Short films from ‘Greenhorns Films', started by three youngsters from the city, are a big hit on the Internet
Two years ago, an IT professional, a BPO employee and an engineering student came together on Orkut, and started a production house.
One of them is Ganesh Kumar Mohan, who graduated from VLB Janakiammal College of Engineering and Technology, and is passionate about movies. While working for an IT company in Bangalore, he borrowed a friend's digital camera, came to Coimbatore, and made a short film “Brindavan”.
Shot in Brindavan, an old age home in Thondamuthur, the film made the rounds on Orkut and won appreciation. His old friend Venkat Sundar found Ganesh on the social networking site and expressed his interest in acting. KB Prabu of Kumaraguru College of Technology, whose passion lies in photography, too volunteered to work with Ganesh on his next project.
The three boys started ‘Greenhorns Films' and their first venture was “536”. The film, a comedy about a rich, spoilt brat in a village, was shot in Narasipuram. It featured Venkat Sundar in the lead. Prabu was the cinematographer. Ganesh also roped in Abhinav Sundar Nayak, a popular editor in the Malayalam short film circuit for “536”.
“We never expected the movie to become popular, but we managed to sell about 200 DVDs,” beams Ganesh. “The movie was a hit on Vimeo and Youtube, and we even got a call from director Shankar's office! An assistant director called us up and appreciated our efforts.”
Ganesh also got an offer to assist Shankar in “Nanban”. “As it was too risky for me to take up direction full time, I declined the offer,” he says.
Greenhorns Films' next venture was a nine-minute comedy — “Ramasamy”. A tale of a good-for-nothing lad who appears for an interview, “Ramasamy” was a hit too, with the video crossing 10,000 views on YouTube, a week after its release. The zero-budget-film was shot in a single day.
Meet the actor
Soon enough, another person from director Shankar's office called up the trio and congratulated them. Venkat was invited to audition for “Nanban”.
“No one knew about my acting stint till ‘Ramaswamy' happened. When it became a hit, my parents realised I was passionate about acting. When I was selected to play the role of Vijay's senior in ‘Nanban', I took a week off from work to travel to Dehradun for the shoot. When it turned out to be problematic to manage my passion and profession, I quit my job,” says Venkat.
After a short break, Greenhorns Films came back with another offering — “Oorukku Naalu Peru” (“O4P”), inspired by the concept of multi-level marketing. “This time around, we wanted to have a theatrical release,” says Ganesh.
“More than 15 people worked with us on the film. We had an R&D engineer from the U.S. to compose music for this film.” The film was previewed in Chennai and it won appreciation from film personalities such as Meera Kathiravan (of “Aval Peyar Tamizharasi” fame), Jacob Varghese, actors Srikanth, Vijay, Pooja Gandhi and Siva Karthikeyan, and cinematographer Velraj.
A friend of the trio's arranged for a multiplex screening of ‘O4P' in Bangalore. “We aggressively promoted the film and we had four paid ‘house full shows'. ‘O4P' is one of the first Indian short films to be screened in a multiplex,” says Ganesh. The movie was screened in Mumbai, and in Coimbatore too — at the Corporation Kalaiarangam. Since June 2011, ‘O4P' has been screened 10 times in various screens across the country.
Now, Ganesh, Venkat and Prabu are full time into making corporate and ad films. Ganesh is also working on a script for a full-length feature. “It will be a family entertainer from Greenhorns… a commercial comedy with a message,” he says.