tell us about your background in brief?
belong to a wealthy family. But all our properties vanished
by the time I entered 10th class. My father was a factionist
at a place near by Venkatagiri (a border place between Nellore
and Rayalaseema). I discontinued my studies after 10th class
and went to Chennai with a note of 10 rupees given by my
younger sister from Nellore.
reaching Chennai I worked as a service boy in an arrack
shop at Kannamma Peta. I used to sell Brandy and Arrack
out there. Later on I worked as supervisor in wine shops
maintained by Magunta Subbarami Reddy. I joined Jandhyala
garu and worked for Ananda Bhairavi film in direction department.
I worked with A Kodandarami Reddy for a film. I worked with
these esteemed directors in for livelihood. I guess 90%
of technicians in film industry work for livelihood. Only
10% of the people work for passion. I started working in
the film industry as a boy and that helped me gain knowledge
in all the departments.
on I joined Mani Ratnam in the middle of Agni Nakshatram
(Gharshana in Telugu). I worked full time for Mani Ratnam's
Geetanjali. Then I bought few flop films in other languages
at a very low price. I used to edit scenes in those films
and make them appear better and then dub them in Telugu.
Then I used to exhibit it to prospective buyers to sell
at reasonable rates. That's where I learnt a lot about editing.
produced a film in Kannada in 1995 and lost 1 and half crores.
I earned crores in industry and lost crores. I live for
movies and I get immense satisfaction working for films.
I worked as distributor in various areas and distributed
lots of films and finally I took up the production of Dil
followed by Andhrawala.
us about your association with Mani Rathnam?
I worked as an assistant for Mani Rathnam for films like
Geetanjali and Gharshana and I address him as 'Thalaiva'(Leader).
With his inspiration, I bought the remake rights of his
latest film and released it as 'Amrutha'. Though the film
failed at box office, it gave me immense feeling of owning
a film made by my most favorite director Mani Rathnam. He
has got terrific visual sense. Other directors can make
equally visually rich shots. But nobody can make them look
good with minimal resources and budget the way Mani Rathnam
does. I still remember one shot in Geetanjali film. The
camera hovering over misty hills of Ooty shot was actually
taken on a miniature set erected on a table. When they shot
that scene I asked PC Sreeram about it, and he replied me
to have a look at it when projected on big screen. After
sound mixing, the final effect is terrific and unbelievable.
started as a distributor for Mani Rathnam's 'Bombay' and
I did distribute all his films in Nizam since then. When
we were in depression after loosing money in 'Amrutha',
the films Aadi and Idiot changed our lives again.
Andhrawala film happened?
After watching Idiot film, I told Puri Jagan that if he
does a film with big star as hero, it would become a memorable
film. He said that he would do it, if things go well. When
I was making 'Dil', Kodali Nani used to visit my office.
He is like a pillar of support to me. He said that dates
of Tarak (NTR) are getting unused because a film which was
supposed to take off then was postponed. Then I prepared
a list of 10 directors to approach to. Then Nani suggested
that he would opt for Puri. I told Nani that I would approach
Puri Jagan and propose the project. I went to Puri Jagan's
office at 1 pm and gave the proposal. Puri Jagan said that
he is ok with it and if it goes well, this film would to
go floors in April 2003. I took NTR to Puri Jagan by 5 pm.
At 7 pm, we arranged a story sitting at Grand Kakatiya.
By 9 pm, the project and storyline were okayed. Till then
the name of the producer was not fixed. When I asked Puri
about the producer, he said that we would produce it jointly.
When I told Nani about it, he said that three of us would
do together. Later on, they said that I should do the film
independently as I had experience of both distribution and
production. I never expected that I would be making a film
with NTR as hero. That's how Andhrawala project happened.
big projects with big heroes go on for a long time in production.
But Andhrawala is done in a reasonable time with reasonable
budget. What's the reason?
Puri Jagan is known for his efficiency and budget control.
There are some scenes in "Andhrawala" which took
long time to shoot as they needed hordes of junior artists
and it involved high expenses. Hero NTR is simply extraordinary.
