us about your background?
I belong to a filmy family. My father is KM Marthand
was a famous film editor of yesteryears. His uncle
is BA Subba Rao was a legendry Telugu film director.
BA Subba Rao inspired my father to enter film industry.
NTR gave first chance to my father as an editor. My
father used to be the only man who edits almost all
Telugu films at that time. He edited around 300 films.
He was addicted to alcohol and his health was upset
due to his liquor consumption. I was forced to become
a helping hand to him at editing when I was doing
did you get your first break?
K Raghavendra Rao asked me to give me feedback on
Coolie No. 1 film. I told him that I did not like
second half as hero raping the heroine did not appeal
to me. He liked my honest feedback and frankness in
telling what I did not like. He gave me opportunity
to work as an individual editor for the film Allari
Premikudu (Jagapati Babu). He gave 10 films continuously
for me as an editor including Pelli Sandadi film.
did you get good recognition as film editor?
Suresh Productions gave me recognition. My father
used to work for all Suresh Productions films and
I used to be his assistant. I used to give frank feedback
for all those films. Suresh Babu liked my judgments
and he encouraged me a lot. He used to take me to
the previews and used to ask my feedback. I used to
give honest and frank opinions about films. Luckily
all those predictions became true. The major break
as a film editor came to me with the film 'Preminchukundam
Raa' with Jayant as director.
it was K Raghavendra Rao who taught me about editing.
He used to ask me for logic for every scene I cut.
He taught me many more things about editing. He used
to scold me. Editing his songs is a great experience
to me. He used to have a story/concept for each song.
His songs are poetic. I got 5 films the year I got
introduced and all those films became hits. I got
great films like Preminchukundam Raa, Bavagaru Bagunnara
and Toli Prema in the first year itself. I was very
lucky. My father expired the year I became an independent
editor. I got close to Pawan Kalyan with Toliprema.
I worked with all his successful films like Tammudu,
Badri and Kushi.
Editing is all about trimming a film to the length
the film is supposed to be. We have to decide where
we need to keep the close shot. We have to decide
how much length a shot takes, which shot looks better
in which angle, is the dialogue appropriate for the
scene etc. We have to maintain the flow and tempo
of the film. Depending on the situations in the film,
we increase or decrease the pace of the film.
you listen to the story before editing the film?
I discourage the directors from telling me the story
before editing. I will get more judgment on the film
if I edit it without knowing the story. Few of the
directors are good at narrating the story. But they
are not good at shooting the film the way they narrated
are the various techniques in editing?
During my father's time, single positive editing used
to be there. Single positive means where the sound
is mixed with the spool we get. There is a difference
of 19.5 frames difference between the visual and the
sound. They used to edit the film by keeping the difference
of 19.5 frames difference in mind, which is very difficult.
There used to be manual editing when I started my
career. There used to be different feeds for visuals
and sound, we run those things simultaneously and
edit the film in both ways - sound and visuals. That
process used to give heavy noise. Later, we got steamback
process, where the noise was relatively less. Now
we have the avid system, which is extremely convenient.
The avid editing made the lives of editors so easy
that out life has become less tedious. When you have
everything on computer it is easy to manipulate. I
can edit a film on Avid in maximum of 10 days where
as it would have taken at least 1 month if I were
to edit it using orthodox old system.
is a saying that a film is made on two tables. Story
table and editing table?
I can't say that bad films would run well due to good
editing. But a good editing can surely increase the
range of films. A hit film would become superhit due
to good editing. An average film could be made above
average. But good editing cannot make a flop film
work. I am fortunate enough to get directors who agree
with me and leave the editing process to me alone.
is the advantage of using optical work while doing
Optical work means doing transitions between one scene
to another scene. It completely depends on how the
director permits us to implement it without any interference.
We use the technique of dissolving when director makes
a mistake while canning certain episode. But directors
these days are asking me to use dissolve technique
for those scenes where it is not needed. We use dissolve
very selective to differentiate the time lapse (day
to night or today to next day). There is a difference
between films made with slow cut and fast cut. For
trendy films like Super, we use the technique of fast
Raghavendra Rao taught me to most important secret
of editing. He asks me to do the humming while keeping
some gap between two scenes. People have a misconception
that editing means cutting and joining. It is very
wrong. Editing has got many more facades to it than
what people generally thing of.
the first time I observed the optical work of throwing
flashes in the confrontation scenes of Kushi film?
That is what we call as optical work. There are certain
programmed procedures which we should use them selectively
as per the demand. We have control over the optical
work which not only involves in scene dissolution
but also uses sound effect.
film stands out as the best film in which optical
work is used effectively. In most of the other films,
I notice that effect to be used just for the sake
Few directors insist on using it. Few of the directors
want special sound and opticals for ramping shots.
what is the use of having opticals with out any actual
use of it?
