'Pindam' is set to hit the cinemas worldwide on December 15. Directed by Saikiran Daida, the film stars Sriram, Easwari Rao, Ravi Varma, Srinivas Avasarala, Sriram, Kushee Ravi and others.
In this interview, producer Yeshwanth Daggumati talks about the nature of horror to be expected from the movie. Talking about his background, he ponders that movie-making is not automatic if you are rich.
I own IT companies in the US. When I wanted to producer a movie, I and my friend Saikiran moved to India. Whether it is running an IT company or making a movie as a producer, it is about dealing with people and getting things done. Filmmaking is not easy even if you have Rs 1000 Cr with you. A lot of things have to fall into place. A film is the result of hundreds of people coming together. Individuals here are so passionate that they give their all throughout the day for a pittance. They earn as low as Rs 1500 per day. If they were Uber riders, they would earn more than that with lesser hard work. Yet, they stick around because of their love for cinema.
Saikiran started writing to test his abilities. The story was written within a week. The title 'Pindam' sort of unsettled me when I heard it for the first time. But, if you think about it, the term is loaded with meaning and is associated with birth and death (in a biological and ritualistic sense). Saikiran is a businessman. He is a well-established entrepreneur in the US. He wanted to wield the megaphone because there was a sense of void in him. His creative urges made him take on the mantle of a filmmaker. We were supposed to do a crime comedy based in Dallas but for the coronavirus pandemic. We shelved the plans after we faced Visa issues.
It was on June 3 this year that we started the shoot. By the end of September, the shoot was finished. We immediately started post-production. 'Pindam' may be a horror drama but there is so much depth in it. The story takes place in three timelines.
The director felt that Sriram completely fits the bill. It has been some years since we have seen Sriram in a solid movie in Telugu. He okayed the project within 15 minutes of listening to the story.
Right from the start, the film creates a sense of horror. That way, 'Pindam' is the first Telugu movie in recent years to have the highest number of scary scenes. You can expect jump scares often. The sound design is out of the box. The director and the cinematographer worked in tandem. We have tried new camera angles.
We experienced a few eerie situations while shooting for the movie. On a Sunday Amavasya night, a mother was too scared to work on the sets. She rushed out with her kid. Our manager broke his leg, another person experienced seizures for the first time in his life, an object inexplicably changed its course and hurt a unit member... A snake entered the sets; we had to hide it from everyone so as not to scare the unit members (laughs).
We are going to release the movie on more than 200 screens in India and on 150 screens in the US. At first, I assumed that I will have to do my own release. But the trailer changed everything. We received calls from distribution offices, both from India and the US. The OTT deal is almost finalized.
Ours is an A-rated movie. Even after giving A rating, we were asked to make some amends and cuts by the CBFC (laughs).
While I am passionate about cinema, I am here to make business. I want to make it fair and square. We have adopted a corporate culture in the film industry.