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Soggade Chinni Nayana — Blog

Vividh Ashok: “Never underestimate the power of Marketing”

There are two things in life: Something you are good at and something you want to do. Finding the perfect union between the two is what is going to take you further in life. Read on to know what else our MMBA student, Vividh Ashok had to say about his internship at Annapurna Studios for the film Soggade Chinni Nayana.


Q: How was your experience working as an intern?

A: Since I am in my senior year of the MMBA program, I am supposed to do an internship, as a part of my program. I first thought about doing an internship at an ad agency, but then I got to know about an internship opportunity at Annapurna Studios, through the college. It was an opportunity to work in the marketing team of Nagarjuna sir’s movie Soggade Chinni Nayana, and I didn’t want to let this slip away. After joining, I realized that this job was going to be much more than just the simple nuances of marketing. They called it Marketing Publicity. My job was directed more towards coming up with ideas and co-ordination. I was also part of the team that handled the front-stage co-ordination at the film’s audio launch event. It was very nice for me to see how a live event occurs. I was also handling the ‘Making’ and ‘Promo’ videos for the film.

Q: What was the most memorable part of the internship?

A: Meetings! Imagine sitting across the table from the Executive Producer of the film, along with the likes of Gemini TV, Radio City, along with Nagarjuna sir! You don’t get an opportunity like this often. I never spoke during these meetings, but sitting in that room and listening to the ideas they came up with was the best experience for me. Also, the fact that I was given a walkie-talkie and I could call people up and give them instructions was an added bonus! The way the studio worked and functioned was amazing to experience. I will never forget that.

Q: What do you take back from this experience?

A: The one thing I’ve realized, and the one thing I tell everybody is that everyone must work in a studio at least once in their life! You can always come up with your indi-films anytime in your life, but when you work for a studio, you get to know that there are a lot of people involved in the movie making process. Unless you actually get into this, you will not be able to see how it functions. One instance was how our director was there from start to finish. He could’ve easily gone back after production was done, but he didn’t. He was a part of marketing, he was making sure everything was functioning well. Even Nag sir for that matter. Being an actor, he could’ve easily avoided being involved in these matters, but he chose not to. Being in the marketing team, opened my eyes in terms of where I can see myself in the future. This has been the biggest learning curve for me. What I had learned theoretically turned out to be so much different compared to what I experienced.

Q: Did something fun happen on set that you will carry forward with you in the future?

A: Oh yes! Gemini TV had a competition during the audio launch for the general public. The contest was done and the names and numbers of the winners were handed over to me. It was my job to call them up and inform them that they won. Now, out of fifty odd people, ten responded. Even after the event so many of the people kept calling. That was funny! Also, meeting Nag sir on a daily basis was amazing. Getting ASPL’s tea and meals is also something I will never forget (laughs).

Q: How was your experience here, at AISFM? What advice would you like to give to your juniors?

A: Oh it was brilliant! I had heard of Annapurna Studios, while doing my Media studies in Bangalore, but had no knowledge that they were coming up with a film school or an MMBA course for that matter. I was in a class of two, so I loved the personal attention given to me, with a deep level of interaction. The way they teach here is so good, and its the reason why we didn’t leave despite the small number of students. Now, me being on the verge of completing my course, I can say that it (MMBA) is the best mix one can get of management and creativity! The one thing I would like to say to my juniors is – Keep working. It doesn’t matter whether you are in production, direction, marketing or even in the camera department. Make sure you add as much experience as you possibly can in the years you spend here. College classes are important, but you need to do something beyond your classroom. Also, work for a studio at least once in your life!

Q: Where do you see yourself, in say the next five years?

A: There are several things that I want to do. In five years, I would like to see myself being the head of my media department. I know it sounds very generic, but that’s the least I would like myself to become. To be honest, I would want to work for Teach for India, do something that makes me happy. Also, I want to produce an independent film.

Carving his own little niche!


When a dream becomes a passion and that passion becomes life, nothing else matters; you start living and loving life! For dreams and passion are more powerful than facts and reality. It takes guts to achieve glory and conviction to stick to your dreams.

Well on this path to achieving his dreams, carving his own little niche is our very own Hari Mrutyumjaya, who worked as the Assistant Director in Nagarjuna’s latest blockbuster film Soggade Chinni Nayana.

