Journey of Ohmkar from a super successful TV personality referred as Ohmkar Annayya to a talented director handling stars like Nagarjuna, Samantha is filled with many surprises. Currently, his new flick Raju Gari Gadhi 2 is scheduled for a splendid release on October 13th and the down-to-earth director spoke his heart out on what made this project to happen.
Q: How RGG 2 happened?
A: As soon as Raju Gari Gadhi was declared a hit, my next ambition was not to make the sequel Raju Gari Gadhi 2. With suggestions from near and dear ones, I decided to prove myself as a versatile director by touching a family subject on a star hero with decent budget. I prepared two scripts in one year. One is family centric and second is RGG 2. Then I met Venkatesh Garu and narrated both of them. He liked RGG 2 but due to Guru and another project with Kishore Thirumala, we needed a gap of more than year.
Meanwhile, through my PROs I met PVP garu for a small budgeted flick. But, he proposed me a Malayalam film called Pretham which was running then at Forum Mall. Immediately after watching the movie, I've dialed PVP garu and agreed for remake deal.
Q: When Nagarjuna Garu joined RGG 2?
A: I was sure that Pretham as it is won't work for Telugu audience. I took three months time and re-wrote entire script with new treatment. Except the base storyline (moola katha), I changed everything from Pretham. So, one can call RGG 2 as an inspiration from Pretham but not a remake.
With guidance from PVP and Matinee Entertainments Niranjan Garu, I happened to meet many other heroes and finally came the turn for Nagarjuna Garu. After 2 hours lengthy narration, within ten minutes he agreed to work with me.
Q: Any changes made in script to game on with Nagarjuna Garu?
A: Nagarjuna Garu is a huge star and experienced actor. He enjoys immense following among ladies and family audience. So, I cannot go with complete horror and comedy like RGG 1. Instead I made changes to story drive by appending family elements. His mentalist character is very new to Telugu cinema.
Q: Does this mean, RGG 2 is not a horror comedy?
A: Yes, RGG 2 is meant for family audience. This is a new format among horror thrillers. You will enjoy an unexpected treat in watching this flick. I can confidently say that, our team made a hit film and you will call RGG 2 a very good movie. Thanks to Samantha Garu. She actually became the heart of my script.
Q: How difficult was it to rope Samantha in?
A: To generate more impact with the key ghost character, it was again Nagarjuna Garu proposed Samantha's name. It's all in my good fortunes that I got a hero and mentor like Nagarjuna Garu. Within hour narrative Samantha smiled at me and said, Ohmkar Garu... I just loved this character and we are doing this. Nag and Samantha Garu made my tiny RGG 2 to emerge as mammoth cinema.
Q: How challenging was to direct both of them?
A: I am relatively a new director with just two films experience. My debut film Genius taught me precious lessons and then Raju Gari Gadhi was a new feat. My travel on RGG 2 began with Venkatesh Garu. Spending 3 months with him, I learnt about variations in screenplay which helped me to direct Nagarjuna Garu. This in turn made me more efficient in handling other star heroes for my future projects.
Unlike the notion we generally have about star heroes never encourage or love to work with fresh directors, I am the best example. Our heroes are open to experiment and support new talents. Nagarjuna and Samantha co-operated with my team in finishing a superb film. You all will agree with my words once you join theaters on October 13th.
Q: What about re-shoots?
A: As a director, my prime motto is to protect my producers money invested. PVP and Niranjan Garu trusted me. They gave me complete freedom. Accordingly, I never misused this freedom. Initially, I've submitted them a packed 65 days production schedule on paper. They were very happy and our shooting began. My own production house OAK managed every aspect of production and within 58 days, we met the deadline.
Few comedy portions in first half and couple of scenes in second half which I felt un-necessary are omitted from original script. This gave me one week cushion. After watching raw footage, I left it on my producers to decide. When they asked me to direct the missed out comedy scenes and some shots on Nagarjuna garu, I re-started the shoot. There were no re-shoots at all.
Q: Support from producers?
A: Nagarjuna, PVP and Niranjan Gaaru are Trimurthis behind RGG 2. PVP Garu is more like father and Niranjan Garu is a lovable mother. I cannot break the trust and faith they have put on me. This is a sincere, genuine, beautiful and honest film.
Q: Spent maximum time on VFX?
A: VFX is one technical area all the directors cannot handle. A director should necessarily have enough knowledge and strong hold on it before taking up the task. Despite VFX supervisors in team will assist us but patience and pressure determine the quality and scale of accuracy. After Studio located in Mumbai took the challenging RGG 2. They worked before on rain drop freezing shots for Suriya sir's 24.
Q: Support from technicians?
A: After Bommarillu, this work is the best for my writer Abburi Ravi. Cameraman Diwakaran is like my family member. He worked with me on TV shows, Genius and Raju Gari Gadhi. Art director AS Prakash has done a fabulous job. Editor Madhu is one more crucial support. Music director Thaman is the motivational force behind. If Nag, PVP, Niranjan Garu are Trimurthis; Abburi Ravi, Diwakaran, AS Prakash, Madhu and SS Thaman are Pancha Pandavudu for RGG 2.
Q: USP of RGG 2?
A: As I said before RGG 2 is a family film with horror treatment. 1st half has mass appeal with hilarious comedy and a shocking interval bang. Thanks to Vennela Kishore and Shakalaka Shankar. I promise that audience will forget first half with impact and core strength in second half story. Last half an hour will leave you spellbound with Nag and Samantha Gari performance.
Believing in my conviction, Nagarjuna Garu accepted to remove a fight and also his introduction song which actually disturbed the story narrative. However, there is one challenging emotional outburst scene on Nagarjuna Garu which connects with ladies. For Samantha, this is an Award winning and career best performance. You will find audience going in loud whistles whenever Samantha appears on screen.