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Bahubali My Best Till Date — Tamanna’s Excl to Telugu360

Warrior, we wouldn’t know, but she definitely looks like a princess. Tamanna Bhatia plays a warrior princess in Bahubali and says she is busy with a couple of projects in Telugu and more than anything else it is good films that matter. Not one to be affected by her flops in Mumbai, the beautiful and talented actress exudes positivity and says she is proud to be a part of the pan Indian project Bahubali and hopes that Karan Johar’s joining the board to distribute the film in Mumbai will surely add value to her work.

What would you be missing if you weren’t a part of Bahubali?

This character is very special and has come up at a very important time in my career. See, when an actor does a lot of commercial work, a certain kind of monotony sets in and people  start to think she can suit only these kind of characters. When I get a character of this level to play, which is not close to run of the mill, it becomes a huge plus for an actor. It is very fresh to be a part of the filmmaking. It is a period film and we all have larger than life characters. I am a warrior princess; there are different shades. The poster they used has just one shade of the character but there is lot more to it. When you watch the film you will discover it.

Your work experience with the director

The princess is not what you expect; the seven characters remain the same and expand to the second part but mine is shorter. I have more time and more work in the first part. Rajamouli is extremely well planned, he spent one and a half year on pre production. There were mock trials and mock shoots. We normally go to locations and figure out but here two days before we enact the scene and we know what we will do two days later. His temper never changed throughout. The film is so large there is tendency for things to go wrong; he maintained his cool and poise and that was very crucial. That kind of energy, technicians imbibed from him. To me, I have seen him giving precise instructions and I would get complete clarity. He makes his actors comfortable and puts a lot of faith in us. The result is we want to give him 200 percent output.


 Any particular moment that you cherish?

He gave me a compliment. It is so special when the director compliments you with so much honesty (when the song was picturised). I felt really good. Bahubali will be my best till date. If I were to go down memory lane, Paiyya and 100 percent Love are films I cherish because that is what people perceive me today as an actor. My third film of the career with Ileana where I did a negative role was something I liked. Such challenges are interesting to play. I have seen my parts in Bahubali. I am waiting to see it with VFX and that is where the magic lies with Sabu sir’s work.

Any hangover after the completion of the shoot?

In a creative job, there is always a scope of improvement and everyday you keep evolving. I am totally missing the shoot. We would work 18 hours a day and Prabhas, Rana would work 24 hours but we all went back with a lot of mental satisfaction despite physical exhaustion. You need passion when you work on a set like Bahubali. It takes a bit to get out of the body language. Now that the film is done, there have been wonderful experiences. Bulgarian shoot had me performing action episodes. We were in a lot of snow, shooting in minus ten degrees. Action episodes were tricky with weather conditions pushing you and there were deadlines. Rajamouli would first attempt what an actor is supposed to do before he would instruct us.

On the producer and VFX department

When I had taken narration for the film, I had certain instructions. Rajamouli has precise instructions and if you merely follow him, you are on the right track. Towards the end of the film, it was an action episode where Prem Rakshit and an action director were present and Rajamouli sir was not on the set. I would be waiting for him because his one instruction would clear ten confusions in my mind. My rapport with Shobu was good; he was so approachable and the coordination became so easy and so there was transparency. This is a pan Indian film and it reflects his faith in the project and his conviction. It is the state of the art VFX which has not been attempted on Indian screen, taking modern technology and blending with period sensibilities. It is a very interesting way of projecting cinema in new light.

(Sunita Yalavarthi)

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Rohini Plays a Tribal Woman in Baahubali

Is this is the first time you’ve worked on a period film?

No, Yashoda Krishna is my first film; I have done mythology before. I acted in Kota Lo Paaga when I must have been barely eight. When something as old as 1000 years is being recreated, we get to know how we lived then. In Bahubali’s case, Sabu kept it rustic. They had done so much home work, about what they cooked in their homes and offerings they would make to God. Every aspect and character has been designed meticulously. I have done art films where I have seen detailing but for a commercial film, I have never seen this kind of preparation. I greyed my hair for the role and I don’t even mind playing a granny’s role, if the role and story are good. I have worked for more than 30 days and I stay in the first part only.

