Radha Krishna Jagarlamudi (Krish Jagar) debut film Gamyam is being appreciated by everybody. And collections are picking up with good mouth publicity. Idlebrain.com met this educated filmmaker Krish to do the postmortem of the film. Krish is straight forward and a honest man. Read yourself about the postmorten of Gamyam -
A brief background of yours and how the Gamyam script happened?
I did my graduation in pharmacy and went to USA to complete Masters in Computers. I came back to India in 2002 with a sole purpose of becoming a filmmaker. But my parents does not want me to get into the film industry. Hence I told them that I am coming back to do business. I started an overseas education consultancy firm called ‘First Counsel’. And luckily it picked up became one of the prominent consultanting firms in India. I worked over it for one and half year and put it on auto pilot so that I could pursue my dream of making films. I also worked as an assistant for Rasool’s directorial debut ‘Okarikokaru’.
I went to Mumbai to do research for a Hindi project called ‘But India Divided’ to be produced by Aswini Dutt. It is a period film based on Mahatma Gandhi and Nathuram Godse. I traveled all over Maha Rashtra to meet people and do research on Godse. I met Gopal Godse (Nathuram’s brother) in Pune.
During that time I traveled in a car. I used to communicate very easily with my driver. I was impressed his outlook and how he looks at the life. I observed that both of us have different perspective and orientation towards anything, yet it made both of us agree with each other. When I went to Sholapur, we stopped. I rented a room and penned a story of two people with different outlook traveling together. That is the basis of the film ‘Gamyam’. I wanted to make that film in Hindi as ‘Aaj Jeeyenge’. I wanted the story to start in Delhi and travel through Bihar and end the film with the climax in Chattisghad.
That is when Swapna Dutt (daughter of Aswini Dutt) called me and asked me if I had any script for a small budget film. I prepared many story ideas by then. I narrated this plot with two guys traveling the entire landscape of AP.
During that time, K Raghavendra Rao summoned me to prepare a script called ‘Yuva Sainyam’ which deals about 3 NRI youngsters guys coming back to AP to do something radical. That is when I met Gandham Nagaraju - Nandi award winning theater writer. We prepared the script and it was put on hold because it needs heavy investment.
I narrated the Gamyam project to Swapna and we fixed on the working title of ’Siddhardha’ as the basic story is about redemption of the hero through journey like that of Siddhardha. I took writer Gandham Nagaraju to a remote place one day to imbibe him with my script and my ideas for a day. We together developed the script and wrote screen play.
I narrated the script to Kannan, my family members, Sandeep Gunnam, Prakash and K Raghavendra Rao and tested the potentiality of it.
When we took the script to Sirivennela, he grilled us for seven times for seven versions.
On the night of Gunnam Gangaraju’s Amma Cheppindi release, I narrated the script to him. Urmila Gunnam supported me and Gangaraju grilled me about the loopholes in the script. It was Gangaraju’s questions that helped me to perfect the climax of the film and I prepared the 8th version of the script and Sirivennela is impressed with the 8th version. He gave one of the best lyrics of his life time for this film. And he did it without charging a penny.
By then i decided that i should produce the film on my own because things are getting delayed..
Allari Naresh is the only guy who could do Gaali Seenu character. I considered one/two guys before zeroing on Sharwanand. When I asked Kamalinee to sign the project, she quoted a higher remuneration. We went for other options and then returned to Kamalinee again. Rao Ramesh (son of Rao Gopal Rao) has been our family friend and I promised him a role and gave the role of the ex naxalite and he did fabulous job. He is getting rave reviews about his performance.
Inspirations for the characters:
1. Gaali Seenu (Allari Naresh): The car driver in Maharashtra is the inspiration for Gaali Seenu character. I am an introvert and he is an extrovert. Both of us have different outlooks, yet could agree with each other.
2. Giribabu character: I know an elderly person called Purna Chandra Rao who runs a charity organization called NICE (Needy Illiterate Children Education). He earns a little salary and puts everything on charity. He has 60 children surviving on him. He is such a noble character. Giribabu’s character is inspired by Purnachandra Rao.
3. Brahmanandam: I saw a guy saying that ‘labham ledandi. Batakatam kastame’ at an accident spot. He does not want to help the injured by carrying him to hospital, but turns to others and do all sorts of comments. There are many such cynical characters in our society.
4. Dampudu Lakshmi: I got inspired by original incidents happened in Narasa Rao Pet and Kotappa Konda.
The films starts with an accident and it acts as an emotional hook to the audiences. They carefully follow our narration to know what caused the accident. I like this style of spaced out flashback format and most of my scripts are dealt in the same way.
Inspirations to the storyline:
The basic inspiration for Gamyam is a Hollywood flick called Easy Rider (1969). It is a well made, buddy and vibrant film. Motor Cycle Diaries too has inspired me. But there is a book titled ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance’ in which the author describe the similarities between between maintaining a motorcycle and maintaining a good life style. It is about a 17-day motorcycle journey across the United States. I also read a book on Goutam Buddha. All these films and books helped me in making Gamyam. I only took the above mentioned sources as the premise, but I scripted original moments and scenes in the film.
