Your Gateway
usa special
hyd scene
You are at Home > Celebs > Interview > Shyam, SP Entertainment
Interview with Shyam, SP Entertainments by Jeevi
Date: 14th April 2001Venue: SP Entertainments, Hyd
Other Interviews
Karunakaran (Director)
Sri (Music Director)
Gudipoodi Srihari(Film Critic)
SJ Surya(Director)
AM Ratnam(Producer)
Tammareddy Bharadwaja(Producer n Director)
Jayant C Paranji(Director)
Kodi Rama Krishna(Director)
Chakri (JD Chakravarthy)(Hero)
Ramana Gogula(Music Director)
Naga Babu(Producer n Actor)


These four friends from Dharwad engineering college did reunion for a single cause. Their goal is not to make money by gambling in films. They wanted to make the lifetime ambition of their friend Venu to become a hero a reality. They formed SP Entertainments banner. Shaym, the man with money power, is the producer. Sai and Prabhu are the strategists. And Venu is the hero.

They launched this lanky hero Venu with 'Swayamvaram' and established him as a hero to reckon with through Chirunavvuto. SP Entertainments banner has taken a director Vijaya Bhaskar who has given a flop 10 years back in the form of 'Prardhana' and made movie 'Swayamvaram'. He went to on to prove again with 'Nuvve Kavali'. SP Entertainments launched G Ram Prasad as director with 'Chiru Navvuto'. He is doing a film with Balayya for Balaji arts now. has met Shyam, the supreme of SP Entertainments on 14th April 2001 to find out the recipe for success in movie production.

Tell us how SP Entertainments banner was born?

I was never interested in watching or making films. Venu wanted to become a hero. He went to Chennai and tried with different directors and producers for a role. He got an offer in a Bharati Raja film. But it was stalled after a shooting of 3 days. Then we floated SP Entertainments to make Venu a hero.

Tell us about the making of your first film 'Swayam Varam'?

We were very confidant of our project right from the beginning. But people used to give us false impression about the trade circle. They used to say that if a movie runs for a couple of weeks, you would get all your investment back for a small budget film. That's the wrong attitude. But, our objective was different. The goal of SP Entertainments was to launch Venu as a successful hero. This company is formed for Venu and would continue to do films only for Venu.

We decided that Venu couldn't be launched as an action hero. We determined to get a good soft subject with variety point. As we are new comers, the audiences expect nothing from us. Hence, if we come up with a good film, they are going to like it. G Ram Prasad was the first choice for the film 'Swayam Varam'. But, he has taken advance for the film 'Samarasimha Reddy' by that time. We could not wait, till he is freed from Samarasimha Reddy project. He did suggest the name of Vijaya Bhaskar. Vijaya Bhaskar is also another assistant director of B Gopal.

We were very confident about the film till the release date was announced. We paid all the cast and crew the entire amount much prior to the release of the film. But everybody was laughing on our back saying that we are making a low budget film when the industry is in doldrums.

After seeing the first copy, we were satisfied with it. We knew that we had a winner in our hands. The next step is to create curiosity among the viewers by giving good publicity. Buyers are willing to buy this film, but at a cheap rate as if they are doing a charity to us. Thanks to Dr. Rama Naidu garu. He came forward to distribute the film on a commission basis. Ultimately, we released the film on our own through Suresh movie distributors. Even the money for print and publicity cost came from our own pockets.

Three days prior to the film's release, the tension mounted to the peak level. People started asking us a genuine question - 'Why should a viewer come to theater and watch your film?'. I was angry and upset at that time for being asked such a question. But, in retrospect, that's a very good question every moviemaker should ask himself before venturing into a new project.

If you look at the scenario today, all the small budget films are opening with 20% crowds and if the movie is bad, a termination letter would be given in a week. We did a lot of publicity to the film and created awareness about 'Swayamvaram'.

The movie Swayamvaram was released, finally. We went to Kanaka Durga Temple in Vijayawada and then watched the morning show at Vinoda Theater, Vijayawada. The theater was full and the response by the crowds was amazing.

Even in places like Cuddappah, Swayamvaram got very good talk. It went for housefuls for the first 28 shows in Cuddappah. It was supposed to give a way to a Narayana Murthy film next week. But the exhibitor continued 'Swayamvaram' in that cinema hall. Dr. Rama Naidu called me up a day after the release to congratulate for the excellent publicity and told that he never dreamt of Swayamvaram getting such an openings.