Most of the directors force me to do those things.
There are different ways by which the directors look
into the edited versions. Each of the directors has
different technique of the editing. Jayant wants me
to delete the entire scene in the film rather than
trimming the shots. Director Puri Jagan doesn't give
a damn to the geographical logic of the film. Jagan
don't care about geographical accuracy. If he had
to can a shot in Vizag residence, he would directly
open the shot in the home, without bothering about
authenticity of Vizag. It depends on directors and
their faith on editors. Directors like Seenu Vytla
leave everything to the editor. All I can say that
if there is proper coordination between the director
and the editor, there are always bit chances of the
film becoming hits.
happened to Dhana 51 film's editing? It was so lousy??
After working for a couple of days for that film I
differed with the director. He then asked me to look
at the editing in Satyam film. I told him that I worked
for 150 films so far and 120 of those films were super
hits. Soorya Kiran wanted the sound to come first
then the picture later. I gave him an example of lightening
when the visual comes first and sound later. He disagreed.
He said that I belong to an old school. Then I told
the producer ML Kumar Chowdary that it would not workout
between me and the director. I worked for hit films
like Idiot and Pedababu for that producer. But I had
to say no to him for Dhana 51 because of the director.
Even Nagarjuna asked me about Dhana 51 after release,
I told him the insider info.
51 is so bad from the editing point of view that there
is neither color consistency nor smooth flow of scenes?
I have not seen the final film yet.
are the best flop films you had edited in the recent
Yuvakudu is one film that flopped, though I did my
best work for that film. 143 is another film that
failed at box office, though it was a good film. These
are the two films I failed as the judge. Though a
big flop, I got tremendous satisfaction as working
for 'Maa Ashokgadi Love Story' by Suresh Krishna.
is your take on awards?
I got Nandi awards for two films - Toliprema and Daddy.
Both are good films. But there are many more better
films for which I deserve a Nandi awards. I felt guilty
about taking award for these two films.
do you do when you find that the final cut come too
The duration of original version of Sekhar Kammula's
Anand was 3:22 hrs. I made sure that 2 reels of the
film were removed. Though it would have been good,
Telugu film lovers are not used to watch the films
over 3 hours.
should be the exact difference between sound and the
The thumb rule is that there should be 3-4 frame difference
between the sound and the picture. During the songs,
there should be a difference of 11 frames between
the sound and the picture. Nobody follows it now.
you follow books?
No. I do not follow any books. But experience of working
with right people helped me a lot. Let me tell you
the incident that happened during Daddy time. Allu
Arvind asked me if I like Chiranjeevi. I told him
yes. Then he told me to forget that Chiranjeevi is
the hero of the film. This film might be a hit or
not. An editor should be like a critic. He asked me
not to look at the film like a Chiranjeevi's fan.
He insisted on looking at the film like an editor
and do justice. Allu Arvind gave me a biggest lesson
to treat a film on its merits. I do remember it for
my life time. An editor should be very frank to the
producer and give the true picture.
is the kind of cooperation you get from directors?
Most of the directors are very cooperative. One day,
I big director called me asked me that the director
of an opposition film has around 200 dissolves cuts
in it. But we have only 4 dissolves in the entire
film. I explained him that we use dissolve technique
to indicate time lapse as per the demand of situation.
A few directors think that using new techniques like
dissolve is fashion. But these things should be used
do you edit the film?
I learnt the art of editing from my father. I feel
that I have become a good editor because of my father.
I used to observe him keenly when I assisted him.
He used to take the rush first and edit it roughly.
Then he used to go home. The next day used to come
with a fresh mind to have a re-look at it again. He
then uses his judgment for the final cut. I feel that
this kind of editing helps the film a lot.
editing the fights, I make sure that sound effects
are not added while editing. I edit the fights in
mute mode. My father cautioned me not to edit the
fights with the sounds on, as sound might cheat you.
D Suresh Babu used to ask me to show him the edited
parts of his films without sound.
you follow any Hollywood films to observe the editing
I do checkout for the 'special features' part of Hollywood
film DVDs and observe if any interviews on postproduction
and editing. I sometimes get inspired by films. I
used an episode of an English film DVD to do titles
of 143 film. For each title, there would be a movement
followed by ramping shot.
us about your association with Pawan Kalyan from Toli
Prema to Kushi?
My association with Pawan Kalyan helped me a lot.
He used to personally sit for editing of fights episode.
He composed fights for Badri film. He used to come
to editing room to mark the fights. He taught me a
great technique in editing the fights. He asked me
to mark the total time taken to complete one fight
scene on the screen. We have to take that duration
as the fixed parameter and then we can use different
related shots (with different angles) in that duration
of time at a rapid pace.
