I am born in Raghudevapuram village (near Rajahmundry)
and completed my schooling in LPS, Guntur. I did my
plus one and plus two in Chennai. After plus two I
wanted to go to film school, but my parents made sure
that I complete my degree in Hyderabad by 1990.
always wanted to direct a film. Since I need some
solid financial backup, I worked in a couple of lines
of business which gave me decent money. I was even
willing to produce the film myself if I don't get
did not work as assistant to any director. Is it a
When one makes a film, one should know the following
two things -
How to narrate a story
The above two qualities coupled with the exposure
of watching many films would be sufficient to become
a director. I developed my directorial skills by watching
lots of films. If you are interested in certain thing,
it automatically comes to you.
don't believe in working as assistant director?
The assistant directors end up utterly wasting their
time by doing clerical work. Assistant directors don't
contribute much to the creative work. They end up
doing work like noting down continuity reports and
editing reports. In stead of working as assistant
director, one can sit at home and watch films on cable
TV. If you watch movies made by legends repeatedly,
you would gain more experience than any assistant
director gets by working for years.
about learning practical stuff and technical aspects
You take a DVD and watch it once as an audience. The
next time you watch it, keep it in mute mode. And
try to concentrate on scenes and how director conceived
them. By doing so, you would develop a knack at it.
If you want to learn it practically, you may go to
set. And for entire day, they would end up shooting
a couple scenes. It is waste of time to go to sets
to learn direction.
inspires you as a debutant director without any practical
KV Reddy, Bapu, Ram Gopal Varma, Nagesh Kukunoor and
All these people made it without any practical experience.
I feel that it is necessary to have good academic
heard about a project a couple of years back with
you as director. What happened to it?
I narrated the subject to Kunduru Ramana Reddy. At
that time he felt that the film's budget was too high.
He asked me to prepare another story. Meanwhile, my
friend Lagadapati Sridhar asked me to narrate a story.
I narrated the story of Modati Cinema. He okayed it.
But his plans have changed after that. I returned
to Ramana Reddy and that is how Modati Cinema happened.
us about Modati Cinema?
Modati Cinema is a love story with lots of entertainment
stuffed in. 80% of the films that are releasing these
days are love stories. I tried to make this love story
different from others with unique presentation. Like
any other love stories, this film too has problems
which main leads had to solve. In addition to it,
fate plays a vital role in this film. There are certain
things which are beyond your thinking that play a
major influence in your life. Sometimes, unbelievable
things happen. We can attribute it to the aspect of
fate combined with human effort.
us about technical team of Modati Cinema?
I know Sirivennela for the past 10 years. I directed
a music album called 'New Sense' and he wrote lyrics.
Sirivennela was impressed with me and promised me
that he would pen lyrics for my first film. And he
is the man of words. He listened to the story and
worked out of his way to pen lyrics for songs in this
film. He is the highest paid lyricist in Telugu film
industry. He charges more not to earn money but to
make sure that he works only for limited and passionate
filmmakers. He had to say no to two films because
he worked overtime for Modati Cinema. He is a perfectionist
and would not get satisfied till he reaches the standards
he set for himself. He wrote more than 30 versions
for Ninnaina song before arriving at the final version.
Reddy: Sameer Reddy is a close buddy of me.
I know him from my childhood days in Rajahmundry.
I am very comfortable with Sameer Reddy. He is a terrific
cinematographer. His specialty lies in shooting sky.
He is a sky freak. He works very fast too. Generally
artists are sensitive people with fluctuating temperament.
When we shoot a scene, we go for master shots (wide
long range shots) and close-ups. And between these
shots, its takes hell lot of time to get the lighting
perfectly. In that gap, the mood/emotion of the artist
changes. It's very hard for them to get back on the
same mood. Sameer works so fast that the time taken
for these gaps is minimal. He is very confident of
his work, yet not arrogant.
Prasad: Srikar Prasad is unarguably one of the
best film editors in the entire India. He won national
award for his editing 5 times. It was an enlightening
experience to work with him. He is ultra fast when
it comes to working on avid monitors. He is like a
magician at work. The final version has come to 2:45
hrs. He trimmed the film by 17 minutes by just trimming
the frames without deleting any scene. Each second
consists of 24 frames. Imagine how many frames he
deleted to trim 17 minutes of the film. That shows
his precision and experience at the art of film editing.
And he did it all by keeping the RR (rerecording)
length in sync.
Lyricist Surendra Krishna introduced me to Swaraj.
He came to me with a guitar and his own lyrics. The
moment I listened to his tunes, I selected him as
the music director instantly. I gave him good budget
and lots of freedom. He went to Kerala, Chennai and
Mumbai to select instrument players and singers. And
finally came up with extraordinary tunes for Modati
about the lead pair?
Navadeep would go places. He is already signed in
half a dozen of films. He is an intelligent artist
and a street smart guy. Poonam has already got craze.
She is signed in a couple of project even before the
release of her first film.
is the number of working days?
We went to shoot with the bound script. And it took
59 days. We never had any re-shoots.
many prints are you releasing the film with?
is your suggestion to the youngsters who want to make
films without any experience?
Since idlebrain.com is very much frequented by NRIs,
I would like to suggest the director wannabes among
NRIs to not to look for safely and leave it all to
come here and make films. You should follow your dreams.
Direction is not different from doing any software
program. All it needs is commonsense and passion.
You should also have story telling ability and clarity.
Anybody with adequate education qualification with
the above qualities can become a director.
Rasool Ellore (Cinematographer & Director)
SS Rajamouli (Director)
Sameer Reddy (Cinematographer)
Marthand K Venkatesh
Sayaji Shinde (Villain)
Gowri Mumjal (Heroine)
MS Raju (Producer)