Hence, Swayamvaram started a trend of small-budget films with new faces and new banners. Lots of people were jobless in the industry at that time. After the success of 'Swayamvaram', shooting of lots of small-budget films was flagged off. Since there are more films under production, the Industry people could get more work. Films like Chitram, Nuvve Kavali, Bachelors, 6 Teens are started after seeing success of 'Swayamvaram'.

Swayamvaram was successful both from critic's point of view and in the commercial sense. It got three Nandi awards. Venu got the best new comer Nandi award. Chitra got the best female singer award. Vandemataram has got the best music director award.

Why did you choose Laya as heroine?

We wanted a girl with pure Telugu nativity. Laya was the first and last choice for the role.

She did her own dubbing in 'Preminchu' and it sound good! Why did you use a dubbing artist for her voice in Swayamvaram?

She is a kid. She just finished her 1st year of intermediate at that time. Her voice suited the role of blind girl in Preminchu, as there is lot of innocence in her voice.

Did you face competition from other films for Swayam varam and Chiru Navvuto?

Swayamvaram was released with 14 prints and then went on for 35 prints. It had a slight set back because of Chiranjeevi's Iddaru Mitrulu in the second week. But it again picked up from 3rd week onwards to become a 100 days film.

For Chiru Navvuto, the biggest threat of the film is 'Nuvve Kavali'. This film was released 35 days after the Nuvve Kavali release. At that time Nuvve Kavali was in its strongest position. Everybody wanted to see one and only film. 'Nuvve Kavali', that is. All other average films are flopping because of Nuvve Kavali. If film has to become success, it should be a better fare than Nuvve Kavali. Chirunavvuto withstood the onslaught of Nuvve Kavali and went on to become a silver jubilee film. There is no single negative comment on this film. Chiru Navvuto would have become a biggest hit, if Nuvve Kavali were not there.

Tell us about Ram Prasad?

He belongs to Guntur area. He finished his schooling in Guntur and college in Tenali. He came to Madras in 1988, as he wanted to become a film director. He joined as an assistant to B Gopal for the film 'Aswardhama' (Krishna). From that film onwards, he assisted B Gopal on all his films till Samara Simha Reddy. It's very unusual for any assistant director to stick to one director for a long stint of 10 years. He joined as first assistant (lowermost cadre) in 'Aswardhama' and rose to the level of 'Co-director' for Samarasimha Reddy.

We met Ram Prasad for the first time when he was assisting B Gopal for the film 'Gang Master' in the year 1996. He is a hard worker and a very sincere guy. His experience helped us in the making of 'Chiru Navvuto'. He worked without an assistant for that film most of the times. I give all the credit for the success of the film to G Ram Prasad for his direction.

Don't you think Trivikram Srinivas has done an excellent work as story and dialogue writer of 'Chiru Navvuto'?

That's true. He was never satisfied with his work. He used to rewrite all the scenes to perfection. At the same time, we cant single out Trivikram and say that he has only done a good job. Other technicians too have done great work. Mani Sharma music is an asset to the film.

But Chirunavvuto songs have not become as popular as Swayamvaram. What's is the reason?

However good the music is, with out good lyrics, the songs would not become very popular with the crowds. They need catchy simple lyrics to hum. 'Keeravani Ragamlo' song of 'Swayamvaram' became very popular because of catchy lyrics. Mani Sharma done great work for 'Chirunavvuto'. But the songs could not become popular, because of not-so-catchy lyrics. Mani Sharma got a filmfare award for this music in Chirunavvuto. Mani Sharma's music is so impressive that he was taken as the music director for the Tamil and Kannada version of Chiru Navvuto.

What is return on investment for Chiru Navvuto?

The budget for Chirunavvuto was a little over 2 crores and it collected a share of 5 crores.

Tell us about your future ventures?

We have three films in the pipeline. G Ram Prasad would direct the first one. It will start once he completes his film with Balayya under production now. Next we will have another film directed by Vijaya Bhaskar (of Swayam Varam and Nuvve Navali) fame, who would direct our venture after his film 'Nuvvu Naaku Nachav' with Venky was released. Then we will have Trivikram Srinivas directing a film. All these films will have Venu as hero.

Interviewed by Jeevi
Other Interviews
Gudipoodi Srihari
SJ Surya
AM Ratnam
Tammareddy Bharadwaja
Jayant C Paranji
Kodi Rama Krishna
Chakri (JD Chakravarthy)
Ramana Gogula
Naga Babu
emailabout usprivacy policycopy rightsidle stuff