What kind of excitement did you go through?

We went to Kerala, Athirapally waterfalls. Twenty days or so, we shot there and moved back to RFC. It was so exciting in Kerala; I have been there and shot for so many Malayalam films but I never went to the interiors like I had gone for Bahubali. It is risky, we could slip from the stones; it is a terrain we never explored but Rajamouli and Peter Hein would lead and we would follow them. The detailing for every shot, every gesture is something you should see to believe it. For me, the excitement is to work with a film maker who is dedicated, in such a commercial set up.

What did you observe about Rajamouli?

Many directors like Kamal Haasan, Balu Mahendra don’t move until they get what they want. Even I don’t give up. I remember for Virumandi (Potharaju), it  was shot in live sound (even for Yashoda Krishna). Soon after the shoot, he would go back and would edit there itself. There was something wrong once and he returned to shoot the entire episode again. I grew up watching such film makers and to see that that kind of single mindedness in Rajamouli, I was obviously excited. He keeps a frame and decides what he wants. Ikkada seleyaru ravali, ikkada pedda chettu undali and he gets it. To get that, we need to keep certain things ready, pumping water to that place, uprooting and getting trees with mud. It is either generated or he uses special effects. With that kind of preparation for every frame, not much time would be wasted.

On the people around him

He had ten technicians or so on his finger tips who would get what he wanted. On one side, I would see the people making Siva Lingams and I kept watching them. They must have made 100 Siva Lingams for Bahubali. It was like an industry where there were tents. I am just citing an example of Siva Lingam but there are lot more things. Everyday I would go and see how and why they are making. The battle field, the caves would be made then and there itself; it was fantastic.  For me Bahubali is big because of the director not compromising and not moving on till he got what he wanted. He would re-shoot if it was not perfect. I dubbed for both Telugu and Tamil.

Your current projects

At the moment I am leaving for Paris to do stage shows. Theatre needs a lot of time. For one play, we need to invest that time and also there is no money. I have three shows in Paris, supported by an Indian cultural wing and we’re invited by a French theatre. I shot for a Malayalam film recently for Abrid Shine, the director of 1983 and it’s his second project. It is a great role that comes in the end and has one long sequence. Nivin Pauly is one of the producers for this film and as an actor, I was motivated by the work we did.

(Sunita Yalavarthi)

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Rajamouli Dragged Me to do Villain: Nasser, An Exclusive Interview

[dropcap]W[/dropcap]ithout a villain, there is no hero, says critically acclaimed actor Nasser, who played protagonist in the much awaited multi-lingual Baahubali. As the movie heads to release amidst high expectations, we present you the exclusive interview of Nasser. Read on to know more about Baahubali secrets!

Why is Rajamouli unique?

I love working in mythology as I am from theater. I wait for such opportunities like fantasy, mythology. I have done various films but this is beyond Indian standards. Indian cinema has evolved to a great standard of an epic. What I like in Rajamouli is he hasn’t set a time and genre for himself. Simhadri, Sye and a spectacular Magadheera and suddenly he zeroes into a  fly and makes a blockbuster and now does such a gigantic Bahubali. He has surpassed himself in this process.

[pullquote position=”left”]Rajamouli dragged me to do villain, I like doing such roles. Without a villain there is no hero. I got really excited when he narrated the story, even then I never thought it would be in such a big canvas.[/pullquote]

 Any special effort?

I will put the same effort be it a big or a small film. It is not only my effort but the things happening around bring energy to you. Coffee tastes good but if you have the same coffee in various places. You get various feelings, you are spurred to imagine, to be creative and get energised. The energy and space Bahubali gave me is different. When you see thousands of people sweat it mentally and physically out for a thirty second shot, your response becomes intense.

