Good stories like good cuisine need the right balance of ingredients to make them worthwhile. A good story features characters that captivates its reader's emotions and gets him involved. It features obstacles that create the conflict essential to the drama in the story, alongside the hook that gives it the right meaning. It then takes dedicated screenwriting effort to transform a good story into a good film script. But, it needs an equally dedicated director to bring the story to audiences on the silver screen.
It is not often that one comes across individuals who go the whole journey, penning the story, writing its screenplay and then directing the film. Satish Kasetty, who won a national award for his debut movie, Hope, has done it again, and this time, he’s out with his new movie, Kalavaramaye Madilo.
Speaking about his first film, he spent nearly 18 months researching issues being faced by children within the Indian education system. He then wrote the story and script of his award winning debut project, Hope. The film featured prominent film producer Dr.Ramanaidu for the first time in the role of an actor, while its music was provided by none other than the music maestro Ilayaraja. As reward to his dedication, his film brought the Telugu film industry, a National Award, ending an 18 year drought.
This time around, after 16 months of work on the subject, story and screenplay, Satish brings to us Kalavaramaye Madilo. For this film, prior to writing the story, Satish enlisted a music teacher to train him in the basics of carnatic music. He believed it was important to do so, for him to be able to make a film that speaks about music, passion and life.
Over the coming weeks, Satish will be writing about his new project, and sharing his experiences on making of the film, Kalavaramaye Madilo.
click here to read part 1 | part 2
Part 3 - About the cast and crew…
They say casting is a very tough job…. was it for me? Not really.
I will start with my protagonist, as I said earlier, she is a girl and her name in the movie is Sreya…
Who can be Sreya? This was the question I asked everyone around me. Each person had a name to say, but none said Swathi. And that was the name I was thinking. When I suggested the name, everyone was very sure that she will carry off the first half without any difficulty, but the second half, they were not sure at all.
I was sure; something inside me told me Swathi is Sreya… my producer and my co director agreed with me and once Swathi agreed to do the film the project was on.
Who will do the Srinu character. My choice was Kamal. I had just seen Avakai biryani, I thought he would fit into the character like glove. So our hero was signed.
Next was getting Nazar garu to do Rao character. But he had dates problem. We looked at few options, but we had either dates problem or money problem. That is the time a friend of mine suggested Mr. Vikram ghokle’s name. I immediately called him, narrated the subject on the phone and the next day he was on our cast.
For Sashtry character I wanted Thanikala Bharani garu come what may. Here is one actor whom I knew for a long time and I always dreamt of working with this great actor. He heard the story and readily agreed to do the film.
Delhi Rajeshvari, sudeepa, had no alternates. One of my assistant directors was related to komli sisters, so they came in. Around this time Venu, who had earlier worked with me for ‘hope’ called me and said sir I want to work in your film. I had no role for him. He had done 5 or six films as a hero, but he insisted that he be a part of my project, even if it is a small guest appearance. So he joined the cast, Thank you Venu.
Swathi is a director’s actor, behind that person Swathi we see every day, there is a very intelligent girl, a girl with lot of emotions and talent waiting to be tapped
Though it was Swathi’s character that was tough to execute, one thing that helped both of us to execute the charter of Sreya was, she gave in to me totally. She was like clay and I could mould her the way I wanted.
In fact when I look back I feel we both were living the character Sreya... There was some secret bonding between us; we could communicate with each other without saying many words.
For those 5 months, nothing mattered to me but my character Sreya, her world, her life and her journey. I literally lived her character for those 5months… it was so obvious, that few people close to me felt it also. I also realised that, Swathi was also living that character along with me... That is what made her performance so real and easy for her. It was not Swathi who used to walk on to the sets and try to act the character of Sreya; I could only see Sreya walking on to the sets every single day of the shoot. Once you see the movie you will understand what I am talking about..
I have a feeling that she will walk away with the best actress award this year for ‘Kalavaramaye Madilo.’
Kamal Kamaraju… I had met Kamal a year and half ago, much before he did avakai biryani. The day I saw avakai, I said he is Srinu of KVM. As I said in the audio function, I don’t know whether he will become a star or not. But he will definitely be remembered as a good actor. He is an honest, dedicated hardworking actor. He prepares for his role very meticulously. You don’t see much of him in the publicity or promos, not because he has a small role, but because he is a surprise package in the film.
Thanikella bharani garu was different, he could switch on and off in a second. He was always himself on the sets, full of fun and poetry. He used to transform himself into the character only few seconds before the shot. It was a delight to work with this great actor.
Vikram Ghokle sir is different, he used to prepare himself for the character much before the shoot, and he used to ask a number of questions to understand the character and its need. Mostly because this was his first film in Telugu. Also because he is from the theatre and that is how they prepare for a character. Wow, what an actor he is… a man with 30 years of experience in acting, editing, directing and writing. He still does theatre. Sir, thank you very much, it was a pleasure and honour working with you.
I once again had the great fortune of working with S.P. Balasubrahmanyam garu,(he had dubbed for Ramanaidu Garu in my first film ‘hope’) he dubbed for Mr. Ghokle. I was 100% sure that it is going to be him who is going to dub for this Rao character. What a job he did, it is for all of you to see and cherish. Apart from his singing, he has also mastered the art of dubbing. He is an institution in himself. I have learnt so much from him.
Delhi Rajeshwari garu, has done a good job in this film. To me her casting was done the day I conceived the mother’s role. She looks is every bit the character. See for yourself and decide.
Sudeepa, she is another girl with lot of talent, she is very professional and dedicated to work. Though she did a small role she left her stamp in the film.
Then there are a lot of kids, and the little stars called komli sisters. They all did their job so well.
Basava paidi reddy is the editor of this film. He had edited my first film ‘hope’ too. He was an automatic choice. So was Mr. Madhusudhan Reddy for dts mix. These are the people who will be with me for a long time to come. Bhoopal wrote the dialogues for the film, more about him and the story in my next blog.
Rajendra handled the camera for this film.
Songs are something I always dreamt of directing and this film has 8 songs. I was all excited and planning days before the shoot. So, when it came to choosing a choreographer, the first name that came to my mind was Nixon master.since have known him from 10 years or more.
It was fun working with Nixon; by the way he choreographed 6 songs in the films. Two songs ‘Onene’ and ‘Nilo Anuvanth’ were choreographed by Sreedhar master; He also did a good job.
And the sad part of the entire film - I was not there to shoot these two songs. Why? I was in Chennai getting the background score done with Sharreth sir (as I had to meet a deadline set by the producer.)
Before all these I had to choose my department team. Srivastav, I had heard a lot about him. He had worked with Y.V.S Chowdary garu, Krishna Vamsi garu and when a common friend of us suggested his name I said ok. So he came in as a co- director, his contribution to the completion of the film cannot be measured at all. In simple words, without him this project would have not been done. Thank you Srivastav garu.
Then there was Prashanth, Swaroopa, Durga, Vasu and Hari, who joined the team. They were a great help to me, thank you guys. I would love to take them along to my next project.
The film was shot in 49 days, in three schedules. Starting from 2nd of Feb. to the first copy on 18th of June, it was a journey and an experience I can never forget. I learnt so much working with Mr. Ghokle and Bharani garu……. Swathi was a delight to work with. So was kamal and the rest of the cast and crew.
You can reach Satish at [email protected]