18 September 2012 - Fenon J Rodriguez - Guest Film Producer


Copyright - Clancy Tucker (c)


'Pirate radio station - Amsterdam'


Quote of the day:

"You can if you think you can."


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FENON J RODRIGUEZ -


GUEST FILM PRODUCER





G'day guys,


Today I have the pleasure to introduce a film producer and line producer at Strawberry Productions in India - Fenon J Rodriguez.  SP (Strawberry Productions) is a Mumbai based film production company, which works towards developing a meaningful ambiance to produce high quality feature films in Hindi and Tamil - which appeal to an international level of audience.


With an experience of more than 12 years in this line of Production, Fenon has branched out and entered into Line Production, providing production services for production companies across the globe, to shoot their AD films & Feature film projects in Thailand & Indonesia. In a very short span of time, SP has grown to become one of the comprehensive media production services providers in Thailand & Indonesia, with its marketing team in Mumbai. SP provide's concept-to-completion for feature film production, advertising, advertising production company and fully fledged equipment packages. SP is owner-operated and also liaises with other countries other than Thailand and Indonesia.

Welcome, Fenon. Tell us how it all began.


TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF AND YOUR FILM-MAKING JOURNEY.


I come from a simple Middle Class family, based in Chennai (Madras) in Tamil Nadu, South India. Though, my roots are from Kerala, South India. None of my family member's or near relatives are part of media or anything to do with a media background.

I completed my pre-college (12th) and got into doing my basic Architectural course, I was always a bit different from others in my class, getting involved with my stream of course, I was more eager to gain practical knowledge, rather just restrict myself into just theory. And seeing my excitement, my professor who also was a renowned Architect in chennai, offered me a job to work has his apprentice. While working I happen to meet a lot of high profile clients and worked on their projects and that's when I met Mr. ManiRatnam. one of India's popular and renowned feature film Director, who's films have been internationally acclaimed.

After few interactions with him, he offered a job under his new company "Madras Talkies" a production banner, which was yet to be started. I have no clue, how did I manage to say yes to his offer and joined his company leaving behind my Architectural career.

I completed my course, immediately joined "Madras Talkies" his company in the year 1997 at the age of 19. Started from grass root level, from Production Co-ordinator to Executive Producer in matter of 8 years and completed 8 feature film in Tamil and Hindi Language.

I started working with Mani Ratnam, I also managed to completed my graduation in Economics and MBA in marketing.  My practical knowledge of film making and journey started there under the guidance of Mr.Mani Ratnam, Mr. G. Srinivasan and Mrs. Suhasini Mani Ratnam.

In 2006 I moved to Mumbai, the city of Bollywood, to explore my dreams, I started from scratch and slowly made my own contact and connections and managed to start my own company.


Copyright - Clancy Tucker (c)


WERE YOU INTERESTED IN FILMS AS A KID?

I was a never a film buff or watched movies in my childhood. It was never a passion nor a obsession to be part of this line of work. Its still a puzzle how I ended up here.

WHEN AND HOW DID YOU BECOME A PRODUCER?

I resigned my job under Madras Talkies in the year 2006 and moved from Chennai (Madras) to Mumbai (Bombay). It was practically a totally different scenario of working compared to where I came from. Bollywood was big and the responsibility and the struggle was even bigger. Again started from scratch, worked as Production Manager in Hindi feature films until I attained the title of Executive Producer. The day I felt I am confident to become a producer I wanted to make sure of what I am doing.

Finally in 2011, I joined hands with a very close friend Vishal Singh, we both started this partnership company under the name "Strawberry Productions".

 WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR JOB?
There is something that pushes us to do what we do. Its never just the money that we earn. Some call it passion and its pure magic out here.

This line of business comes with its share stress and tensions. The adrenal and this chaos always pays back when see the final product. Its like giving birth to a child all the pain disappears when you see you baby in your arms.

WHAT IS THE HARDEST THING ABOUT BEING A PRODUCER?

The job profile is to get every single detail in place to make things happen. Its like a snow ball, if one single element goes wrong the following gets over lapped and becomes a chaos to handle.

DO YOU WORK FOR YOURSELF, OTHERS OR BOTH?
We work on our own terms and do feature films which we feel its proper and sensible and entertaining cinema with a pinch of its financial benefits.