Any comparisons to Bahubali?

Rajamouli dragged me to do villain. I like doing such roles. Without a villain there is no hero. I got really excited when he narrated the story; even then I never thought it would be in such a big canvas. It doesn’t mean there was extra effort but I tried to give shape for the character. The entire atmosphere gave me energy and multiplied. I am going to finish 500 films now. When I was learning theatre, acting, Mahabharat and Shakespear were major lessons in training. If an actor understands both the subjects, he can understand and handle anything. Bahubali was almost closer to a piece in Mahabharata. When you think of a big budget film, you have lot of characters and actors but here I am confined to six to seven pillars, so you know your importance in the film and naturally tend to give your best.

Tell us something about your role ?

I thought I must work 100 percent whether it is seen in the film or not. I know that I am mentally strong in the film, because of my physical inability, my intelligence is not recognised; that is where the jealous thought. When I  work, I see how and what amount of importance my role gets; later on it may get dissolved in hits and flops but my work ends by giving my best to the character. My soul is very happy after doing Bahubali. I am obviously in the second part too. This film had a requirement of more days and I thank the producers who compensated me well because of which I could sacrifice some films.

Your best moment?

Bahubali has already worked, wherever I go – Bengaluru, Mumbai, Kochi people enquire when Bahubali is releasing. It is already been sold and it is beyond a hero and a director’s film. The entire nation is waiting for the film and my best moment is the particular scene where I argue with the queen that my son deserves the throne. I really appreciate Rana and Prabhas who dedicated 3 years for this film; we hardly did anything in comparison.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Interview With Visual Effects Designer Vadlamudi Srinivas

Vijayawada born Vadlamudi Srinivas Murali Mohan makes it big as a visual effects designer. He has won three national awards and there is no stopping him. His next big project is Bahubali; from being an amateur logo and title designer to becoming one of the most popular VFX Supervisor in Chennai, he has come a long way. This simple and humble man lives with his wife Philomena and child in Chennai and makes his Telugu debut finally.

What is the percentage of visual effects in Bahubali?

Ninety percent comprises of visual effects. It is a period film and there are no set locations, we had to create them. Some films are based on history and since it is a story that had already taken place, one can go accordingly. Here Rajamouli used his imagination and created the story and he had ample creative liberty. For a fiction like this the scale, grandeur is unimaginable. He showed us that in olden days our ancestors lived like this, he showed it in a believable manner. More than emotions, if there is VFX in the background, we can create a story like this. VFX on the set is small, in live location but after we put everything on green and chromo screen and set up the rest of the screen as a digital extension. There is a waterfall sequence in the story and we were to go to Kerala and shoot the waterfall but he wanted a huge waterfall that would fall from the height of a sky and that is possible only through VFX. Since it is a period film, all non existing locations can be created digitally, it is comfortable.

[pullquote position=”left”] I worked for all Shankar’s films and looking back at the technology used then you won’t be impressed at all. But at that point of time and within the budget given to me I think I did a fairly good job. [/pullquote]

 What would be the impact?

We began with the story and enhanced it on paper and converted it into a visual. Scale wise this is the biggest, money wise I don’t know. People abroad think India is poverty ridden nation but Rajamouli wanted to showcase the luxurious culture and the hugeness comes out of this culture. When you convert it visually it looks very believable and people abroad will know India was this lavish aeons back.

How many worked on VFX?

Around 600 artistes, from 15 to 16 studios all over the world worked on it. A Bison sequence is made in an Indian branch of the foreign company. We can’t go to a Bison and stand in front of it. We can’t trouble the animals, but now we have the capacity to mould the subject as per our requirement in a photo realistic manner. All action has been created on CG, the necessity of animals has been cut down and we could bring any kind of emotion we wanted through it digitally for example the elephant gets up stands and does namaskar.

