Praveen Sattaru awaits the release of '11th Hour' on Aha on April 9. In this interview, the director talks about the web series and working with Tamannaah Bhatia.
The story is by U Pradeep. I have always been open to doing others' stories. This is a genre I haven't done before. The story unfolds over a night. There are cliffhangers in every episode and that's why the story fits the web series genre. The protagonist (Tamannaah) has to pay Rs 11,000 Cr by the morning. Whether she manages to honour the payment is the crux.
'11th Hour' is the biggest Telugu-language web series. This sets a standard for Telugu web series. The story is based on a book titled '8 Hours'. The book is female-centric and that's why the web series, too, is female-centric. This is neither feminist nor cliched. Women are only fighting for their rights, they are not fighting to suppress men.
Tamannaah has played Aaratrika Reddy, who sacrifices her aspirations for a purpose. How she survives in a tough corporate universe, getting blamed for the financial mess the company is in, is quite interesting.
As the story advances, the second set of four episodes are quite intriguing. Pradeep felt that a star heroine has to do the story. Tamannaah said that she will do it if the web series is directed by an experienced name.
It took 33 days for us to complete the web series. The original plan was to complete it in 42 days. Thanks to the cooperation of the entire team, we could wrap up at the earliest.
70% of the story takes place in a hotel. Every character in '11th Hour' has a backstory. In a film, there is no space to study all characters in-depth. In a web series, it's possible to delve into each character. No character can be superfluous, given that the viewer has the luxury to switch off while watching it on an OTT platform.
My films have always belonged to different genres. I can't do another 'PSV Garuda Vega' now. I have always taken a gap of 1-2 years for each film. It's because I try new stories/genres every time. Every film is my first film. When I made 'PSV', people understood that I can handle the action-thriller genre.
'11th Hour' is nothing but the nick of the moment. The protagonist has to solve her issues in the last moments - over the span of a night. There is a lot of inner turmoil happening in the story. BGM, therefore, is quite important for the story. When I told the two (non-Telugu) music directors the theme of the web series, they came out with beautiful music.
During the lockdown, people have watched world cinema/entertainment content. People are conscious that Telugu cinema has to produce more quality content.
Nagarjuna garu's film is an emotional action drama. A schedule has already been completed.