Siddhardha was the working title of the film. We considered several titles. But we finalized on Galipatam and Gamyam. I liked the title Galipatam better because Galipatam do fly against the wind and it has a tail (Gaali Seenu character) which helps in gliding and taking directions. There is a saying that ‘manishi edagaalante galipatamlaa edureedali’. But we fixed on the title Gamyam. Though the film is about journey, the journey itself is the destination (gamaname nee gamyamaithe).
Gali Seenu and Jagapati Babu in Anthapuram:
Some people are saying that there are similarities between Gaali Seenu and Jagapati Babu in Anthapuram. But I created Gaali Seenu character to make Abhiram to look at the world through the lenses of Gaali Seenu. It is to give Abhiram a new way of looking at the rustic world around. Even if there is a similarity it is purely unintentional.
There is a dialogue in the film which says traveling in a car is like watching a scenery on TV by sitting in a a/c room. Traveling in bike is like experience the real world. Abhiram is the guy who travels in car. Gaali Seenu is the one who travels in bike. So Gaali Seenu character helped Abhiram by showing the real world through a bike journey.
Tell us four best scenes in the film according to you?
1. Abhiram giving money to Gaali Seenu and saying ‘Bike ammina intha kanna ekkuva raadu kada’.
2. Interval block
3. Recording dance scene (the way Allari Naresh looks at the dancer after beating the bad men)
4. The forest episode. Four perspectives on Naxalism (Naxalite, ex naxalite, poor man, rich man)
5. Climax shot (lead pair meeting at railway station)
Which aspect of the film you could have done better?
I would have done the love story between the lead pair better.
Reason for acting as the Naxal leader in the film?
We were shooting that episode in Rampachodavaram. We called and asked around 15 leading character artists to do it and everybody was busy. It was the fight masters Ram - Lakshman who suggested that I could do the role. I was sporting a big beard and long flowing hair and a bandana. And it suited me. I styled myself into Che Guevara get-up as I am a biggest fan of him. It did that character because I had no option left.
Is it difficult to make a road film?
We had two bikes and the entire AP landscape to cover. The flashback episode happens in Hyderabad (Nizam). The journey starts in Rayala Seema, travels through Andhra and ends in Uttarandhra. I also made sure that local people who met these guys are authentic in terms of looks and diction. Hari Anumolu’s experience is a huge help to us. He asked me to concentrate on telling the story first without bothering about technical details like framing etc. Hari Anumolu worked as cinematographer for many successful directors’ (Rajamouli, Trivikram, Vamsi, Seenu Vytla, Vikraman etc) debut. His work for this film is an asset.
I shot the film is 57 working days and exposed over 78000 feet of negative. The runtime of the film is 2 hour and 8 minutes. Hardly there was any wastage.
Since it is a road film, I wanted cover all the regions of AP. And the locations were liked by everybody. Since I was born and brought up in Guntur, I had great childhood memories about Amaravathi. And a part of the film was shot at Amaravathi and I was very nostalgic. The temple, huge idols of Buddha and Anjaneya Swamy are impressive. Rampachodavaram forests are also well exploited. I am awed by the Relangi railway station neat Tanuku. The climax scene is shot over there. I feel that after casting the most important aspect for any film is choosing the right locations.
Proficiency in Telugu:
My grandfather used to make me write down the editorial of Eenadu paper everyday so that I could improve my Telugu. And I was fond of reading books and newspapers since childhood. My book reading habit helped my in writing scripts and conceiving scenes.
How is the feedback for your film?
Excellent. It is getting unanimous positive talk from everywhere. All the people in film industry are owning the film and trying to promote it. TV9 and TV5 are willing to help and promote it aggressively as they liked it immensely. Writer Gopi Chand write a short review in the form of sms and circulated it. That message spread like wildfire. The first houseful of the film happened at Sakuntala, Vijayawada.
What is the best compliment you got about the film?
We went to Devi 70 on the night of Sunday. After watching the film I heard somebody commenting ‘ee naakodukevaro gaani pustakaalu tega chadivaadura. Manishante evoro bhale cheppaadu.’
After watching the film censor members asked me to promote it aggressively as there is lot of potential in the film to become a blockbuster.
What is your marital status?
I am single and ready to mingle.
What are your favorite movies?
My all time favorite film is ‘Jis Desh Main Ganga Behti Hain’. This film has a social message told in an entertaining way.
What are you favorite books?
Alchemist, Kite Runner, Fountainhead, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, stories of Tilak.
Can you suggest some books for wannabe directors?
I strongly recommend reading books of Tilak like Amrutham Kurisina Rathri, Voori Chivara Illu, Nalajarla Roddu etc. I am hugely influenced by Tilak’s works. I try to make films in Tilak style.
Any suggestions to wannabe filmmakers?
If you are from USA, believe in yourself. Nobody is going to believe you and people try to discourage you.
If you are from India, you should read as many books as possible and indulge in literature before venturing into the film industry.
Happy Days by Sekhar Kammula
Godavari by Sekhar Kammula
Bommarillu by Bhaskar
Chatrapati by SS Rajamouli
Anukokunda Oka Roju by Chandra
Manmadhuru by Vijaya Bhaskar
Santosham by Dasarath
Jayam by Teja.