Creative instincts do take a complete u-turn at times, just like Pawan Kumar’s recent experience. Although he was convinced with the script of C10 H14 N2, a film based on nicotine, his creative instincts were enticed when he saw the script of U-Turn taking shape. The talented director of Lucia fame decided to let these instincts decide, and now his next outing, U-Turn has reached the dubbing stage.
A mystery thriller, Pawan followed the crowd-funding mode again and firmed up a female protagonist, Shraddha Srinath, who plays a journalist. The film also has Dilip Raj, Roger Narayan and Radhika Chetan playing important roles. Having completed 24 days of shoot, with a lot of scenes shot at The New Indian Express office, the director also thanks Addl Commisioner Traffic MA Saleem for giving him permission to shoot in and around Bengaluru. Pawan is now planning to release the trailer.
According to him, the script took shape on the road. He says, “U-Turn happened in July when I used to drop my daughter Lucy to school and traffic used to be high. I used to park in front of her school for more than an hour and used the time to write the script. The story got ready in 2 -3 days and it turned out to be so captivating that I decided to put Nicotine on hold.”
The director agrees that the decision to start with U-Turn and not C10 H14 N2 was easy mainly because of the trouble he faced with the latter. “I wrote the Nicotine script, but it went through many rewrites. In fact this time, last year, we had started crowd-funding for the film. Sadly, it was not successful. I was not able to shoot with the money I had. I had started searching for a co-producer too. The subject even went to Telugu and Tamil and a few actors showed interest but nothing was falling in place. Since it was a film on the tobacco industry as well, people were apprehensive to take it up,” he reveals.
The director also divulges that it was a creativity test that boosted his thought to take up U-Turn. “A colleague of mine who resides in Mumbai had suggested that I take up the remaking of a film in Kannada for which he had taken the rights. I took his suggestion as a friendly challenge and wrote the script basically to tell him that I can write original scripts. Even the money I had collected through crowd-funding was enough for the film and I could shoot it smoothly,” he mentions while disclosing that he made sure to send emails to the public who had deposited money informing them that his next will be U-Turn and C10 H14 N2 will only start next year. “Two-third of the crowd stayed back and remaining wanted their deposit back and we returned it to them,” he adds.
Speaking about his cast, he reveals that he did try to bring in established faces but could not fit them in the budget. “Shraddha Srinath, who plays the lead role, is a lawyer and is passionate about films. It was very interesting to have Dilip Raj on board. I spotted him at Sangam Circle, connecting JP Nagar and Jayanagar. It was the same circle where I found Samyukta Hornad whom I had cast in Lifeu Ishtene. Roger Narayan, who plays a police officer, is a Kannadiga living in the USA and has done a few of Hollywood sitcoms. He was keen to be a part of my project and voluntarily came over and shot for our film. Radhika was chosen because of her performance in Rangitaranga and she plays a parallel role that counters Shraddha’s character,” he says. In the technical department, Pawan used three DOPs starting with Lucia’s cinematographer Siddharth, who had to leave for another project, and Satya Hegde and Advaitha joined later. “I am yet to decide on the music. I am in touch with Poornachandra Thejaswi and am also collaborating with various musicians,” Pawan states.
The director has also recently launched Pawan Kumar studio, and U-Turn will be the first film made under the banner. Hopefully we will be able to fund movies for other directors with this format,” he says.