Exclusive : Director Subbu Interview

Director Subbu began shooting for his third film five days ago. Breaking News is the title of the project. The director shuttles between the USA and India and just before Corona hit the world, he wrapped up Rahu and released it in 2020; the next release is awaited and the film has been titled Bommala Koluvu. He terms Breaking News as a social satire, not on television per se. He adds, “There will be certain media aspects, how news actually is sourced, navigated and impacts the people. How we perceive it as listeners and as followers of news, how it has a larger impact on our lives is what is dealt with. Also, it is about if the news would drive us to do something negative or positive in life. The story is written by BVS Ravi and I am executing it as a director. I can say with confidence that this content is unique and it is meant to be a theatre film. Regina Cassandra is the lead and plays a police officer. Subbaraju and JD Chakravarthy are seen in important roles. Principal cast is Jhansi and Suresh (old timer). Technician Eshwar Yellumahanthi (DoP of my film Bommalakoluvu and Rahu) has been associated with us for quite some time now.

Director Subbu Interview

He reiterates that Breaking News is murder mystery, it has nothing to do with media. He also talks of his academics and how he got into the industry. “If I were to say that it is a social satire that includes the media, it will probably pass on the wrong message. The aspect plays an important role and has a big impact. I did a course at New York University to study film making, I never worked as an intern but worked in a couple of features in New York. I met BVS Ravi and Kona Venkat there and made a decision to get in here. The duo were instrumental in me coming here. I got the initial break in 2020. In my experience, I noticed that as ADs, the work they learn is from the standpoint of access and not on the creativity side. More or less, they make sure things are in place, it might help later in the bigger process if you make short films etc. I made Rahu before Corona hit the world. Emo Emo by Sid Sreeram loved the song. Going by the reviews, the response was very good; on the flip side there were others who didn’t like it as well. It was meant to be a girl’s fight back. A girl who has a specific medical condition, who goes blind under stress regains her vision but under stress can’t see. She is cornered in the house and there is a killer outside. The audience found it thrilling. It was made with a minimalistic budget. We then sold it to Zee.”

Subbu observes that casting plays an important role and especially there is a strong stereotyping in the movies. It is not a good thing to break that. He cast Jabardasth Chalaki Chanti as a ruthless killer. Chanri delivers the lines that are meant to be dark humour always but he is a ruthless killer here. That probably didn’t click. Also, Subbu played the principal character, who is the heroine’s dad, and that didn’t go well. He is honest enough to admit that his decision was wrong. “There is a saying that familiarity breeds content but in this case, it needs familiar faces. On top of it there are new guys, new people. For a small film, we need known faces otherwise it can’t go to the people. It is a new experience for me and with Breaking News, I am trying to cover the mistakes I made previously, it might help in the next project. We also make fresh mistakes, it is a creative field at the end of the day. There is no set formula about making a successful film. Sometimes when we mimic, it might end up as a disaster.”

The film is planned for thirty days and it is being shot in Hyderabad. Subbu hasn’t seen many films or any film per se on a satirical angle, that way it scores. Regina is a phenomenal actor and he waxes eloquent on her performance. “She goes to the rigor of understanding every line. In case she has to drink green tea, she does ask why the character is drinking it and what purpose it serves. I always have the character sketch, the backstory as it helps the artist in what they are doing and why they are doing. Not many ask such questions. She is brilliant. There are seven main characters and the production will be done in four weeks from now. Praveen Lakkaraju is this film’s music composer, He is a bit underrated but I am sure he will shine very soon. Editor is Vara Prasad. BVS is playing a crucial role, he is going to report the breaking news,a media person.”

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