About how Dhookudu film started – Part 4
(Please note: Making a film is perhaps one of the toughest jobs you’ll ever come across. Every filmmaker struggles a lot for the project’s success. Filmmakers put their lives, time and money at stake for a film’s success. Every one has their own version of how much effort they had put in while making a film. And this is ours. I am not exaggerating or trying to boast about myself through this article. I am honestly trying to brief our struggle and experiences while working on Dhookudu. What you read here is actually a simple version of our efforts. All of us had great moments and some very hard moments while finalizing the scripts for our films. I am trying my best to make you understand our efforts. Please avoid giving advices while commenting. Already, we have too many people for that. I request you to read the full article and tweet questions to me my dear friends. I don’t want to hurt any one with my articles. I want to make things easy to wannabe writers and make you understand the logic behind every commercial film. I wasted my valuable time knowing many things for the sake of experience. If my articles help at least one person on this earth then my purpose is served. That is my sole aim and intention of writing these articles. So please don’t misinterpret the lines I have written and publish the material in wrong way. Thanks for your positive feedback. Good day.)
Again our director & producers were in search of a story. All of us started thinking practically about what we could do. At that time producers of Khaleja were planning to release the film in Aug/Sep 2010. So our producers and director wanted to finish the script work before September. They had almost 5 months to complete the pre-production work.
Before this happened, we saw Yem Maya Chesave. While watching the film, Sreenu garu asked me how will be this girl (Samantha) be opposite Mahesh Babu. Every one in the unit was excited about the idea and even the producers liked the idea instantly. They always wanted to see a fresh face opposite Mahesh Babu. Vaitla ji too wanted to cast a fresh face as heroine or try an entirely new combination. After a week or so he decided to cast Samantha opposite Mahesh Babu. Our producers signed Samantha for the movie. As I mentioned earlier, Mahesh Babu strongly supported the director’s decision and he supported this idea of casting Samantha as the heroine without any doubts lingering in his mind. Generally directors hesitate to cast new girls opposite stars. I liked Samantha’s performance & characterization while watching Yem Maya Chesave, but I did not expect that she would get instant stardom with that film. Youth started loving her & Jessi’s character became one of the best heroine’s characters in Telugu cinema. (I will talk about Yem Maya Chesave in our future posts.)
Coming to Dhookudu, though the producers signed her for the film, Sreenu garu never forced us to write a character which would suit her .He even said that we could cast some other heroine if the character doesn’t suit her. He did not want us to restrict HEROINE character in that point of view. At that time Samantha signed Brindavanam and the entire industry was after her but she rejected all of them for Mahesh-Vaitla’s project. She told every one that after she would sign films only after Dhookudu. Many producers called our producers and director and began pressurizing them for the heroine’s dates.Apart from developing the film’s story, the director was taking this extra pressure on his mind.
Meanwhile Sreenu ji came up with an idea for the hero’s characterization. Sreenu ji used to struggle a lot everyday with his assistant directors and me while discussing the characterization he believed in. He used to tell us his logic about why that character will work. I tried to frame couple of lines using that characterization but they lacked something important in terms of content. Even our producers developed a line through a writer friend and narrated that to Vaitla ji. He was not completely satisfied with that version too. So within no time we decided to go with a proper story based script rather than a character based story script.
Deviating from this topic, in our previous films we developed two stories after finalizing hero’s characterization right in the beginning. One was Dubai Seenu and the other was King (we were initially tempted to Bottu Seenu character in this film). Any hero would be attracted to those character’s histrionics. Both the films had started with a deadline in mind and we tried our best to do justice in that short span of time. Both the films ran well commercially but they were not so strong in terms of content. Only because of strong entertainment elements and screenplay both the films scored at box office. When we write scripts, particularly for star heroes, it’s even more important that we have a good story line. One or two films may run without a strong story point using good hero characterization and good screenplay. But it does not work all the time. We had to struggle hard to put flesh and blood to several average and thin lines while developing the story. You might wonder, “How do you define a strong story point?”.. Thing is it’s a very big topic. I will definitely share my views in my future posts. (Sorry for skipping this topic here.)
What I strongly believe is, for any kind of film, base line of the story should be good. If your story is creative, trendy, modern, youthful, classy and personal then you’ll strike a chord with critics, young and educated audience and non cine goers. If your story revolves around a formulaic premise which has good energy levels, high voltage drama, good twists and proper punch dialogues, while balancing heroism and emotions in equal intervals and fill it with comedy, sentiment and action… then you become a hot favorite among the mass audience. Critics, educated and young audience always complain about such formulaic films. Unfortunately Telugu filmmakers’ position & fate depends upon this latter kind of cinema. As per my analysis, mass crowd too need DIFFERENT COMMERCIAL (stay tuned for this topic) films. Nobody knows the exact logic of their need & requirement. Those who balance this act (Commerciality & Novelty) will stay in this industry for long. If the mass audience is disappointed with a film then they instantly show their emotions and curse the film makers & hero, while coming out of the theatres, for wasting their time and money. Their reaction is always projected in terms of box-office collections. If we go to any single screen theatre, we can know their response and reaction towards the film and the script. If they are completely involved in the film and are entertained while watching the movie then we are blessed. The other kind of cinema has a good chance of appreciation in media, class circles, multiplexes and in awards circle.
Again coming to the main point, base line of the story should be good. If we struggle hard to get the base line right, rest of the things can be done very easily. Whether it is a formulaic story, regular story, experimental story or a different story, this rule is the same. Strong story content never disappoints. Film’s success range always depends upon the strong story idea, versatile screenplay treatment, good dialogues, powerful directorial presentation and good editing table decisions. Good Cinematography work, Sound Design, Music & Back ground score, Locations, proper casting, sets and art direction, dances and fights, rich production values will enhance such script to a higher level. With a bad script producers’ money, artistes & technicians’ effort will go waste.
So I told Vaitla ji that I will come up with a good idea first rather than wavering on many.Literally two months (March & April) of our valuable time had gone by and we didn’t finalize anything.At that point of time my long time associate, star writer Kona Venkat ji came into the scene.
the topic continues……