Producer Suresh Babu and venture capitalist Srini Raju are currently, jointly planning a massive film studio at Tada, in Nellore district. “There is infrastructure there that can be developed into a film studio,” admits Suresh Babu and according to a source, the two have acquired considerable expanse of land near Tada and want to develop a studio... for all of South, as the location is close to the Andhra and Tamil Nadu borders and the industry leaders believe the facility could be useful to Tamil, Telugu and other film industries.
Tada, unlike the Ramoji Film City, will also be used by the general public. For example, there is a big, active hospital building that will soon be part of movie shoots and film crews are already setting up equipment for future projects.
“There is a lake, a beach and fantastic natural locations which are good for shoots,” adds Suresh Babu. And while he doesn’t reveal the extent of the land purchased, sources say the that it’s nearly 3,000 acres. There are already 50 to 60 industries set up near Tada and more will come up soon.
Film shoots are set to start in 18 to 20 months and Suresh Babu is already planning to build two huge floors for shooting, along with recording studios and other technical laboratories.
Suresh Babu also adds that it's just a matter of time before the film industry ‘moves homes’. “The industry will shift... it’s just a matter of time before it does. But it will spread to different places, with no particular ‘HQ’. There will come a time when film labs and post-production centres are distributed across various cities. For example, with the Kerala film industry, directors like Fazil and Priyadarshan are not based out of one city like Hyderabad. They move about and a similar model will develop here too.”
Digital film is also allowing Tollywood filmmakers to break through borders and work on a smaller, quicker scale. “All it takes is a computer and for general post production including sound works, you just need a double-room flat... that's all. So, in the next five years, you can expect little teams of film-making experts, working out of different cities for the same product.”
According to Suresh Babu, the moving out was inevitable. “Once upon a time, Hyderabad was an absolute blessing for shoots. Getting permissions has become very difficult now. If I want to shoot at one of my friends’ flats, I need police permission, which is horrible. That’s why many are going abroad for a shoot, where they don’t need much permission. About permission abroad, police in those cities say, that as long as you ‘don’t disturb anybody you can shoot’,” adds Suresh Babu.
Meanwhile, young filmmakers prefer outdoor shoots anyway and agree that the shoot can be broken down to different centres. Sushanth Reddy, director of the upcoming Superstar Kidnap says: “With film cities, the locations have been over-used. And almost every filmmaker I know has an edit table of his own. It makes sense, it is convenient and is the way to be in this age of digital filmmaking.”...