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We are determined to improve processes: Suresh Babu

Wednesday, June 5, 2019 • Tamil Comments

We are determined to improve processes: Suresh Babu

D Suresh Babu in this interview talks about the plans of Suresh Productions to make the Telugu film industry more competent and knowledgeable.  Catch him talk about how he is working to fill up his own knowledge gap and that of the industry.

An illustrious journey

It's quite a milestone that, more than 55 years ago, a villager set out to do some business and eventually went on to become a Movi Moghul.  He stayed back in the film industry, as he felt that there was a lot of inefficiency in the system.  He wanted to show efficiency by utilizing the opportunities present before him.  It took him 14-15 years for him to establish himself.  The phase 1964-1980 was the first phase.  After 'Prem Nagar' in 1970, Suresh Productions had a great time till 1980.  There was some dip in its fortunes for some years after this.

Creating an ecosystem

Just as my father set out to bring in efficiency in the film industry, we too are trying to do the same as per today's standards.  It's not relevant for any production house to stay relevant after 55 years.  What was a production company is now a content, talent management and technology-based company.  We are developing an ecosystem.  For example, we want to create a Marvel-like universe around Amar Chitra Katha.  Indian mythology offers so much content.  ACK will be providing us content.  The idea is to tell our stories all across.

Branching out in many ways

How to make our stories more relevant is the question.  There is literature, there is technology, there are opportunities.  Talent-hunting process has been going on.  New processes have come into being.  Old processes have been shed in the industry.  At Suresh Productions, we are working on enhancing them and their efficacy.  There was a time when Bombay was an inefficient industry.  Today, there is corporate culture.  'Uri', for example, was made in a short time.  We have to learn from such processes.  Technicians are graduating from our studios.

Training as a producer

Even I need to get trained as a producer.  I too have a knowledge gap.  I must be willing to learn.  Whether it is a Rs 5 Cr movie or a Rs 200 Cr movie, we are putting in mentors, trainers, both from India and other countries.  I want the whole industry to increasingly adopt these processes.  When the whole world is changing, we too should change.  In a studio in Hyderabad, they are doing films in the same way they used to 25 years ago.

Change is needed everywhere

The programming for single-screen cinemas has to change.  Why should only one film play throughout the day?  Why not play four films if they can be accommodated?

We want to create a market place for musicians the way Pritam is doing in Mumbai.  That way, we will create an ecosystem for wannabe musicians.  Digital marketing, etc will also see improvements.  The ultimate aim is to tell better stories eventually by setting up proper ecosystems.

Being like Hollywood

There are lot many talented youngsters out there.  But lack of experience is rendering them inefficient.  There are some people like Tharun Bhascker who are extremely organized.  Others abandon learning either due to laziness or lack of confidence.  They repent later.  The way you do shot division, the way you do recce - everything needs to be done in an organized way.  Today, we have the kind of technology that Hollywood has. Why then are we not able to do films as efficiently as them?  It's because we are not following the processes.  We have to improve with respect to image quality, sound design, etc.  We need to adopt the kind of uniformity that Hollywood is known for. Budding talents should show interest to learn, so also others.  Knowledge can't be forced.

I have to be better

If I and a top producer from Hollywood sit together and discuss the technology, it would be proven that I don't know anything compared to him. But an Indian cardiologist and an American cardiologist at the comparator level will be on the same page.  I am successful not because I am great; I am successful because others are not as good.  You are as good as your competitor.  If I were to be the Line Producer of a film like 'Avatar', I would be left clueless.

Though I am very confident, I am always scared.  I always live with the fear that I might have to quit the film industry if a film of mine flops.  I take inputs from friends, etc by screening my movies much ahead of theatrical release.  I am also open to discussing the story of my movies.

Small films need to be marketed

People don't want to watch small films.  With Rs 100, you can watch a big star's movie, Rajamouli's movie, a Venkatesh movie, a small film.  You wouldn't want to watch the last one even if the word of mouth is good.  People want to watch just one or two movies a month.

Planning big, going to other languages

'Hiranyakashyapa' might turn out to be one of the biggest Indian films. We are also working on a lot of other films.  We don't announce films until the actual day of launch. We are also starting to do some Tamil and Hindi movies.  At least 100 people are working on 'Hiranyakashyapa'.  Pre-Visualization is being done.

Strong policy decisions

We want to create a separate banner for different styles of films.  For example, Rana Daggubati has suggested that we produce films like 'Falaknuma Das' under the new offshoot banner.  In Hollywood, Walt Disney and the like do that.  The problem with the Indian film industry is that genres are not clearly demarcated.  In Walt Disney films, they don't show a drop of blood in films.  They have strong policy statements.  MGR garu never drank or smoked in any film.  When Venkatesh is seen smoking in a film, I feel a bit bad because he is my brother and he doesn't smoke in real life.

Remakes are not easy.  If I were to remake 'De De Pyar De', 80 percent of the scenes from the original won't be there in the Telugu version.

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