Recently, Prashanth Raj was available for talks with India's leading website Oneindia.in. He extensively spoke about the highlights of Gaana Bajaana, which features Tharun Chandra, Radhika Pandit and Dilip Raj in the lead roles. Here are the excerpts of Prashanth Raj interview.
Why did you enter Kannada films industry?
Basically, I am a B Com graduate from Bangalore University. I am staying in a locality where people from all languages like Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi are residing. During my college days, my friends from this locality used to show me their movies and listen to their song. This instilled interest about movie in me. At the same time, this atmosphere woke my sleeping spirit up and made me think of Kannada films. I made up my mind at that very moment that I should also do good movies in Kannada, which all Kannadigas should show to the people of other languages. When I told my intention to my parents, they supported me and encouraged me to go ahead.
Who is your role model in making movies? How did you enter Kannada film industry?
My role model is definitely Mani Rathnam. I really like the way he does the contentious movies. Inspired by him, I decided to be trained in direction. So I have taken training in direction from Subash Gai's institute at Whistling Wood in Mumbai. I came back to Bangalore and started working on documentaries. Later, I prepared a script and approached several producers. Since I was debutant, nobody came forward to do the film with me. My brother took a bold step and decided to produce it. My first movie Love Guru was done under my home banner 'Nimma Cinima' and it became successful. Even my second film is also produced under my own banner.
Tell me about the story and Highlights of Gaana Bajaana in brief?
The story of Gaana Bajaana is very simple. It is all about dreams of two guys and a girl. The story happens in two different. Hero is staying in foreign land and heroine is in India. There is one more guy who is also in India. All these three youngsters have different attitudes. They dream of their would be partners in different way. The movie is all about their dreams. The movie has all the commercial elements like comedy, sentiment, love, emotion, fights and many other things, which audience will enjoy very much. In other words, Gaana Bajaana is a funky movie, which is heavily loaded with entertainment.
This is your second movie with Love Guru teammates like Tharun Chandra, Radhika Pandit, Dilip Raj, musician Joshua Sridhar and producer Naveen. What would you like to tell about your association with them?
When we started with the movie Love Guru, we all were strangers. We were not friends. The whole movie took time to understand each other. But now we all know each other very well. We know each others' intentions, attitudes, behaviours and responsibilities well. Somewhere, I feel all of us are moving in the same direction. So there was good understanding among us on the sets of Gaana Bajaana.
How was their co-operation on the sets? Would you like to do another movie with them?
As I told, we had good understanding with everyone and this helped me a lot while shooting Gaana Bajaana. I got complete co-operation from them. Nowhere, I felt uncomfortable with any artiste, technicians or any other person. I'm very happy for we completed the movie without any controversies, quarrels or misunderstanding on the sets.
How different is Gaana Bajaana from Love Guru?
Definitely, there is lot of difference between these two films. Although both are love stories, the treatment of the subject onscreen is totally different in these films. Moreover, Love Guru was a semi entertainer, whereas Gaana Bajaana is a complete entertainer, which is fully loaded with commercial elements.
What would you like to tell about the onscreen chemistry between Tharun and Radhika?
Onscreen chemistry between Tharun and Radhika has come out really well in Gaana Bajaana. Let me tell you another fact that hero in Love Guru is an introvert and rigid character whereas in this film, hero is a prankster and naughty. He is dynamic and happy-go-lucky guy. His chemistry with heroine is wonderful. I feel that TharunTharun-Radhika combo is the best pair in the present pairs of Kannada films.
What would you like to tell about the technical team of Gaana Bajaana?
All technicians in the film are very talented. Moreover, they are very flexible to adjust with the updates in latest trends. Audience can witness all the updated technology in music, cinematography, choreography, costumes art and sets of the film.
What is your take on music of Gaana Bajaana?
I would like to thank musician Joshua Sridhar for he has put in lot of effort in his work. According to me, music will be the main highlight in all Indian films. Keeping this in mind, me and Sridhar have worked on music of the film for more than six months. And it has come out very well. We have received good response from music lovers too. The music was released into market three and half months ago and the audio is selling like hot cake even today. So far, more than 40000 audio CDs and cassettes have been sold and more than one lakh caller tunes of Gaana Bajaana songs have been downloaded online.
What message would you like to give audience in Gaana Bajaana?
In fact, I have not worked on any particular message in it. My main concentration was on entertaining element and it has come out very well. I am sure that it will impress the viewers. Meanwhile, audience can enjoy small messages in many scenes.
What are your expectation from the film?
I don't have big expectations about the film. I just hope that Gaana Bajaana becomes a decent hit.
Do you have any particular actor or actress whom you want to direct in your future?
Yah! Definitely! I am desperate to work with actors like Puneet Rajkumar and Ganesh. In fact, I have two scripts ready with me and they have been prepared keeping them in mind. Once this movie is released, I will try to communicate them and rope in any one of them for my next.
Who is your favourite director in Kannada films?
There are many upcoming directors, who are very talented and have innovative ideas. I like Yogaraj Bhat and Guruprasad. I like Guru very much because he expresses his feelings onscreen in a bold and straight forward way. I also like Prem's commercial trick.
What do you think are the possible reasons for failure of the Kannada film industry?
Basically, most of us are making films based on our own tastes and interests. This is where we are failing and leading film producers suffer loss. But we need to understand the heart beats of the audience. We need to understand their likes and dislikes. We need to make films according to their tastes and interests. Then only we can uplift Kannada film industry.
Would you like to do remake films? Do you think that remakes must have also added to the failure of industry?
I hate to do remakes. Immediately after the success of Love Guru, many producers had approached me with remake scripts, but I did not accept them. I like to do only straight films. I think huge number of remakes might be one reason for failure. We need to stop remake and concentrate on Swa-makes.
What are your upcoming films?
As I said before, I have two good stories ready with me. Even gathering good cast and crew can't be a big deal for me. Right now I am very busy with promotions of GB. Once it is released I will decide on next film.
What is your take on social networking sites? How often will you be on these sites?
Social networking sites are new channels for publicity and we need more sites like Twitter, Facebook and Orkut. I have accounts in all these sites and I tweet once in a week.
Do think that Gaana Bajaana will get you any award?
Let me tell you frankly that Love Guru has won a few awards from Filmafare, AKKA and South Scope. But Gaana Bajaana is a complete entertainer. I don't know whether it will fetch me any awards. I have not intended to win any awards while doing this me.
What is your message to the audience?
Please watch good movies. Encourage us by watching these films in theatres.
Director Prashanth Raj is now in high spirits. He has already completed works for his second directorial venture Gaana Bajaana and is now set to release it this weekend. The upcoming Kannada filmmaker has learned a lot from his mistakes in his debut directorial venture Love Guru, which was a hit film at box office besides bagging a few Filmfare and South Scope awards. He says he has not repeated those mistakes in his Tharunsecond Film.