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Interview with Sai Korrapati
Date: 4 July, Hyderabad
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Sai Korrapati is a humble man and producer of virtue. Probably that could be the reason why Rajamouli has offered him to produce Eega. Here is an exclusive interview with Sai Korrapati -

I am basically from Bellary and I studied till 10th class. I know Hari Krishna Nandamuri very well. I knew NTR since he was a kid. Though Hari Krishna, I approached Nagarjuna for the rights of Seetaramaraju film. I did it along with my friends and it was my first distribution venture. My first big release was Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo. I was involved with distribution of over 50 films in Ceded (solo or with partnership). I got introduced to Rajamouli during the making of Yamadonga.

Rajamouli narrated me the concept of Eega during the making of Maryada Ramanna. He wanted to shoot this film in a shoe-string budget of 2 crores using digital technology. He treated Eega as a concept film and an experimental film. He wanted me to produce the movie and I gladly accepted it. I went to D Suresh Babu for infrastructural support and he agreed. Rajamouli said that he would start Eega as a follow up film only if Maryada Ramanna becomes a hit. If Maryada Ramanna fails at box office, Rajamouli would do a big film first then follow it up with Eega.

Fortunately Maryada Ramanna became a big hit and Rajamouli followed it up with Eega. The muhurat of Eega was held on 7 December 2010. At that time the budget estimate went up to 7 and half crores. The range and the craze of Eega started growing in multi-fold as the movie is being made. So was the budget. Now Eega is a 30-crore budget movie.

Title of Rajamouli’s debut film Student No.1 suits him perfectly. He is like a student who always try to learn new things. He listens to everybody with open mind and implements the suggestions of others if he see reasoning. MM Keeravani is a genius when it comes to music. He has given nice ideas to promote movie. He gave an extraordinary re-recording. It is the team work that helped Eega to create such a huge euphoria.

You have started as a small-time producer of a 2-crore film and ended up as a mega producer of 30 crore film?
I am very fortunate to have a director like Rajamouli for my first project. Rajamouli is a kind of director who thinks for a producer first. Rajamouli makes sure that the producer is pink in health irrespective of budget. I am comfortable and extremely happy with Eega.

If you look at numbers of the film, the satellite rights for Eega in Telugu were sold for 5 crores and 10 lacs to MAA TV (for a period of 15 years). They have already paid the entire amount. This doesn’t include internet, digital and DVD rights. The Tamil rights were sold for 5 crores to PVP Cinema. They have sold Tamil satellite for 3.5 crores and got a promotional space worth 1 crore in Sun network for free. PVP is very happy.

How did you manage such a huge finance?
To be frank, I am not a kind of guy who can afford to produce a 30-crore film. I have seen many producers borrowing money for a monthly interest of 4-5 rupees and then suffering at the time of release with lab letters. I decided that I will not give lab letter at any cost. I have managed to get money at 1 and half rupee monthly interest which is equivalent to the bank interest rate. D Suresh Babu helped me a lot. Lot of my friends also chipped in money. All this became possible because everybody have so much trust on Rajamouli and it proved right.

Did you sell Eega film?
I am releasing Eega on my own worldwide. I am releasing Eega through my friends and well-wishers. 14 Reels is distributing Eega for entire overseas. Suresh Productions, NV Prasad and Kranthi Pictures are releasing Eega in Nizam, Ceded and Uttarandhra respectively.

Eega generated buzz that is equivalent to any huge star?
Yes. That is due to the brand value of Rajamouli. We have many firsts to the credit of Eega. Eega is the first film to release in 120 centers in North India (with subtitles). Eega is the first film to release in 150 centers of Karnataka. Eega is the first film to release in 27 centers of West Godavari. In Ceded too, we are releasing Eega in highest number of centers. We are releasing the Malayalam version in 100 centers in Kerala. They have offered 90 lacs for the satellite of Eega Malayalam version. A big Hindi production house spoke to me about buying the Hindi version. The Bollywood version will be a 3D one and will be released for Christmas 2012.

What is the runtime of Eega?
The runtime is approximately 2 hours and 13 minutes.

What is the box office potential of Eega?
Sky is the limit. As a distributor I have observed that films like Simhadri, Magadheera, Dookudu and Gabbar Singh went on to become industry hits and they generated shares to the makers even after crossing 50 days. Eega could be one such film.

You have seen the final product. What is your gut feel?
I am basically a mass guy. I expected the Eega's revenge part to be good. After watching the movie, I realised that the love track between Nani and Samantha is as good as Eega's revenge part. This film will make you cry and make you laugh. There is romance. There is high voltage action without a single fight. A person like me will watch Eega for at least two times. Kids will watch it innumerable times. Eega will be a sure-shot hit. Range will be known in the first week.

Tell us about your other project Andala Rakshasi?
Andala Rakshasi was made with all new cast and crew member. Only three actors (Pragati, CVL and Narasimha Raju) are seniors. Dil Raju has liked the movie and negotiations are going on. We are going to release Andala Rakshasi through Dil Raju. I am showing the film to whoever asks for a screening. Dasari, Anil Sunkara and Ram Achanta have also seen the movie and liked it. All the cast and crew members have got further offers after the teaser of Andala Rakshasi is out. I am planning to release the movie on 10 August 2012.

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