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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

a little bit of avakai in my life....

As I sit watching the edit happen on my movie Avakai-Biryani (Mango Pickled Biryani), I am reminded about how all of this first started……..
Back in 2006. Sekhar Kammula’s ‘Godavari’ had just released to good reviews but to an unfavorable box office response, finally ending as an ‘average’ film business wise. Having worked as both the executive producer and associate director on the film, I gave it my all and I mean MY ALL, shooting in the middle of that amazing river for a 100 days, with more than a 100 people on board 3 launches, bang in the middle of the monsoon, with the heaviest rainfall and floods being recorded ever, the production of Godavari was a truly life changing experience for me, something I will take to my grave, something that made me believe that we could shoot on Mt.Everest next if we wanted to….something that really made a filmmaker out of me…
and watching it not making it in the box office, disheartened me, depressed me and pushed me into the blackest phase of my professional career…..I was questioning why I had spent the last 10 years of my life in this cynical-tough as nails-bitchy-unforgiving place called ‘the film industry’…
Sekhar had me take time off, I went on a bit of a soul searching trip across the konkan…drifting from one low to another….this trip was just a pretext to finally sit down and write a feature film, something Sekhar has been goading me to do since my ‘Anand’ days with him…little did he know, I was only making the trip to escape from the industry here in Hyderabad….The ‘Godavari’ experience left me feeling bitter about the people working here and the public….I was hard headed, I know, but I thought I needed to get away and re- renew my career…..my life….
This was when I tried to write something ‘happy’…something optimistic…something inspirational….something lighthearted….the result was Avakai-Biryani…but….I didn’t actually write the entire draft of ‘AB’ while on my trip on the konkan….instead I would write and leave it midway to wallow in self pity and a few vodkas, the depression wouldn’t leave me…..but I still managed to write a treatment which will make COF look like HAHK. (sigh….alright the full form “Hum Aapke Hain Koun”)
Anyways….The result of all of this was “confessions of a filmmaker”-(shot on HD-released on the internet, with assistance from PFC)…….but then, let me skip a few chapters after that….and talk about the immediate past and the imminent future….
Avakai Biryani….my first movie…my immediate past and my imminent future…
Hello PFC readers, don’t think anyone here would have missed me….but I am happy to be back, writing again…
Right after “Happy Days” began my “Happy Phase” (corny-I know)….but seriously, the super success of Sekhar’s ‘Happy Days’ revitalized me….so much so that I re-visited my once darkly written AB script….
The result was a happy, progressive, optimistic ,movie draft….which I was happy to present to Sekhar and which he readily agreed to produce….
And so today as I sit watching the edit….I am also reminded about what big adventures it took to make this small film…..but more about that in a later post….
For now cheers PFC.