Thursday, June 16, 2011

How to make a masala Telugu Film

Now. Everyone would have gone through a moment where, when you were watching a movie you would have thought what if you were a character in that movie, how would you have reacted to that situation, what kinda decision you would have taken, how happy or sorrow you would have felt, how perfect your pair would have been if it were you, how you would have fought or how you would thought. For few of those who sink their legs even deeper you go on thinking how you would have choreographed, or written a dialog, or composed music or directed a movie.

            For the past few days I have been watching a lot of movies at theater. Particularly Telugu movies. Two theaters in the vicinity of your home and colorful posters on all the walls, you are bound to be tempted. And being the person that I am, you wouldn’t wonder at that. But due to the overdose and the quality of the movies I have been watching, I seriously started to contemplate whether I could make one and also be successful at it.

            You may start to wonder whether I’m kidding here. But no. I’m real serious. After-all its not that difficult. And after watching so many movies (telugu) right from my childhood, I think I have gained enough knowledge or expertise to make one. Its like how you learn to cook. All you need are right ingredients and a thorough knowledge of when to add what. So here I will explain to you how to make one, a-la cookery style.

Preparation Time– Anywhere between 1month to 1yr, sometimes even more.

Right time to prepare – All round the year but depends on the availability of funds and Superheroes.

Right time to serve – Again all round the year but extra special if served during festivals and national holidays.

Duration of the movie – Normally around 150 mins.

Ingredients – Now this is the most crucial part in the process. You get this right and you are bound to taste success.
1) Songs – Anywhere between 4-8, usually 6 in number. The 1st one is usually an intro for our superhero and the last one an item number. The other four are usually dream sequences in any of the exotic locales on any phoren land (a strict NO-NO to India) or grand colorful set. Or any combination of the above two. And occurrences are to your choice, mostly when the audience least expect them.

2) Fights – Now this is another important ingredient. If songs are the salt in the masala then this has got to be the chilli/pepper in it. Atleast a minimum of three, the more powerful our superhero is, more the number. Styles range from Kung-fu, karate, kick-boxing, muay-thai to silambam, kusthi, sword-fighting to slapping the villain if it’s a female. Sequences usually involve breaking bones, wind shields of cars, roadside shops, blowing up buildings, cars.
Chase sequences – I will not list this as a separate ingredient, but a subsidiary of fights. Usually involves villain chasing the Superhero and ‘Damsel in distress’ or Heroine in the beginning and vice versa in the climax. May have just running on legs to being chased by 100 Tata Sumos.

3) Comedy – It’s another important ingredient. Varies from few scenes to the entire length of the movie. Usually not associated to the story of the movie and sometimes run parallel with it. Performed by the comedy artists like Brahmi, Ali, Venu, Sunil, Thanikela Bharani and others. Sometimes few of them and many times all of them. During few cases our Superhero too contributes to the act.
Sidekicks – Like Chase sequences are to fights so are Sidekicks to comedy. Sometimes comedians themselves serve this purpose. They are basically used to praise our Superhero and support him, help him in his love and DIE to bring out the hidden animal (usually Lion) in our hero. And there are sidekicks to the villain too. They are used to shout at high decibels, wield weapons (machetes and axes, strictly no guns) and keep traveling in Tata Sumos, kidnap Heroine and runaway when villain is going to be killed. They are usually heavily built, sport long hair, handle bar mustache and beard when compared to Superhero’s sidekicks who are short, fat and are easily beaten up by children and other people.

4) Location – Most of the times the story takes place in Rayalaseema which essentially means Kurnool and Kadapa. Nowadays even Bellary (my hometown :-)) is included which is in Karnataka but they consider it theirs.

5) Villain – Another important ingredient. Cant do without him. Smart, handsome, powerful, rich, and fearless. Sometimes easily confused to be the Superhero if not shown killing people, raping women, beating children, wearing too much jewellery and driving black Scorpios (sometimes BMWs, Audis and Mercedes). Usually wears Silk shirts and white pants but in few cases known to wear designer Suits.

6) Damsel in distress aka Heroine – May not be considered as an essential ingredient but still the presence is required. May not contribute significantly to story. Most of the presence is seen in the songs wearing dresses which reveal more than what they cover. Many a times daughter of the villain or will be chased and loved by him. Always beautiful (read while sleeping, while waking up in the morning, while bathing, while being chased by villain and his goons). Well-educated, mostly rich, egoistic and mainly, wouldn’t have loved anyone till she meets our Superhero. In few instances more than one in number, requirements matching the testosterone levels of our Superhero. Usually one of them dies or sacrifices our Superhero for the sake of other. And sometime all three live happily together saying 'Awesome threesome'.

7) Superhero – Mind it. He can fly, he can leap over tall buildings, run atop moving trains and move the standing ones just with dialogs (Jai Channakesava..!! ;-)), evade bullets or even stop them a-la Matrix style, stop machetes and other sharp weapons and bend them with his bare hands, kicks asses of 100 badies in a single blow, challenge villain at his home, slide a horse below a truck and ride a car over it. He is a loving son to his parents, protective brother to his siblings, helpful friend, honest citizen, charming lover and a great leader. He never promises anything and never goes back on his word if he ever promises. He can dance to any tune, perform steps that can put Chinese gymnastics to shame. Kill goons with his bare hands, no others can hit him on-target and he will never miss a target. Deliver a page length dialog in a single breath. With all this ability he is no more a Hero. He is a SUPERHERO.

Procedure – This is what is called as the Story. But there’s a Twist in the story. Basically there is no story at all. Yes no story what so ever. Lets do some mathematics now.
6 songs of 5 minutes each                      = 30 mins
3 Fights sequences of 10 mins each        = 30 mins
Comedy track in the story                       = 30 mins
Scenes showing Villain’s evilness           = 10 mins
Scenes showing Heroine’s beauty           = 10 mins
Scenes showing Superhero’s heroism
from different angles                               = 10 mins
Scenes where our Superhero delivers
message to 'The society'                          = 10 mins
Scenes where our hero romances or
Saves our ‘Damsel in distress’                 = 10 mins
Total                                                      = 140 mins

            So you are left with 10 mins of void, which is normally filled with a Flash-back where the villain kills our Superhero’s parents and his family. Or our Superhero and our Heroine get separated during childhood, who then meet after 18yrs. Or he is a orphan, therefore goes in search of his parents. Or becomes a billionaire from a broke (usually shown in a song). Steals from the rich (read villain) and donates them to the orphanage and hospitals which treats the poor. Or take a rebirth to fulfill the tasks which he left unfulfilled in the last life. Or unite the families of his lady love which are separated. And many other such things. Usually any one this is used or a combination of more than one is used to fill the void.

            So there you go. My simple guide to prepare, oops sorry, Make a Masala Telugu Film. Hope you find it helpful…:-)

1 comment: