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Interview with Priyadarshini Ram
Date: July 12, 2007, Hyderabad
priyadarshini ram

Priyadarshini Ram is a well-known advertising personality in Hyderabad with loads of talent. An actor, director, anchor and a political analyst, his directorial debut Manodu got good critical appreciation though it failed to make the cash registers ringing. He is coming up with another film titled Toss with Raja, Upendra, Priyamani and Kamna Jetmalani in the main leads. met Ram at his office for a detailed interview. Here are the excerpts -

A brief background:
I was born in Tenali. I did my education in Bhilai, Delhi and Hyderabad. I passed out from Nizam college in 1980 and then got admission in to Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, but could not pursue the course since I had to stay with my mother here. I was the sole anchor of the family as my father died when I was 13. I always had a flair for writing and I used to write a lot during my college days. My inclination towards creative writing got me into the field of advertising. I used to think that all I needed was creativity to be in advertising arena. I then realized later that advertising is a science and it needs professional learning. I learnt about it while working at it. I got a major break when I got an assignment to do advertising campaigns nationwide for acclaimed national political leaders in various languages.

My company got an acquisition offer by multinational advertising agency Grey America. But could not accept it because they wanted to shift the base to Mumbai. I could not go because my mom needs me.

How is the potential of Hyderabad for advertising agencies?
I lost out two golden opportunity because I preferred my work location to be Hyderabad. And our advertising capital of India had always been Mumbai. All big companies prefer Mumbai. Hence the ad agencies in Hyderabad are left out with services and government contracts.

What is advertising?
Advertising is about creating perception just like our newspapers. What we get in newspapers today is not news, but opinions to influence the common men. Perception is the reality.

In advertising you convey the whole essence in few seconds where as in film you need a 2-½ hour duration. How different is it to make an ad from making a film?
The focus is clear in advertisement and it is easier to convey it. But while making the movie, we need to sustain the interest for the whole two and half hours which is an extremely difficult task. Shakespeare devised a 3-act technique while writing plays. The same three 3 act technique is being used in Hollywood flicks. The act 1, act 2 and act 3 focuses on introduction, conflict and resolution respectively. While making my films I lay greater emphasis on conflict aspect as it acts as the bridge between introduction and resolution.

Why did you enter into film industry?
There is something called seven year itch. I got this 7-year-itch after a couple of decades later. I earned enough money in advertising field and completed 27 years. I wanted to satisfy the creative urge and passion for cinema. That is the reason why I made Manodu film.

What is the genesis of Manodu film?
I am very friendly with the autowallhas who prefer parking their vehicles in front of my house. I never complain and we share good rapport. One of these autowallhas has a mother who is dumb and a physically handicapped brother. Still he works hard in a legal way to make his ends meet. But some of the youngsters in their teens prefer illegal ways to earn quick money. These youngsters problems are nothing compared to what this autowala has. I took that as the basic plot and made a film out of it by spending 40 lakhs.

What is your latest film Toss is all about?
A coin has two sides. One is heads which shows the lions that represent the Indian code of justice. The other side 'tails' speak about personal justice. When you are harassed by the person, you have two options to react. One is to report to the police - 'the heads way'. The other one is to attack the one who harassed you - 'the tails way'. Raja represents one side (legal justice) and Upendra represents the other side (personal justice). The story of toss is all about the conflict between these two guys. Heads represents the people who apply mind, and tails represent the people who apply their heart.

What is the basic storyline of the film?
The basic story is simple and thin. I will represent in Telugu words …


How different will Toss be from Manodu?
Manodu was a socially relevant personal film where as Toss is about personally relevant social film.

Tell about the narration aspect?
I edited Toss film myself. I used a different narrative style. It helped me in clarity aspect because I knew how I was going to edit while shooting the film.

At the age of 50, you still look pretty young. How do you achieve it?
I workout a lot.

What is your next project?
It is going to be a film and I will announce it later.

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