Few days ago E.V.V organized a press meet for Thotti Gang. After the press meet, we met him and asked for an
interview. He was generous enough to take out sometime on the same day evening for the interview.
He patiently told us how he came into the film industry, why is he making thotti gang, what is the logic behind 1 crore for publicity and how much is he involved with the career of his sons.
Read on for more details. The following is the whole script.
Tell us about your background and how did you come into Film Industry
EVV: about his childhood and how be became assistant director
Ours is an agriculture-based family. We owned land in Dommeru which is 14kms from Rajahmundry. I was a movie fan from my childhood. I used to watch 2 movies at least in a week. Till my intermediate I was a good student. During my intermediate I used to watch morning show and matinee on a regular basis. I was detained in intermediate because of attendance shortage. My father decided that there is no point in sending me to college and so I joined him in his agricultural work. After some time we had huge loss and had to sell our lands. I felt uncomfortable living there any more. I wanted to move away from that place for some time. So I contacted a friend who is the nephew of Navatha KrishamRaju. He is a producer and already had 10-14 films to his credit. I got a a letter from my friend and went to Madras. Thatís the first time I have ever been to a city. I took the letter and met Mr. Navatha KrishnamRaju. He said life is not as easy and happy as people think about film industry. He advised me to go back to my place. I was completely discouraged. But there is nothing I can do going back to my place. So I started living here and there. Every day I used to go to Pondy bazaar and listen to these assistant directors chatting. Also I used to go to Navatha KrishnamRajuís office every day in the morning. Initially he used to ask me on why I did not go back to my place. However I used to go and stand before his gate everyday morning. After a month or so he asked me on what I exactly wanted to do. In the spur of the moment, I said Assistant director. Then he gave me a chance to work with Kanakala Devadas garu for Oo initi Baagotham.
EVV: His experiences as assistant director
Even though he had 3-4 assistant directors by the time, I impressed him with my work and by the end of the
movie he suggested me to stay with him. I worked with him 3-4 years. Later on things did not workout well for
Kanakala Devadas garu and he shifted to Hyderabad. I was back to square one. Again I went to Navatha
KrishnamRaju garu. This time he placed me with Mr. Jandhyala for Nallugu Stambaalaata, his second movie.
Jandhyala also liked my work and offered me to stay with him. From then on for the next ten years I worked with
Jandhyala as assistant director. Slowly I shifted my family to Hyderabad. Rajesh and Naresh were kids at that time.
We left Rajesh with their grandparents. Its tough to take care to two children with a meager salary of 300Rs.
House rent itself is 110 Rs. So I had to get on with just 190 Rs.
EVV: Chevilo Puvvu
During the making of Ahha Naa Pellanta on suresh productions, RamaNaidu garu noticed me.
He has a good eye for a talent. I always worked hard and behaved responsible. Naidu garu already gave break to
Gopal and Murali Mohan Rao as directors the previous years. When I went to congratulate him on the success of
Aha naa pellanta he offered me a movie if I come up with good script. I always used to write down my thoughts,
any jokes or corrections during the shootings on piece of paper. I used to buy a bundle of papers every month for
33 Rs. My wife used to comment on me that my salary is going for white papers itself. So i worked hard and came
out with a script. Thatís how Chevillo Puvvu came out. Naidu garu is very impressed with the script and offered me
to make that movie.
EVV: "Rachana & Sahakaaram" for Indrudu Chandrudu
The next day when I went to discuss the casting for the movie he told me that he got dates from Kamal Hassan,
for which he has been pursuing for some time. Chevillo Puvvu is postponed for few months and they started Indrudu
Chandrudu. During the shooting Naidu garu asked me if I am interested in working with Kamal Hassan as an assistant
director. Kamal Hassan needed someone with spontaneity and fluency in Tamil and Telugu. During the making of
Indrudu Chandrudu, I learnt so much working with Kamal Hasan. . He is a genius. He knows everything.
Our wavelengths matched and we used to change the dialogues given by the dialogue writers and we used write our own.
We changed almost 80% of the dialogues given by Paruchuri Brothers. Because of that instead of Assistant director,
my name came out with the credits of ďrachana and sahakaaramĒ.
EVV: Chevilo Puvvu Experince and Prema kaidhi Making
After Indrudu Chandrudu, Naidu garu went on to make a movie with Anil Kapoor, Jeevan Ka sangarsh and
my project was postponed for few more months. During this time, K.Ashok Kumar nephew of Naidu garu, heard my
story and wanted to make the movie, which is seconded by Naidu garu. So we made the movie. During the making,
I got around 11 offers. If you are recommended by Naidu garu, its like ISI stamp. There is no mistake of mine
in the movie being a flop. I donít want to discuss the reasons. Naidu garu definitely knows them. But once the
movie flopped, no one wanted me. I approached few producers. They said they are not ready to make a movie.
