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Bibin George: I'm ready for the director's chair- Cinema express

Bibin George: I'm ready for the director's chair

Bibin George on gearing up to make his directorial debut with frequent collaborator Vishnu Unnikrishnan and upcoming releases

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Published: 07th December 2021
BIbin George

After impressing Malayali audiences with their family-friendly entertainers with finely balanced humour and emotional quotients, writers-turned-actors Bibin George and Vishnu Unnikrishnan are finally gearing up to try their hand at directing. A casting call for the film, titled Vedikettu, was released by the duo as a short film. In the video, the two are found putting up casting call announcements in a village at night. Later, they get stopped by a couple of policemen who let them go after asking them to "make sure" that too they have roles in it.

Speaking for both of them, Bibin tells us they came up with this idea as people don't find the usual tried-and-tested methods authentic anymore. "We shot it like a movie in one day," he says. While they won't be playing the same characters in the feature-length film -- Bibin and Vishnu will also act -- the film will have the same setting and ambience. As for the shoot plan, the duo is hoping to begin by March next year after pre-production in January-February.

For Bibin and Vishnu, foraying into direction wasn't part of their initial plans. However, the time seemed ripe to make a more significant contribution to the industry and, in the process, help out those who got the talent but are yet to overcome their struggling phase. "When we used to write and pitch ideas to other filmmakers, we weren't able to help out those who are yet to get the opportunities they deserve, in a way that we really wanted to. But we can confidently do that when we are directing. That's why newcomers are being considered for the cast. Also, our crew will have technicians who have been yearning to go independent. As for departments like camera, re-recording and art department, we are going with established names. Sujith Vaassudev will be most likely our director of photography. Taking into account that we will also be acting, we needed someone who is also a director to make things smoother for us."

Following their writing debut six years ago with Amar Akbar Antony, Bibin and Vishnu have been using their time to study the intricacies of various filmmaking departments. That experience, says Bibin, is what gave the two sufficient confidence to embark on this new phase. "During our screenwriting phase, we didn't have the habit of submitting the script to the director and then sitting idly at home. We were always on the set, studying everything, looking at the takes on the monitor, and tracking the post-production processes right until the moment where the film gets uploaded on the Qube (online cinema distribution system). It's also the reason why we wrote only three films in six years."

Come 2022, Bibin has no plans to focus on anything other than Vedikettu. Before that, Bibin and Vishnu hope to finish all their acting commitments. While Vishnu has Rendu, Red River, Sabash Chandra Bose, and Anuradha Crime No 59/2019 among his upcoming slate, Bibin has Marathakam, Thirimaali, and a film directed by Thanthonni-fame George coming up next.

Out of these, Marathakam is of particular interest as it's a sci-fi film that explores the concept of time-loop, like in actor Simbu's latest hit Maanaadu. "If not for the circumstances, Marathakam could've been India's first time-loop film," says Bibin, who finds the success of Maanaadu encouraging. "The good thing about Maanaadu releasing first is that it familiarised audiences with time-loop. Its tremendous success is a confidence booster. Marathakam, too, has a flavour of myth in it along with elements of thriller and romance."

Debutant Ansaj Gopi directed Marathakam from a script he co-wrote with Dhipu N Baabu. Anto Joseph and CR Saleem are producers. The film, Bibin says, was not affected by budgetary constraints. He expresses excitement at what the team has accomplished.

On the other hand, Thirimali is a relatively big-budget film that has Nepal as a location. "I got to see all the locations they used in Yodha," he shares delightedly.

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