 Has special effects been upgraded post Robot?

I worked for all Shankar’s films and looking back at the technology used then you won’t be impressed at all. But at that point of time and within the budget given to me I think I did a fairly good job. The next five years you will see the highest upgradation in special effects. What was shot then was the benchmark at that time. Anything digital is CG and CG is part of visual effects. In Brothers both people are stuck together, we shot them separately and  replaced the head, we didn’t divide them on computers. What you shoot on live differently and mix is CG (special effects)and what you  manipulate over all is visual effects.

 How did you four important men work together?

Budget and time is important for technicians. Rajamouli and his father told a story three  years back. One and a half year was spent in pre production. The story board, concept and thought is father and son’s vision. Once the story creation has been done by the director, me, Senthil, Sabu Cyril would convert it to paper. The first part comprised of – how to use the concept thought, how to shoot and bring it on screen. When DoP gives the visuals how do I convert it digitally. Once that has been done, Sabu garu would in an area would put up a set, use blue screen and green screen and after the shoot I would execute it digitally. It is a combination effort of four people. The artiste’s talent is unbelievable..we show them a drawing of a palace and tell them to act when there is nothing existing there physically. They stand in front of an empty blue screen and they imagine and act. It is tough and  our job became comfy as all the artistes were extraordinar

 Your first film with Rajamouli?

Yes and he wanted me in Magadheera it didn’t happen. Rajamouli also knows what all we know; so that too became easy since he already has knowledge of visual effects, he would give inputs. We all were here for three years since pre production. On paper there is concept ..that there would be a huge waterfall and it is not the level you imagine..everyone has a different level of hugeness. Before we embark we would base the concept on the visual we had on mind. There is no location so Sabu Cyril suggested the waterfall and area beneath was present in Kerala and it was decided we shoot a small portion and the rest would be created on VFX. Senthil knew how huge a waterfall would look if the camera is placed in a particular angle. We would take that frame that has been shot and draw and go for shoot. In post production it was all about how to execute and the budget allocated for it and picking the best studio to do the job. The film has 90 percent visual effects and it is there in every frame, we took support of 6 studios. The shoot would be during the mornings. In the evening we would work on it till 12 in the night, would be up at 6 am again for work. For 3 years this would continue and would sleep 3 or 4. hours. The excitement is that we would shoot slowly bit by bit..and the output would give us happiness. Whatever we visualised is coming true, it is like predicting future.

Vadlamudi Srinivas at Sets

(Sunita Yalavarthi)

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Interview With Bahubali Producer Shobu Yarlagadda


[dropcap]F[/dropcap]or Baahubali producer, Shobu Yarlagadda, choosing a project depends on the relationship that he shares with director and artistes. Read on to know more about him.

When did your association with Rajamouli begin?
My relationship with him goes very long back even before our professional association started. I know him since he started working with Raghavendra Rao garu. We were supposed to do a small film first but it never materialised. Then we did Maryada Ramanna, we struck a good rapport and became good family friends. It is more personal friendship between two families. After Maryada Ramanna, he was supposed to do a big project for K Raghavendra Rao. Since Raghavendra Rao didn’t want to handle it on his own, given it is a huge product, we stepped in. It became a joint production between him and us. Arka Media Works belongs to me and Prasad and we do some work with RK Films. I came back from US in 96 and did a couple of businesses and it didn’t work and was looking for a new avenue. Then me and Prasad decided that television is a good option. We entered television and do selective work. Films is a natural progression.

[pullquote position=”left”] Around four thousand screens all over the world will come out with Bahubali. There is so much post production which is a big aspect. For all of us artistes and technicians, producers..it is a once in a life time experience. [/pullquote]

How do you choose your project and people?

