Exclusive : Sreedhar Seepana Interview

He is a prolific writer and is known for dishing out light hearted entertainment. Sreedhar Seepana began his career with Ahana Pellanta and continues to impress audiences with his stories and dialogues. He is a keen observer and updates his dialogues and caters to the uber crowd too. The writer has turned director and all his three films are ready to hit the screen. In a chat with Klapboardpost.com, Sreedhar Seepana says wielding the megaphone was not a planned move, it happened by chance and he is more than happy with his decision. He is however ready to sail on two boats, as a director for his films and writer for other productions.

Tell us something about your up and coming projects.

This is the third film that I directed. Both are ready. The first one is my dream project and it is titled Brindavanam Adi Andaridi and next is Kalyan Dhev’s and Wanted Pandugod which is releasing first. I don’t see any pressure being a writer, it is a cake walk for me and I derive pleasure translating the director’s vision into words. If I am a writer plus a director it means there is a discount on pressure but the pressure is more if you are a director without being a writer. Pressure, however, is common for all the mentioned. Wanted Pandugod is Janardhan Maharshi’s story and is being made on director Raghavendra Rao’s production. The latter selected this story but the first two stories are mine.

How did Brindavanam Adi Andaridi happen?

This will remind you of Jandhyala’s stories that are native and colorful. I had been to the USA for the shoot of Two Countries. My friends were seeing a film and it struck me that I should be making a film similar to that with a few newcomers. Srinivasa Vangala and Prabhakar Reddy, my friends, are producers. They liked the story that I narrated and made their debut in film production. I wanted to become a director and we as friends decided we should do it collectively. I never planned to be a director this soon, I was very busy writing four stories regularly every year. This was just a spontaneous decision and it fell in place with the right team. The movie is for sure a visual feast. I must say I had plenty of creative freedom and while I was on the script, I had visuals running through my mind and I executed it exactly as I saw it. Brindavanam Adi Andaridi has music by Mani Sarma and lyrics by late Seetarama Sastry.

What is it about?

The concept is that elders shouldn’t earn and hoard wealth for their sons and grandchildren but it is important to teach them to make a living. All this is done in an entertaining manner. Harshavardhan Rane and Richa Panay, Pridhvi and Kranti Kumar form the cast. shooting started. In a short gap, I had the opportunity to direct Kalyan Dhev in People’s Media Production. Two years got lost due to the pandemic but I can say with confidence that this story will be fresh even after five years. I have shot the film in such a manner that it will engage the audience and there is no question of getting outdated. Regarding Kalyan Dhev and Avika Gor, it is full of energy. The date of release is yet to be announced and it is like one of those Tom and Jerry kind of comedies. My story germinated from there and you will agree that it is common for the boy and girl to cheat each other. This is shown in an entertaining way.

Wanted Pandugod has an ensemble cast, who is the hero?

The story is about the hero. Having said that, I shall put it in a nutshell. It is about the problems of people and these people want their problems to be solved through a lottery and not by hard work. Did they get a lottery and did their problems vanish? The film will engage you till the last scene.

Has OTT platforms changed the lives of new writers?

The OTT platform has thrown up work possibilities. It isn’t easy completely for writers and directors and they need to work doubly hard. Keeping the longevity in it aside, there is definitely scope to get work. After the advent of OTT, we don’t know which film is coming and which is going. The amount of work you put in is more for OTT though the content could be identical for a feature film. If we work for a film, just before the release we put up hoardings and it is easy to release in theatres. Making a film for OTT specifically is a different ball game. A few of my friends were about to begin work for films to be streamed on OTT and got cancelled at the last minute. We hear the OTT is asking for multiple versions for approval of stories, if it is being approached by new writers and directors. They are coming with bound scripts but are failing to convince or impress them.

How does it work for a film? Are you changing genre?

Getting approvals is far easier, less cumbersome in the film industry because it is a smaller world. If a film is a hit here, people will come to us and we don’t have to struggle. I don’t have the courage to try new genres and I like to stick to entertainment and comedy. In it, I wish to showcase sensible issues and make it a wholesome package. It is widely believed that entertainment is the minimum guarantee…just not now but in the future too. Post pandemic, people are in a state of confusion and are looking for calm and stability. They don’t want to spend money and see preachy stories on the big screen. That is the last thing they want to have in their lives. If you notice, once a show is done..people walk out and facing the media blurt out that there is a lag and no entertainment in a film. It isn’t that we are losing our sense of humour. People laugh at silly and ordinary one liners and we wonder what is there to laugh about but the fact is that we are from the industry and we are exposed to many things but a common man comes with an open mind and he enjoys funny stuff to which we don’t normally react.

Who are those directors who inspire you?

Jandhyala’s works are my favourite. He shows characters that we see in our neighbourhood. I have learnt a sense of timing from Sreenu Vytla. Our quality of comedy is shrinking and also there is a huge dearth of comedians. I do miss having Brahmanandam around in movies. There was a time when people would go to films and wait patiently for his entry. Comedians bring life and spark into a script. There is always a demand for comedy films and the entertainment genre. Sreenu Vytla has never failed in comedy, his stories might be weak but his sense of humour is unbeatable. Right now, we need stories like Wanted Pandugod. The star system will always be there and alongside such films and comedians also will have an audience. We haven’t recovered from the pandemic and we are being submerged with one problem or the other. It will perhaps take a year for this confusion to disappear and everything will fall in place….Y.Sunita Chowdhary

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