film and ended up in spending over 1 lac feet. The locations cost us more than what we budgeted for. But the producer Guhan trusted us and never questioned us. He met us only three times when he came to Hyderabad to attend press conferences. He gives that much of freedom to us.

Evaraina Epudaina is releasing in a day. Are you tensed?
I am not tensed. Thanks to the support of AVM and my brother. We have screened the movie to our technicians and well-wishers. Everybody liked it. Dil Raju saw the movie and bought it for Nizam area. He liked the second half and hero characterization.

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