It is the relationship that we have with the director and artistes. Krish came and narrated the story. It was more of an accidental narration and we did it. Maryada Ramanna was our first film and we wanted to do it with someone we could trust and we are comfortable with it. We are not in a hurry to do a film; television is our bread and butter and that goes on. Movies, unless we have rapport comfort level and we see some value as we bring as producers to the project, we don’t do it. We bring a lot to the table, not just money. There are two or three lines but Rajamouli wanted to do a folklore or a period film and not a contemporary subject. He and his father went back and forth and both of us liked this subject.

You are being called the real hero for believing in the project

Partly it is inherent in me, not to get perturbed. We are used to ups and downs and we have lot of belief in this project and we know will pull it through. When someone is working, the entire team is genuinely working for the project with genuine interest, you trust and want to support the project to the best. By the time we finish the second part it will be four years. There have been ups and downs, the budgets have gone up. There were certain hiccups and we had to reschedule the whole thing as Prabhas had to go through a surgery. One year has been allotted to pre-production. Even after one year, we did parallel planning and designing. We were mentally prepared in a way that it will be out in 2015, for a long haul. Also we were prepared that the budget will go up, but it went up little more than expected.



How important is Bahubali for TFI ?

It is important in a way that if it does well, the buoyancy will be there. It will spread to the distributors and exhibitors. It will be positive. It will give confidence to others to try something out of the box not necessarily on the same scale. It will bring Telugu film industry on the national map. We have been covered in international trade magazines; they came to the sets and met us. The vastness, the scale is making news and also Eega, the last film of Rajamouli has become an internationally a cult film. It has been screened in film festivals. They are aware of the film and believe in this director.



Risks involved in the making of the film

It will definitely have a strong impact if something goes wrong but I don’t foresee it. About ups and downs, mainly it is trying to get the film ready on time, on schedules in budget. We are trying to do something. It is going to cost more, how much more can we stretch it? These are the challenges we addressed. Rajamouli strongly believes in emotion and the scale to go with it. He didn’t want to compromise on the points. Some areas we reduced and some we didn’t. Second part sixty percent has been shot and the climax and some action episodes is pending.



Reason to split the film into two parts?

Beyond two and half hours, however great a film is, no one has the patience to sit through a film. Both the budgets were such. One film doesn’t justify so much spending. To make it economically viable, we made it into two parts. Originally, the intention was to make one but when the story was written it was coming to three and a half hours to four hours. When we try to make it two and a half hours we lose the essence and the costs were high. We went back to the drawing board and re-looked at the story and screenplay and decided to make two independent films which will slightly increase the budget but the sets would be the same and it would make more economic sense across two films. We would be doing justice to both the stories. It is a continuation; it is one story told in two parts and would have an independent feel.

Confidence levels after execution of the project

This is at a different level and scale. It required a lot of patience, persistence, lot of  detailing, going into minute things. The bigger picture is to ensure the film is made in time in this much budget and it travels to all languages and rest of the world as far as possible. To ensure this happens, you need to do a lot of things at many levels and I was lucky to have people to take it everywhere. Lot of support came in from family and friends for financial and emotional support. RFC played a key role. They provided infrastructure and lot of financing for the film. That is one aspect and to have a place spanning over 2000 acres and getting to do multiple things in one place, the logistics would have been difficult but for RFC. We had sets, a floor with 1000 people working. We could go and check when we wanted. Eighty percent in RFC and then little in Mahabaleshwar, Kerala and Bulgaria. After the visual effects and CG, it will transport you into a different world. Around four thousand screens will be ready for Bahubali. There is so much post production, which is a big aspect. For all of us artistes, technicians and producers, it is a once in a life time experience.

(Sunita Yalavarthi)


Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Focus on Bahubali Stylist Prashanti Tipirneni-An Interview

[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ne of the stylists for Bahubali, Prashanti Tipirneni has worked for Vedam, Golconda High School and she is now currently working on Anushka’s costumes for Size Zero. Prashanti gives more importance to simplicity and comfort and is not a flamboyant person at all. She however says, she likes to be funky sometimes and some other time very sobre, depending on how she is feeling that day. In a chat with Telugu360, she says she is missing Bahubali shoot and is looking forward to wrapping up the remaining 40 percent soon. “After Size Zero, I think I will get a month and a half break after which I will move to Bahubali Part II. The reviews and inputs from people will let us know where we are lacking and we might do a better job.”

