Nagendra Kumar Vepuri believes that producers can cut costs if they know procedures and don’t depend on help from middlemen

It’s not everyday that a person passionate about movies ends up analysing them enough to theorise or penning down the nitty-gritty of the processes involved in making movies. Nagendra Kumar Vepuri is a film buff who believes that passion alone will not help a filmmaker or actor, knowledge of how to go about scripting a story, directing, acting and producing will. Filmmakers would also benefit if they approached film-financing avenues and sought support from networks in the industry, he thinks. It’s no wonder that Nagendra Kumar not only makes films but has also penned five books on film making.

Nagendra Kumar is pragmatic enough to blend his passion for movies with non-film related work. The film buff worked for the Central government, before he took voluntary retirement in 2005 to concentrate on making movies. However, he first established the successful Hyderabad School of Banking (HSB) and wrote books on banking and allied subjects. “All this made it easy for me to systematise film-making processes and write so many books,” he recounts. So far, he has authored five books in Telugu — Adbhuta Cine Prapancham, Cinema Script: Rachana Kala, Cinema Darsakatvam, Cinema Nirmanam and Natana Kala — all of which include extensive details of particular crafts of filmmaking along with contact details of allied associations.

These books are already in leading film training institutes, he says. Do filmmakers really care to read? “They should, even if it’s only to learn about technical details and various rules and processes. Often, producers end up spending a lot of money on middle men for all the procedures, but they can work smoothly and cut costs if they know about copyrights, various guidelines on treatment of animals, permissions involved in shooting in locations and how to apply for film festivals.”

He argues, “People want information but don’t know where to get it. There are several workshops and training institutes, but most of them are expensive, from Rs. 20,000 to lakh, unlike affordable books.

Nagendra Kumar surely knows — his directorial debut film O Chinnari Katha bagged three Nandi awards — for the best film in children’s category, best direction and production; it also bagged the lead actor the best child artiste award. His next movie Adbhuta Cine Rangam will launch his son Phaninda Kumar as an actor. Sanghamitra, his next film with a strong social message is in the pre-production stage. Also on the anvil are two more books on the 24 crafts of film making and another on digital filmmaking.