Me Rana Daggubati who is better known for his work in (Bollywood debut) Dum Maro Dum, Baby and Bahubali: The star talks about his upcoming film ‘The Ghazi Attack’ starring along with Kay Kay Menon and Atul Kulkarni.
How did you land up in this film?
This is not the film that came to me with a script but I went finding it. It was a friend of mine who was driving on road in Tank Bund in Hyderabad and he said that there's somebody building up a submarine on top of the building. That's when we went out to this young filmmaker Sankalp Reddy who wanted to make a short film out of it of 40 minutes. He had actually written a book called ‘Blue Fish’ and that was the base from what he wanted to make a film. When we read the first version we realised that there are lot of things we could do and we called him in the office and told we can make this as a much larger film. He was also willing to wait it out for this film, as this was the second short film he was trying to make. Nobody has ever made a war film underwater before. We didn't know what it would cost and will we be able to get it right. We took 5-6 months of writing and padded up with very good writers. Meanwhile we started testing on how to work on this film. We went into the complexity of how to shoot these many things underwater. As a profession, I am deep sea diver. It was for all to figure out for the climax that was written, can we execute it into perfection? We do have some stunt teams in abroad as well. I remember we tried to fix up a meeting with the team of television series Phantom. They had sent us a quote of 4.6 million dollars and I was like Okay! So, really this is not a discussion anymore. They asked us even for 100 thousand dollars to even discuss on this project. So, we thought about figuring out and doing it by ourselves. These are the reasons that the film took so long.
Were you thinking about jointly producing this film as you were so supportive towards the film?
I am not the producer but coming to a film where we are trying to make something new and most importantly I found a short filmmaker and asked him to, “Let's make a film” but, I also need to figure out that if I can make a film on this or not.
Why didn't you approach the VFX team of Bahubali?
Well, the cost of Bahubali's VFX for part one was about 26 crores and for part 2 it will be about 40 or 45 crores. Now, that is not what I can afford for this film (Laughs). But, there were some people from that team who took the steps together to figure out the right ways of doing it (VFX).
Do you have any reservations while working with the new directors?
Of course Sankalp (Director of Ghazi) is not a filmmaker who has made many films. He has made one (short film) and this is the second one so, there is not much of a cinematic experience but, it was just his intension. He was somebody who knew the story, he wrote a book (on this subject) and he is somebody who is honest enough to kill that story. As producers, directors or actors who have been in cinema for so long; what we did was, padding up somebody who doesn't have certain strength with the people who have greatest strengths.
What was your experience of working with Kay Kay Menon and Atul Kulkarni?
They are not only the actors but they have helped in terms of writing also. Whatever goes on papers is what has been accentuated far more by the climax it came on screen by these two. There were many times that I was shooting even without them. It was really a collaborative effort by all the actors worked in this film. These are the actors in this film who have done fine and quality films before.