Looking up to Murugadoss
Even while growing up on Chiranjeevi movies, Kumar Vatti nurtured dreams of becoming a filmmaker. However, he did not know when and how he had to take the plunge.
Even while growing up on Chiranjeevi movies, Kumar Vatti nurtured dreams of becoming a filmmaker. However, he did not know when and how he had to take the plunge. After doing odd jobs in Chennai and Ahmedabad, in 2006, Vatti decided that time was ripe for taking the first big step towards his career goal. And he did!
“Through a friend I joined Supreme Music Company in 2006 where I learnt basics of editing because I was told that knowledge of editing would go a long way in appreciating filmmaking and also brighten directorial prospects,” he recalls. Having resolved to jump on to the bandwagon, Kumar began working under a film editor without any pay.
“I was being paid well at Supreme but I had to leave it to work on Avid. Soon stints with Super Good Films and Suresh Productions followed. Impressed with my skills, noted editor Marthand K Venkatesh took me under his wings and I assisted him for a long time.” While working on ‘Yuvatha’ as an Avid editor, he forged a bond with its director Parasuram.
“He was the one who asked me, ‘What next’? I told him about my ambitions and he asked me to assist him for his projects. While on ‘Solo’, I met Sri Vishnu. He had a small dialogue in the film and I was taken aback by the way he went about it. I told him, ‘You would become a big factor in the future. Your body language is spot on’,” Kumar says, “In fact, while shooting ‘Solo’ in Vizag, I told him that he’d be my first hero if I turn a director.”
After working for Parusuram’s films like ‘Anjaneyulu’ and ‘Sarocharu’, Kumar decided to go solo.
“I’ve narrated three subjects to Vishnu. He didn’t like the first one. He endorsed the other two and was particular on the third one. But I was sure that he’d okay the second one. He indeed, as the very next day he said, ‘We will go ahead with the third one.’ But he still had some apprehensions as he felt ‘Maa Abbayi’ was too heavy for his soft image.
I told him I’ll take care of it but he was still cagey. Only after I reassured him that he gave the go-ahead.” But Vatti admits to have battled inferiority complex because of his short stature. “I’d always wonder, ‘Will producers ever listen to my story in the first place’? But around the same time I happened to watch the audio launch of ‘Ghajini’ in Telugu.
I was surprised to see Murugadoss. I quickly realised that being short doesn’t matter and all that matters is a good story and the will to succeed,” he informs, adding that he is also a fan of Trivikram and Sukumar’s works. ‘Maa Abbayi’, he says, is what happens when a family goes through a problem and how the son(Vishnu) solves it.
“It’s a screenplay-based drama and Vishnu plays a software employee. He doesn’t have a name in the film as he is addressed as Abbayi by everyone.” He says finding a heroine for the film proved to be a difficult task. “We were to go on floors on February 11 last year and till February 3, we didn’t have a heroine. We went through 5000 profiles but no girl caught my attention.
I wanted someone who was plain and at the same time strikingly beautiful. It took me some time to remember a girl in ‘Nenu Sailaja’. She appears in the first song of the film for a few seconds. We enquired about her and discovered her to be Chitra Shukla. She was immediately zeroed in,” he signs off.