The portfolios of writing, route, cinematography and modifying sit simply in on the shoulders of Karthik Gattamneni. For his new Telugu movie Eagle, which he has directed, he has additionally dealt with all these portfolios together with collaborators. “I have a good team; my associates and assistants are intuitive and know what I require, which eases the workflow,” he says. Days earlier than the discharge of the Ravi Teja starrer, which is scheduled for February 9, he’s an image of calm at his workplace in Manikonda, Hyderabad, because the postproduction has reached the end line.
Eagle was initially poised to launch throughout Sankranti and later postponed on the request of the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce and Telugu Film Producers Council. “The good part is that we got more time to enhance the sound and visual effects. However, I got more anxious since I have been working on the same footage for six to seven months,” says the director.
Points of view
Karthik describes Eagle as a point-of-view movie by which completely different characters current their views in regards to the central character performed by Ravi Teja. While the bigger inspiration for this type of narration comes from Akira Kurosawa’s Rashomon, Karthik factors out a key distinction: “In Rashomon, the audience has to decipher the situation after being presented with different viewpoints. In our film, Anupama Parameswaran plays a reporter who listens to all the views and pieces together the puzzle. She meets all kinds of people — the ignorant, the intellectual, the tech savvy, etc. In addition, I would say Eagle is in the zone of Rashomon style of narrative meeting Lokesh Kanagaraj’s Vikram.”
Karthik says it’s fascinating how completely different individuals inform the identical story. “The soul of a story remains the same, but imagine a grandmother narrating it versus a child narrating it. I find that interesting.”
In Eagle, Ravi Teja performs a middle-aged man whose character has an air of intrigue. He has gone via sure experiences, which dictates his method to a world difficulty. “This issue will be a key point in the story.” The movie will get its title from the protagonist’s sharp imaginative and prescient. Karthik stumbled upon an actual story of a person residing in a distant location in South America. Later it turned out that he was a drug lord,” laughs Karthik, including that Eagle doesn’t observe such a trajectory. “Sometimes we make assumptions about people and they turn out to be completely different.”
Karthik wrote the story and screenplay together with Manibabu Karanam in the course of the pandemic, when movie shootings have been paused for months. Then, he was the cinematographer for Karthikeya and Dhamaka. “At the time neither me nor Mani knew who would star in the film.” Two drafts have been written and Karthik was open to ideas and improvisations from his workforce. “Writing is a continuous evolution. Even now, I wonder how it would have been had we written certain portions differently.”
Key movies as cinematographer: Prema Ishq Kaadhal, Karthikeya 1 and a couple of, Surya Vs Surya, Express Raja, Awe, Disco Raja, Ninnu Kori, Premam, Dhamaka and Eagle.
Director: Surya Vs Surya, Eagle
Talking in regards to the adjustments that occurred on set, he explains that there have been events when he realised that prolonged dialogues weren’t required because the actors conveyed greater than anticipated via their physique language. “The reverse also happens. After watching a few scenes my co-editor (Uthura) would ask what I was trying to convey. In such situations, we would look at the rest of the footage to see if the intent comes through and decide what to cut.”
His means to suppose as a movie editor got here in helpful whereas writing. “I would know when I am elaborating more than necessary. While writing for cinema, we have to understand that we can also convey a lot through visuals and sound.”
Karthik says dealing with a number of portfolios for Eagle was not intentional. There have been gaps within the taking pictures schedules since Ravi Teja was additionally engaged on Tiger Nageswara Rao, and Karthik didn’t need to be idle throughout that point. So he started modifying the footage. Can he objectively consider what he has filmed? “When I see it for the first time, I can. Later it gets tricky. So I take breaks and return to look at things fresh.”
For Eagle, the cinematography credit are shared by him, Kamil Plocki from Poland and Karm Chawla. Given the gaps in schedules, the Polish cinematography workforce was unable to proceed additional since there have been different initiatives. Karthik roped in Karm Chawla and later needed to step in himself when there was one other change in schedule.
Prior to filming, he had script studying classes with actors similar to Vinay Rai and Anupama as they have been eager to know the character motives and backstories. Ravi Teja most popular a spontaneous method and Karthik says he shocked the workforce along with his depth in a key scene within the latter half of the movie. When requested how he managed to tug it off, Ravi Teja had exclaimed that he didn’t know! The movie additionally stars Navdeep, Srinivas Avasarala, Kavya Thapar and Madhoo.
Karthik describes Eagle as an motion drama with the motion sequences choreographed by Tomasz Lewandowski from Poland , Ram Laxman and Real Satish. “Music composer DavZand was also part of the planning process and we knew what mood had to reflect for the different action sequences; we used songs for the action pieces. There are plenty of gun sequences and it can get irritating after a point. So we had to decide where to tone down and where to scale up.”
Karthik is an engineer who later studied cinematography on the Chennai-based Mindscreen Film Institute based by Rajiv Menon. He debuted as a cinematographer with the 2013 movie Prema Ishq Kaadhal. “It doesn’t feel like a decade,” he muses, “Every day is a new experience with different lighting, costumes, settings… If you get into a comfort zone for a long time, you will get repetitive. I choose different genres to keep learning.” He additionally stays abreast of cinematography and storytelling by observing the work of his friends and different movies. He cites his current studying from twelfth Fail, “I was amazed by how they used simple music and sound, sometimes just a sitar, and it was so impactful.”
Lessons from Rajiv Menon
Karthik recollects a memorable lesson from cinematographer Rajiv Menon, throughout his days at Mindscreen Film Institute. “Rajiv sir would take special classes on Sundays. I skipped one of his classes since I found it too technical and was hanging out at a juice shop that evening. Later he spotted me and asked me to attend his class. In class, I told him that I found the technicalities boring and would prefer the tech class interspersed with storytelling, etc. He asked me to close my eyes and name the light sources I can recollect from the juice shop till the class. I remembered the street light and another light source. Then he closed his eyes and began listing the light sources he remembered. He named several — warm light coming from a corner of a building that lit up a portion of the street, a blue light from a shop reflecting on a puddle and many more. I learnt the importance of keen observation and using light to tell stories.”
Karthik made his directorial debut with the 2015 movie Surya Vs Surya (SvS), starring Nikhil Siddhartha. Ask him what took this lengthy to direct his second movie and he says that quickly after SvS, the business was reluctant to ask him to be a cinematographer for different initiatives, uncertain if he would restrict himself to at least one craft any longer. “But I was always open to collaborations. I learnt a lot by working with other directors. For example I wouldn’t have thought of a story and narrative style like Merlapaka Gandhi for Express Raja. A few years ago, I think my style of filmmaking was far removed from what the audience wanted. Now I think I can connect better with the audience, thanks to all the experience.”
In the pipeline is a mythological fantasy drama with Teja Sajja, which Karthik conceptualised six years in the past, and plans to direct quickly. Meanwhile, he’s sport to be a cinematographer for different movies. He additionally plans to revive Pondfreaks Entertainment, a banner which he based along with his associates and made a number of quick movies underneath. He says, “We learnt a lot by making short films. We had small budgets and would see how far we could go to execute our ideas.”