I began life as Yogaraj Bhat’s assistant

Pavan Wadeyar describes his journey in films, and how Puneeth was mobbed by fans in Kolkata

Pavan Wadeyar with actor Puneeth Rajkumar on the sets of ‘Natasaarvabhowma’.

As a college student, I was always interested in acting. As a youngster, I was very inclined to theatre and extra-curricular activities. I never thought of myself to be a writer or a director; I was a lethargic guy. But, destiny had other plans.  

I was working with Fidelity Investments as a process consultant and associate, and used to believe that there is not much inflow in the film industry.

It was when I watched ‘Arundhati’ that I started thinking about writing and the director and the work that went into making of the film. The film made me ruminate about details of content and dialogues of a film; it was my biggest inspiration. 

I started my journey with Yograj Bhat as an assistant director with ‘Pancharangi’. I made my directorial debut with ‘Govindaya Namaha’. ‘Natasaarvabhowma’ is my seventh film. With every film, I learnt a bit more about filmmaking and have explored a different part of myself. 

I’ve always worked with different genres. While ‘Govindaya Namaha’ was a comedy romance, ‘Googly’ was a romantic story. I worked with Puneeth Rajkumar for the first time in ‘Rana Vikrama’, which was an action film. ‘Jessie’ was a romantic horror film and ‘Nataraja Service’ was a comical take. I work in a way such that I don’t reach a point of saturation. 

Being aware about his capabilities, I was excited to work with Puneeth sir in ‘Natasaarvabhowma’. It is a delight to work with him; he is a humble and versatile actor and always encouraging. We wanted to collaborate right after ‘Rana Vikrama’, but things didn’t happen immediately. It is destiny that we collaborated again. 

The film was a gratifying experience; we had interesting incidents happened on the sets.

We had a 10-day schedule in Kolkata, which was a big eye-opener for us. A lot of Puneeth’s fans came up to him to meet and greet; many were aware about his films like ‘Rana Vikrama’. At times, it became difficult for us to shoot outside.

A scene between Sadhu Kokila sir and Puneeth sir was hilarious. There is a scene where Sadhu Kokila tries to make his new tenants understand that his house is not possesed. Puneeth’s character retorts in a subtle tone that it must have been after seeing him (Sadhu) that people were getting scared.

The climax scene was shot at Mahakuta, it was quite a challenge as people were crowding around the set.

I would say ‘action’ at the beginning of a shot and the crowd would say ‘cut’ when they felt a scene was done. While it was quite amusing, we had to move the shoot elsewhere. 

Working on each film has taught me different things. While working with familiar actors is great, working on challenging new scripts helps one explore more about oneself. 

Pavan Wadeyar

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