A tête-à-tête with Y.V.S. Chowdary as he is set to scorch the screen with his youthful, musical romantic tale.
When I make a film, it is almost like a 24-hou r job for me. I get involved in every branch of filmmaking.
He i s adventurous, free-spirited, uncompromising, sensitive, sensible, romantic and intense and makes the unreal almost look like real on the celluloid. And he is back with his third home production and sixth directorial venture, Devadasu,a romantic m usical with music director Chakri at the helm is due for release on January 11 . Y.V.S. Chowdary's passion for cinema, his priorities in life, his early years in the field and of course Devadasu are excerpted and put in his own words.
About the title
"Devadasu is a new story, a modern youthful musical romantic tale. I don't think there is room for any confusion regarding the title if one follows our pr omos. Our `Devadas' does not hold the symbolic glass in his hand. He reflects the present generation. The title helps to draw immediate attention. Anyway, this is not the first time that an old classic's title is used. There was some scepticism when the title of Missamma was announced. The film clicked and so did Malleswari. I am confident that the young audience is already familiar with the genre of my film. Once they watch and say the film is good then their other family members too sta rt coming to the theatres.
From the beginning I avoided being typecast. My debut film - Sri Seetharamula Kalyanamu Choothamu Rarandi is a combinat ion of love story and action. The second film Seetharamaraju was about sibling bonding and the differences that arise between them. Yuvaraju is the story of a teenager who becomes a father to a four-year-old . Lahiri Lahiri Lahiri Lo is the story of four couple in different age group, Seethiah is in the action genre and now Devadasu is a love story. My priority is the script. The actors are chosen accordingly. Devadasu needs new faces. So I went for them. My nex t project Okka Magaadu has to be made with an established hero.
Priorities in life
Many scribes ask me why I give so many gaps between each film. I cannot make two films a year, because I give equal importance to my family. I take six or seven months break between each film to spend with my family. Time takes its toll on the personal life of an uncompromising director. When I make a film, it is almost like a 24-hour job for me. I get involved in every branch of filmmaking.
I went to Chennai in 1983 to enrol in engineering course at I.I.E.T. But turning a filmmaker was at the back of my mind. A year later I felt why waste four years in a course where even after obtaining a degree my aim is to join films? I left the course and joined as an assistant to Narasimha Rao in the editing department. One year lat er, I became an assistant director to K. Raghavendra Rao and was with him for eight and half years, from Pattabhishekam to Aswametham. And later I joined Ram Gopal Varma (Govinda Govinda), and then did a brief stint with Singeetham S rinivasa Rao and Mahesh Bhatt (Criminal). Krishna Vamsy was my colleague during my days with Varma. I was his co-director for his debut film Gulabi and later for Ninne Pelladutha. And then Nagarjuna launched me as a director with Sri Seetharamula... he followed it up with Seetharamaraju. After Yuvaraju, circumstances led me to turn a producer. Fortunately I have an efficient executive producer Venkateswara Rao to take the tensions of a producer away from me (sm iles).
In Telugu I like Dasari Narayana Rao for his sheer guts in tackling different subjects and making them with rank new comers and K. Raghaven dra Rao for his commercial format and the irreplaceable K. Viswanath and Bapu. In Hindi I am an ardent fan of the works of Ramesh Sippy, Yash Chopra and Subhash Ghai. Each has his own style and flavour in setting the right mood. I have an ambition to mak e a Hindi film.
The `Devadasu pair'
The project took shape almost accidentally. I was to direct a film for producer `Sravanthi' Ravi Kishore. We were discussing a su bject. I said let's go for new comers. I asked him whether he could show me photos of aspiring stars. He showed me a picture on his computer. The young lad looked as if he is made for movies. By then I had written a story, which has nine songs and deman ds more locations with a major chunk of shoot in U.S.A. Since the budget was high, I said I would make the film under my Bommarillu banner with the youngster. Ravikishore agreed. He then revealed that Ram is his younger brother Murali's son. I contacte d Ileana after watching her in the Fair & Lovely ad campaign with Rakesh Roshan. She said she has already signed a Telugu film. When the proposed film was cancelled, her family approached me. Even before Devadasu's release, Ileana has s igned a couple of big budget films. Ram is certain to catch up with her after the film's release as it happens with many debutant heroes. He has the fire in him and the determination. Both Ram and Ileana have excelled in the young lovers roles. Joining t he comedians to provide laughter is the pug dog from the `Hutch' campaign dog's race. We have done our job. Watch it and squeeze every ounce of pleasure out of this new movie experience."