V Jayashankarr: Looking at the wider picture
A new addition the league of filmmakers to have successfully transitioned from shorts to feature films is director V Jayashankarr, who’s set to make his debut with Paperboy, starring Santosh Shobhan. Priyashree and Tanya Hope soon. The storyteller grabbed the Sampath Nandi production owing to the popularity of his short films like Love you forever, Half Girlfriend, Ramayanam lo thupakula veta (a view count of his short films touches about 3 crore). He was on-board as part of Paperboy’s writing-team initially, the production team later grew confident of his abilities and let him assume charge of the film. Jayashankarr who grew up idolising Dasari Narayana Rao, Mahesh Bhatt and K Viswanath, says occupying the director’s chair is a dream come true.
“After finishing my engineering, I took time out of my software job to make short films, whose popularity surprised me and gave basis to my directorial ambitions.” Jayashankarr was in a dilemma if he could make short films then, he used to think of stories subconsciously at work, manage the shoot in the weekends, the nights were meant for post-production. An avid reader, he was influenced by the works of the German great Friedrich Nietzsche besides Muppalla Ranganayakamma and P G Wodehouse. “I’d quit the job to to try my hand at feature films. In the meanwhile, I made a one-hour film Happy Ending (that had a direct online release) that grabbed eyeballs.”
Jayashankarr adds, “I was instantly hooked to Paperboy’s story (written by Sampath Nandi), to which I’ve given my own dimension. I was nervous handling the cast and the crew in the initial weeks, but things are half-done when you have a supportive team that stands by your side when you make mistakes. Being a shy guy, it also wasn’t easy to open up. It’s a process I’m continuing to learn. This is a fun filled-love story with a realistic backdrop and soulful music in the making,” he talks of the film. Veteran cinematographer Soundarrajan (who has worked on Bengal Tiger, Gowtham Nanda) has been a constant source of guidance and support on-sets, he adds the two share a guru-shishya bond. Sampath Nandi’s clear understanding of the medium too helped his cause.
Talking of the experience in directing veteran actors like Nagineedu, Annapurnamma, he appreciates the focus with which they approach work and yet continue to enjoy the process. “I really like the healthy atmosphere they bring on to sets and how they make it a point to understand a director’s perspective.” Moving ahead, Jayashankarr wants to make films that focus on universal emotions. Post the release of Paperboy, the filmmaker plans to release a book he’s written about the various roles that women take up in a lifetime. “I’ve readied the script for my next film too,” Jayashankarr signs off.