Our Line Production department takes up work for others mostly, we take up projects which are ready to execute. And complete them at a budget that suites the client.


WHAT WERE YOU IN A PAST LIFE, BEFORE YOU BECAME INVOLVED IN MAKING FILMS?
I completed my pre-college (12th) and got into doing my basic Architectural course, I was always a bit different from others in my class, getting involved with my stream of course, I was more eager to gain practical knowledge, rather just restrict myself into just theory. And seeing my excitement, my professor who also was a renowned Architect in chennai, offered me a job to work has his apprentice.


While working I happen to meet a lot of high profile clients and worked on their projects and that's when I met Mr.Mani Ratnam. one of India's popular and renowned feature film Director, who's films have been internationally acclaimed. After few interactions with him, he offered a job under his new company "Madras Talkies" a production banner, which was yet to be started. I have no clue, how did I manage to say yes to his offer and joined his company leaving behind my Architectural career.

When I started working with Mani Ratnam, I also managed to complete my graduation in Economics and MBA in marketing.


 WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST ACHIEVEMENT?

I won't say I have achieved anything yet there are a lot of things I want to accomplish.

WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?


We are working on 2 feature film projects, one in Tamil language and 1 in Hindi Language.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU?

The art of story telling and entertaining never ends there is always something new that's grooves the media to different heights.

WHAT DO YOU PREFER TO FILM?

More realistic and less fiction, I feel that a person who spends money and time to watch your film should be satisfied and be able to relate to what you want to convey on the big screen.


DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR EMERGING PRODUCERS?

Start from scratch, spend more time in learning the process of this business. Be prepared to face problems and have a back-up plan for everything. Always plan and be ready with your homework for anything.

WHAT IS THE MOST EXOTIC DESTINATION IN WHICH YOU HAVE WORKED?

Every new location is exotic to me and every new location I go is breath taking in its own way.

DO YOU HAVE A PREFERRED SCHEDULE?

Start early and complete on time. Communicate clearly what you want to do and try to make sure everything is in place to complete them as per schedule.

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE PLACE OR TIME TO FILM?

Anything out of the city is a favourite place and anytime starting early in the morning is the rite time.

WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST JOY IN YOUR WORK?
To see the completed film on the big screen and listen to the audience enjoy what you have created and delivered.


 DO YOU PRODUCE DOCUMENTARIES, FEATURE FILMS OR ANYTHING THAT COMES ALONG?

Though I love to do real life documentaries I haven't been able to do so till date.


Copyright - Clancy Tucker (c)


HAVE YOU MADE COMMERCIALS AND VIDEO CLIPS?

Yes, have managed to make a few.

HAVE YOU MADE UNDERWATER FILMS?

Not yet, but love to work on one soon.

WRITERS ARE SOMETIMES INFLUENCED BY THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THEIR OWN LIVES. ARE YOU AS A PRODUCER?

We take our narration style and story telling on a script level which in some way co-relates and influenced by our personal experiences. The part of you will always remain in whatever you do that's why we call them signature pattern of work.

HOW MANY FILMS HAVE YOU PRODUCED?
Till date I have produced 3 feature films in Hindi.


HAVE YOU WON ANY PRIZES OR AWARDS?
Haven't struck the code yet but waiting for the right moment.


OTHER THAN MAKING FILMS, WHAT ELSE DO YOU LOVE?
I love Painting, listing to music and Gardening..


DESCRIBE YOUR PERFECT DAY.
Wakeup early, my black tea, sit in my balcony enjoy the lovely sounds of nature and then start my day with a fresh mind to face the things that follow during the course of the day.


WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE FUTURE?
Movies, Movies and more entertaining movies to produce.


 IF YOU MADE A FILM FOR THE LEADERS OF THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE ABOUT?
I think a lot of film makers have explored and experimented on this topic. I am sure nothing has changed anything nor will it change or make a difference to them. Now a days the common man knows more than he can chew. So let me serve him something he will enjoy, something fun, something new and different. Let him not curse me after paying his hard earned money to watch a film that I make on world leaders ...

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So, you know who to contact if you need a hard working film producer who has worked his way up. Thanks for dropping by, Fenon. Love ya work! - CT

Keep writing ... and filming!


I'm Clancy Tucker.

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