Harsha: A fantasy film is made with lot of precision

The choreographer-turned-director hopes to repeat the success of 'Bhajarangi' with its sequel, slated to hit the screens on October 29

A Harsha with Shivarajkumar

A Harsha’s journey in Sandalwood has been remarkable. After courting fame for his work in ‘Mungaru Male’, he established himself as a gifted dance choreographer.

Shivarajkumar in 'Bhajarangi 2'. The film's trailer,
which dropped on Wednesday, has garnered
close to 1.8M views on YouTube so far.

He turned a new leaf when he ventured into direction with 'Geleya' in 2007. Later, he grabbed eyeballs as the director of 'Bhajarangi' with Shivarajkumar in 2013. Eight years and many hits later, he is back now with Bhajarangi 2, slated to hit the screens October 29.

In an interview with Nina C George of Showtime, Harsha talks about the film, why he and Shivarajkumar make a good team and more.

Excerpts:

Was a sequel to ‘Bhajarangi’ always on the cards?

When I wrote 'Bhajarangi', the second half of the script developed first and the first part was added only after I got a better grip of the story. ‘Bhajarangi 2’ was never planned. After ‘Vajrakaya’, when I started writing the character for my next film, I realised that he had a strong connection with the character in ‘Bhajarangi’. So I retained the title. ‘Bhajarangi 2’ is a fantasy film that has two different stories coming together. They are all just chapters of the same book.

How difficult is it to pull off a fantasy film?

I always work backwards whenever I start writing a script. I first work around the body language, ambience, get up, and genre. The artist fits in only towards the end. It’s not easy to work on fantasy films because you are attempting to translate your imagination into reality. The CG artist will first have to accept my script and say the idea is worth exploring. Every character in the film is first sketched and modelled on the members of the crew before it is given to the actors. There’s a lot of precision that goes in while making a fantasy film. The graphic work is done by Elagovan and Subish of Jupiter Graphics from Chennai.

How was it to collaborate with Shivarajkumar again?

Shivanna and I make a great team. I always have Shivanna at the back of my mind whenever I am writing a script. I usually narrate one line of the script and Shivanna knows what is in store. It is blind trust and faith in each other that has guided us. He is always the first to appreciate my work. Also, he’s an actor who can mould himself into any role.

Your journey from a choreographer to director...

I came into the film industry as a choreographer only because of Sudeep sir. He gets credit for bringing me here. Direction happened much later. I was always meticulous when it came to my choreography and follow the same discipline as a director. I always have a book in hand where I write every shot and what is planned around it. I have had a lot of ups and downs, faced appreciation and humiliation too. I take in the good and turn a deaf ear and a blind eye to the negativity around me. I don’t let skewed comments affect me.

Tell us about your next film ‘Veda’...

I’ve started work on ‘Veda’, again with Shivanna and produced by Jayanna. The film is a combination of action and comedy. It is also an emotionally intense film. I can’t reveal more at this moment.