I asked Sravanti Ravi Kishore for an interview, he asked
me to come to Santhi Theater where the film Nuvvu Naaku Nachav
is running successfully. When I went there, I found an unlikely
ticket seller in the booking counter. Sravanti Ravi Kishore that
is! Even after producing the two of the biggest blockbusters in
Telugu film industry he is not a changed man. He still feels that
selling tickets in the counter helps in analyzing the crowds.
He is politely outspoken and very confident. He knew what he was
saying and he meant it. Here are the excerpts idlebrain.com's
interview with an exceptionally brilliant producer who has the
banner name as his surname.
Tell us about your background and your films
am basically a charted accountant. After completing my graduation,
I started a small business related to electronics. Then my friends
proposed me to make films. I never had any fancy for films. I
never used to read these film magazines. I took the film making
as a pure business. But, when I started making films, I fell in
love with them. My passion for films knew no bounds and I got
obsessed with cinema. My aim was to making good movies and at
the same time to be successful in this profession.
am thoroughly satisfied with my performance as the producer so
far. In the past six years, I have made seven films. It was a
second innings for me. I made Mavi Chiguru, Egire Pavurama,
Gilli Gajjalu, Manasaulo Maata, Pilla Nachindi, Nuvve Kavali
and Nuvvu Naaku Nachav. Mavi Chiguru, Egire Pavurama
and Gilli Gajjalu did do very well at box office. Manasulo
Mata has a very good story, though we failed to produce it
in an effective way. I take the credit for the failure of that
film. Pilla Nachindi was an average grosser and nobody
lost money by buying this film. And everybody knows about the
success range of Nuvve Kavali and Nuvvu Naaku Nachav.
You can't expect a better performance from any professional filmmaker.
used be associated with Vamsi in the beginning?
is a brilliant director. I started ladies tailor with him
and it proved to be a big hit. Then we did Maharshi together.
It was not a big success. Then we did 'Kanakamaha Lakshmi Dance
Troup'. After that we did 'Lingababu Love Story', which
is a bad movie. We all take the responsibility for the failures
my second innings, I started making films with SV Krishna Reddy.
I made three films with him. I might not have made continuous
films with any hero. But I had directors who did a bunch of films
for me. Producer has more association with technicians compared
to artists. Right from the conceiving of the subject to the release
of the film, we need to work closely where as for any hero, his
job ends at coming to the sets and act. That's how the rapport
gets developed among the technicians and the producer. I have
done a couple of films with Vijaya Bhaskar now. We will be making
many more like this.
used to have had Ilaya Raja as the music director in all the movies
till Jaitra Yatra. Is there any particular reason from
deviating from the maestro?
never wanted to deviate from Ilaya Raja. He is a great music director.
He used to give additional life to the movie with his background
music. The films like ladies tailor and maharshi had great background
music. I approached him for scoring music for 'Jaitra Yatra'.
He accepted the offer and took advance money. At a later point
of time, he refused to work for the film after coming to know
that this film is going to be directed by debutant Uppalapati
Narayana Rao. Ilaya Raja must have had some reasons.
that time Shiva was released and it was a blockbuster.
Ilaya Raja's contribution for the film in form of music is extraordinary.
But for Ramu's next film, he took Keeravani as the music director.
Ilaya Raja was hurt by this fact that debutant director Ramu used
Ilayaraja for Shiva and then dumped him for his next film.
Ilaya Raja might have had this apprehension that Uppalapati Narayana
Rao also would do the same after 'Jaitra Yatra'. Then I
requested Ilaya Raja to do the background score. But he could
not accept it. I think as a professional he could not have done
that to me. Nobody is dependent on anybody here. No one is indispensable.
We are playing the game of 'Survival of the fittest'.
on, I took SV Krishna Reddy as the director. He also scores music
for his films. I fixed Koti as the music director for 'Gilli
Gajjalu' film onwards.
us about the history behind your banner names Sravanti Arts and
Chandra Kiran movies?
is a story behind me keeping Sravanti as the banner name. I read
a novel 'Sravanthi' by Malladi Venkata Krishna Murthy. I am impressed
with the novel and the title. Hence I named my banner as Sravanti
Arts. I plan to do a television serial based on Sravanthi novel.
I am also planning to do another television serial based on Sri
Ramana's novel 'Mithunam'. I am planning to telecast them on the
festival days of Sankranthi and Ugadi.
shifted to another banner 'Chandra Kiran Movies' on the advice
of the siddanti (astrologer). As my name is having Ravi (sun),
Siddanti advised me to keep the banner name on moon (Chandra).
