Hyderabad: Just four films old, screenplay writers Deepak Raj and Vikram Siri are on top of the world, with the recent success of Race Gurram. They have earned plaudits from Tollywood for the Allu Arjun-starrer, a project which started almost a year-and-a-half ago. Both Deepak and Vikram, abandoned engineering for their respective journeys as assistant directors.
Deepak worked for the YRF’s Meri Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai; while Vikram worked for V.V. Vinayak’s Tagore. Deepak says both wanted to become directors, but fate led them to screenplays.
Deepak says, “Director Kishore aka Dolly who is also a friend knew that we were working on some stories. He wanted us to work with him on Konchem Ishtam Konchem Kashtam. Our journey as screenplay writers started off in this way. We then wrote Mirapakay, Tadaka and, now Race Gurram.”
The process that goes into writing the screenplay of a film, “Isn’t easy, but is fun,” explains Deepak. “We have a story, which we weave around a hero, after which we narrate the script to the actor and once he finalises the project, we elaborate on each scene accordingly.”
Vikram adds, “There are instances where actors too add ideas to improve on a scene. The actor knows his body language and suggests some changes in terms of his body language or his dialogue delivery. Allu Arjun works very hard on his attitude in every film.”
“In Race Gurram, the scenes where he says the word ‘Devuda’, he had a clear idea about the style in which he would say it, and it made a huge difference to the film”, he shares.
Explaining the actual work that they do in each film, Vikram refers to cooking.
“If you want to prepare a dish, you need the ingredients, then the process of preparing it and presentation. The right quantity of each ingredient makes the dish taste good; that is our job. The process of making it and the presentation is the job of the director.”
“We choose and mould the characters, settings, backdrops, body language, dialogues and the sequence of events which make the story more effective,” he adds.
In case of clashes of ideas, Deepak says, “There are always differences; but, since we work as a team, we brain-storm with the director. But the final call is taken by the director. We have to cater to whatever he or she wants.”
On working with the cast and crew of Race Gurram, Deepak shares, “It was an amazing experience. It is always fun to work with director Surender Reddy. He is always cool and at the same time he gets the best out of everyone on and off the sets. Allu Arjun is full of life. He kept the fun-factor going all through the making of the film.”
Deepak and Vikram are now working on their very own dream project, where Vikram will debut as a director. Vikram says, “We have started work on the film and Sunil will be playing the lead. The movie is being produced by Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Productions, the producers of Race Gurram.