First it was his cinematography skills that kept him in the news and now it is his intention to turn director that has all the focus shifted on him. We are talking about none other than Krishna, who made a film like Mungaru Malé look visually appealing.
Krishna now is all set to call the shots with Gajapati that has been written by Kittappa’s (as Krishna is fondly known in Sandalwood) close friend and director, Yograj Bhat. “Direction has always been on my mind, but what prompted me to get down to doing it was this story penned by Yograj. Ever since I heard the story I have been very excited about it and even kept giving inputs. This is when he suggested that I direct the script myself. Actors Rangayana Raghu and Vijay, who were equally impressed with the script further convinced both, producer Jayanna and me that I could direct this venture,” adds Kittappa.
In addition, Kittappa has also received encouragement from close friend and fellow cameraman, Satya Hegde. “As direction is a big responsibility, I wanted someone else to handle the camera. When I called Satya, he immediately obliged,” he says.
The music for the film is by Harikrishna and Deepu S Kumar, another trusted friend, is the editor. But it doesn’t end there. It’s not just technicians who are rallying behind Kittappa but stars too. While Vijay is already on board the project, the director is now thinking of approaching one of his favourite actors, Ramya to play the leading lady. “I feel, only a performer like Ramya can do complete justice to the role. Given that she has a soft corner for me, I am positive that she will oblige. But then again several film and political commitments are up her sleeve and I need to check her availability. She is currently out of town and I will talk to her once she is back,” he says.
If he does manage to rope her in, this will be the second time he will be working with Vijay and Ramya, Jhonny Mera Naam Preethi Mera Kaam being their first onscreen outing. Bhavana of Jackie fame has also been approached for the role we are told.
“Yes, she has evinced interest as she has not essayed this kind of a role before. But she too has a Malayalam film to complete. So I’m yet to finalise the cast. I will require one more actress to play a tribal girl,” says Kittappa. The casting process is expected to be finalised once he finishes work on Suri’s Kaddipudi. By then Vijay also would have wrapped up shooting for Jayamanna Maga, his ongoing home production.
“This film aims at giving Vijay a makeover. Even multiplex audiences would want to watch this film. Yes, there will be action to cater to the taste of his fans, but the script will provide entertainment to cross sections of the society. Kids are sure to enjoy the film in particular,” he adds. “An elephant will be a part of the movie and children will particularly enjoy this track. A major part of the film will be shot in the forests of Sri Lanka, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh,” he says.
The film is expected to go on floors in January. This is not the first time a cinematographer has turned director. Santosh Sivan, Ravi K Chandran, KV Anand, PC Sriram and back home Dinesh Baboo, Santosh Rai Pathaje, JJ Krishna and Ashok Kashyap also started out as cinematographers.