'College Kumara's success got me Victory sequel'
...says director Hari Santosh who is helming the Victory sequel starring Sharan, Sadhu Kokila, Asmita Sood and Ravi Shankar
It was Hari Santhosh's College Kumara that did the trick and got him the opportunity to direct the Victory sequel. "Both Tharun Sudhir and Tarun Shivappa, the creative director and producer, respectively, were looking for a technician, who could do justice to the Victory sequel. Tharun liked some shots, especially the interval block of College Kumara, which is how I bagged the sequel," says Hari.
First attempt at out-and-out comedy
The director who otherwise prefers to write the scripts for his own films tried something new with Victory sequel, which was another writer's vision. "Biological or adopted children are given the same love. So ultimately, the film is my baby," says Hari, adding, "Usually I go to music director Arjun Janya to narrate all my films and take professional advice. He suggested that I pick up the subject and listen to the story with an open mind. Being an out-and-out comedy, and my first attempt at it, I thought I should take it up. The film, I felt had space for creativity. Moreover, this film had actor Sharan doing a double act, which was something that interested me."
Terms and conditions apply
Apparently, Hari had put down some conditions to the production house about the Victory sequel. "Since it had Sharan playing a dual role, I requested the producer to get upgraded equipment. I also asked for a motion control rig, which the producer agreed to provide. The equipment was brought down from Australia to Mumbai and then to Bengaluru. The camera was used for just four days and the rig weighed 1,800 tons, which required it to be brought down in a heavy duty vehicle."
Victory sequel is the highest budget film of Hari's career
"It is easy to visualise a story in your head and narrate it to the producer. But convincing the audience is a task in itself," says Hari who adds that this is the highest budget film of his career. As a director, he takes time during scripting stages, but is quick during the shoot. "If you are prepared, you don't end up wasting time on the sets. In fact, Sharan mentioned that the Victory sequel was his first project that was completed in record time."
Handling an ensemble cast is a challenge
The film, starring Sharan, Ravi Shankar, Asmita Sood, Apoorva, Sadhu Kokila, Nazar, Kalyani, comprises an ensemble cast. Handling 16 artistes each time in one frame, the director says was a challenge. "Every actor's makeup has to be done simultaneously. The scenes have to be explained to them, and takes and retakes have to done. Balancing all this is tough," he says. Even though Hari has known Sharan for quite sometime, this is the first time that he directed the actor. "I have been associated with Sharan's films. In Sanju Weds Geetha, I was an assistant director. We have got to know each other better over the years. His energy is infectious."
Hari also admits that even though his films may fail, the songs in them never have. He reveals that he prefers to write the lyrics for his film's songs himself, and has written at least 60 tracks. However, Victory's sequel has lyrics by written by Yogaraj Bhat and Nagendra Prasad among others.
The director believes that continuity matters when it comes to sequels. "The storyline of Victory was such that a sequel could be made. Incidentally, the first part of Victory had a number of unanswered questions. This film answers all of them," he says, quickly adding, "Who knows? There's might just be a third."