He extended his full co-operation to us.
is undoubtedly the hottest film on the circuit now because
it has NTR (who gave blockbuster Simhadri) and Puri Jagan
(who gave 4 consecutive hits). Don't you feel lucky?
Yes! Luckily, everything worked in favor of 'Andhrawala'.
Simhadri has taken NTR to the peak and the expectations
of movie lovers are pretty high on 'Andhrawala'. Though
I am 100% confident that it would reach the expectations
of crowds, still there is an iota of tension inside me.
Check out audio function... We wanted to have it as a small
function. But things added one by one and it went on to
become the biggest conglomeration of crowds in AP. Checkout
my desktop. I am having idlebrain.com Andhrawala audio photo
as my wallpaper. I did not generate any hype. It is built
in the people's mind in terms of huge expectations.
do you feel about the Press being not able to cover the
function because of the crowds?
I am extremely sorry for the inconvenience caused to press.
But I was also working very hard to make the function happen
in a proper style. I do not mean to hurt anybody. I do not
hurt anybody. I am a soft man by nature. I do have lots
of respect for press people. I have a photo of Arun Shoury
framed in my home.
am a gentleman and a hard worker. Transaction worth 20 crores
was done recently through my ABN Amro bank and not even
a single cheque bounced in it. The ABN Amro bank has given
gold medal for my clean record.
gossip is that you made a table profit of 5 crores on Andhrawala.
Is it true?
We deliberately sold Andhrawala at very reasonable prices.
We just hiked 5-10% of what Simhadri was sold at and made
Andhrawala business. After Andhrawala becomes a big hit,
we would be getting more and more profits. I want everybody
- from cycle stand boy to the distributor - to be happy
about Andhrawala film. We - me, NTR and Puri Jagan - made
a conscious decision to undersell the film with minimal
profits. There were many incidents in film industry where
the high profile films were sold at astronomical prices
and later on everybody involved in the line suffered terribly
for overselling the film.
the end of the day, what decides the fate of any film is
the revenue. If a theater with maximum capacity of 4 lakhs
gets a share of 3 lakhs, it's a 10-week film. If it collects
4 lakhs, it's a hit. If it collects 2 lakhs its an average
film. If it generates 1 lakh, its below average. If it generates
even less, it's a flop.
strategy for the distributors is that we sell them film
at reasonable prices, and they should recover their investment
in 3-4 weeks. That's the reason why I am releasing this
film on 1st January. We do not have opposition for the first
two weeks and for Sankranthi people would come to theaters
again to watch Andhrawala. Lots of people advised me to
release Andhrawala on 14th of Jan. But I wanted to have
a two weeks comfortable gap. I am inspired by the releasing
style of Suresh Productions (Rama Naidu and Suresh). They
do not release film along with other films. They make sure
that they do not have opposition when their films are releasing.
many prints are you going to release Andhrawala with?
Approximately 300 prints in 400+ theaters.
is the expected share of first week, if this film gets houseful
in all theaters?
In such case, it should be collecting a share of 10 crores.
This 10 crores would be distributed among exhibitor, distributor
did you split up with you partner Raju and left 'Sri Venkateswara
At one point of time, I realized that the decisions made
by me are hurting the egos of my partner. That's when I
decided that I should not lose friends because of the business
association. Hence I call it quits to partnership and we
decided to remain as good friends.
Puri Jagan and Kodali Nani came to know about it, they offered
Andhrawala project to me as a solo producer.
us about your film 'Sye' with Nitin as hero in the direction
of Raja Mouli?
I liked the student No.1 film a lot and was hugely impressed
by few scenes in that film. I choose a Tamil subject and
went to Raja Mouli and asked him if he could remake that
subject in Telugu. When I met him in person, I realized
my mistake. He is a genuine guy who comes up with his own
theme than following stories from other languages. He is
a complete movie freak who eats cinema and sleeps cinema.