That three months period is the worst phase of my life. I went into depression. During that time I got a
call form Naidu garu again. He gave me a script to me and asked me to give feedback, as he wanted to make it.
The script subject is good but the treatment was bad. I did not want to say the same to him. The script writers
are very famous and gave great hits on Suresh Productions. I didnot want to lose the chance by saying that.
I said the script is good but it needs some changes. I sat on that for 9 months and made 17 versions of it.
Finally we made the movie and it went on to become a blockbuster hit. That is Prema Khaidhi. It crossed all the
records. It went on to celebrate silver jubilee in 12 centers. Naidu garu offered me to make the movie in Hindi.
Since I am not that fluent in Hindi or English, K.Murali Mohan Rao directed it. From that point on I had to never
How many movies did you make till now
Thotti Gang is my 39th movie. I produced 6 of them. 3 on my own and 3 with partners.
Tell us about your "Thotti Gang"
EVV: About Thotti Gang
In the beginning I made all comedy movies. Thatís my strong point. I went a little away from comedy and made
different kind of movies. I still used comedy tracks in my films which clicked. There is a change in the trend.
And whenever I tried to make a movie with that trend, they did not click. Wherever I went, people kept asking me
to make a movie in my style. I realized that audience is expecting a different kind of entertainment from
E.V.V in his style. That is what you will see in Thotti Gang. Thotti Gang is a completely comedy oriented.
This will be the best comedy of my career. The only motto of this film is to make the audience laugh for two and
half hours in EVV Style. There is no scope for sentis, troubles. Music also would be definitely a hit.
EVV: Casting and production of Thotti Gang
This is my dream project. I had this on my mind for the last five years. I registered the title also 5 years ago.
But it was delayed because of casting problems. That time there were no comedy actors. RajendraPrasad and Naresh
lost their markets. Casting Srikanth and others would be non-casting. After watching Allari recently I thought
Naresh has got the potential to be a comedy actor because of his dialogue timing and body language. People
complemented him to be alternative to RajendraPrasad. Sunil gained so much of popularity in short time and
he really deserves it. The third character needed some dance skills too. I thought of Prabhu Deva because he can
do the comedy well too. The casting proved to be perfect.
I feel if someone else is a producer they would not allowed me to cast PrabhuDeva. I did not think from the
business angle. I wanted to make an excellent product. Till now I spent around 3.25 crores on the movie and will
spend 1 crore more on publicity. If it is with another producer they would pack it up in 2 crores. Now I am decided
I will do films only on my banner. There will be 1 or 2 exceptions. Its better making movies on your own because
that gives you lot of freedom. This movie will definitely prove my stamina.
EVV: About the publicity of the movie
A small movie needs good publicity. The theater rents have gone up and competition among movies is very high. If you donít get good initial openings you wont get anything. After the first two weeks it will be word of mouth. But the initial collections depend on publicity. And also to reach every nook and corner to tell the audience about the movie we need to spend good money.
What is your involvement in the career of Rajesh and Naresh
EVV: About his involvement in Rajesh and Naresh's career
I leave their career to them. See, I came up on my own. One needs to learn things on their own. I did not even
listen to the stories of Sontham, Allari or Album. I let them select their own movies. After the failure of
Chevilo Puvvu I gave continuously 11 hits. I believe you learn every thing be experience. If they have failures,
they will learn their mistakes and wont repeat them again. The only thing I tell them is how to behave with the
directors and producers. I tell them not to be a burden to the producers and directors. For example if you are
greedy for a cigarette packet when they are paying you 25 lakhs, the makers wont feel good about you. This will
turn out bad in the long run. Thatís what happened to one most popular director who is not seen now.
If you are greedy for small things and keep pestering the producers that would not do any good. Thatís the
only thing I teach them.
Any upcoming movies or plans
I will be involved and totally concentrated on this movie till its 100 days.
Are you planning any movie with Kamal Hasan. Because you mentioned that he wanted to make a movie with you
I still dream of that. We have two great artists Amitabh and Kamal Hasan. I got to direct Amitabh for Hindi
Suryavamsam. Forget about result of the movie. On the day of the preview, Amitabh garu took me over to his
place for dinner. He complemented me on the way I made the movie. Thatís a life time experience. I will work with
Kamal Hasan very soon. He actually made me couple of offers to work on his own banner. But unfortunately both
the times I had other projects in hand. But I will definitely work with him.