S.S. Rajamouli calls Baahubali a tribute to Indian epic Mahabharat, which is releasing in cinemas on Friday. He says the creative success of his film is more important than its box office prospects.
"I'm usually not motivated by money. When my films succeed creatively, that's my biggest achievement. The creative satisfaction I get from my films matters to me the most than box office numbers," Rajamouli told.
Although he admits film economics is important, he says that's not what drives him to make films.
"One of the biggest inspirations behind Baahubali is 'Mahabharat'. The epic war drama between the Pandavas and Kauravas has always fascinated me," he said, adding that the Amar Chitra Katha comics too helped him envision the world of Baahubali.
Rajamouli also says it wasn't easy to stay motivated throughout. "We struggled towards the end, especially to complete the last 20 percent of the film, as most actors by then had almost given up having shot for over a year. But I always believe the team draws its motivation from the director, so I had to push myself and others without losing my cool," he said.
Despite the long wait, the buzz around Baahubali was always alive. It's perhaps the best marketed south Indian film ever.
"A lot of planning went into all this. Over the last one year, we've been very active on social media platforms. We needed to create the buzz, make audiences - irrespective of the region - curious about our film. And the only way to do it was through marketing," the director sighed.