Journey of Making a Successful Crowd Funding Film VASHAM : Interview with Director Challa Srikanth

Vasham is the first ever crowd funded science thriller made in Indian film industry. Challa Srikanth is the director of this film. He is very much successful in completing this project in limited budget. Vasham is gearing up for a release on August 4th in theaters.

Here is what the director of Vasham, Challa Srikanth have to say about his crowd funding film Vasham. He shared many interesting things about the journey of vasham and the process of crowd funding.

vasham director challa srikanth interview

1. What is Vasham from your POV?

Vasham for me is two things, first is my love for movies, I wanted to tell a different story , a straight pure story..interlinking the concept of science and ancient spiritual knowledge. And two , my  first experiment in crowdfunding in telugu market, to understand the business perspective and I am sure I will make few more even if I work with production houses in future.
 

2. Did you work anywhere in the past?

My first film is a Hinglish feature ‘Song of Life’ I made in my college, and then I worked in pre production for ‘Minugurulu’ and then for a couple of years in Suresh productions and as a co-writer for Chandamama kathalu.
 

3. What is so special about this film?

We have very few films discussing science and philosophy, so the concept is something very fresh, I hope it reaches the students and personally first film is always special though it is very tough.
 

4. How did you convince yourself to go ahead to initiate crowd funding for the film?

This is the toughest question, and believe it or not, I just got this idea in a minute ,  but I could see the long persistent efforts I need to keep though and also the possibility of finishing it. I am very happy my investors really made this happen!!!
 

5. Tell us about how did the crowd funding idea start and tell us the entire process that you have gone through in attaining the funds.

It is the story, that actually made me to crowdfund the film, After finishing the first draft I really wanted to see the story on screen, because I liked what I read, so that gave the Idea, lets reveal some part of it and make people curious, they will also be a part of it!! 
 
Then came the idea of creating a platform, we decided to keep a website where people can download the script, names of the investors were also mentioned there, smallest ticket being 2.5 , and one lakh for producers Tag!!
 
Slowly we tried to spread the word, we got 10K script downloads, it started with friends and new people also joined slowly
 
They are all very good friends now, irrespective of the result most of them want to stay for my future projects as well. Must say I am lucky!!
 

6. How did you see this entire journey of Vasham?

2 and half years of efforts ( with no income!! ) Believe me I cant do this again ( the amount of effort ) , but this will be with me all my life, learnt a lot about film making, people .. Work teaches you the best lessons I think
 

7. Tell us about the experiences that you had from starting the project to till date.

a) Learning the craft of film making, nothing beats that! the experience cant be bought in any other way!
 
b) The joy of completing the task, this is the best experience, we shot everyday as planned.. the planning the Team put in is awesome.. and luck is also there, no rains, or any other natures obstacles came on our way..
 
While dubbing one guy fell sick for two months, I wondered how lucky I was , i can get it dubbed by someone else but cant shoot without him!
 
c) Handling people, almost 120 people invested in the project, I tried my best to update everyone, Heard no complaints from anyone!!
 
d) Finding my cinematographer is like a miracle, He messaged me once , I completely forgot about it but when he messaged again i checked his works and wondered how come no one knows about him when he can show such good showreels!! Then I came to know he worked for Anil mehta camera department, he even worked with Majid Majidi for ‘Beyond the Clouds’ after completing Vasham
 

9. What do you think are the highlights of the film?

Climax!! , BGM and the set up is very fresh..  
 

10. How tough is it to make a film in Telugu without any support or background?

It was very tough for me, my first film is releasing after working for 8 years in Industry.. But then I know enough talented people who are seniors to me and yet to get a chance!
 

11. How important is it to convince the distributors and how did you manage that?

I am lucky in this case, My manager, executive producer became such a close friend, that he handled all the stuff, else it would have been a very big struggle. I owe him a lot for releasing this film.
 

12. With your experience so far, what do you tell the budding filmmakers?

Honestly I am just a starter and I just started to work for my next project.. but working here for some 8 years, I have few points to add, 1) Just don’t enter for name and money, the percentage is very less, And I know many talented guys waiting for a chance and are struggling to survive 2) And you will meet real insensitive people, Someone said” Your father doesn’t raise you right” and one more said ” Had he been my son I would have thrashed him”.. As much as you feel like thrashing this scum, you simply have to smile and try to escape and of course not to mention those free suggestions from absolute outsiders.. 3) Hard work, you should be ready to work hard, sometimes days together.. there wont be fixed timings, Imagine watching a product hundreds of times , and the release issues, unless you have great patience and man management skills you cant survive!!!..and hell yeah stay away from people who just keep blabbering without doing anything.. If you are fine with all this.. then think of choosing this career
 

13. What are your upcoming projects?

I am eagerly waiting to find a producer to work on a commercial film and in parallel I am working on another crowd invested project , 400 slots each slot worth 1Lakh to make a Chak-de type movie with cricket back drop.. I am a big fan of sports movies!!
 

14. What is the word that you would like to give for the audiences who are coming to see the film.

Love!!!
 
Watch the film in your nearest theaters on August 4th. Encourage small films and help many more to come. Wishing the entire team of Vasham for a great success.
 
Here is the trailer of Vasham.

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