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Chitchat with Manyam Ramesh
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Manyam Ramesh who earlier was associated with Anjana Productions and was the executive producer from for Gudumba Shankar has launched his own banner Manyam Entertainments and is producing his first film 10- The Strangers. In an interview with Idlebrain he talks a little about the movie and a little about himself -

18th April 2005

Tell us about your background?
I was working for Anjana Productions as an executive producer right from Bavagaru Bagunara to Gudumba Shankar. I had an experience of around 10 years in production. I am also a relative (brother in law) of Naga Babu.

How did 10 - The Strangers come into being?
The director Rajesh Touchriver who had earlier made a film "In the name of Buddha" is a close friend of mine. He has worked in the art department for our film Bavagaru Bagunara and he told me this script. As he is a student of London school of Drama and has been actively into arts, he used to tell me different kind of scripts. During which time he told me a small story line and after Gudumba Shankar I was free and we worked on the script of this film.

What can an audience expect from this film?
It is a Tantrik thriller and has a lot of suspense in the story line. It is basically a story of 10 different kinds of strangers coming together on a rainy night at a resort on the outskirts of the town and then the story picks up pace. One by one the people keep getting bumped off and it is a basic, 'Who did it?' kind of a movie.

The story line of the film sounds very similar to an English film Identity and recently released Hindi film Khamoshh…?
Actually even Khamoshh has drawn its inspiration from an English film called Identity. We have taken an English play as an inspiration, which was taken as base for Identity film.

Would nativity be a problem for the film?
No, it is a very simple thriller and suspense oriented film. The story is about a psychotic killer. We have taken the necessary precautions related to nativity problems.

Is it true that the film is going to be released in other languages and not only in Telugu?
Yes the film will be released in more than one language. It is being made in Telugu, Tamil and Hindi. But it will be released in Telugu first and on April 29. Then we will release the other versions. In Telugu we are releasing with just 15-20 prints that is because we are planning to cater mostly to the multi-plex kind of crowds.

What is the budget of the film?
People will not believe even if I told them, the film was complete with a budget of Rs. 45 Lakhs and that includes the film in all the three languages. So comparing it with Khamoshh.. would be wrong as that film was made with a big budget of Rs. 7-8 Crores.

Who is the star cast of 10 - The strangers?
That is the best part of the film except for Nagbabu as a criminal, Nasar as a Psychiatrist and Brahmaji, the remaining cast is strangers. Jyothirmayee - an award winning actress from Malayalam - is also doing a crucial role.

Wasn't Ashish Vidyarthi supposed to do the role played by Nasar?
Yes, that is right but due to some problems with the dates we were unable to take him. But Nasar is one of the finest actors that we have so there was no trouble in taking him.

How long did the shooting of the film take place and where was done?
The whole film was shot in just 21 days and it was shot mostly in Rock Castle, Hyderabad in night times. The whole film is going to last for just under two hours.

How could you manage with a film in three languages with such a low budget?
We never went back on the technical values of the film. They are just as good as the remaining films. We were able to cut down on costs, as there are no big stars except a few mentioned earlier. And we suck to the script as it was; we went into shooting with the whole script prepared and ready for action. And as the stars were only small actors we got them to rehearse a few days before shooting, so most of the scenes were single takes and that saved a lot on raw film. And hence a low budget film.

How was it working with the director?
When he told me the story it sounded very simple and dull, but when he brought it onto celluloid it turned out to be something that I had not expected. His style of narration is totally different and we had a problem as he is basically a malyali and language was a barrier. Listening to the script of his earlier film also I was impressed by him.

How about the music of the film?
There is only one song in the film and Subi Francis who has earlier worked on a few private albums has provided the music for it. The background score was provided by Rajamani who had earlier worked for "In the name of Buddha". Background is the main feel of the film and provides for the suspense in the film.

What are your future plans?
Nothing much I am sticking with Anjana Productions and we will be doing a film with Allu Arjun and Puri Jaganath as the director. We have been discussing this for a long time but Puri is busy with Nagarjuna's film and it will be complete by May end and then in June this film will start. This film would be the next venture of Allu Arjun after Bunny.

Wasn't Anjana productions planning a film with Chiranjeevi and Puri Jagan?
Yes for a long time we were planning a film with Puri Jagan. The first time around we were not able to fix up a good story and the next time Chiranjeevi was busy with another movie so the idea was put aside for a few days. This has been going on for a long time and we will most probably do it some time in the near future.

What is your preference in films? Which would like to produce more small or big films?
I like all kind of movie, let them be comedies, thrillers, suspense or what ever. And personally I prefer to make small films because this gives the producer a lot of control over the whole process of production. All the money spent in one day can be easily accounted for.

- Jeevi & Aditya

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