The Vision Behind ‘Baahubali’ – Director SS Rajamouli visits MIT
Date: 22/09/2017 | Suruchi Narang (The MIT Post)
The evening of 22nd September witnessed loud and excited chatter slowly fill the AB1 Quadrangle – as it acquainted itself with the melodies of Telugu cinema. These preparations were in light of Padma Shree Awardee director Mr. SS Rajamouli’s visit to Manipal – as part of MIT’s Diamond Jubilee Lecture Series.
The event started with an address by Dr. GK Prabhu (Pro Vice Chancellor of Technology and Management MU and Director MIT), in which he welcomed Mr. Rajamouli and his family. This was followed by an introduction of the evening’s speaker, in which Mr. Rajamouli’s several accolades in the field of filmmaking and social work were highlighted. The event also included a classical dance performance by Ankita Upadhyaya – after which the Blitzkrieg dance crew showcased their footwork.
The event was also graced by the presence of Mr Sanjeev Patil (Superintendent of police, Udupi district), Dr BHV Pai (Joint Director, MIT Manipal), and Dr Ramesha C (Diamond Jubilee Chairman).
Following this, Mr. Rajamouli took over the stage for nearly an hour and spent most of this time engaging in a question-answer session with the audience. He started by talking about success – and how everyone has a personalised formula for it. He also elaborated upon the policy of honesty saying “You can lie to everyone around you about the amount and quality of work you’ve put into your work. The only person who you can’t lie to is yourself.” He emphasised upon how this level of honesty in the only way one can be successful in the real sense of the word.
On being asked how it feels to be the director of the highest grossing film of Indian cinema, he answered with humility. He talked about his journey from being a lowly intern in an advertising agency to his current position and attributed his success to his supportive family – as well as to his ability to always prioritise his projects over his ego and personal gain. Answering a question about confidence, he explained how he personally oscillates between fear and confidence regarding his endeavours. He talked about how fear, if visible and known to anyone except oneself, is a weakness, and urged the audience to have faith in themselves as they commit themselves to diverse undertakings.
Slowly, the questions from the audience took a more technical tone. On being asked what scenes from his movies are the most difficult to conceive and implement, he expatiated on the details of filmmaking – and explained how while the imagination is endless, implementation of any battle scene came with its share of problems. These could be attributed to the sheer number of people involved in every such scene, making coordination and direction a very tiresome process.
On being asked about his willingness to experiment with technology, he talked about how computer-generated visual effects are a tool that must be used with utmost discretion. He concluded that visual effects can either make or break a movie – depending on the skill with which they are used.
He also briefly and crisply answered questions on publicity and marketing that were posed by the audience by talking about how consumers in today’s day and age are spoilt for choice, hence making effective marketing as important a part of filmmaking as generating the product itself.
Mr. SS Rajamouli’s charming presence and humble attitude left the audience impressed and clinging to every word he uttered. Drawing the event to its conclusion, he expressed his fascination with the proactivity and socio-political awareness of the students of MIT and was impressed with the sheer number of opportunities available to the college’s youth for holistic development.
The event ended with a vote of thanks by Pashangh Lavangia, Joint Cultural Secretary of the Student Council. Mr. Rajamouli, as well as the audience, displayed an incredible amount of gratefulness and enthusiasm at this opportunity to bask in each other’s radiant glow, making the event an unquestionable success.