An alumnus of AISFM, who had pursued his Masters in Film & Media, Hari is from the first batch of this school. Speaking about what motivates him and what his inspiration is, he says, “Since my college days i.e. intermediate I would keep writing stories on paper and tell my friends about it. I even sent some stories to a local film magazine. I continued writing stories even while I was doing my B.Tech in Sri Vasavi Engineering College, Tadepalligudam. I then joined AISFM to pursue my M.A. to know and learn more about other aspects of filmmaking. My M.A. project was Pranam, based on the stageplay called ‘Kuka’ by Yandamoori Veerendranath. I read about him a lot.”

So where does your passion lie; have you always wanted to become a director? To this he says, “I love writing but I will not leave direction at the same time. If the writing is good then the film is good. If writing is perfect then 80% of the job is done, the remaining 20% would be, to shoot the film. Without a proper story, even a big director’s movie will be a flop.”

Speaking about his experience on being a part of the trendsetting record-breaking big blockbuster movie Soggade Chinni Nayana, he says “When I saw the characters I liked Nagarjuna Sir’s character a lot, especially the differentiation between the dual roles and the whole essence of the movie. I had a feeling that it would do well, but it is such a big blockbuster! The fantasy and nativity of it all, is very unique. On the first day of the film during pre-production the director, Kalyan Krishna, gave me the script and asked me to read it and involved me in the whole process.  AISFM involved us and taught us all aspects of filmmaking and this helped me a lot. Even though it was such a big production I felt very comfortable working and being part of it. Initially I was scared but later on it was all fine. On the last day of shooting, we all felt that the final output was really good and were very happy.” Making the most of his break before he starts working on his next project, Hari has a story in mind and will be working on its screenplay.

At AISFM we learnt each aspect of filmmaking. It was easy for me later, since I learnt about everything in the school. Even though we worked on small projects we looked into each department; whereas in the industry it is divided into each department, so the knowledge and prior experience helped. It didn’t feel new and it was easy working. We learnt what to do and what not to do. We learnt that planning is very important in any department, then there is clarity,” he said about his learning at AISFM.

What are you friends and family saying about your recent laurels? With a smile on his face, he says “They are very happy. It is because of my B.Tech friends, Maruthi Kiran and Narendra Kumar, that I am here. They paid my fees when I could not afford it and made sure that I got into a really good school like AISFM to realize my dream. They helped and supported me a lot and encouraged me at all times. Initially I tried my hand in the industry and got small offers but then I wanted to learn more about the craft, so they helped me by paying the fees to get into AISFM. At AISFM, Krupakar Sir encouraged me a lot and introduced me to the director of Soggade Chinni Nayana Kalyan Krishna. If not for his help, I would not have got a break so soon. Kalyan Krishna asked me about the course and what they taught me and once he was sure that I was good for the job, he took me as his assistant director. My specialization was scriptwriting, so the director asked me for suggestions and was always open to any that I suggested. Kalyan Krishna supported me a lot and was always helpful.”


Any interesting anecdotes that he would like to share with us? To this, reliving his fan moment he says, “Kalyan Krishna is like a brother not just with me but with everyone. So, for a small scene in the movie he asked me if I would like to play the brother of Hamsanandini in it. I am a huge fan of Nagarjuna Sir, so I readily agreed. My most memorable moment is that, I have a scene with Nagarjuna Sir in the movie and even share two dialogues in that scene. Cinematographer Siddharth was also very funny and helpful.”

When asked if he told Nagarjuna that he is from AISFM, to this he said, “I did not because it will be good if I introduce myself to him after I make a name for myself and then make him proud by saying that I am from AISFM.”

So in three years from now, where does he see himself? To this he confidently says that “I would definitely have directed a movie by then. And I want to direct my own story, only then I will be able to realize it completely.”

Sharing his experiences and lessons learnt for future aspirants, he said, “People who take up the job should work according to the job requirement and satisfy them and should not brag. We should do our job to the best and respect all crew, be it in any department. It will also help if we are involved in pre and post production work also, so that the learning is complete. For example in AISFM we learnt about sync sound also but in the industry dubbing is followed majorly, so being involved in post production also helps you learn a lot.”

Ending the discussion on a philosophical note, he said, “We should always keep learning and should not think that we know everything, since filmmaking in a continuous learning process. One lifetime is not enough. Writing is also important; we should keep writing and develop it further.”

Here’s wishing Good Luck to Hari for his upcoming movies and in everything that he does!