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Avasarala Srinivas: I always wanted to direct films

June 17, 2014 09:28 IST

Avasarala Srinivas: I always wanted to direct films

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Radhika Rajamani/Rediff.com in Hyderabad

Avasarala Srinivas made his debut as an actor in Ashta Chamma. Subsequently he acted in Orange, Pilla Zamindar, Mugguru, Golconda High School and Anthaka Mundu Aa Tharuvatha, to name a few.

The talented Srinivas, who quit his job at Princeton Plasma Physical Laboratory, also did a script-writing course in the US.

His first film as director, Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade will release this Friday, June 20.

In this exclusive interview, Srinivas reveals details about Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade and what films mean to him.

Radhika Rajamani

You have been an actor for some years now. What made you want to become a director?

I have a diploma in writing from UCLA and learnt acting at the Lee Strasberg TV and Film Institute.

I have always wanted to direct. I was very happy with the way the script shaped up and since directing was in my scheme of things, I took it up myself.

Where did the idea for the film come from?

I wanted to start with a small budget venture that can be easily executed.

I thought the conflict in Cyrano de Bergerac (the French classic) would work very well with Telugu audiences.  I wove a story around its central conflict.made his debut as an actor in Ashta Chamma. Subsequently he acted in Orange, Pilla Zamindar, Mugguru, Golconda High School and Anthaka Mundu Aa Tharuvatha, to name a few.

The talented Srinivas, who quit his job at Princeton Plasma Physical Laboratory, also did a script-writing course in the US.

His first film as director, Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade will release this Friday, June 20.

In this exclusive interview, Srinivas reveals details about Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade and what films mean to him.

You have been an actor for some years now. What made you want to become a director?

I have a diploma in writing from UCLA and learnt acting at the Lee Strasberg TV and Film Institute.

I have always wanted to direct. I was very happy with the way the script shaped up and since directing was in my scheme of things, I took it up myself.

Where did the idea for the film come from?

I wanted to start with a small budget venture that can be easily executed.

I thought the conflict in Cyrano de Bergerac (the French classic) would work very well with Telugu audiences.  I wove a story around its central conflict.


Image: A scene from Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade


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'I was looking for something abstract that reflects the mood of the film'

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How did you hit upon the title Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade?

I didn’t want to be too literal. I was looking for something abstract that reflects the mood of the film.

I was listening to old Telugu songs and I thought this would be apt and would arouse the kind of curiosity that I need for my film.

Is it a romantic film?

I think the romance part came out really well. The actors did a great job and the casting helped.

When it comes to romance, the subtler it is, the louder it will be heard. 

I don’t believe in schmaltzy writing. 


Image: Avasarala Srinivas


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'I wanted actors who looked like they are falling in love for the first time'

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What made you choose relative newcomers Naga Shourya and Raashi Khanna to play the main leads?

I wanted actors who looked like they are falling in love for the first time.

Did they do workshops before commencing the film?

We did a lot of rehearsals before we went to the shoot.

Raashi had memorised all her lines. She understood her part really well. I am very happy that I am introducing a really great talent to Telugu cinema.

Shaurya worked really hard too. He is a very adaptable actor who is keen on improving. He has a bright future

What were the challenges you faced to make this film?

The only challenge was to get it started.  To convince a producer that I can direct a film.

After I found one, things fell in place.

 


Image: A scene from Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade


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'I will only do what I believe in'

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In times of big-budget films and superstars, how do you feel your film will stand out or make a mark?

In my opinion, content is more important than any other aspect of a film. 

I have a good film and I know my producer will do the job of getting the audience to the theatres.

I am confident the film will take care of itself from there on.

Will you continue to act and direct?

Yes. I will only get back to directing once I have a finished screenplay. 

Until then I will continue with acting and will work on my screenplays.

Would you like to carve a different path for yourself in cinema?

I don’t think any film maker can deliberately carve a different path.

You can only sing in your voice. 

I will only do what I believe in and what I am comfortable dealing with.

Have you decided on your second film?

Nothing has crystallised yet. It will take me another four months to finish a screenplay.

How did you feel at the rather dismal response to Amrutham lo Chandamama – your last release as an actor? 

I never bank on one film to help me grow as an actor.

I didn’t go on a signing spree after a hit nor was I disappointed after a flop. 

I concentrated on the job I was given.

I never sign a film hoping it will be a hit. All I think about is whether it will be fun doing that film.

Amrutham… was an exciting film to do.  I did my part.

 


Image: A scene from Oohalu Gusa Gusa Lade


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