Behind the making of Sapta Sagaradaache Yello
There is no doubt that Hemanth M Rao’s Sapta Sagaradaache Yello is creating all the right noises before its release on September 1.
There is no doubt that Hemanth M Rao’s Sapta Sagaradaache Yello is creating all the right noises before its release on September 1. The little glimpses of the film thus far have stirred excitement, and the director, along with the entire team, has effectively built up anticipation for this romantic drama centred around the characters Manu and Priya, portrayed by Rakshit Shetty and Rukmini Vasanth in Side A. Side B introduces Chaithra Achar as a pivotal part of the principal cast. Delving behind the scenes of Sapta... we talk to the technicians — cinematographer Advaitha Gurumurthy, music director Charan Raj, editor Sunil Bharadwaj, and art director Ullas Hydoor — who have contributed to its creation.
I believe that the cinematographer is the first audience: Advaitha Gurumurthy
Advaitha Gurumurthy has tried to bring a distinct approach to Sapta Sagaradaache Yello. In his recent interaction at the trailer launch event, the cinematographer spoke about delving into the emotional moments of the film along with director Hemanth. “The script had a poetic essence ot it. With such exceptional actors personifying the roles, there was a natural inclination to capture their beauty. But we knew the content had to be on the forefront, and it wasn’t just about presenting the beauty but also showcasing something previously unseen within the frame.” he explains.
Advaitha continues, “As we blocked scenes during rehearsals, the actors would consistently elevate their performances during the final takes. Even after watching the film 16 times, I’m still moved to tears. Working on this project for over two-and-a-half years exclusively has forged a deep connection. As the cinematographer, I am the first audience. When I view the footage while it is captured, it’s an emotionally charged moment. If the intense sequences engaged me, the comic ones left me in splits,” says the DoP.
Emphasising that the film is authentic, Advaitha says they avoided elaborate sets, and captured Rakshit and Rukmini in their element. “The camera and the team were deeply immersed, almost becoming a part of their surroundings. We wanted the audience to feel as though they were right there beside the characters. This connection and the sense of accomplishment evoked emotions,” he says.
The transformative journey of the actors was equally impactful for Advaitha. “Witnessing Rakshit transition into Manu was quite unsettling. By the time we reached Side B, Rakshit had transformed into a completely different individual. The same profound change was evident in Rukmini Vasanth and Chaitra Achar as well. Their performances were remarkably nuanced, and one of the reasons we chose an anamorphic lens to capture the right essence. This approach continued into part 2 but with a fresh structure and perspective.”
Summarising his experiences working on the film, Advaitha says, “In Side A, I didn’t just follow Manu; I became one with his world. However, in Side B, Manu’s world was a different sphere altogether, leading to a transformation in the cinematographic approach. The compositions and lenses used were purposefully chosen, each reflecting the underlying philosophy of the two parts.”
The emotional depth in Side A and B of Sapta... is effectively conveyed through the music’s varying intensities: Charan Raj
Charan Raj began his musical journey with Hemanth M Rao’s debut film, Godhi Banna Sadharna Mykattu. After pairing up in Kavaludaari once again, the successful partnership continues with Sapta... In addition to the background score, he has composed 12 tracks for both Side A and B. “Notably, two songs are shared between the sides, but with distinct treatment,” Charan reveals, reflecting on his experience working with Hemanth. “Side A of Sapta... exudes a lighter tone, while Side B carries a slightly more intense mood, which is skillfully translated into the music.”
Charan says, “The narrative of the romantic drama seamlessly weaves into its musical fabric. Achieving a harmonious balance, the film features various melodious and vibrant tracks.” Despite the audience’s usual anticipation of romantic melodies from Hemanth, the director has pushed for a fusion of romance and lively songs. “This eclectic blend even encompasses hints of hip-hop and sync wave influences, adding trippy yet melodic style, there has been an innovative approach to composing melodies, which is evident with each track,” says Charan, adding, “Lyricists Dhananjay Ranjan and Nagarjuna Sharma, among others play a crucial role in this fresh wave of songwriting, aiming to break away from traditional song structures and craft narratives through music. The emotional depth is effectively conveyed through the music’s varying intensities.”
Charan Raj, who embarked on this journey alongside Hemanth, highlights the director’s ongoing evolution. “Driven by a sincere passion for cinema, Hemanth consistently refines his approach with each project. This commitment extends to embracing growth and staying attuned to industry trends. Adapting to the evolving storytelling demands and unique scenarios posed by the director presents challenges that ultimately empower the team to transcend established norms,” he explains.
With 12 songs successfully composed, Charan Raj is now engrossed in finalising the background score for Side B. “The songs in Sapta... serve a dual purpose, seamlessly guiding the narrative’s progression. Some of these songs extend for 5 to 6 minutes, strategically dispersed throughout the film to maintain an engaging pace. We’ve consciously aimed to differentiate ourselves from other films, aspiring to forge a profound connection with the audience.” he says.
In addition to Hemanth, Rakshit’s unwavering support has proven invaluable, says Charan. “As an actor, and producer of Sapta..., Rakshit offered insightful feedback. He has also contributed as a songwriter for a track that will feature in Side B,” says Charan.
Our goal was to help the audience immerse themselves and feel like an integral part of Manu and Priya’s journey: Ullas Hydoor
Art director Ullas Hydoor, whose journey commenced with Rakshit Shetty’s Avane Srimanarayana, has contributed to over 12 projects, with six of them already released. After crafting a fantasy realm for ASN, Ullas faced a unique challenge with Sapta Sagaradaache Yello – creating a world that’s relatable, rooted in everyday life, and as authentic as possible. “The director aimed for a story that people could connect with. Instead of constructing a fantasy realm, we focused on the mundane aspects, things familiar to us. Our goal was to help the audience immerse themselves and feel like an integral part of Manu and Priya’s journey. It was about crafting a space and environment that resonated with our own world, making it easier to bring to life since it mirrors the world we inhabit,” explains Ullas.
Ullas added that while Side A posed fewer challenges for the art direction, Side B demanded substantial research and meticulous alignment with the script. “Side A is entirely set in 2010, a time untouched by the current pandemic and technological advancements. Our task was to recreate the atmosphere of that era, which, though not drastically different, required a delicate balance. We concentrated on locations and surroundings rooted in Bengaluru, along with portions shot in Shivamogga. The portions shot in Kundapura will feature prominently in Side B,” says the art director.