Much anticipated film Bro starring Pawan Kalyan and Sai Dharam Tej in the lead roles is the next big Tollywood film coming under the banner People Media Factory, one of the leading production houses in Telugu cinema.
The production banner has joined hands with ZEE Studios for Bro which is written and directed by Samuthirakani. Trivikram penned the screenplay and dialogues for the film which is scheduled to cinemas all across the globe on July 28. In an interview with media on Wednesday, People Media Factory founder TG Vishwa Prasad shared his experience on working with one of the prestigious projects involving two big stars from the mega family.
Firstly, please tell us how Bro has come to you. “When we were looking for the right project, Trivikram garu referred the project to us after watching the original work of Samithirakani in Tamil. Taking his advice we moved forward. Definitely, Bro is one of the largest releases for People Media Factory. Working with someone like Powerstar Pawan Kalyan is very prestigious to all of us.”
The Tamil original Vinodhaya Sitham is a very small film, shot in the duration of just 20 days. How is this remake film in Telugu going to be?
“Definitely, Bro has a different span altogether. It is mounted on a bigger scale. It banks on its story solely, however, the songs and family emotions that are shown in the film will entertain audiences in a big way. Bro has commercial elements to ensure that it suits our audiences. The soul of the movie is the same as Vinodhaya Sitha. But the screenplay and commercial elements are different.
There’s an argument that remakes have no scope because of the wide reach of OTT platforms. What are your thoughts about it?
It’s a completely different subject to debate. It’s not that there’s no opportunity to showcase our talent in remakes. But in Bro, you will get to see the difference compared to the original film Vinodhaya Sitham. That’s all I can say.
Usually, when you remake a film which has a feel-good factor, the soul of the story sometimes gets failed to translate. How successful were you in handling this challenge in Bro as a producer?
I can say Bro will be super successful when it arrives in cinemas. In that perspective, I am not saying Samuthirakani wasn’t done in Tamil. But Kalyan’s character and his performance give that impact and new experience to audiences. I actually haven’t watched the Tamil original film yet. With the first six minutes of introduction, Pawan Kalyan will be there in the film throughout the runtime.
Usually, Powerstar fans would like to see him in massy roles, but Bro seems to be a message-oriented film. Would you think fans would come to theatres to watch it?
It has a very strong emotions and strong bonding. Bro will certainly reach the expectations of the audiences.
Pawan Kalyan was able to wrap the shooting on time for Bro compared to his other projects. What was the reason behind this?
He gave his dates to all his other films, so we could wrap the shooting ahead of everyone. Every movie has a schedule and time limit, I am happy that we were able to complete the film and bring it out.
Usually, casting two heroes from the same family might have been a difficult task for you. Their real-life images are perceived more than their onscreen characters. So how have you managed it being a producer?
Terrific emotions are portrayed on the screen by both actors. I can’t comment on their real-life images. But at the end of the day, the product matters to me. Probably, their real-time image might have helped us in a big way.
Was Sai Dharam your first choice?
Yes, he was our first choice.
Usually, projects like Bro would have the pains of remake rights, budget scale, and handling two big heroes on board. How smooth was it for you to take care of all these things?
It was planned and executed well within our estimated budget. It’s going to be a profitable venture for People Media Factory and for the stakeholders who are involved in it.
There’s a sort of political turmoil in Andhra Pradesh with the involvement of Pawan Kalyan garu. Will there be any impact on Bro?
Nothing new, I hope. If at all we face any eventuality, we have to deal with it, nothing else that we could do as far as film is concerned.
Producer TG Vishwa Prasad further said that he would see films and politics differently. “There might be a few incidents which had an impact on films. Generally, I don’t think Bro would face such a situation in Andhra Pradesh. When Vakeel Saab was released in theatres, it suffered. I don’t think that would repeat again. And no proposal was made to increase the ticket prices in theatres since Bro is produced well within our budget. There’s no need to demand an extra amount. No extra shows sought from the State government”
S Thaman said a promotional song is about to be released. When is it expected?
Next, we’re working on the trailer. We have already apprised you about the situation that we wrapped up the shoot in a squeezed schedule. Graphics work has delayed the other content which has to be released. Once it is done, we will release other promotional songs and content related to Bro. The pre-release event is on July 25. Everything is being planned accordingly. About paid-premiers, nothing is planned as such. We’d intimate you once it is done.
There’s a talk that there are no buyers in overseas. What would you say about it?
Before coming into Tollywood, I started with an overseas business. Back then, we wouldn’t get Telugu films in Seattle. So first, I used to buy the rights of a movie. And then release it in theatres. I don’t directly do it, I’ve a team in the USA. Now, I held back the rights of this movie Bro because it has the potential. Even if I release it a week prior to release, whole tickets get sold out.”
There was this news being peddled that People Media Factory is going to take over all other projects of Pawan Kalyan. Is it true?
No truth in that news. It’s a complete speculation.
Are you making any efforts to work with other big stars in the Telugu film industry?
“If there’s any dream that I have, it is certainly Megastar Chiranjeevi garu. I’d want to work with him, of course. And other actors, that’s my effort. Since childhood, I have been a big fan of Megastar.”
You have been doing small and large-scale films. How you differentiate the risk factor in both segments?
“It’s been more than five years since I’ve come in the film industry. We have been putting efforts for a long time. Small films certainly have risks involved. Big films bring good profits before you actually release them. Small films have that risk, and you have to live with the risks. As per my knowledge, there are no risks in big films. But you don’t know until you face it.”
Like you did it overseas, have you planned to release it on your own in Telugu States?
Exactly, I can’t tell you. But we may do it in a specific region. It could be Krishna or Guntur.
How’s your journey been in films, coming from a totally different background of the corporate sector? The film industry is something which is yet to be streamlined. How do you see this as a businessman?
“My experience is very positive. Bro is our 25th movie to be precise. And we have set a goal of making the fastest 100 films, very likely by the end of next year we will complete 50. As of now, we have five films which have completed shooting and are ready to be released in theatres. Around 15 are in various stages of production. As many as 30 films are in backend planning. As of now, five OTT movies are underway.”
He further said that the pre-release function of Bro will be held on July 25 at Shilpakala Vedika.
Do you have plans to foray into Bollywood?
We’ve planned it well during Adipurush itself. And with Sandeep Reddy Vanga’s film ‘Spirit’ with Prabhas is in the pipeline, we are planning to set up an office in Mumbai very soon. People Media Factory will produce four to five Bollywood films in a year.
The content factory that is set up by People Media Factory is aimed at bringing out originals from our end, he said. “As one of you rightly asked, what am I interested in – remakes or originals? The Content factory takes care of these things in future. As of now, we have some 25 films ready to go on the sets. I have already done 25 films with the release of Bro on July 28. People Media Factory has fifty films ready in its kitty. Our plan further is to ensure that new content is produced from the Content factory.”