Hello Folks! We have Vijay Yelakanti, the director of Lakshmi Manchu’s upcoming film W/O Ram with us in this week’s Blab with Sandy. Vijay Yelakanti’s directorial debut W/O Ram releases this Friday (20th July 2018). It stars Lakshmi Manchu, Aadarsh, Priyadarshi, Samrat Reddy and others. Raghu Dixit has composed the BGM for the film. Let’s dive into the exciting blab I had with him:
Sandy: Hello Vijay garu 🙂
Vijay: Hey! 🙂
Sandy: Could you tell us about your background?
Vijay: Like many contemporary filmmakers, I did my technical course, but its not B.Tech but Architecture, then flew to USA for MS in Construction Management in Michigan State University. When I realized I need to do something more creative with my life, I came back to Hyderabad and joined Ramanaidu Film School.
From there I worked with SS Rajamouli garu as Script Assistant and VFX AD for Eega, followed by Associate Director for Baahubali 1. After that I directed some local, national Ads and gave concepts to international Ads.
Sandy: How did W/O Ram happen to you?
Vijay: I was directing Kalanjali Ad with Lakshmi garu and that’s when I met her. She was super impressed with me during the shoot. Then later our rapport developed which lead to W/O Ram.
Sandy: Lakshmi Manchu garu has been backing stories which contain something different in them. How different will her character be in W/O Ram from the ones she has portrayed before?
Vijay: I didn’t set out to write a different character. I wrote a story about an ordinary woman who is pushed into dangerous situation. But if I had to differentiate, then the major difference in character is that there is no glorification of protagonist. We stayed true to the character and didn’t make it cinematic for a sake of it. Lakshmi garu acted without makeup.
In our last article, I mentioned how heroines looking ordinary is different, “Audience are so tuned to see actors without flaws and blemishes on screen, and this dramatic shift without makeup will make audience sit up and notice the character.” Click here to read it.
Sandy: Could you tell us about your working experience with Lakshmi Manchu?
Vijay: She is a true professional. I never felt I was working with Lakshmi Manchu. She was almost like a newcomer, very enthusiastic and flexible. As she is a trained actor, she added a lot of detailing into her performance, many subtle nuances which added lot to the storytelling. This was Lakshmi Manchu as an actor.
As a producer, she was the best producer a debutant can get. She was the pillar of strength and we were always in the same page throughout the film till now. She always believed in my decisions and helped me in taking things forward without hesitation.
Sandy: Raghu Dixit has composed tunes for W/O Ram. Few anecdotes on him and his music.
Vijay: I was lucky in this department as well. He is an amazing musician. He has a very unique style of himself which cannot be copied, that factor really attracted me. Although he does folk rock, he gave a very urban atmospheric tense music to the film, which enhanced the storytelling by miles.
When I was working with Raghu, I knew very little about him and we soon became friends in the process. In recent interviews, I came to know more about Raghu and his cult following. Privileged to work with him and lucky that he scored BGM for my first movie.
Quick Shot Round:
- Tollywood: My industry.
- Favorite Genre: Drama
- Lakshmi Manchu: The M
- A thing that you carry to the sets: Phone with Director’s Viewfinder app
- Aadarsh Balakrishna: Rockstar
- Favorite places in Hyderabad: Paradise
- Hobbies: Sketching
- Priyadarshi: Kaka
- Given a chance to direct a James Bond remake in Telugu, whom would you pick as the lead: Rana, he is the closest in physique to my fav Daniel Craig
- A film which is close to your heart: The Unbreakable
- One good thing and one not-so-good thing about the industry: Fraternity for both
- If you had to change anything in W/O Ram, what would that be: I did everything I wanted to
Sandy: What’s in store for Vijay after W/O Ram?
Vijay: Lot of exciting projects in different mediums. Will share details soon.
Sandy: What can the audience expect from W/O Ram? Anything you would like to convey to the readers about the film?
Vijay: W/O Ram is an edge of the seat thriller that will entertain the audience for 1:55 minutes with a different narrative style, but what makes this movie special is the impression which it leaves on the audience after they leave the theater. I am hoping they will remember the film for longtime.
Sandy: A few words about Hyderabad Local (www.hyderabadlocal.com).
Vijay: I recently came to know about Hyderabad Local. Being a Hyderabadi, it is good to see a web space capturing the action of Hyderabad. We should make the city buzz with art, music and films.
Editor’s Note: Wishing Vijay Yelakanti, Lakshmi Manchu and the whole team of W/O Ram a success at the cinemas and hope the movie becomes C/O Box Office with aplomb.
Special Thanks: Navya Rao
Interview by Sandeep Rao Kanukolanu (Sandy)