The Telugu film industry had a golden age in its early days. Some producers had a taste for good cinema and commercial cinema. The Vijaya Vauhini studio was synonymous with success and the audience used to watch films trusting their banner. Some of the greatest Telugu films including Pathala Bhairavi and Mayabazar were produced under this banner. Edida Nageswara Rao dedicated his life to producing several masterpieces like Sankarabharanam and Sagara Sangamam under his banner Poornodaya Art Creations. The Telugu film industry has always been proud of his contribution to Indian cinema, and the only Telugu film sent for Oscars under the foreign film category, Swati Mutyam was produced by him. Usha Kiran Movies is known for giving opportunities to young actors and technicians. Several other production houses stick to their values and delivered some remarkable films. It was not uncommon those days to see Telugu producers making Bollywood movies with Telugu technicians.
The times have changed and the industry has slowly transformed into a money-making business. The producers are becoming greedier day by day without any taste for cinema. The formulaic films are ruling the industry with one disaster after the other. Nowadays, a film can be successful if it is not boring. The standards of movies fell to an all-time low and the audiences are expecting films that at least tell them a story. The formulaic films with irrelevant sub-tracks are getting produced by many production houses. The original concept of starting with a script and then casting the actors and technicians which suit it has been totally changed and the present generation of producers are getting the dates of popular actors and casting the actors and technicians relevant to his stardom and then cooking up a story that suits his image. Although the audience has been rejecting the films time and again, this pattern continued and the actors lost trust in production houses. The actors started listening to scripts themselves and recommending them to producers. Some actors are turning into producers to survive in the industry.
The audience has been demanding better scripts and no-nonsense films since over a decade. The producers are relying on the successful formula of a song or fight introduction, family drama, romance, and intermediate comedy tracks. These studios never encourage complete outsiders and almost every actor and technician we see nowadays has some sort of connection or reference from the industry which they mostly prefer to hide. Some of the debut directors are producing the films themselves after facing rejection from established studios. The audience started crowd-funding some projects which were not regular films. This trend is growing over the years to fill the void. The promising actors and technicians looking for chances in Telugu cinema are finding it as the only opportunity to get into the Telugu film industry.
The leading production houses like Suresh Productions, Geetha Arts, Annapurna Studios, etc don’t even have story departments except some ghostwriters providing comedy tracks and dialogues. At present, the actors are producing movies, the directors are producing movies, the writers are producing movies and even the audience are producing the movies. If this trend continues, the producers will lose credibility and will eventually be forgotten.