Blab with Sandy: Lakshmikanth Chenna

Blab With Sandy: Lakshmikanth Chenna

Hello Folks! Director Lakshmikanth Chenna joins me on my talk show #BlabwithSandy. You have watched the super hit film ‘Hyderabad Nawabs’ and embraced its sheer brilliance. Lakshmikanth made his official directorial debut with ‘Hyderbad Nawabs’ and carved a name for himself in the tinsel town. Let’s move into the blab I had with him:

Sandy: Hello Brother! How have you been doing?

Lakshmikanth: Hi Sandy. I am doing good, thank you. 🙂

Sandy: Whenever people aren’t in mood and need something to cheer about, most of the times they watch your film ‘Hyderabad Nawabs’. Isn’ t that cool? 🙂

Lakshmikanth: Is it, Sandy? Its always a great feeling hearing such things. Yes, the kind of response and love that ‘Hyderabad Nawabs’ received had been immense and it still continues to win hearts. It definitely is very cool.

Sandy: Please tell us about your early days.

Lakshmikanth: I am from Vijayawada and completed my Intermediate studies from there. My uncle, Shankar was a very well known editor and he worked for RGV for Shiva, Rangeela and other films. He also worked with Gunasekhar and Teja. My brother had come to the industry during 1998. I too got inclined towards films and came to the industry during the early 2000s.

The best craft for me was directing but I also understood that editing is the most important craft. I started learning editing, used to work on the negatives and positives. Back then, the format of editing was quite different. Sit on the edit table, do the markings, check the sound parallels, etc. I worked in the editing department for about 30 films, after which I joined director Teja in the direction department.

Sandy: That’s an interesting journey. Talking about ‘Hyderabad Nawabs’, how did you manage to create such a classic film right at the beginning of your career?

Lakshmikanth: Ha-ha! I like it when you call it a classic. Actually, ‘The Angrez’ was ghost directed by me. I was called to assist for the film for a month or two.

I worked as a co-director for Bommarillu. Both the films were a hit and I felt its time for me to come up and direct something on my own name. That’s how ‘Hyderabad Nawabs’ came into existence.

Producer RK called me and asked me to directed this film. Urdu and Deccani language wasn’t known to me. I had met many horrible people before directing ‘Hyderabad Nawabs’. I made it a point to give my best to this film. Once it released, it became an overnight blockbuster.

Sandy: You followed it up with AM Ravi Krishna, Rekha and Tamannah starrer ‘Ninna Nedu Repu’. I still remember being its teasers and songs which won my heart. However, the film did not hit the right notes at the BO because of its delayed release. A few anecdotes on it?

Lakshmikanth: You are right. Thank you for remembering that film of mine. It was not a bad film at all. It had good audio, right amount of commercial dose and the trailer too did very well. However, its release got postponed 5-6 times. It is the biggest disappointment of my life, Sandy.

The film coming right after my blockbuster ‘Hyderabad Nawabs’. It had Koratala Siva’s dialogues. It had Parasuram as the assistant in the dialogues department. Both are now big names in the industry. I got depressed when ‘Ninna Nedu Repu’ did not do well in accordance to its subject quality. It was a very unique subject, with 3 nights story. I wish the film was released as per initial plans, because it could have done very well.

Sandy: How did you deal with the failure and gap in your filmography?

Lakshmikanth: I used all my savings during this gap, and it wasn’t easy. First Frame Entertainments’ Rajeev Reddy called and asked me to join as a 2nd unit director for his film ‘Gautamiputra Satakarni’, if I was free. I and Krish are close friends and we knew each other quite well. It was a big project and I was happy to join the team.

After which, I directed ‘Parichayam’, which was yet another lovely product from my end. The results weren’t satisfactory but I believe its one of the best works of mine till date. This is how I managed to run my show during the gap.

Sandy: Bravo! 🙂 So, your latest directorial is Navdeep and Pujitha Ponnada starrer ‘Run’. It has received nice accolades from the viewers on the OTT platform.

Lakshmikanth: Rajeev Reddy called me to direct this OTT film ‘Run’. It has an interesting premise about a murder and 6 suspects. This gave me a new dimension to my filmography. ‘Run’ on Aha app is doing well currently.

Sandy: Your take on the OTT platforms in relation to the long going theatrical releases?

Lakshmikanth: Both are different. You cannot watch films going to theatre everytime. You cannot everytime sit and watch films on OTT platforms. Both have their own advantages.

Quick Shot Round:

  • Love: Sex
  • Biggest regret: My failures
  • Given a chance to change something in any of your films, which film would it be? Parichayam (on its release strategies)
  • Your best work till date: Parichayam
  • If not Director: I would have been a Politician or a Sportsperson
  • Most used App: Instagram
  • Actors you’d love to direct: Jr.NTR and Dhanush
  • Habit of yours that you like the most: Ha-ha! I speak a lot and I like it
  • One good thing and one bad thing about the film industry: Commercial aspect (good and bad)

Sandy: Your next film is ‘Commitment’. It seems to be a bold concept.

Lakshmikanth: ‘Commitment’ is all about love, dream, hope, and fight. Commitment is not about commitment to bed, as per the current mindset of the people. Its a commercial film about 4 girls and their emotions. It is a bold film no doubt, but with ethics and morals.

Industry is a business field. Only creativity is not going to take you to places. You also need to bring out something according to the business standards and trends. SS Rajamouli is the biggest commercial director, who has no flops to his credit. He looks at business point of view and adds creativity in accordance.

‘Commitment’ is a pure commercial film made for business and the current trends of the youth. But, it has its emotions in place and is a female oriented subject. I am hoping that it would do well at the BO.

Sandy: Any advice to the newcomers?

Lakshmikanth: Be genuine. Be straightforward. Don’t be like a slave and boot lick. Do not be a part of the ‘Bajana Batch’. Believe in yourself and move ahead!

Sandy: A few words about Hyderabad Local.

Lakshmikanth: Its fantastic the way you are doing your interviews. I went back to the 90s, and relished my flashback of how I came to the industry. You made me recollect my early years, my successes, my failures, my fight back, and I relish this talk with you, Sandy. I wish you the best and hope we work together for my next projects.

Editor’s  note: I always was intrigued with Lakshmikanth Chenna’s films. Be it a hit or a miss, his films always are always different from each other. I still remember loving his ‘Ninna Nedu Repu’s trailers and still love watching his ‘Hyderabad Nawabs’. Wishing him a super hit cinematic journey ahead! 🙂

Interview by Sandy (Sandeep Rao)

Follow Lakshmikanth @lakshmikanth_chenna

Follow Sandy @blabwithsandy



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