Monday, July 26, 2010

Old studio BUS ,Ramasharmain Menarikam


Royapettah's link with cinema

A lady who resides in Royapettah and is related to poet-lyricist Kannadasan is keen to highlight the fact that close to 2 dozen film personalities of yesteryear - Sivaji, Karunanidhi, RMV, etc etc lived in this area.

WHY studios came to Kodambakkam

The studios of Kodambakkam have a fascinating history. According to Randor Guy, film historian, during World War II, the Madras Electric Supply Corporation (MESC) had built a power house in the area, but there were no takers for the energy. The film studios were then encouraged to set shop there. And that was how the studios of Kodambakkam came about.

However, in 1935, A Ramaiah from Thanjavur had already established the first studio, Star Combines, near the Vadapalani bus terminus, which then marked the end of city limits. Gradually several studios came up – Rohini, Film Centre (set up by Majid), Bharani Studios (Bhanumathy Ramakrishna), Vikram Studios (B. S. Ranga, ace cameraman, producer-director), Paramount which later became Majestic Studios (Muthukumarappa Reddiar) Golden Studios, Vasu Studios (Vasu Menon) and Karpagam Studios (K. S. Gopalakrishnan). But they were all dwarfed by two giants - Vauhini Studios (B. Nagi Reddy), the biggest in Asia then with 13 studio floors, and AVM Studios (A.V. Meiyappan), the second largest in the city, with six studio floors.

VEL Pictures First Studio of Telugu Films

The first studio for Telugu talkies was
Vel Pictures, constructed in 1934 by P.V. Das, located at Madras. The
first film made here was Sita Kalyanam. The first film made by a
Telugu person, R.S. Prakash, was Bhishma Pratigna (The Pledge of
Bhishma, 1922). Another important Telugu personality of this era was
Y.V. Rao (1903-1973), an actor and director, whose silent film
(directing) credits include Pandava Nirvana (1930), Pandava
Agnathavaas (1930) and Hari Maya (1932). The first big movies in
Telugu were made by the Surabhi Theatres troupes.They produced
the first Telugu talkie, Bhakta Prahlada, directed by Hanumappa
Munioappa Reddy in 1931. In the first few years of Telugu talkies,
films were all mythological stories, taken from the stage. In 1936,
Krittiventi Nageswara Rao made the first Telugu film not based on
mythology, Premavijayam. The film influenced other Telugu film-makers
into making such films. Some popular themes of these films (often
called 'social' films) were the feudal zamindari system (Raitu Bidda,
1939), untouchability (Maala pilla, 1938), and widow remarriage.
Since then, there have been both social contemporary and
mythological or folk stories in Telugu cinema.

World War II Hitler Film

World War II and the subsequent resource scarcity
caused the British Raj to impose a limit on the use of filmstrip in
1943 to 11,000 feet,a sharp reduction from the 20,000 feet that
was common till then.As a result, the number of films produced
during the War was substantially lower than in previous years.
Nonetheless, prior to the ban, an important shift occurred in the
industry: independent studios formed, actors and actresses were signed
to contracts limiting who they could work for, and films moved from
social themes to folklore legends,1942's Balanagamma typified
these changes: the film featured fantasy elements of cultural lore,
was produced by Gemini Studios, and its producers added a restricting
clause to the lead actress' contract. By 1947, nearly all films were
produced by studios with contracted actors.

C.PULLAIH,Photographer turned Producer

C. Pullaiah purchased a second hand movie camera in 1924 in Bombay
Kakinada with an intention to make films in Andhra soil. He
shot a thousand feet silent film, Markandeya, with himself cast as
Yama and made the film with so many indigenous methods and projected
the film on a white washed wall in his house to the amazement of his
friends through the very same camera with which he shot the film. He
used to call cinema as Goda Meedi Bomma. It was C. Pullaiah who gave
Telugu cinema's first super duper hit, Lavakusa (1934) starring
Parupalli Subbarao and Sriranjani (Sr.). It was his second feature
film (Savithri his first talkie film was made a year before with
Ramathilakam and Gaggaiah was a hit too. Interestingly there were two
Savithris and two Ramadasus in 1933). People flocked to the theatres
from near by villages in bullock carts to see Lavakusa. History
repeated when C. Pullaiah and his son C. S. Rao remade the film in
1963 with N. T. Rama Rao and Anjali Devi. At a time when the market
was flooded with mythological films, Indian Art Cine tone attempted a
social, Prema Vijayam (1936) directed by Krithiventi Nageswara Rao.
However, the success of reformist filmmaker Gudavalli Ramabrahmam's
Malapilla (1938) starring Dr. Govindarajula Subbarao and Kanchanamala
and Rythubidda (1939) with Ballari Raghava and Suryakumari gave an
impetus to Y.V. Rao, B.N. Reddy and others to produce films on social