Do costume designers and stylists need to be present on the sets every day till the shoot gets finished?

I haven’t travelled for my other films but for jewellery and research for Bahubali I travelled a bit. Mostly I did from scratch in Hyderabad. For Size Zero, I am travelling a bit to Mumbai once or twice. I only work for movies and that too one at a time. I am in a particular zone and would prefer to be in that zone till I finish. For some scripts, our presence is not needed. For Vedam, I wasn’t there. I would go on the first day, see if everything was going smoothly and return. Even with Golconda High School, I would just pack, tag them and give it but for Size Zero and Bahubali, it is different. We had to make Anushka look heavy, there will be problems with the body suit, some fit and some don’t. So, I got to be there. Moreover every production is different, so is the director. It is okay if you aren’t there. The assistant directors will handle it but we can’t rely on them. So I go everyday.

[pullquote position=”left”] We had to be in ready at 5 am in Ramoji Film City, and all the junior artistes would be ready standing in a line with costumes. We would paint them black, on their faces especially the Kalakeyas and in the last would send them for breakfast. We did that for nearly five months.[/pullquote] 

  • Do you think a professional course helps a stylist or is practical, hands on job will suffice?
A lot in this field has specially to do with common sense, keeping in mind is what the director’s vision is. I am not undermining what people learn in colleges. I regret not doing NIFT and other courses. Lot of times I want a certain cut, pleat or a fold and I don’t know how to do it. If I had done that, I would have been easy, we would have been trained well. I never learnt cutting. I did Masters in counselling and more into child psychology and marriage counselling.
  • How did you and Rama compartmentalize work?
We categorised it into two, Rama was doing Hero’s kingdom, the Mayashmathis that involved the hero, Ramya Krishna. I did the heroine’s kingdom that had Anushka, Tamanna and that’s how we divided work. I would be doing it in one style and the difference between one kingdom and the other would be distinct and evident. We did a war and that was the biggest sequence. The costumes were done by Rama. We kept supporting one another no matter whose work it is. The biggest crew was 1000 people, soldiers–half of them were Kalakeyas and half Mahashmathis and there were two groups in Mahashmatis.


  • What time would the shoot begin?
We had to be in ready at 5 am in Ramoji Film City and all the junior artistes would be ready standing in a line with costumes. We would paint them black on their faces, especially, the Kalakeyas and in the last, would send them for breakfast. We did that for nearly five months. The first shot would be at 7am. All of them, the direction department too were staying back in RFC but I would be coming back for my daughter. Her school, bus and had to get up at 3.30am, leave by 4am and be at RFC by 5am, return in the evening and would be home by 9pm. I would hardly get time to be with her and she would sleep by then. I got to learn a lot in this  project. The whole team works like a family. This is the kind of exposure and experience, I don’t think I would have got in any other project.

What metal and stones were used to dress the artistes?

Bahubali is a mammoth project and Rajamouli is a systematic planner and from scratch, he gave us time for trial and error. We would never let it come till the last minute. There was eight months pre production when I got into the picture and even before that there were story sittings. For every meeting, all the technicians and ADs would be there. We had lot of story to fall back on to do our research, source and create material. The discussions on the  minerals were available, the skill sets they had, what soil they had and what grains they frew. All of this played on our mind. For costumes and jewellery, we didn’t want to use stones or diamonds. We used a little Kundan on Ramya Krishna but mostly plain gold on women. All jewellery is silver and we gold plated it.



  • Teaming with jewellery brands would have helped?

