idlebrain is a well-known website for Telugu cinema and music.
Building on a hobby to make it a source of living so that the line between work and play gets blurred is a fantastic dream that anybody would love to realize. But few will give such a dream whatever it takes to make it a reality. Jeevi a.k.a G.V.Ramana, the brain behind idlebrain.com, has done it with aplomb in just over years.
A graduate of BITS, Pilani, Jeevi had short stints in software and finance firms before he launched a website to cater to the entire gamut of industry and audience needs in Tollywood. Thanks to his trailblazing venture, today idlebrain.com has become the gold standard of testing any bit of information about Tollywood cinema, be it plain gossip centered on affairs between actors and actresses of undisclosed figures of collections a film makes in various markets within the country and abroad.
As the pioneering website on Tollywood, it is very popular in the US, particularly among the NRI community. In India too, it has a sizeable following among movie buffs in Hyderabad, Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Pune, and Bangalore.
It all began as a hobby in December 1999 When he was away from Andhra Pradesh. His only connection with the Telugu cinema then, as an employee of a private firm in Mumbai, was stray magazines. At that time, there were some TV channels that had been beaming programmes outside Andhra Pradesh, but information related to movies was scarce, if any. Even to watch Telugu movies Jeevi had to go to suburban areas on Sundays, mainly to some theaters in Andheri and Dadar. There was a lot of communication gap for lovers of Telugu cinema. Jeevi never missed a Sunday to watch a movie and buy booklets with songs and other filmi stuff.
In December 1999, Jeevi launched a Tollywood-oriented website, with the help of his friend Sunil Krishna, who was based in the Bay Area of Sunnyvale, California. Actually Jeevi was keen on having “devil’s workshop” as the name of the website. Since it was not available, he opted for “idlebrain”. Jeevi points out. Looks like the age-old maxim “An idlebrain is a devil’s workshop” is good enough to motivate people in the digital age!
Sunil hosted it on his home computer, Jeevi began contributing to the fledgling site personally. Armed with a digital camera, he used to stop on roads and click at wayside billboards with eye-catching posters. He thought that was easier than approaching studios for good pictures. He was doing all this while keeping his job. The struggle to keep on improving things continued until the going was good enough to let go of the job completely. In the summer of 2001, he resigned. He knew that the earning potential was zero. But, he wanted to do something. He remarks with as sense of achievement today.
All through the period Jeevi perfected the art of writing reviews. He did reviews of over hundreds of Telugu and Hindi films, Because of the unique format he evolved to give his opinion of a film, his reviews became popular in the industry and among movie buffs. The format covers assessment of a film’s plot; artistes’ performance; music; cinematography and other technical inputs.