Bekkam Venugopal is a Young Tollywood producer who has been producing movies of all categorieslike Comedy, Family Sentiment, Socio Fantasy and Youth related movies, and is present in this field from the past eight years. Businessoftollywood.com interviewed him at his office in Film Nagar, Hyderabad on 28th May 2013.
The interview went on like this.
Q. What is your back ground?
I was born on 27th April 1974 at Acchampet, Mahabub Nagar. I am from an agricultural back ground. I am the only son of my parents. My schooling and Junior College was at Acchampet Government School and Junior College. I completed my inter in 1990. In the vacation I used to come to Hyderabad with my Aunt who used to work in the sets of Padmalaya Studios. I completed my degree at Hyderabad. I used to watch almost all movies in Telugu and in Hindi. I developed interest towards films. My interest and passion towards Cinema made me a producer. The journey from a small farmer to a producer was really tough.
Q. Your journey from Acchampet to Hyderabad. How did it happen?
My family was shifted from Acchampet to Hyderabad for my higher studies. I completed my B.Sc graduation. I started a small business with a small shop and a mess near Anand Cine Services. Gradually I developed relations with the technicians and the other people of the industry. I acted in a small role in the movie One by Two starring Srikanth and J.D.Chakravarthy as Heroes in the year 1995. Later I got a job as a Data Entry Operator in the Telugu First Satellite Channel Gemini T.V. Gradually I started growing as Production Manager in the channel. The M.D. Mr. Kiran of Gemini is a close friend to me. In this journey I met Shivajiwho started his career as an editor in Gemini T.V. We both worked together for three and half years. Shivaji got a chance as hero in the Film ‘Shraddanjali’ in the year 1998. I was the production manager for this movie. I worked as a Production Manager for many movies in Telugu and Hindi.
Q. Now tell us about your Journey from Production Manager to Producer?
I used to watch movies of Bollywood director Madhur Bhandarkar and was interested in directing a movie like him. Initially I wanted to become a director. I wanted to direct the movie ‘Hyderabadi Girls’ but Lack of insufficient funds I couldn’t do that. later Shivaji asked me why can’t we produce a movie, this is how the journey of a producer started with the movie ‘Tata Birla Madhyalo Laila’ in the year 2006 starring Shivaji , Krishna Bhagwan and Laila. The movie was a hit. I produced 5 movies and doing the 6th one.
Q. Can you tell us about your banner “Lucky Media”?
Yes. I have a friend by name Lucky and I also maintained a Guest House named as Lucky Guest House in Film Nagar. Surprisingly the earnings were encouraging and I left that after the completion of I year contract. So I named my production Banner as Lucky.
Q. Can you tell us something about your first movie and the experience while shooting?
My first movie ‘Tata Birla Madhyalo Laila’ was shot in 56 days and the duration of the film was 2 hours and thirty minutes. We used normal filming cameras. 60,000 feet negative was exposed. The Censor certificate was U/A. This movie was completed within my budget. The movie was released on 12th October 2006. Srinivas Reddy was the director. M.M.Srilekha scored the music and Bhaskarbatla Ravi Kumar provided the Lyrics. I met M.M.Srilekha and Lyricist Bhaskarbatla on the sets of Ammayi Bagunndhi movie of Shivajii. Bhaskarbatla is also a good friend. The lyrics of the songs in my movies except in the upcoming movie were written by Bhaskarbatla.
