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Interview with Kiran Meegada
Date: 24 February 2012, Hyderabad

Two software engineers (Kiran Meegada and Arun Rudra) are making their debut as director-duo with My Heart Is Beating (MHIB). This film is all set to release on 24 February. Here are the excerpts of an exclusive interview with Kiran Meegada -

Tell us your background?
I am born and brought up in Hyderabad. I went to do post-graduation in Australia. Then I worked in India for 3 years before moving to USA. I had been working in USA for the past 12 years. My last assignment was of a project manager. I took a sabbatical from my work to do MHIB.

What made you to venture in to films?
I had been fascinated by films since childhood. I went to Talakona along with my parents in my 9th class. I came to know that Bobbili Raja was being shot in Talakona at that time. As my parents went for sight-seeing, I had gone to see the shooting. I mingled with the unit-members and spent the entire day. Only after a day’s shoot they realised that I don’t belong to the unit-members group and sent me back. I enjoyed the whole process of watching the shoot.

Though I am fascinated by movies, my responsibility towards family has kept me away from it. I have taken the break now, convinced my family members and ventured into film direction.

Do you have any film experience or film school education?
Though I didn’t have formal training, I assisted the film units of Sangamam, Swagatam and Chintakayala Ravi in USA in terms of logistics. I worked as an associate director for a Kannada film titled Ee Preethi. This entire film was shot in USA for 50 days by using RED camera. My experience in working for Ee Preethi has given be 100% confidence that I can direct a movie.

How did My Heart Is Beating happen?
It was all networking. Rudra got connected to me through a common friend. We have decided to jointly direct the movie. The basic story line is written by Rudra. We both had developed it, refined it and directed it. I would like to thank Rudra for believing in me. I had promised him that I would get a producer and I will make sure that it’s getting released. And I am happy that finally its happening on 24 February.

I have approached the producer Rajasekahr through networking and pitched the story. He liked it and came forward to produce. We have decided to pick entire cast and crew from USA so that we would not have any visa issues. Both hero and heroines are Telugu people living in USA. I have picked up hero Revanth after watching his youtube video. I cast heroine Rajitha through a casting call on internet. Since I have done logistics to three Telugu movies, I have identified key players and negotiated with them.

We have shot the movie in 42 working days and in the span between August and October 2011. We shot the entire film in a video camera and we had done lot of rehearsals before going to real shoot. We had a bound script before going into sets. Each and every cast/crew members were given a copy of bound script. We shot the movie in Red Epic camera with prime lenses. The quality is superior.

We didn’t have any hiccups in shoot. 80% of Telugu people in USA have passion for cinema. All Telugu associations and people extended lot of support to us in shoot.

What is the story of MHIB?
It is a story of two engineering students (Telugus) in USA. The movie explores how life crisscrosses between two people and inhibitions come in between to express their feelings. It also showcases the life of young Telugu people in America. It’s a universal story and it connects with all the people. We have at least one person from each family in AP studying/working in USA. This film shows the life style over there and how things happen.

Is it not difficult for two people to agree on a creative thing?
Our visions and wavelengths are same. Except for a couple of creative differences, we never had any problems. We kept movie above egoes.

What kind of support did you get from the producer?
MHIS was started as a small film. It is the producer who took it to the next level. Rajasekhar gave us complete freedom. He has arranged music launch in a grand way in which singer Chitra has rendered to a song. We have asked for 20 theaters and he has arranged over 60 theater release for MHIS and Sandhya 35mm is the main theater.

What is your gut feel about the film?
We are confident about MIHB finding favor with the movie lovers. We are anxious (not tense) about the release. We are given best compliments from the five censor board members who certified the movie. One said that he has seen a good Telugu movie after a long gap. Another member said that MHIB has shown USA for all the Telugu people in AP. They also told that movie has good music, rich visuals and smooth narration.

What are your future plans?
I have taken sabbatical from my regular work of project manager and tried my hand at direction with MHIB. I am planning to direct another movie soon. I would like to request all the readers of this interview not to encourage piracy. I never saw any piracy stuff on TV/Computer as a principle. Please watch MHIS in a theater and it’s worth all the money and efforts.

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