That's why I changed the name to 'Chandra Kiran Movies'.
is a story making rounds that your partners deserted you after
the flop of 'Pilla Nachindi'. Is that the reason why you
approached Ramoji Rao to produce 'Nuvve Kavali'?
I had partners in my films, it was me who put in all the money.
I was the person who was neck deep in the mess. We need a great
amount of money in promoting the film and I accumulated so many
losses over period of time that I could not afford a grandeur
promotion of any film I might make. That is the reason why I have
chosen Ramoji Rao as the producer.
also had an offer from Usha Kiron movies to act as an executive
producer for their films. Ten lakhs of rupees per film as an executive
producer is not a bad deal at all. On the top of it, I was given
very good percentage of the share on the movie 'Nuvve Kavali'.
I made a good amount of money with 'Nuvve Kavali'.
good thing about Nuvve Kavali is the team we had for it. All of
us are talented, but in a bad phase. We desperately needed to
prove ourselves. Koti is desperate to make a comeback as music
director. Suchitra was married and had a kid. She needs a comeback
vehicle. Vijaya Bhaskar did not get any offer after 'Swayam
varam' that can prove his ability. Trivikram Srinivas has
gone back to his hometown Bhimavaram. All of us have decided to
do something extraordinary to prove our capabilities. From the
beginning of the shooting, we never had any apprehensions about
the success of 'Nuvve Kavali'. At the same time, we never had
any inkling about the grandeur scale of the success we were going
the first copy came out, I told Bapineedu (manager of Usha Kiron
movies) that this is all we could do. You can't expect a better
performance within our capabilities. We have complete grip on
the proceedings of the film and the film never slipped out of
our control during the production stage.
is the reason behind choosing new heroines for your films?
we cast new heroines, there wont be any expectations or pressure
on the heroine. If I cast a seasoned heroine, then people have
different expectations for her. If we cast a new heroine, people
also watch the film to judge if the heroine is good or bad. As
they have zero expectations, the heroines fare well with their
debut. New heroines also add freshness to the film.
the heroines I had selected proved to be successful expect for
Mahima Chowdary. It was a bad attempt on my part to select her.
I think the heroes Jagapati Babu and Srikanth are also not the
right choices for that film. In retrospect, I opine that I should
have gone for a new cast.
subject of Manasanta Nuvve is very close to me. I always repent
for spoiling such a good subject by delivering it as a bad film.
Raj Kapoor used to think that he spoiled the good subject of 'Mera
Naam Joker' by not making it the way it should have been made.
You may forget the feeling of success of one film after you get
another success. But the failure of potentially good subject haunts
you though out the life.
Maharshi was a good story. We could not handle it properly.
The bollywood guys have taught us a lesson by making 'Darr',
with the same story line, after 13 years and making it a blockbuster.
I had a little salvage from that movie. The tune 'Kallalloki
Kallu Petti Choodavenduku' (listen
to Nuvve Kavali songs) from that film was adapted into 'Nuvve
Kavali' and that song was a huge success.
Jaitra Yatra was a good subject. Sometimes, we get carries
way. I think we tries to imitate the trend of the 'Shiva'
films in that era. Jaitra Yatra was a fast paced film. We could
have mellowed it down.
suggestion to the producers
want to advise the producer to stall the project and cancel it
if he comes to know that the film is not shaping up well. All
the producers must realize that we have nothing to lose when we
don't make a movie. It is the technician or an artist who loses.
If technicians/artists don't work now, their future may go haywire.
It is the producer who is keeping capital in the film. He should
be a proud man. A producer must have ego and should be confident.
He should not bow his head to any hero or director. If he were
not there, no director or hero does survive.
you have any bitter experience, which evoked you to give that
advice to the fellow producers?
I made a film
called Rowdy Mogudu. At one stage, we stalled the film.
By then, I invested around Rs. 25 lacks, which is a huge amount.
I wanted to recover that money by completing the production though
I was aware the movie was not shaping well. At the end I ended
up spending another 25 lakhs. We should never throw good money
to chase bad money. By doing so, I lost ten years of past and
I pledged 10 years of my future. I was repaying my debt incurred
through that film till the year 2000. That single mistake has
made a severe dent in my professional life.
I learnt something
from a statement given by Mani Ratnam. That is - 'you can never
survive here if you want to be a Godfather to somebody'. If you
have a friend, give him money or buy him a car. But never bring
him in to the industry by making him a hero of director so that
you can play the role of godfather. Never club the professional
life into friendship. It will bring you down.
about what hurdles you have gone though at the time of Nuvvu
Naaku Nachav release?
is a vicious place. You can never survive here unless you have
confidence on yourself and your product.
