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Chitchat with AS Ravi Kumar Chowdary
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AS Ravi Kumar Chowdary started his career, as a director of a Box office failure film 'Manasu Tho'. His next film "Yagnam" (Eetaram banner) turned out to be a blockbuster by launching Gopichand as a successful hero. Ravi Kumar Chowdary now has two big films lined up with big stars. met up with him at his residence on 8th February 2005 for chitchat -

8th February 2005

Tell us about your background?
I am born in Narakoduru, a small village near Tenali in Guntur district. Narakoduru has a long history in making of stage artists. If Narakoduru's population was 2000 at that time, 1000 of them used to be stage artists. I completed my graduation in JKC College, Guntur. JKC College supported me a lot financially and encouraged me to hone my skills in extracurricular activities. I won statewide competitions by representing JKC college.

I joined Telugu film industry as an assistant to director Sagar in 1994 for "Amma Donga" film. Since then I worked with him for 10 years. In between, I worked for Seenu Vytla's film "Neekosam". I wrote for a film titled 'Athanu' with Sai Kumar. I also worked as a writer for music director Chakravarthy directed TV serial 'Dondu Donde'.

I got my first break as a director with "Manasutho" in 2002. That film was an outright flop. I did not get disappointed and worked positively for developing another script. I got a chance to direct "Yagnam" and it was a big hit. Later on I got many offers from almost all prestigious banners.

Why have you taken so much gap after making a hit like Yagnam?
I am working on few more scripts. I learn from my each film and strive to do better in future films. I want to direct a film which would become a bigger hit than "Yagnam". Hence this break!

What is your next project?
I am going to direct a film for Ambika Arts banner. This film would star a 'top hero' of Telugu film industry. This film would be launched in a few days. I would give complete details about the film with the cast and crew.

We heard that Ravindra Reddy (relative of CM YS Rajasekhara Reddy) signed you as director for a film with a princely hero in main lead?
It is true that Ravindra Reddy garu signed me as director. This film also has a big hero in the main lead. I will also be making a film for my mentor Sagar very soon. He gave my livelihood and treated me like a son.

You seem to be going for big heroes after success of Yagam. How do you handle the demands you face?
When it comes to handling heroes, there is no difference in big and small. Each and every hero wants to act in a successful film. All directors start their venture with the intention of making a blockbuster. When our aim is to deliver a blockbuster, everybody tends to chip in one's suggestions. And if it helps in making the film better, I would not mind implementing them. I have positive attitude towards filmmaking and I am never driven by my ego. Hence I do not foresee any problem in handling big heroes.

If you got offers from prestigious banners, why are you doing a film for Ambika Arts which is relatively less known?
Ambika Krishna offered me a film after I made the flop of "Manasutho". I am a man with moral values. Hence I convinced other producers about this commitment.

What makes a director click?
I look into the story first. A good story must be told and presented in an interesting style with neat screenplay. The director should have complete grip on the proceedings of the film. He also should have complete knowledge on 24 crafts of filmmaking so that he could use the help of these crafts in an efficient way.

Which kinds of films do like?
I like films with lots of emotions. I like all Subhash Ghai's films as those films are driven by in-depth emotions.

You seem to be having bad taste when it comes to heroines?
I cast Aditi Govitrikar (Manasutho) and Sameera Benarjee (Yagnam) in the past. I will take care of this aspect for my future films.

When a director delivers a hit for a reputed banner, the producer is given more credit than director. Did you have a similar experience for Yagnam?
What you said is true. But after watching "Yagnam", one could see the signature of director in film's taking and narration. If 1st half is a complete class film, the second half turned out to be an out-and-out faction film. "Yagnam" has put a stop to all faction films. After "Yagnam", nobody would come forward to do faction films. Since the producers saw the work of the director, I was able to get so many offers. But at the same time, I cannot take the entire credit. The producer Pokuri Babu Rao has a fair share of credit in its success.

Yagnam is being remade in Tamil now with Satya Raj's son as hero.

People compare filmmaking to gambling. How do you respond to it?
How can you compare filmmaking to gambling? Filmmaking is a creative art that gives entertainment to the millions of people. Film stars became CM's of states. Filmmaking is a business that needs creative manpower. Every filmmaker wants to make good films, but fail in the process. It does not mean that filmmaking is gambling.

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