First-time director Rajasimha Tadinada says forthcoming Telugu release Okka Ammayi Thappa would not have been possible without the support of his cinematographer Chhota K. Naidu.
"There's no 'Okka Ammayi Thappa' without Chhota sir. This is a very complicated script to make and it had already been rejected 13 times by several producers. Had it not been for his vision and support, we could have failed miserably," said Rajasimha.
Starring Sundeep Kishan and Nithya Menen, nearly 60 per cent of the film unfolds on a flyover.
"Honestly, we didn't have the budget to lavishly spend on visual effects. We needed someone who could shoot the film under a tight budget and still deliver quality visuals. Chhota sir delivered us exactly that," he said.
"If you're planning a birthday party, you can order food for Rs 5,000. However, when you make it at home, you end up spending much less and you make sure it tastes well. Chhota sir ensured that he gave me the kind of output nobody could've given me on this budget," he added.
Explaining in detail about Chhota K. Naidu's contribution, he said: "To shoot on the flyover, we needed 1,000 junior artistes. They were required to shoot with the lead pair. Had we missed a call sheet, we could have ended up spending nearly a lakh more on the junior artistes.
"Chhota sir ensure he shot all the important sequences with the junior artistes first and then added scenes he shot with the lead pair."
The story was inspired from an incident from the director's own life. "A few years ago, I got stuck on a flyover for two hours. It inspired me to write a story and in the film, the hero and the heroine meet on the flyover and fall in love. They get stuck for eight hours and what happens during that interim, forms the story," he said and added that there is also a suspense angle to the story.
The director said the film was destined to be made with Sundeep. "Sundeep fought for this film. He believed in it blindly and we had planned to work on this film twice earlier. The project got started and got shelved due to financial reasons. He told me that whenever I make the film, he'd come and work," he said.
Produced by Anji Reddy, the film is slated for release in cinemas on Friday.