In the beginning we were banking on brands to make the jewellery and were trying to team up with jewellers and in the process lost lot of time. They wouldn’t understand our requirement, we needed something new and didn’t like things they already had. I went to Jaipur and as I love Amrapali jewellery, I went to the head of Amprapali and got antiques that I liked as samples. If I carried earrings from there, we would make necklaces and hip chains here. It depends from deal to deal and we got some in exhibitions. Most of it, we got it made as we had a silver smith with us. In RFC now there is an art related museum and an entire floor has been given to display jewellery used for Bahubali.


  • How exciting was it to work these three years?

it was very exciting as it is has to be built from scratch and Bahubali is fiction not history based. It gave us leverage to do what we wanted. It was physically tiring nevertheless. I am not a morning person and waking up at 3.30 am was torture but once on the set it didn’t feel like work. Everyone from small to high technicians, they owned this product, it didn’t feel  taxing at all. Now I am missing the shoot as I do ‘Size Zero.’ I keep calling Rama and tell her that I am missing the shoot. What you imagine on screen is high level images but this is ten times more bigger, you are in awe of it, it is a fantastic feeling.


  • Three films with Anushka, what rapport do you share with her?

She is not fussy at all and she is a close friend..not that she says yes for everything, she will only tell you no, only with a reason, and why it will work or why it won’t. She has the clarity..that makes our job easier. She sees the ability in a person and if she feels you will do full justice she will not even question you. If she feels somewhere your notice should be brought she will tell you. There is no discomfort or stressed feeling working with her and moreover in the last three years we have become really close friends.

(Sunita Yalavarthi)

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

An Exclusive Interview With Baahubali Story Writer -Vijayendra Prasad

[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he title Baahubali just came out from me..it wasn’t thought about, it was spontaneous. It has nothing to do with history, says script writer Vijayendra Prasad.

1) When did the idea of making Baahubali trigger?

Three years back my son Rajamouli came to me and said he is making a film with Prabhas and wanted me to write a story. He likes swords, horses and emotions and wanted a period story, he also said that  every character in the story should have a logical ending; a third dimension, they should be in flesh and blood and with grey shades.

2) How long did it take to develop it?

Next day I narrated the last scene in the first part of Bahubali. I could see the spark in his eyes, then the second scene was about a baby placed on a palm emerging from the waters. I could see the same spark in his eyes. The third scene was from the second part of Bahubali. It was totally unconnected, I knew he liked it and it took three months to develop it. The moment he started narrating it to others and discussing it, I knew he liked it. He usually doesn’t do that.

3) What was the necessity for a sequel?

There were too many scenes, the justice wasn’t being done to all so it was imperative that we make two parts. [pullquote position=”left”]If Bahubali, the hero in the story is important so are others, we can’t write them off…..may be in footage they could occupy small space but the importance is monumental.[/pullquote]

4) Why name it Bahubali?

The title Bahubali just came out from me..it wasn’t thought about, it was spontaneous. It has nothing to do with history. Then I got to know that in the North of India,  Bahubali meant a title, any great person is called Bahubali, nothing to do with Gomateswara.

5) What importance does Baahubali hold at the box office?

Narrating a story gives me complete happiness, getting money, being paid is just a bonus. I love my craft so much. I want the film to be a hit for two reasons. A producer has believed in a vision, if he doesn’t get his money back, it is not fair at all. This is a project that will take Indian cinema to the next level. The hero is Shobu Yarlagadda, there is always a smile on his face even as the budget kept escalating. Next hero is Ballary Sai, the distributor.

6) Any happy moments?

Of course yes. My son told me his ambition is to make Mahabharat. Bahubali is a big test to check if he has it in him to do it. Our country has rich heritage and culture, great history, this is Seva and nothing less than that if we make the epic. There was a poll recently in Tamil Nadu, Shankar got 170 votes and Rajamouli 180. The latter shows variety and the former deals with the wrong done to the society.

(Sunita Yalavarthi)

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