Anand Sai, on the sets of Tholi Prema, built a majestic replica of Taj Mahal. It was his first movie as an art director. To most people, it’d take at least over 50 movies. Anand was definitely a natural - however, it didn’t mean he didn’t falter or didn’t have to work just as hard. Even though it was just his first movie, Anand was ambitious. He requested a budget to build the Taj Mahal replica by sea. He strongly believed that it was the most perfect setting for the song sequence. The set almost cost as much as Pawan Kalyan’s salary.
Pawan stood by Anand’s side even though no one else really believed in the idea. Pawan made a deal - if this set doesn’t work - they could take his salary in exchange. Everyone agreed. The set was built - and the whole team celebrated the wonder.
The ecstatic atmosphere only lasted until it started pouring heavily just two days before the final shoot. The sea started swelling - and the set was too close. The forecast was that it would rain a lot more over the next two days. The risk? The whole set could get washed away. Pawan said to Anand, “All we can do is pray now.”
Anand realised Pawan was right. He sat in the ocean in the pouring rain for hours altogether praying to Sai Baba to help him in some way, to stop the rains. The rains stopped and the skies cleared the next morning. Anand believes it was a miracle. Because as soon as the shoot wrapped up - it started pouring all over again.
This movie didn’t just bring Anand into the world of art direction, it also made his faith stronger & his connection to all things God deeper.
Badrinath was set in the Himalayas. The premise of the movie was a warrior’s (the chosen one) mission to protect his temple land from intruders.
The set was built in the budget of over 20cr. In 2011, it was said to be one of the most expensive Telugu films. The said temple was created by Anand. It was surreal, based on ancient dravidian architecture and replicated the era’s temple towns beautifully.
It was Anand's vision that made the film larger than life. The idea was to create a simple temple set - however, Anand took it upon himself to replicate the architecture and style of the original temple and added authenticity and charm to the movie’s storyline. He built it and spent hours altogether ensuring it withstood the tough Himalayan terrains while borrowing from the terrains beauty.
Sakthi is a fantasy action film. It’s about protecting Lord Rudra’s trident & diamond - which will in turn protect India & it’s honor from the vengeful intentions of evil.
Anand Sai, created & replicated multiple temple towns & sets for this movie. The creation of the subterranean Kali Temple for Sakthi shows how heavily period architecture influenced all of Anand Sai’s work over the years.
Yamadonga, is directed by SS Rajmouli - the director of Bahubali. Anand has had a fantastic professional relationship with Rajmouli and that’s how they did Yamadonga together.
Anand and the team worked on the set’s concepts - everything from the big show pieces to the tiniest pillar details for over a year before they started building the set and the shooting for the movie began. Over 70% of the movie was largely based in the Yamlok - Anand designed every little detail of the Yamlok personally.
Nationally acclaimed, the movie was a superhit and Anand had a big role to play in it.