My best film is 'Bhoot': Ram Gopal Varma
Director Ram Gopal Varma has termed his supernatural thriller "Bhoot" the best film of his more than a decade long film career.
"Directorially, I believe my best film is 'Bhoot' - a lot of people think its 'Satya' or 'Company' or 'Rangeela'," Varma told BBC World in an interview for its special series "Bollywood Bosses".
The series, based on the careers of five top-notch Bollywood directors, would be telecast from Saturday. There are five episodes, one each on directors Karan Johar, Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Yash Chopra, Rakesh Roshan and Ram Gopal Varma.
The episode on Varma explains the work and cinematic journey of a filmmaker who started out as a civil engineering student turned owner of a video rental shop in Hyderabad.
"You see, I used to hang around in the studio where Nagarjuna was an actor. One day, I just narrated to him a scene, and that was the first scene I ever directed," Varma was quoted as saying in a BBC press release containing a transcript of the episode.
"There's this guy (going home) after seeing the night (film) show and he (is) walking in the alley. A couple of 'goondas' (goons) beat him up. I narrated the visuals in terms of camera placements and the kind of sound effects that would accompany it and everything.
"Nagarjuna was very impressed. He told me that he'd never heard that kind of vivid descriptions from anyone and considering that I did not have any training at all.
"I was not even a film person, so he was quite taken aback with that, and that's what started the process of him giving me a break (in the film industry)."
And with that break, Varma created what is now renowned as his Factory, the label under which he makes his films. Films that always break the traditional mould of Bollywood filmmaking, carving innovative niches for itself.
The episode also has interviews with actors who have worked with Varma like Antara Mali and Vivek Oberoi.
"He (Varma) doesn't need a name, a star, a celebrity. What he's doing is he has created concepts, which nobody would originally do and out of that he has made the film a star," says Oberoi.
"He has made his brand equity of Ram Gopal Varma a star."
With gangster films like "Satya" and "Company", a road film like "Road", and a commercial blockbuster like "Rangeela" - all filled with out-of-the-box thinking - Varma has created a brand powerhouse out of his name.
As trade analyst Taran Adarsh says: "Ram Gopal Varma is an important name because his films ensure good story and they do have something new to offer to audiences, who are in any case sick and tried of watching the same stuff time and again."