This Hyderabad-based filmmaker says he made world’s first short film on Mars with zero budget

By Manju Latha Kalanidhi| Published: 17th January 2021 05:00 AM
his shooting set

Ranjith Arvapally believes he made the world’s first short film on Mars with zero budget. This Hyderabad-based short film director who has made 30 such films says that this experiment was the result of his inability to raise money and his ability to shoot this crowdsourced movie as a showcase of what he can do with zero budget.

His movie, Mars—The Unexpected Journey, is an experiment that seems to be getting the thumbs-up from the filmmaking community.  

The 20-minute movie is now on YouTube with subtitles in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil and English. It’s also streaming on Amazon Prime.

This automobile engineering graduate, who hails from Medak in Telangana, says that his experiment forced him to play many roles: director, writer, DOP, lyricist, visual effects (VFX) editor, actor and photographer. “A director should have a complete grip on all the 24 crafts that go into filmmaking,” he states.

Ranjith Arvapally

YouTube is replete with second-grade love, sex and crime films, and Arvapally wanted to do something different. This kind of movie gives scope to showcase my skill, he shares.

His friends and family helped him out by enacting a few roles but the movie essentially runs on VFX.

“I worked as an associate director for a Telugu film, directed by Anil. But we filmmakers know that we all have to first prove talent to get offers and to do that one needs tons of money.” Arvapally has used a Nikon DSLR and used editing apps on his smartphone.

It took him seven days to shoot this movie which has 95 pc VFX about Mars.

“If I can make a movie worth `8 lakh in one week without spending money, that should speak of what one can do with money and more talent.” How does he plan to make his movie viral? “By tagging producers on social media and perhaps using my good offices to get to them.”

For now, he hopes producers like Dil Raju will find his work interesting. Arvapally had previously produced a science fiction and message-oriented zero-budget movie, and has applied for the Guinness Book of World Records.

He has also won a National Award for his short film,  Bhishmam, and the best love story for Meenakshi c/o Krishna at the Indian Inclusion short film fest.

Currently, Arvapally runs a talent directory where one can find the crew necessary for filmmaking. He believes in the mantra: Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.

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