Over the last two decades, he has created some of the most iconic posters for films like Itlu Sraboni Subramaniam, Venki, Pokiri, Deshmuduru, Chandmama, Simha, Soggade Chinni Nayana, Akhandar.
In an exclusive interview, Rich Isle talks about the importance and role of movie posters in movies, the process of making movie posters, the experience of working in KGF and much more.
What is the role of a promotional designer for a film?
After deciding on a movie title, the filmmakers go to a promotional designer to design the title logo. As a designer, we first design five to six varieties. The title logo should be creative and reveal the theme of the film because a poster is an effective way to get people’s attention. The whole process will depend on the progress of a film.
How did you find a designer in you?
I used to design different titles in my notebook during my college days. Whenever my college management conducted the election, my friends would come to me and ask for my help in promoting their symbol. So I used to draw their symbols on the banners and walls of the college. Then, more and more I want to focus on poster design. After finishing my studies, I applied for a job in an advertising company and got it. This is how my career in the design field started.
When did you start your journey in the industry?
Later, I joined a Telugu leading daily as an artist and moved to the art department at the same company. I used to design cover pages and weekly there. Then, I had an idea and quit my job to set up my own designing studio. I took risks and believed in myself and my abilities. When I quit my job, I was married and had two children. I knew I was going through a risky area.
Are you facing any financial crisis?
Yes, I had financial problems at an early stage. The thing that bothered me the most at that time was not having enough money. I was paid very little while working for the newspaper. After leaving my job, I became indebted. I borrowed some money from my friends to set up the studio. After setting up the studio, I tried a lot to get the offer but I rarely got it. No one in the industry believed me at first. However, I have proven myself to be a very reliable person in the industry.
There are many crafts in the industry. Why did you choose this profession?
I am an artist. I decided that what I really needed to do was learn how to do it right. I have a lot of knowledge in this case. Moreover, the Telugu film industry was then based in Chennai. At that time, there were very few promotional designers in Hyderabad. So, slowly I started to get the opportunity. I use every opportunity bag to come my way.
Which photo poster did you first work on?
The first photo poster I worked on was Krishna Bhamsi’s ‘Sindhuram’. Krishna Bhamsi has already proved that he is a successful director. The opportunity to design Krishna Bhamsi’s film was a big plus point for me. Krishna flute cows always encourage newcomers. I am currently working on Krishna Bhamsi’s upcoming film Ranga Marthanda. We started designing the title logo and everything.
Was it challenging for you to work on such a film?
Working on each film is challenging for me. Recently, I have experienced the challenge of designing posters for Nandamuri Balakrishna’s ‘Akhand’ and Yash’s ‘KGF: Chapter 2’. I will send the poster to the creator of the picture as soon as I am satisfied. I am more interested in job satisfaction than earning a lot of money. I have had great satisfaction designing posters out of the box. I laughed with satisfaction when my picture hit.
Do you accept all the projects that come to you or do you select them?
I haven’t rejected a project yet. However, the filmmakers rejected me because of some creative differences. Cinema is teamwork. A director has good command over his content so that it reaches the audience. I will design and give him whatever he wants. Sometimes I also give some advice to the director. It is up to him whether he will use it or not. Some people like the designs I make, and some people don’t. I always follow the instructions of the filmmakers. I missed the opportunity to design ‘Komaram Puli’ starring Pawan Kalyan and ‘Shakuntalam’ by Samantha Ruth Prabhu for unknown reasons.
What is the difference between then and now in poster design?
Technology has improved a lot compared to the previous days. There was no computer then. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. Before there was wall pasting. People used to stick posters on the walls. No one is allowed to post on the walls now, especially in the city. Nowadays, digital media plays an important role in promotional design. There are many differences between then and now in poster design.
Do you have a team?
Yes, I have a dedicated and enthusiastic team of over four professionals who keep up the best practices in the industry. There is a separate digital marketing team that will deal with small designs. The main and master design will be done by my team. And I’m fully responsible for my teamwork because I give them input on what to do and what not to do.
Have you received any praise or reward for your efforts?
I have received praise and appreciation for my contribution to poster design. I have received eight prestigious awards from Bharat Muni Arts Academy, Srikalahasti for films like ‘AA Naluguru’, ‘Amma Nanna Oka Tamil Ammayi’, ‘Pokirit’ etc. For the unexpected, the publicity design category is not included in the State Nandi Award.
How did you get the opportunity to work on ‘KGF: Chapter 2’?
Not many people know that I worked for ‘KGF: Chapter 1’ for which I designed the Telugu version of the posters. Rama Rao Garu, executive producer of Homebell Films and son of Kaikal Satyanarayana approached me for KGF Part 1. Before the shooting, Rama Rao Garu and Prashant Neel Garu called me to design ‘KGF: Chapter 2’. This time, I designed the poster for all the languages that made the strongest impression on the public. I am very happy to be a part of this Pan-India project. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to work in Pan-India movies like KGF. I get a lot of offers because of this movie in this competitive field. I thank Prashant Neel Garu, Yash Garu, producer Kartik Gowda and Vijay Kandregula Garu and Rama Rao Garu for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
What is your upcoming project?
I am going to work on more than 20 films. Ram Pothineni’s ‘The Warrior’, Rana Daggubati’s ‘Birata Paravarma’, ‘Bichagaru 2’ (all languages), Krishna Bhamsi’s ‘Ranga Marthanda’, Chatrapathi Hindi remake, and the list goes on.
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