Director Sachin Ravi proud of 'Avane Srimannarayana' VFX

Sachin Ravi is an editor who makes his directorial debut with ASN, a Kannada film to be dubbed and released in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi.
A still from Avane Srimannarayana
A still from Avane Srimannarayana

Three years of chanting ‘Narayana Narayana’ will come to end on December 22, when the film, Avane Srimannarayana, gets released,” says director Sachin Ravi, admitting that since he has been very attached to the film, he has not been able to imagine what he would do  the day after ASN gets released. “When I started this project, I didn’t realise that this would happen on such a big scale.

I am left with another 3-4 days of work, and have come to a stage where ASN will not remain mine, as we would hand it over to the audience. As a team, we have been chanting ‘Narayana’ without a break, and I was happy to live and breathe ASN even on Sundays. As the exciting journey comes to an end, I am going through mixed feelings,” adds Sachin Ravi, who has also handled the editing and visual effects of his first period cop drama.

Rakshit Shetty 
Rakshit Shetty 

Every film director is an editor
Sachin Ravi is an editor who makes his directorial debut with ASN, a Kannada film to be dubbed and released in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi. According to him, every film director is an editor, writer, stunt master, and choreographer. “With the film ultimately coming to the hands of the editor after shoot, he has the capacity to change the order of the movie, or bring in a different form to a fight or a song, which I consider as an advantage as well as a disadvantage,” says Sachin, who initially came to the industry to become a director, but accidentally started as an editor.” If you don’t have a knack for editing, you are just a director without clarity,” he adds.

Keeping ASN running time to 3 hours
The director also took the responsibility of editing the film along with writer-actor Rakshit Shetty, and after much thought, the team concluded the running time of ASN to three hours. “A common line from critics’ reviews has been that the editor should have trimmed the film by 15-20 minutes. But an editor’s job is not to keep the film’s length, and that’s never been an editor’s motive, nor do we have a target. We look to tell a complete story, and erase the unnecessary shots. In ASN, there is a big story, which needed to be told with a lot of characters and action sequences, and a three-hour run was required,” he explains.

‘I generally enjoy watching unrealistic films’  

Besides direction and editing, the third responsibility handled by Sachin was the VFX department, which, he says, was more challenging. “Almost every shot has VFX, and I have never handled it in such a big scale before. In fact, a team was brought in for doing this job,” says Sachin, who was always keen to make big films carrying visual effects. “Films based on visual effects are able to take you out of reality, or to the fantasy world. I generally enjoy watching unrealistic films, which are more present in Hollywood. Visual effects give a different dimension, and I wanted to bring that experience in a Kannada film. Luckily, it started right with ASN. Whatever technical aspects I learnt during filmmaking have come in handy. If I hadn’t learnt the art of visual effects, I would probably not have done ASN,” he adds.

Since ASN is set in the backdrop of late 1980s and 1990s, the team had to create a fictional universe, which they created using real sets and visual effects. Whether it is the pub, fort, or forest, or sequences involving the eagle, gun shots, blasts, fire and the 20-25 minute climax, the complete output has been achieved through visual effects. We have not lit a single matchbox, and this explains the work that has gone behind the VFX, which I am proud of,” he says.

The best part of ASN
The association between Rakshit Shetty and Sachin started seven years back, when the former directed Ulidavaru Kandante. “The rapport we built with each other has kept ASN exciting till date. It is our like-mindedness, with respect to filmmaking, which has taken us so far. My thought about cinema was very different before Simple Agi Ondh Love Story or Ulidavaru Kandante.

When I started working with Rakshit, I realised that cinema’s first priority is writing, which was also the best process for ASN. Both Rakshit and Suni inspired me to read books. Today, rather than watching a film, I prefer to watch its making. Rakshit was aware that I was strong technically, and he knew I could handle the project. When Kirik Party was a hit, the writer and actor thought we should go for a big project, and ASN fell in my lap,” he recalls.

Behind the scenes
The director considers producer Pushkar Mallikarjunaiah. who has jointly produced the film along with H K Prakash, as the film’s hero. He says, “ASN has also got the best technicians. To begin with, we had cinematographer Karm Chawla, who the entire team considers a magician.  Then we had Imran Sardhariya, who has choreographed three songs, and has brought in variety. Costume designer Arundhati Anjanappa has done a lot of research in handling the costumes, and everything was customised. There are around 20 sets in the film, all created by Ullas Hydoor. The film will bring in the popular music directors, Charan Raj and Ajaneesh B Lokanath. The latter also dominates with his background score.”

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