formation of story:
wanted to make a film with Prabhas as hero. The main driving
force behind the selection of story is to completely exploit
the mass images of Prabhas, which was never exploited totally
in any of his previous films. We had been having this story
point of mother-son sentiment for the past ten years. We had
to add super-hero image to the hero's character. I have chosen
the typical Telugu commercial cinema format that has been
found by my guru K Raghavendra Rao. I added other ingredients
to fit into the format.
have prepared the script with Prabhas in mind. After finalizing
the script, we started the process of casting as per the demand
of characterization. Fortunately, for this film I could pick
up the right people for the right characters. Though, I cast
established actors for most of the characters, the following
three people would standout in the newcomers department -
Jha: I first screen-tested him for the role of Bikshu
Yadav for Sye film. Since, that role needs a man with physically
terrifying screen presence, his body language did not suit
that character. But there is tremendous intensity in his appearance.
And he suited the character of Baji Rao perfectly. That is
an ultimate egoistic character.
Prabhas's height is 6' 2". We needed somebody whose height
is more than 6' 2" for the character of Katraj. I screen
tested many guys and rejected them all. Then it suddenly stuck
to me that Supreet could be the right choice. Supreet acted
as one of 10 goons who stand behind Pradeep Rawat in Sye.
He went through rigorous fitness training for 4 months and
he gained 8 kgs of weight. He is also a fine actor and he
worked really hard.
Sekhar acted in all my films, but never got noticed. But this
film would give a break to him. He has the rugged feel to
his body language. He acted as a friend of Prabhas in this
film. His normal accent is of pure Telangana type and we worked
hard to make him speak Vizag dialect. He did it with finesse.
I personally like him and he is a very sincere guy.
would also like to given special mention to Shafi who already
got very good identity with Khadgam film
He jelled well with the character. He never over-dramatized
it. He has got a peculiar voice. Initially we wanted to have
his voice dubbed by some dubbing artist. Then I found his
voice to fall in rhythm with his characterization. Hence,
we decided to use his voice.
(Photography): Senthil worked for my earlier film Sye
also. For Sye, I guided him and explained how I wanted the
shots. But for Chatrapati, I gave him the script and complete
freedom. To total credit of whatever you see on screen in
terms of visuals should go to Senthil. Let me explain the
shot of mud water splashing in pre-interval fight. It was
done in night effect. And in order to get such clear images
of splashes of water, we need high intense light. We took
huge iron frame and fixed as many lights as possible and on
the top we placed a white sheet to get soft light effect.
We mounted the lights on a 180 feet industrial crane and canned
(Music): Keeravani gave excellent background music to
lift the mood of the film. Some people might say that songs
of this film are not as good as the songs he scored for my
earlier films. But the fact is that all songs of Keeravani
act like slow poison. It takes time to spread the good word
around. Generally we need a gap of 30 days between audio and
movie release in order for the music to penetrate. We had
only 14 days of gap.
department: My father Vijayendra Prasad gave story and
Ratnam gave dialogues. His dialogues for my earlier films
were very powerful. But in this film we chose to have fewer
dialogues for hero. There is only one scene where we needed
powerful dialogues. That is in before the interval episode.
He came up with a very powerful mass dialogue. I find the
dialogue of 'Ottesi Oka Mata. Ottu Veyakunda Oka Mata Cheppanamma'
is the most valuable contribution of my father Vijayendra
Prasad to the script.
(Art director): Ravindra is a new addition to my team.
He came up with most natural refugees colony set in Vizag
port area. I exploited it a lot in the film. Unfortunately,
director gets credit for the hard work done by technicians.
Likewise, hero gets credit for the hard work done by the director.
Hain (Fights): Devil and Demon are the right words to
describe him. Whenever our guys look at a good shot, they
have the habit of saying that it is in Hollywood range. I
do laugh at those kinds of comments. We are far behind Hollywood
standards. But I can confidently say that Peter Hain is one
technician who works for regular commercial films in India
who has the talent to make it to Hollywood. He also uses rope
work to a minimal level. He makes the artist stretch to maximum
limit then he places the additional weight on the strings.
Production: 7 months
Post production: 1 month
Since preproduction laps up with production and production
laps up with post production, the total time to make this
film is 10 months.
used to feel proud that I am best at graphics and handling
of technical aspects. But the Shark episode in Chatrapati
introduction fight made me fall flat on my face. It was a
huge challenge. Still I am proud of attempting it. I realize
now that the major mistake I did was to miscalculate the time
required to do those graphics. I thought 3 months of time
was enough to do it. But the Firefly guys could not get it
right. There are 3 main components in that episode
board (I failed in this aspect)
2. Animation (Firefly guys did amazing work)
3. Giving under-water feel (Firefly could not handle it)
Firefly guys handled the animation part of the Shark in a
very high standard, but could not create the right under-water
shark fight references were there in the following scenes
as well. Hence if we delete that fight, there would be broken
links. Hence I have decided to fix it up. We are still working
over it. I am putting money from my own pocket for all the
graphics expenses for this episode which are being done after
the release of film. We will replace the old graphics with
new graphics once they are ready.
am really confident that my future films would have much more
complex graphics scenes and I am going to handle them with
of the film:
exposed 1.6 lakhs feet worth footage for this film. The final
cut is of 15000 ft.
name appears as Shriya Saran. Did Shriya request to publish
it that way?
idea is it to have the parody of Aparichitudu?
The idea of Aparichitudu is mine. It was Kannan (story department)
who gave idea of punch after Aparichitudu parody.
didn't you develop the love thread between Prabhas and Shriya?
