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Chitchat with Nagarjuna Akkineni
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Mohit Ahlawat

September 25, 2006

Nagarjuna’s Boss is all set to release on 27th of September with approximately 260 prints. Boss obtained clean U certificate too. Nagarjuna met with scribes for chitchat about Boss and other relevant issues. Here are the excerpts -

Boss links
Overseas schedules

Tell us about the Boss?
Boss is ready for the release and I am very confident about the film. I watched the film day before yesterday. I am very happy with the music and entertainment of the film. Music is really beautiful after the mixing is over. Boss is a nice, clean and general entertainment film. Boss is a breezy entertainer with the light moments. There is comedy and entertainment evolving out of each and every character including villain played by Sayaji Shinde.

Manmadhudu film catered exceedingly well to elite audience and did not entertain rural audience that much. Nenunnanu catered to masses a lot and could not get the same kind of appreciation from elite crowds. Santosham catered to all kinds of audiences. Where do you place Boss compared to the films I mentioned above?
We picked it on Santosham and made it more commercial. Boss is going to be better than Santosham and will cater to all kinds of audiences.

Which songs are your favorite ones in Boss?
Nachinde Chesey is my favorite song as liked the lyrics a lot. I really liked ‘Andagadu’ song which is nice and spicy.

Why did you use three music directors for this film?
Kalyani Malik did 5 songs. Harry Anand did Nachinde Chesey and Jeele Jeele. Anoop did background score. All of them came up with great work. It is very natural that more than a music director working for a film. Now these details are coming out because media is fast in getting information these days. Anoop scored background music for Santosham film too. But nobody noticed it at that time.

We have also done remix version of two songs in Boss. We will be adding those two remixed songs in next CD bunch which will be launched after the film is released.

What is the reaction of censor board members after watching Boss?
Boss got clean U certificate from Censor Board. You must have got some inside report from censor board by now about how the film is.

Are you planning a big release for Boss?
Yes. Boss is going to be biggest release among my films. Boss will be releasing around 260 prints.

Do you think it is healthy to flood the market with so many number of prints?
We have no choice. Communication is so fast and piracy is rampant. Government has bigger issues with higher priority than video piracy.

Some of the producers are saying that beta tapes of films are going out from studios and labs even before the release. These beta tapes are going into the hands of pirates.
Some of the people might be getting 5000 or 6000 rupees as salary. If somebody offers them 20,000 it is very easy do stuff like these. Some people are offering around 10,000 for photographs. My editor’s assistant came to me said that somebody offered him some amount if he gives the beta tapes of entire songs in Boss. My editor’s assistant is loyal to me and he notified me about it. Piracy might happen in editing rooms, recording theaters and ad commercial cutting studios.

A big producer is making a film by spending 10 crores. Why can’t he have editing suite and infrastructural facilities at his office so that the technicians can come to production office and do their job?
We have to do it that way. I could control piracy on Boss because Annapurna studios is in my control. I can’t control piracy when we send out our work to other labs and Mumbai. Piracy is a huge problem. But we need to send our work to various labs and cities to get postproduction done and a slip-up could happen anywhere.

Don’t you think increased ticket fare give adverse affect?
The last place where these ticket hike system introduced was Andhra Pradesh. I was in Singapore shooting for a song in Boss. I went to ‘Pirates of Caribbean’ (part 2) in a multiplex over there. They have flexible pricing system. They change the prices as per the demand and talk of the film. The ticket prices vary from show to show. They were showing 55 shows of the same film a day in that particular 10-screen multiplex. The increased rate system in AP is helping films of big heroes generate huge openings irrespective of the talk. If we release our film with less number of prints, the pirated VCDs are in the market by the second week. Piracy kills theatrical exhibition.

Tell us about fights in Boss?
The opening fight of the film is fantastic. It is very stylish at the same time realistic. We lose realism when we choreograph stylish fights. I did the whole fight without even one dupe shot. I was surprised at the outcome. I phoned action director Vijay and complimented him for the realistic composition. Climax fight is very small, yet completely realistic. Second fight also get over in no time.

How important is Nayana Tara’s character in Boss?
Nayana Tara’s character in Boss is as important as that of Shriya’s character in Nenunnanu. Boss film opens on Nayana Tara. Her character travels along with that of mine throughout the film. There is an ego clash between us too.

Nayana Tara seem to have reduced her weight for Boss?
She is a very good professional. She was present on first day’s shoot and observed the things. Then she went back worked on her diet. She also requested for my photo Cds of Super and Mass. That shows that she is thoroughly professional.

What is the secret of your success (post Santosham)?
I cannot pinpoint and tell about any aspect. I watch films for general entertainment. Watching a film should be like a family outing. I have been trying deliver such kinds of films these days.

What are the recent films you accepted instantly after listening to the story?
Santosham and Mass. Dasarath came to me as a story writer and narrated me the script. I liked it and asked him to direct the film. He took two days to take the decision of directing Santosham.

What is your contribution in creative aspects of your films?
I tell them if I like a scene or not. I would ask them to come up with an alternative. I don’t go into creative aspects and suggest them how the scene should be conceived.

Tell us about the producer Siva Prasad Reddy?
Boss is the result of good teamwork. Everybody (producer, director, cinematographer and editor) sat together and discussed about it from the script level. That is the reason why Boss came out so well.

Editor Marthand K Venkatesh told me that he would give honest feedback to you without any hesitation?
Yes. There are instances where I re-shot certain scenes of my films because he suggested some changes. He is a senior editor with lot of experience. I believe in experience.

You seem to be involving more in films that are released in the past five years?
Yes. We worked together for my recent films. Even if you take good films like Geetanjali, Shiva, Hello Brother, Allari Alludu, Ninne Pelladatha etc, I made sure that we are sat together and discussed about the film. I don’t involve myself in films directed by K Raghavendra Rao because I respect his experience a lot.

Tell us about your involvement now?
I believe that if hero involves in discussions and listens to what a technician says, everybody in the team gets inspired and there will more free flow of ideas. I participate in the discussions to facilitate the free communication among the team members.

People think that I take off on Sundays to relax. But I use Sundays to discuss with team members about the progress of the film. We review the week’s work on that day.

I also insist that we should not shoot continuously. I give a few days break after 15 days of continuous shoot so that the unit members can recharge their batteries. Lot of people think that I give 5 days break because I am lazy.

This is your seventh film with D Siva Prasad Reddy. You two share an enviable hero - producer relationship?
Yes. I might do another seven films with him.

Tell us about your next film Don?
Don titled is registered by somebody else (a dubbing film producer). The more media writes about the Don title, the concerned producer will demand a higher price to title transfer. ML Kumar Chowdary will produce the film. This film might be launched in the month of December 2006. Lawrence narrated me this story when he was directing Style.

You are taking two months break after Boss?
Yes. We planned it such a way that Lawrence’s film will be released for summer 2007.

What about Sekhar Kammula's film?
The discussions are going on. He will narrate the story after Boss is released.

There is an article in newspapers that many producers did not pay VAT when they sold satellite rights of their films to TV channels?
It is in court now. VAT makes us pay tax two time. VAT is supposed to be a single point tax.

When is Naga Chaitanya making his debut?
He is young now. He is just 20. He is doing the final year of B. Com now.

He went to ‘Creating Characters’ in Mumbai?
He went to some classes in Creating Characters (Mumbai) recently. He expressed his interest in acting. I want him to complete the degree as it is necessary for any profession he chooses. He will complete degree by March 2007. Later on we will decide about it. I will be the most proudest and happiest father to announce the launch of my son when its decided.


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