February 15, 2006
Tell us about your background and how you got Asadhyudu project?
My native place is Eemani near Tenali. I got addicted to films right in the childhood because of a video parlor in our neighborhood. I used to watch all the films playing there uninterruptedly. After completion of 10th class I wanted to join films or film related courses. My parents objected and I completed B Com in Tenali. I came to Hyderabad in search of opportunities in film direction after completing B Com. I got introducer to Kalyani Venkatesh who produced Sampangi film. He was going to produce a film titled Mandaram at that time. He offered me a job in production as there was no vacancy in direction department. I also did a full length character in that film. Unfortunately that film did not see the day of light. After that I wanted to do any course on filmmaking. I went to my uncle’s place in Mumbai. I joined a film course and after 4 months I had to withdraw from it as my finances were not good enough. I got introduced a director called Nair. I worked for him for an year for a Bollywood film. My stint in Mumbai gave me an opportunity in learning the practicalities of filmmaking.
That is when I prepared Asadhyudu script. I saw a promo of Kalyan Ram’s Toli Choopulone before going to Mumbai and I liked Kalyan Ram. By the time I returned both of his films flopped at box office. I thought that it was right time to prove myself as director as well. I met somebody from Kalyan Ram’s office and they told me that Kalyan Ram is doing a film in the direction of Surender Reddy. I was disappointed. Then I improvised my scripts and narrated them to various heroes as per their strengths. During that time Medikonda Murali Krishna shown interest in making a Kannada film with Puneet Raj Kumar. They liked the story and promised to do a film. But Puneet’s dates were not available till January next year. When I returned to Hyderabad, Valluripally Ramesh asked me if I were interested in narrating a story to Kalyan Ram. I narrated the story to Kalyan Ram in one and half hour and then he immediately accepted to make me the director of his next film. He liked the treatment aspect in the script.
What is Asadhyudu film all about?
Kalyan Ram’s character in this film is a cool-headed student who leads peaceful life with his family and friends. Due to certain unintentional mistake of hero, somebody’s life gets affected. The rest of the film is all about how a normal student raises to the status of Asadhyudu by helping the entire society.
Screenplay of the film too is pretty different. Hero’s thread run in Vizag and villain’s thread runs in Hyderabad. The interesting aspect of the screenplay is about how these two threads clash with each other in an unexpected style.
There are three shocking twists in the second half. It appears fresh to me even when I watch it repeatedly.
What are the strengths of Asadhyudu?
Everybody tend to compare Asadhyudu with Athanokkade film. But there is no relevance between Asadhyudu and Athanokkade. Audience will get surprised over Kalyan Ram doing this kind of character.
We also concentrated more on technical aspects. At the same time, we made sure that the technique did not dominate the story. The rain fight that comes before interval is dealt really well. We shot the fight in 16mm so that the output comes in 500 fps (frames per second). Even if we use ARRI 435 camera, we cannot get more than 150 fps. By using 16mm, we got ample frames per second which made the ramping shots used in that fight appear pretty different and beautiful.
Vikram Dharma’s train episode in Narasimha Naidu is the highlight of train fights so far. After that we did not see any train fights that are as good as that of Narasimha Naidu. The train fight in Asadhyudu is going to be another trendsetter. Fight master Vikram Dharma is so receptive that he listens to everybody’s suggestions.
Tell us about the songs in Asadhyudu?
There are seven songs in this film out of which only 3 are duets. Remaining four songs are situational songs. We sat with Chakri for more than 1 month for music sittings. Hero Kalyan Ram and producer Ramesh have very good music tastes. Here is description of songs -
||It is a melody song that stood out to be the chartbuster. We shot this song on the lead pair in Austria.
||Everybody okayed this song in the first listening. We shot this song in Dubai on the lead pair.
||This is a mass song shot in Araku valley. Ashok Raj composed steps.
||This is hero’s introduction song.
||This song is my personal favorite in terms of visuals. Choreographer Vithal from Mumbai choreographed this song shot in western style.
||Ram Ram Ramude
||It is a montage song that shows the fights between hero and villain.
||This song comes as lead song to climax and is shot on crowds who want hero to win over villain. Its more exiting to see it on the screen than listening on the audiotape.
How is it like working with Kalyan Ram?
It is a boon to work with Kalyan Ram for every first time director. As an actor he is terrific. I was amazed at his performance in the climax of the film where he faces the villain. Kalyan Ram did pretty good comedy in the first half.
Tell us about other actors?
Ravi Kale - a Marathi actor from Ram Gopal Varma’s school - is acting as villain. Vinayak (a Malayalam actor) did brother of Ravi Kale. Both these actors gave tremendous performance. Charan Raj played another important role.
Do you shoot the film as per the scenic order?
Shooting a film as per the scenic order affects adversely on budget. But we planned it well enough to make the film in a comfortable way.
How much of film negative did you expose?
There are no waste shots and we did not delete a single scene in the editing time. The total negative exposed for this film is 1.05 lakh feet. The final version of the film came to 12,500 feet. I am very happy because editor Gowtam Raju complimented us that we shot the film in a style that is useful for the editor.
All of us have the habit of commenting directors by watching all the films on the day one. Are you feeling nervous because your film is releasing?
I used to comment a lot on films. But recently stopped commenting on films and started doing positive analysis on films. I have seen the finished product for many number of times in the editing and never got bored.
Most of the films attempted by first time directors are failing at box office. What do you think are the reasons?
In the past, the assistant directors had to wait for at least 10 years to become a director. It is very easy to become a director now. But most of the directors these days do not work on story for much time. I worked on the script of Asadhyudu for 3 years. My script got matured in these days and treatment and characterizations got much better.
Who are your favorite actors?
All my family members are fans of Nandamuri heroes. They are happy because my first film has a Nandamuri hero in it. I am a huge fan of Krishna since childhood. I did not like my name Anil Kumar and changed it to Anil Krishna while enrolling into elementary school. It was a thrilling to experience to be called as Krishna, though my parents apposed it.
Who are your favorite directors?
It was Ram Gopal Varma’s Shiva that influenced me to become a director. Ram Gopal Varma’s technical excellence spell bounded me. I also like the films of Alfred Hitchcock for the suspense he creates. Even Asadhyudu film has certain suspense elements in screenplay. Among the present directors, I like the characterization aspect in Puri Jagan’s films. I also like Surender Reddy’s direction.
What are your favorite films?
Mahanadi (Kamal Hassan) and Sirivennela (K Viswanath) are my all time favorite films. In commercial films I like Shiva and Narasimha Naidu.
Are you single?
No. I got married on 28th of May 2005, after which I got this project of Asadhyudu.
What are your future projects?
There are a few projects in the pipeline. But I will confirm it only after the release of Asadhyudu. I want to be in this film industry for a longtime. I will not commit any projects without a solid script in hand.
Do you want to say anything to the visitors of idlebrain.com?
I have read many interviews of various directors in idlebrain and always dreamt that I would give one someday. I am happy that I achieved it.
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