From Actor to Writer: Producing Malaysia’s Second Telugu Telemovie

Jagadanandakaraka. The film I produced as my first step into the field of production. It wasn’t an easy journey – especially during this pandemic. I had previously worked in a number of small scale projects and I had thought of producing a movie in spite of my limited experience in that area. Knowing that it was not going to be an easy thing to embark on, I came out of my comfort zone and mentally prepared myself to face anything that came along my way. I wrote the story and worked on the pitch to secure the project. Everything went as per plan until MCO 2.0 hit. There was a lot of chaos and I was stuck in the dilemma of deciding if I should continue with it – as some amount of costs had already been involved. We eventually had to reschedule it to another date while hoping that the government would grant some flexibility to the movie industry to continue shooting as usual. There you go, everything was back to square one. We had to work on pre-production again, including re-negotiation. Re-identifying the location was another major challenge as the earlier fixed location wasn’t available due to COVID-19 restrictions. I experienced a lot of stress and was constantly thinking how I would pull off this project as the submission date was nearing. Since I had decided to step in to producing movies, I decided that these kind of challenges shouldn’t stop me, but rather I should work on solutions instead of complaining. However, all these wouldn’t be possible if I had taken this up alone and I didn’t have a great team to work along with. I would like to thank my executive producer Jeyapragash Jeyamurthi who jumped into the project to “help and guide” me in a better direction. Without his support, I wouldn’t have made this happen. Whenever I was stuck, I would reach out to him and he was always available to help me. Besides him, I also had my strong team of directors.
  • Naavin Samrat, who directed this movie and was there from day one till the day of submission. We began working on this project in June/July 2020 and he acted as my advisor on the film’s technical requirements. There were times I may have tortured him, haha. I do hope we can continue working on more projects.
  • Gobbinath Batumalai, who joined the team as an associate director and as the acting coach. I loved the way he moved things forward and was another key pillar for the project.
Mentioned above are the key people who have travelled this far with me and I am happy to have found such a strong team to pull this project off. The production managers also did a fantastic job by managing the shoot and I would like to thank A.R. Dinesh Martin for the great job. I would like to thank the music director Barath Rao – I’m happy to introduce him as a composer in this project. His level of dedication is unbelievable and he did an amazing job. The song Ninne Choose blew my mind. A big kudos to the rest of my tech team Ashvinee Ash-Vin, Luvania Ravendran for make-up, Pa Poi the art director, Soma Kanthan and his team for DOP, Selva the sound designer, Thana from the wardrobe department, Dineshwaran Bole Ar Seng as the editor, Kay & Fendi the audio man, production boys, Telugu dialogue writer Latha Akka and every other person who worked on this project. I would like to say a big thank you to all of you for pulling this off. The posters were designed by the wonderful Shanker Ragaven and I was amazed with his work. His colors enhanced the impact of the posters and their overall look and feel. Last but not least, I would also like to thank the cast of the telemovie, Komalaa Naaidu, Vanishrri Rao, SK Fit, Ananth Rao, Meshra Rao, Kalarani Mathan, Konathala Prakash Garu, K.Pathmanathan R.Karuppiah, Saravana Sugu, Sharma Rao Balakrishnan, Srinivasa Rao Mariah Pakalapatti, Shangkara Rao Aplanaidu and Deva Venkataraman. All you guys did a wonderful job. Jagadanandakaraka premiered on Astro (channel 201) on the 13th of April at 9 PM, in occasion of Ugadhi 2021.  

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