Karthikeya duped me'
A drone manufacturer and operator, who does not wish to be named, is having a tough time procuring his drones and money back from Baahubali director S.S. Rajamouli’s son Karthikeya. He was hired to operate drones behind the cameras, while Naga Chaitanya acts to do it on camera, in his movie Yuddham Sharanam.
He says, “I got a call from Vaarahi Chalana Chitram (the production company), who informed me about the requirement of a drone operator for the movie. I informed them that I could develop it as per their requirement and they invested in it accordingly. They didn’t give us the time to build the drone, even though I specifically mentioned in my email that I would need time to build and test it. Secondly, most of the components were not readily available, which delayed it further. Also, we were not able to modify or test the drones because they would keep the drone with them.
“After working with them for nine days, on the 10th shoot day, when I wanted time to build and test the drones as per their requirement, they refused to give me time. Well, if you are building a car, won’t you want to drive and test it? They always gave us just one or two days of time to build and test a drone, which is far too less.”
Talking about the issue further, the manufacturer says, “There were various reasons for the delay as most of the time the components were not available in the market immediately or it would be raining and the drone that we had was not waterproof and could not be tested in the rain. There was also an objection from people of a society who didn’t permit us to fly and test the drone. They did not give us any time to rehearse before the shooting or show us the shoot location prior to the final shoot, which is very important. We need to analyse whether an area has any electromagnetic interference or any ferromagnetic interference, wind speed, power lines, big iron structures etc. On the last day of shooting (just approximately half an hour before pack-up time), they kept my drones and told me that they didn’t like my work. Well, if they didn’t like my work, why say it after completing nine days of shooting? And why aren’t they returning my drones?”
The person went on to accuse Karthikeya and his team for not paying him for his work. “They still have to pay us for five days of work and for the extra visits that I have made, the damages on my spares and equipment, etc. They are not even returning my drones, which cost over '2 lakh. He and his team duped me,” he says.
Accepting that he does have the drones and hasn’t paid a part of the promised amount, Karthikeya says, “There are so many other things that he promised to do but didn’t keep up with them. That was the reason I kept the drones; I don’t even know what I am going to do with them. I just wanted to make him realise that he can’t take forever to finish something. He didn’t do his part and he also knows it very well. I paid him half but he probably didn’t even do 10 per cent of the work. I paid more than what he deserves,” says Karthikeya adding, “I would have returned the drones anyway.”