Raghavendra Rao is my guru in editing. He used to
scold me and teach the techniques. He is the man of
the reasoning. He used to ask me the reason behind
each of my editing shots.
father used to ask me to utter the dialogues in the
scene and then estimate how much time would it take
to react for another person. Whenever I edit a dialogue-oriented
shot, I make sure that I utter the dialogues and see
if the length matches with that of the artists on
there any filmmakers who give you the script of the
film as the reference along with the spools to edit?
Yes. Sekhar Kammula is one director who came with
the complete script and asked me to use it as reference
to the shots/scenes I edit. There are certain directors
who narrate me stories before making films. Late Tirupati
Swamy who directed Ganesh for Venkatesh has a peculiar
style of story discussion. He used to have reference
to each scene of Ganesh in one of the earlier films.
He used to get respective video tape for each scene
in that film and used to narrate the story and dialogue
for me. For example, there is one scene in Ganesh
where Venkatesh enters a jewelry shop to get money.
He has the reference of this scene in Mani Ratnam's
Dalapathy where the round table conference happens.
You might call it as copying, but he has done his
homework with perfection. If you keep the box office
status of the film aside, visually Ganesh is the most
striking film with perfect filmmaking and editing
there any films edited by you that have become too
lengthy which forced the projection boys at theaters
edit the film?
I made sure that all the films edited by me have appropriate
length. But Prema film for which I assisted the editor
faced this problem. It was a very well made film.
I had to edit it after release.
Suresh Productions banner has a unique style of taking
care of film after the release. They send people to
all the stations on the release day. These guys are
expected to tell which scenes people are feeling boring.
By night, they take feedback from various people from
various areas and edit the film by removing the boring/unnecessary
are known for your frankness in industry. You tell
your opinion about the film on the face of director/producers.
Do they take it positively?
Yes. When I give them honest feedback during post
production stage, it helps them. If I say that film
is bad, they could sell the film off for the best
available price. If the film is good, they could wait
for good prices or release it on their own. Filmmakers
like Nagarjuna, Jayant and Seenu Vytla take it positively
even if you criticize the films. There are a few people
who don't take criticism. A big producer removed me
from the film after I edited 9000 feet when I said
that the film is bad.
me any example where your suggestions helped the filmmaker?
For Raghavendra film, I told the producer Raju that
it won't work. Second half of that film was boring.
I told him that I would make a trailer using all the
best material in the film footage that includes showing
of vital get up of hero. He said yes. I made a trailer
and the business was closed immediately after one
day of airing that trailer.
there any films which you expected to run, but bombed
at box office?
Yuvakudu, Neeku Nenu Naaku Nuvvu and 143. Nobody was
confident about Vasantham during postproduction time,
but I firmly believed that it would appeal to a certain
section of audiences who would make the film hit.
you involve yourself in film while editing. Or do
you edit the film without yourself getting emotionally
My father told me that when we edit the film we should
involve so much in that film that we should laugh
when there is a comedy scsne and cry in emotional
scene. Even D Rama Naidu used to follow it. If I see
an emotional scene in my film, I get a thin vapor
of water on my eyes.
you edit the film on avid machine you have a small
monitor. Would there be any difference between sound
and image when you watch the same thing on big screen?
There should be 4 frame difference between ear (sound)
and eye (image). Lots of producers and directors are
opting for MTV style of picturization. It looks good
on TV, but it affects your eyes to watch on big screen.
If you could use that MTV style for an episode it
is ok, but one cannot use it for all the songs in
the film. The images on the screen won't get registered
and it strains your eyes as well.
What is your contribution towards hit/flop of the
I do take responsibility, especially for the directors
who leave everything to me. VN Aditya and Jayant give
me complete freedom in editing. I share credit for
the flop of VN Aditya's Manasu Mata Vinadu.
you want to direct films in future?
I have got many offers to direct films, but I said
no. I am in the position of No.1 now. Why to leave
that luxury and fight in the new field as debutant.
are your hobbies?
I watch TV a lot when I am home.
films did you get the maximum positive feedback for
Idiot and 143. At the same time, I take negative feedback
sportingly. Everybody criticized me for the editing
in Chirujallu film.
you follow reviews?
I do follow the reviews of idlebrain.com for all my
films and take the comments (positive or negative)
in good spirit.
are the films you are working now on?
Andhrudu, Style, PB arts (Bala Krishna), Seenu Vytla
film (Vishnu), Sathi Babu's film (Srikanth), Sekhar
Kammula's Godavari and Puri Jagan's film with Mahesh
Sayaji Shinde (Villain)
Gowri Mumjal (Heroine)
MS Raju (Producer)