Q. Names of the movies produced by you and their details?
Till now I produced 5 movies and the shooting of the 6th movie is in process. Second movie was ‘Sathyabhama ‘starringShivaji and Bhoomika Chawla and directed by Srihari Nanu and the shooting took place for 54 days. Normal filming cameras were used and the negative exposed was 65,000 feet. Music was composed by Chakri. The Censor certificate was U/A and the movie was released on 6th July 2007. Next movie was ‘Maa Aayana Chanti Pilladu’ starring Shivaji and Meera Jasmine and Directed by Raja Vannem Reddy and shot in 40 days. The budget was within the limit and normal filming cameras were used the negative exposed was 50,000 feet. The movie was released on 28th July 2008. 4th movie I produced was a Socio-Fantasy movie,‘Brahmalokam to Yamalokam via Bhoolokam ‘starring Shivaji and Sonia directed by Gollapati and was released on 29th July 2010. This movie crossed the budget over 60 % and the Red Digital cameras were used and the movie was shot in 60 days, the negative exposed was 1, 20,000 feet. 5th Movie was ‘Mem Vayasuku Vaccham’ starring Tanish and Niti Taylor and directed byTrinadh Rao Nakina. It was released on 23rd June 2012. It was shot in 55 days and Red Digital Cameras were used. The margin of the budget crossed by 5% to 10 %.
Q. What is the reason of selecting Tanish for the movie ‘Mem Vayasuku Vacham’?
In my first 4 movies Shivaji was the hero and we wanted to give chance to someone new and so this way Tanish became the hero of my 5th movie.
Q. Most of the releases of your movies were in the month of July is there any particular reason?
There is no particular reason for this it is just a coincidence.
Q. Tell us about your friends in the industry?
Shivaji, Dasarath, Koratala Shiva, Hari, Bhoomika Chawla, Boyyapati Srinu, Macha Ravi are some friends from the industry.
Q. Can you tell us something about your upcoming project ‘Prema Ishq Kadhal’?
‘ Prema Ishq Kadhal’ is the my 6th movie as a producer, and I am introducing Pavan Sadhineni as the director and the music was scored by Shravan and the lyrics were penned by Chaitu of Gunde Jaari Gallanthayyinde and Swamy Rara fame.Vithika, Ritu Verma and Srimukhi are The Heroines and Vishnu, Harish and Harshavardhan Rane are the heroes. I am planning to do the audio launch in a different way. Mostly the movie may be released in the month of August 2013. Presently the shooting of the movie is progressing at a coffee shop set. My second daughter acted in this movie for the first time. The scene was shot on 27th May 2013.
Q. We have heard that you have signed up a movie with 3G Movie director? When are you going to reveal about this movie?
That is true and I have signed up a movie with 3G Love movie director Venkatapathy Raju and the movie details will be revealed once the cast and crew is decided.
Q. Your experiences working with Tanish?
Tanish is a very hard working guy and he listens to the directors and producers. He is very sensitive and emotional. It is a nice experience working with him.
Q. Which is your favourite theatre in Twin Cities?
My favourite theatres are Devi and Sudharshan in RTC Cross roads and coming to multiplex I Like Prasad’s Multiplex.
Q. Can you tell us about your most memorable experience in your professional life?
When we were shooting ‘Sathyabhama’ movie at Goa, that time Bharat Takur and Bhoomika Chawla got engaged andBharat Takur came to Goa to celebrate the Valentine’s Day. He gave us a big party at a hotel in Goa. That was a memorable event in my professional life.
Q. Your Mentors in Industry…
Not like in Industry. But Mamidisetty Srinivas (Gemini TV) and Sivaji are all in all for me.
Q. Your favourite movie of 2012
Definitely my movie ‘Mem Vayasuku Vaccham’…Laughs…It Is Businessman.
Q. Your Favourite Actor
It’s Mahesh Babu.
Q. Your Favorite Director
I love watching Romantic Thrillers…I never missed a single movie of Director Madhur Bhandarkar .So He is my Favourite director.
Q. Few words about your family
I got married to Bhavitha in the year 1999.Manasa and Moksha are my daughters. My daughter acted in a child character inPrema Ishq Kadhal. She got appreciation by one all on sets.
Q. Please tell us about your budget allotment for your movie Publicity.
I spend about Rs.25, 00,000 to Rs.30, 00,000 per movie, whether it is one crore or 2 crore budgeted movie.
Q. Sir, Your first film was in 2006 and right now one movie on sets. How much is the variation in budget?
30% increase. I discuss with my crew and change the style of shooting for few scenes to bring it within the budget.
Q. How much the budget for your previous 5 films
It was always in control. (He has not given the Figures)
The team thanked the producer for sparing his precious time.