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Interview with Tatineni Satya
Date: Junly 8, 2010, Hyderabad
tatineni satya

Satya Tatineni comes from the illustrious family of Tatineni’s who directed silver jubilees in three languages. His grandfather Prakash Rao made memorable movies in the golden age of Telugu cinema. His father TLV Prasad entered into Limca Book of World Records for his ability in churning out movies continuously. Satya makes his debut with Bheemili (Kabaddi Jattu) that is releasing on 9 July. Here are the excerpts -

My grandfather was Tatineni Prakash Rao who directed films like Pellitooru (NTR), Illarikam, Minor Babu, Gali Patalu etc. He has also directed Hindi flicks like Swarg and Nanna Farishta. He directed silver jubilee films in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. My father TLV Prasad started his career with the movie Kudi Edamaithe. He did Challenge Ramudu with NTR. He also directed films like Rani Kasula Rangamma and Manishiko Charitra. He entered into Limca Book of World Records for being the only director to direct 35 films with the same hero (Mithun Chakraborthy).

I completed my schooling in Chennai. I graduated from Loyola College, Chennai in B.Sc (visual communications). I joined David Dhawan as an assistant for Jodi No.1 film. I worked with him for eight movies. Then I worked for a Tamil movie titled Kanda naal mudhal in the direction of Priya. I started preparing my own scripts. I tried contacting heroes first.

The first producer I contacted was RB Chowdary. I didn’t tell him about my family background. He listened to my script and liked it. He wanted me to narrate it to his son Jeeva. That script is about a psychotic character. Jeeva has done two films with the psychotic characters already. I wanted it to be done by a fresh actor. Then RB Chowdary asked me if I had seen Vennila Kabaddi Kuzhu and I said yes. He asked me how it would be if we have to remake it in Telugu. I said that it will be great and I asked him if I can work for that movie as an assistant director so that I can prove my mettle. He wanted me to direct it and I said yes. He said that I have to convince NV Prasad and Paras Jain as well.

I came to Hyderabad and started doing homework of auditioning for new actors and doing demo shoots for the characters in the movie. It took me three months to convince the producers with my work. I spent lots of time in pre-production of the movie.

The shooting of the movie was started in the month of August and finished in January. It took us around 54 working days. The final runtime of the movie is 2 hours and 20 minutes. I got lots of time during post-production and it helped in getting the movie in better shape. Bheemili obtained a clean U certificate.

Tell us about the story of Bheemili?
Bheemili is the story of 7 underdogs who want to achieve something in life by winning the Kabaddi championship. Coach played by Kishore is a vital role in the movie. Though it is a sports backdrop movie, first half deals with a realistic love story between Nani and Saranya Mohan. It has less number of dialogues in the love story. Bheemili is about underdogs achieving their glory.

Multiple roles
I assumed the roles of spot boy, production manager, costumer, director, fight master and choreographer in this movie. It doesn’t matter as long as all of us work towards to the betterment of cinema.

For example, we needed old cloths for Nani character in the movie. We borrowed cloths from a kerchief vendor and bought him new cloths. We also borrowed old slippers with pin. I choreographed a couple of songs in the movie.

Fresh locations
We thrived for originality and authenticity in the movie. We scouted for virgin locations in AP which were never shown in any movies in the past. We shot the movie extensively in Pochampalli, Polavaram, Anatarvedi and Bheemili.

Coming from the filmy background, how important is money for you?
I entered film industry with passion. Money is never a motivating factor for me. My father let me stay in an apartment in Mumbai when I got an opportunity work in David Dhawan’s team. I was not paid any salary for the first three months. They used to give conveyance allowance of Rs. 300/- per day. I got my first 300 rupees at Gateway of India which was the shooting spot at that day. I didn’t want to spend that money. I piggybacked on company’s vehicle till Andheri, then took a lift till Goregaon and then walked till my apartment in Malad. I bought a piggy bank and deposited my earnings in it.

How do you model yourself after? Father or grandfather?
My grandfather expired when I was 12. I idolize my grandfather and want to emulate him. My father preferred quantity and kept on churning movies in various languages.

What is yout next project?
My immediate concern is to promote Bheemili movie. I will think about my next movie after that. I am not here to survive. I want to win. I don’t want to stick to any genre and I will keep switching them.

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