The world was falling into Chaos. Jai Mahismati were the magic words required to bring it into order.
A crowd of 200+ people had gathered at PP Gupta auditorium, eagerly awaiting the arrival of SS Rajamouli and Shobu Yarlagadda, the makers of Bahubali. Our dear Professor Arvind Sahay was out on a mission to elicit from them the reason(s) that had made Bahubali, what it has been. Thunderous applause ensued as they entered the audi, and it took about 5 minutes for it to settle down.
Rajamouli was his usual humble self, beginning the conversation with what had made him conceive of the movie.
“My dad was always scolding me for not doing anything worthwhile, and it was high time, I decided, that I proved him wrong”. Thank God for dads like these.
Professor Sahay had some googlies up his sleeve, “How did you manage to make the actors sign a contract that barred them from being in other movies for the entire duration of three years?”
“It was a crazy journey we were going to embark on, and I needed equally crazy people to make it a success. So, I got some crazy guys to sign on my crazy contract.” Enough said. “You either make 3-4 movies in those years, or take the plunge and make one, that’s going to change the face of Indian Cinema,” I offered them. The rest was history.
We love finance, and so does our professor. “Didn’t Shobhu raise his hand up when you overshot the initial budget of 150 Cr? “Oh yes, he did. I just told him, lets leave enough for our kids’ education, and put the rest in.” Did anyone say crazy people?
“And what about marketing the movie? How was that special?” asked our marketing prof.
“Oh, that lasted for three years too.”
“You gotta be kidding me. Isn’t that usually done just before the movie releases?”
“Not with Bahubali. We knew we had pumped in a lot into this movie, and we had to make it work. We constantly kept releasing clips on YouTube, and analysing what was working, and what wasn’t.”
Shobu quipped in, “We had a region wise analysis- some videos were working well in the south and some others in the north. Our digital marketing team made the next clips based on the feedback, and we released the next bunch. We remember showcasing the muscle power of our actors in one particular clip, that went viral.”
Raja was vocal about the apprehensions that they shared before Bahubali 1. “We didn’t know if it was going to work. We had gone all in, and there was no turning back. However once Bahubali 1 was a huge success, we could go for the kill with the sequel. By then much of the stress had been lifted off our minds!”
His voice showed some of the tensed moments that the director and his producer had shared before the release.
It was evident a lot of thought had gone in behind the scenes, that made Bahubali a 1900 Cr wonder.
“What made you name the movie Bahubali?” asked one of the students.
“The credit goes to my father. He keeps coming up with these exotic names like Bahubali, Katappa. I have full faith in his ideas, so I just copy them,” Raja quipped.
The session ended with our professor noting that the success of the movie reflected in the fact that both the director and producer shared the same stage, even after the release of the movie- a rare occurrence in the Indian Film Industry.
Oh! Did we mention, the story behind the making of the movie is being made into a case by our Professors Kandaswamy and Sunil Sharma. We will wait for that one, won’t we?
Archya, is a doctor-turned-healthcare administrator, who thinks he has a passion for writing, and hence uses his limited idle time to pen down his thoughts. No publishing house has yet made him any offers, so he has to now debate his opportunity costs.
Archya is presently pursuing a MBA (PGPX) from IIM, Ahmedabad.