He said that he does not want to do remakes. Then I asked
him to prepare a story by himself. He said yes, but insisted
that he should complete the project he is working for Raghavendra
Rao (he was planing to direct a folklore film titled Vijaya
Simha with Surya Prakash - Raghavendra Rao's son - as hero).
That film was dropped later and Raja Mouli took up Simhadri
project. Vijayendra Prasad - father of Raja Mouli who is
providing story for this film is an amazing personality
who is addicted to films. Raja Mouli said that he would
do a film for me after completing Simhadri and he said that
he would complete the story part first so that we could
fix on the hero depending upon the demands of the story.
I watched Simhadri in parts while the shooting was going
on and decided that it would become a sensational hit. I
made my friend from East Godari buy that film.
fixing the storyline, we decided to cast Nitin and Genelia
in the main leads. This film requires quite a few graphic
shots and we wanted to do them in Mumbai.
always have complete faith in my director's capabilities
and worthiness. 20 days of Sye shooting has been completed
so far. I have not gone to the sets. Raja Mouli recently
showed me the rushes and they are extremely good. And the
most important thing is that he shot a few scenes more than
what we have budgeted these 20 days for. The entire project
is being handled by Raja Mouli, Rama Devi (Mrs. Raja Mouli)
and Vijayendra Prasad. I am sending the cashier to the sets
on my behalf. I trust my director and he has trusts me.
I also firmly believe that success and failure of the film
depends on director.
Vinayak (Dil), Puri Jagan (Andhrawala) and SS Raja Mouli
(Sye) - all these three directors undoubtedly the top 3
contemporary directors. How are you able to set a project
each with these 3 directors?
liked 'Aadi' a lot after seeing few shots of the film while
the film is being made. Then I decided that VV Vinayak has
all the qualities to make it to the top league. I asked
for the dates of Vinayak during the under production of
Aadi. I was the first person to give Vinayak advance for
a film. After the release of Aadi, the project of Chennakesava
Reddy happened. After that Vinayak worked for 'Dil'.
watching the preview of 'Itlu Sravani Subramanyam', I wanted
to buy distribution rights for entire Andhra Pradesh at
a reasonable price. The producers quoted a very high price
and incidentally, they sold it for very low prices later.
I got a chance to watch Appu (Puri Jagan's Kannada film
which was remade into Telugu as 'Idiot) on its release day
in Bangalore. After seeing the film, I asked Puri Jagan
that I want to distribute 'Idiot' for entire AP. Since business
was complete for some of the areas, I took the rights for
rest of the areas and gave it to my friends.
did a terrific business. Idiot is an unforgettable blockbuster
for all the buyers. It gave 10 fold profits on investment.
I gave him 60 lakhs and the film collected more than 6 crores.
important is the money to you as a producer?
I firmly believe in one thing. Money cannot guarantee you
success. But success always produces money. That's why I
prefer trying to make my projects successful than concentrating
on how to make more money. Success not only gives wealth,
but also health.
got less profits in Dil. I am getting less profit in Andhrawala.
I am interested in making big money by accumulating small
amounts from various movies than cashing the craze once
at the cost of others livelihood. I am looking for a slow
and steady growth in long term than short-term gains.
am more interested in buying technical equipments and investing
back it into the industry than amassing personal wealth.
I am buying a 435 camera now. I would be adding avid editing
suit to my office.
are your future projects?
I am currently producing Sye. Later on I would be having
a film in the direction of VV Vinayak towards the end of
2004. I have a film each with Puri Jagan and Raja Mouli
you surf idlebrain.com?
Yes. I do it on daily basis. And sometimes my surfing habit
makes me keep awake till late nights. I own a computer at
home and office. I also own a laptop for mobility purpose.
Checkout my desktop
I am keeping Andhrawala
audio function photograph published by idlebrain.com
on my desktop. I have a high regard for idlebrain.com. Whoever
calls me up from abroad, they speak only about the news
that comes up on idlebrain.com! Even my daughter - who is
studying 6th standard - surfs idlebrain.com!