The Puri Connect

The Puri Connect
Highlights

Like many filmmakers of the current lot, Pradeep Maddali too left a well-paying software job in Hyderabad to follow his dream – filmmaking. Having grown up admiring Ram Gopal Varma, the Rajamahendravaram born and bred is currently giving finishing touches to his maiden venture ‘47 Days’, starring ‘Jyothi Lakshmi’ fame Satyadev in the lead. 

Like many filmmakers of the current lot, Pradeep Maddali too left a well-paying software job in Hyderabad to follow his dream – filmmaking. Having grown up admiring Ram Gopal Varma, the Rajamahendravaram born and bred is currently giving finishing touches to his maiden venture ‘47 Days’, starring ‘Jyothi Lakshmi’ fame Satyadev in the lead.

He shares, “Besides his films, I was inspired by Ramugari’s blog and used to interact with him through the medium on a frequent note late last decade. He announced the concept of ‘Businessman’ on his blog with the idea of producing it with Suriya. Impressed by the concept, I made a poster and sent it across to him. He liked it and we met shortly thereafter. I’ve also met Puri (Jagannadh) garu as he was directing ‘Businessman’. Soon after, I quit my job and started working under Purigaru as an assistant director.”

The association went on for six films (prominent among them include ‘Cameraman Gangatho Rambabu’, ‘Heart Attack’ and ‘Temper’) and later Pradeep joined Puri’s team of writers to hone his writing skills. “It was during ‘Temper’ I asked him whether I could be a part of his writing team. He was more than happy to accommodate me for ‘Jyothi Lakshmi’. He suggested to me some good scripting tutorials and we also exchanged a lot of ideas,” he informs, adding that Puri works on a script for a maximum of two weeks – one for ideation and its development, for the dialogue version.

“I learnt the art of how to develop a random idea into 65-70 scenes from him.” ‘47 Days’, he insists, is inspired by his own short film ‘Juliet’, which he directed before joining Puri. “It’s a murder mystery where Satya plays a suave cop,” he says, fearing that if he reveals more about the plot, it won’t augur well for the film’s BO prospects as it’s a thriller. “It would be in the mould of Aamir Khan’s ‘Talaash’ and Nana Patekar’s ‘Ab Tak Chappan’.”

To find a producer for ‘47 Days’ did take time, he admits. “I’ve started pitching the story to various producers in early 2016. While some did like it, others questioned my choice of Satya. They wanted a bankable star but I was adamant that Satya was tailor-made for the part and even tried to convince them but things didn’t work out. There was a point where I even considered going for crowdfunding but luckily singer-musician Raghu Kunche came to my rescue as he was on the lookout to produce small-budget movies. He asked me whether I had any interesting ideas and when I mentioned about ‘47 Days’, he green-lit it pronto. Within a month’s time, I got a team in place,” he flashbacks fondly.

Also starring Pooja Jhaveri, Roshni Prakash, Ravi Varma, Srikanth Iyengar and Kireeti Damaraju in supporting roles, ‘47 Days’, shot predominantly in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam with some parts being filmed in Goa and Warangal, was wrapped up in flat 34 days. He attributes this to the training he got from Puri.

“When you work under someone like him who has utmost clarity of what he expects from his actors and is very quick with decision-making, you try to emulate it. And that’s what I did with ‘47 Days’,” he smiles, further revealing that though there would be flashes of Puri and RGV’s filmmaking influence in the summer-slotted release, he tried to leave his own imprint. “I’ve tried to make it as real as possible.”

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