I always had
confidence on Nuvvu Naaku Nachav. But after I have shown
the preview to the industry people, they started offering free
suggestions. There is no point in offering free suggestions if
the film is going to be released in 24 hours. If I had any confidence
on you, I will call you during the scripting time and take your
inputs. I had a heated argument/quarrel with a closest friend/producer
of mine over 'Nuvvu Naaku Nachav'. He gave me suggestions out
of his concern. But by doing so, you are only getting things worse
for me. I sincerely request all the people not to offer free advices
about the film, when it was about to get released. It only heightens
the tension of the producer.
Only 20% of
the producers here are genuine professional producers. Rest of
them is attracted to the industry by the glitter and glamour it
offers. These producers do not have passion for the movies.
I would like
to tell you about my director Vijaya Bhaskar. He studied in the
Korukonda Sainik Public School. He worked for Indian Air forces.
He did not work as an assistant director for long time. But he
was obsessed to the movies since his childhood and watched them
the business range of Nuvvu Naaku Nachav?
It will collect
a share of 18 crores in the long run.
the audio sales of this film?
I can't tell
you the exact figure as most of the cassettes released are done
with the combinations (click
here to listen the songs of Nuvvu Naaku Nachav). So if a cassette
is sold we are not sure, if people bought it for Nuvvu Naaku
Nachav or the other film. But Nuvve Kavali has sold
around 12 lakhs of audiocassettes(click
here to listen the songs of Nuvve Kavali).
your next ventures?
I am going
to do a movie in the direction of Trivikram Srinivas. It will
go on floors in February 2002. I plan to release that film sometime
in July 2002. We are working on the script now. The cast would
be finalized once the script is ready. The next film to be started
would be directed by Vijaya Bhaskar again. Myself, Vijaya Bhaskar
and Trivikram Srinivas would jointly produce that film.
big hero approach you to make a film for him after the release
of Nuvve Kavali and Nuvvu Naaku Nachav?
It does not
happen in our Telugu film industry. No big Telugu hero approached
me to make a film for him.
done films with lots of heroes. Would you like to mention anything
special for any particular hero?
Venky is the
best of the heroes I have worked so far. He is more compatible
than any other hero I worked. He only looks into his work on the
sets. He is not bothered about other people and producer. It was
very informal shoot with Venky for 'Nuvvu Naaku Nachav'. He is
probably one of the very few heroes who do not have identity crisis.
Most of the other heroes have got identity crisis. They always
observe how other people are treating them and respecting them.
I feel sympathetic towards them.
in this film industry is effervescent. One day it could be Ram
Gopal Varma and the other day it could be Raghavendra Rao. One
Day it could be Kalyan and the other day it could be Tarun.
did you like in the recent releases (other then your own films)?
I watch very
less number of movies. The latest film I have seen is 'Manasanta
Nuvve'. Music for that film is extraordinary. Seetarama sastry
wrote excellent lyrics (click
here to listen the songs of Manasanta Nuvve').
Seetarama Sastry to hike his remuneration by two fold. 40% of
the success of the music in a film should go to the lyrics. I
think the Telugu film industry should treat the technicians better.
Why are the producers willing to pay Uday Kiran 40 lakhs? Why
can't they pay the same amount to RP Patnaik or Seeta Rama Sastry?
The credit of the movie success should go more to the technicians
than to the hero/heroine. The technicians are the real heroes
of the film.
spots Gundu Hanumantha Rao on a railway platform, people recognize
him and greet him. But how many people recognize Seetarama Sastry,
the noble poet?
you compensate technicians in your movies?
I don't want
to reveal the monitory terms. But they are compensated with much
more remuneration than what they are paid for other films of same
contribution by the other producers. I also have long-term relationship
with my technicians. Sirivennela has written 80% of the songs
in my films. Suchitra is the regular choreographer for my films.
Koti is a regular music director for my films now. Srikar Prasad
is my regular editor.
have any suggestion to the visitors of idlebrain.com who want
to enter the Telugu movie production?
to industry by looking at the glitter. If you have conviction,
compassion and obsession in films, then only you can survive.
I don't visit
Internet very frequently. But I make it a point to visit idlebrain.com
whenever I surf. It has got very good content and is frequently
updated. I am also impressed the way '50
days function of Nuvvu Naaku Nachav' was covered with in 2
hours after the function.
Ravi Kishore's filmography:
Tokala Pitta (dubbed)
Kanaka Mahalakshmi Dance Troop
Chal Gurram (dubbed)
Babu Love Story