Ace director Teja's new film `Oka `V'Chitram promises to be as refreshing as his debut blockbuster.
At the Botanical Gardens in Madhapur, Teja is shooting for Oka `V' Chitram produced by Siri Media (P) Ltd. It is said that on the sets, Teja is a strict disciplinarian and ruthless towards his actors till they come up with the required expressions. Surprisingly, he is calm and composed watching debut cinematographer Sandeep Reddy (son of veteran cameraman S. Gopala Reddy) as he trains his camera on the lead actors who perform a scene. We learnt that the talkie portions and songs have already been filmed. The unit is now shooting only some patch work. Perhaps that explains his calmness. As a principle, he does not talk much on the sets. In the evening at the L.J. editing suit in Film Nagar during the break of the final cut (edited by Shankar) for his eighth directorial venture, he greets us with a friendly smile. "During the main shoot, we left out filming some expressions. So at the Botanical Gardens we were shooting those missed out expressions or bits and pieces of portions for fine tuning. In cinematic terms we call it patch-work. You must have seen all the lead actors of the movie there- Pradeep Pinisetty (son of filmmaker Raviraja Pinisetty), Vamsee, Poonam Kaur, Maleeshka, all debutants and Madhu Shalini (who plays a heroine too) with Pooja Bharathi (in a key role). Though most of them are newcomers, they all had training in acting and we conducted a screen test as well." Is he turning out to be a star-maker? "I am trying to make good films. In the process I may be introducing a few actors. I am not a star maker. Some of them might become stars and some may bite the dust, it is up to them," he dismisses it mater of factly .
He said that when he was contemplating making a commercial film, a call came from industry veteran Dasari Narayana Rao. "I met him and he said that we should do something to revive the low budget film movement that has taken a beating in recent times. I wrote this story some five or six years ago and can be made on a shoe-string budget," says the man who is responsible for bringing in a whiff of fresh air into Telugu cinema with runaway hit, Chitram. What is he up to in Oka`V'Chitram? He explains, "The hero(Pradeep Pinisetty) is a lorry cleaner." He then adds, "You know, once I worked as a lorry cleaner in the Basin Bridge area in Madras?" Looking at the puzzled glance he receives,, he smiles and says, "It's true. But my film is not autobiographical. I am making a commercial entertainer. I have included in the story only the insults heaped on me during that period and have added a bit of fiction to make it interesting." Continuing with the story line, Teja says, "This young man, a lorry cleaner, hails from a village and comes to Hyderabad to make a living like most of his tribe. The film deals with his aims and aspirations and how he had fulfilled them. Vamsee plays the other hero. He is the son of a famous gastroenterologist (Dr. Peda Veerraju) from Vizag. The boy is crazy about making it in films, but his father wanted him to become a doctor and sent him to me to chide him. Unfortunately, I found Vamsee suitable for the role," laughs Teja. The three heroines have different kind of roles too. One of them sells dosas in a street corner, the other is a group dancer and the third is a college student. Besides the experienced actors like Bharani, Dharamavarapu, M.S. Narayana, Rallapalli, Jeeva, Raghubabu and Telengana Sakunthala, many new faces will be part of this film. "In all, 22 actors face the camera for the first time throughout the movie. It is also the first film for camera man Sandeep Reddy and music director Sri Murali," says Teja.