Ram Gopal Varma Blog #199. The Power of an IDEA

Nothing is more truer than that line from the “Idea” campaign which says “An idea can change your life”. My whole life and also my career as a Director is a living testimony of that truth both in positive and negative ways. It could range from a film like “Satya” coming from an Idea like “We always hear about gangsters only when they either kill or when they die. But what do they do in between?” to “RGV ki Aag” coming from an Idea like “What if Sholay kind of story happens in today’s times?”. We all know the sum effect of those two Ideas and where they landed up but at the time the Ideas came to me I was equally excited with both, if anything maybe much more with the “Sholay” Idea. But irrespective of the strengths and the final effects of those 2 Ideas one common thing that both of them achieved is that they changed the direction of my life though in far different routes.

The story of Paritala Ravi and Maddelu Cheruvu Suri has been happening in real life since more than a decade and in spite of that nobody ever thought of making a film on them. Whether I will screw up their story in “Rakta Charitra” like “Aag” or make it a cult classic like “Satya” only time will tell, but the fact that about 200 people are working non-stop since 6 months and more than 30 Crores is being spent on it is the point I am making. Apart from that the mind space of so many people being occupied whether it’s of the people who are involved with the original incidents or of the people who want to just debate or discuss its proceedings or of the three marketing teams that are breaking their heads to figure out how to sell the concept of a film being made in 2 parts and then of people belonging to various factions and parties who are wondering about who the film is going to side between Ravi and Suri, and also Paritala Ravi and Suri becoming famous even outside their State, the sum centre stage culprit what caused all the above happenings is nothing but just my Idea “What if I make a film on Ravi and Suri?”.

Lot of my detractors wonder how in spite of the kind of films I make, I still can go on doing what I want to do and exactly as I wish. The secret of that is nothing but the power of the Idea I get at any given point of time and my ability to make the people who matter to the project also feel that it is powerful.

Many people think I work on multiple films at the same time which is not at all true, but what is true is that I work on multiple Ideas at any given time. Each of them to be developed into a script and then into a film, can take their own sweet time depending on so many factors but they are continuously brewing in my head and in various others heads where I put them, namely writers and Assistant directors. For instance I had the Idea of “Sarkar” for 5 years before I got around to making it. The Idea of “Ek” I have since 8 years and I don’t know when I will make it. It could be next year or 5 years from now. The moment I get an Idea I will put a writer onto it and then periodically discuss with him on its progression depending on my priorities. But the moment I talk about my Idea of a certain film, the media will project it as it’s already in the process of being made and hence it will appear as if I am working simultaneously on many projects.

For instance, I am working on the Ideas of “Raksha”, “Department” and “God and Sex” which are tentatively titled and apart from them I am also working on 10 other untitled Ideas which all will take their own time to get made. But the beauty of each one of those Ideas is that each of them is like a ball of bundled up potential energy just waiting to get kinetic. They can anywhere become a 5 Crore film to a 50 Crore film whenever their time comes.

Recently an Ad agency came to me to direct an Ad and I told them that I can’t think of directing a 60/30 second Ad with a creative given by someone else suiting the requirement of the consumer and the client which is how the advertisement Industry works.

I said instead of that I would make a full length movie with the products name. When they asked me what I meant I said, “For example, what if I make a movie called ‘LUX’. The story will be about a village girl who believes that bathing with a lux soap will make her as beautiful as a film actress and then in the course of the story she becomes a star and actually models for “Lux” in the climax.

They were taken aback with a tremendous excitement on my Idea as they never ever heard of this kind of an extreme product placement idea before. They realized it that it’s not an In-film Ad but it’s a Film-In Ad, and they gave me a fantastic financial deal for it.

Whether I will make that film called “Lux” or not is a secondary point, but I just felt like bragging about the ‘Power of my Ideas’. Ha Ha!