Let me be honest with you, I have never completely done justice
to the love threads in all my films. I realized that I am
missing something on it while in the middle of production.
I also need more footage for developing the love thread. I
need to work on establishing love thread properly in my future
you think there are really refugees in Vizag who migrated
from Srilanka? Did you do any research prior to taking up
The story in this film is fictional. I have never done any
research on this aspect. Bur if we read newspapers, there
are refugees in every part of this country. For example, my
grandfathers are basically Telugus who settled in Rangoon.
They had to return due to political pressure at Rangoon. They
returned to West Bengal by traveling on foot. Then they returned
to Hyderabad. So I could personally connect myself with the
credited your wife name Rama Rajamouli for Styling department.
What exactly does the Styling mean?
She looks into the finer and minute aspects of characterizations
and how the characters behave. It's more of an assistant director's
job. She also handles the costumes department.
heard that you took active interest in production of Sye and
When a movie fails, it is the director who is blamed. I think
every director should make sure that a film is produced in
such a way that it is economically viable. I keep constant
watch on budget figures on weekly basis. If it's going over-budget
I control expenses in order to bring it down. Filmmaking should
be made an economically viable business.
do you think are the best shots in this film?
crossing the line drawn by Supreet
2. Prabhas dragging the body of Narendra Jha into the office
What are the best close-up shots?
Look of Prabhas when he presses the legs of Supreet
2. Look of Supreet when Prabhas presses his legs. (these
two shots are continuous)
I got good actors for all roles in this film. Hence I decided
to exploit the histrionics of actors with slow movements of
camera closing on their faces. If you observe closely there
are neither ramping shots nor camera gimmicks when actors
blind woman episode inspired by Sholay?
No. I perceived it on my own. I used to feel proud about that
scene. When I narrated this scene to Gangaraju Gunnam during
production stage, he said that it resembles Sholay film. After
that conversation, I stopped feeling proud about that scene.
That episode is planned for a 3-day shoot. But due to poor
light, it took 7 days.
half is mass oriented and second half is sentiment oriented.
Why didn't you balance these two halves?
Priya tells the story of Chatrapati to Prabhas when he was
a kid. As per the wish of his mother, he becomes Chatrapati
who is adored by lakhs of people. But in turn his mother hates
him. The first half is about how he got back his mother. The
story should be narrated in that way to get the desired result.
was an adrenal rush and high tempo for interval episode, but
the same was not repeated for climax?
I underestimated the effect of pre-interval scenes. They were
received more vibrantly than I imagined. Hence the expectations
soar high for second half. I think it would take a week for
the normal crowds to get in. Let the initial wave subside.
In my opinion, it is the second half that is going to give
long run for this film.
projected Chatrapati as man of the masses who work for others
without looking for personal benefits. But in the 'tenders'
scene of second half, he ignores his Chatrapati duty and runs
away for his mother. How do you justify it?
It is like choosing between mother and mother's words. He
ignores mother's words for the safety of his mother. I tried
to create a kind of emotional lock. That is where the emotional
graph goes down. We need to down the graph a bit so that we
can raise the emotions in the scene that followed.
you delete any good scenes due to length problem?
There is another comedy episode by Venu Madhav. I felt that
it was little vulgar.
2. There is another scene of Kota in a bath tub. It is a
very good scene, but it tampers with the flow of narration.
3. Jaya Prakash attending the housewarming ceremony. It
is a very good scene. I am planning to add it in 4-5 days
of time in all theaters.
Which scenes did you think did not turn up as you expected?
Shark scene for which I gave an explanation.
2. The Shafi characterization should have been done better
after he became a rich man.
3. I am not satisfied with any of the stories I worked so
far (from Student No. 1 to Chatrapati)
If you were not completely satisfied with story, why do
you take up projects?
There is no end to perfection. I do not want others (producer
and technicians) to suffer financially and work-wise due to
the extra time I take for story. There are certain deadlines
to be followed practically.
incidents while shooting the film
The first scene of gag reel. Where the boat tilts and Sekhar's
head is drowned.
2. The scene in which wig of Venu Madhav flies. The cameraman
Senthil could not control his laughter and the camera shook
as he laughed uncontrollably. You can observe the shaking
of camera if you have a closer look at it.
3. While picturising the gala gala song, we arranged bombs
in the back where they blast colorful chamkis. We
told Prabhas and Shriya in advance that bomb would blow
and once the chamki's reach certain position, they
should start dancing. Prabhas placed ear muffs. Shriya did
not bother to cover her ears with muffs. When blast took
place, she went so blank due to sound that she started walking
out of the set as if she forgotten everything. Prabhas had
to go to her and bring her back into camera field just in
Trade facts of all my films
(plus producer retained Krishna + EG rights)
Above figures are given by SS Rajamouli. These figures
Sye film, i paid back a part of my remuneration since it went
described K Raghavendra Rao as your guru. Can you elaborate?
Raghavendra Rao means a lot to me. If I say I learnt direction
from him, it would be an understatement. The relationship
we share is not only just professional. On my birthday, I
would touch the feet of my parents first and then my brother
Keeravani next. Then I would go to K Raghavendra Rao and touch
his feet. When I was directing his TV serials, I needed one
lakh rupees to send my mother to USA on medical issues. I
was taking remuneration of 2000 per one TV episode from K
Raghavendra Rao. I went and asked him for 1 lakh. He asked
me to take it from the accounts department without even asking
why I need that money.
Anukokunda Oka Roju by Chandra
Manmadhuru by Vijaya Bhaskar
Santosham by Dasarath
Jayam by Teja.