An increasing number of actors are now turning producers. We spoke to two such filmmaking talents – Dhanush and Siddharth – who shared interesting anecdotes behind the names of their production houses.
When I made my very first short film, I wanted a name for my production. That morning I went and saw Inglorious Basterds and in that film, they keep saying wunderbar. It's a German word which means wonderful. Me and Anirudh (Ravichander), we both went and watched that film and when we walked out, we kept saying wunderbar the entire day. For every small thing, we said wunderbar and keep laughing. That night when I was editing, me and Anirudh said we'll just name it Wunderbar films for fun's sake. So after that, for the next 10-12 short films, it started with "Wunderbar Film Presents." With 3, I wanted to launch my home production. This was around 2010. People suggested many names but I couldn't part from Wunderbar. I was sentimentally attached to it by then and that's how it happened.
When I was a child of maybe 7 or 8, I earned my first salary. I was paid a token amount of R250-300 odd rupees by Mr. Jayendra for dubbing for a mosquito mat commercial. He took me to a studio which I'd never seen before, they put headphones on me and they showed me a little TV. In those days it was a CRT screen – pristine, shot on tape commercial. He said, "You have to dub these words – There's a little boy who is asking his mother, "What is this?", as he points to a mosquito mat. And so I had to dub 'What is this?' in eight languages. The first of the eight was Bengali for some reason. They were just saying these words – in Tamil, Telugu, Hindi. And when they said, "Etaki?", I was so excited. I said, "I really like that. I want to do it first". And at the end of that day, I bought myself a really fancy watch. When I came home I told my mother when, "I'm a big man, I'll have a company of my own and I'll call it Etaki." And I did. Always questions things. And I'm nothing if not for the questions I ask. That's why my company's name is a question mark.