'There is a Thuppaki-like script for Vijay'
...says Nikiil Sanjay, who has worked as an assistant director to KV Anand
Why filmmaking? How did your journey commence ?
I used to watch a lot of films and after watching movies like Kadhalan and Indian I got inspired to make my own. My dad, who knew that I had a passion for filmmaking, insisted that I should pursue filmmaking. When your dad says “It’s okay if you stay jobless, just follow your dream and keep on trying until you succeed,” that’s the best push you can get.
What’s the oddest thing you have done as an assistant director?
I got frisked at the airport once while on the job. I was supposed to ensure that a carton of the film’s properties reached the correct place and was carrying it around. I left it unattended at a public place for over quarter of an hour as I had to take care of some other task. Then I got a call that the carton I was carrying was subject to investigation. I rushed over to find the whole place surrounded by a bomb squad! A pack of dogs were sniffing the entire place. I walked into the investigation room and the entire airport, including KV Anand and Dhanush, were looking at me. I was scared, but tried not to show it. I was asked about the contents of the box and then I was told that I would have to pay a fine. I was worried that the fine would be hefty--in the range of a few ten of thousands--but the fine slip read Rs 500 and I was so relieved. After this, I reported to KV Anand and he jovially quipped “ They let you free?”
What do you like about KV Anand’s school of filmmaking?
I love his enthusiasm. He like a bundle of energy, and it's infectious. I also love the way he is always focused on his goals and makes sure he doesn't get distracted by anything.
Directors worked with - KV Anand
Films worked on - Ko, Maatran, Anegan, Kavan
Main work with the director - Scripting to post production
What have you learnt from him?
I've learnt a lot about camera angles from him. Also learnt how to be always prepared in case things don’t go as per the plan. Not a back up, rather I'd call it a crystal clear style of scriptwriting where you have got all your bases covered.
Which is the best film you’ve worked on so far?
Anegan. Because until then, I had a few seniors who'd also pitch in and help out. But for Anegan, I had to take care of a lot of responsibilities myself and also help others.
What’s one area of filmmaking that you are having a tough time with?
I wouldn’t term it as area of filmmaking, but I have a tough time scripting a love story and getting the essence of a love story right.
If filmmaking doesn’t work out, what then?
I have never thought of any other backup, because it amounts to me not having confidence in myself. That's the best lesson my dad taught me: If you don’t believe in yourself no one else will.
Who’s a director you wish you could work with, and why?
Shankar. I grew up not just watching, but marvelling at his style of filmmaking. And also AR Murugadoss because I really admire his films.
What are your future and upcoming projects?
I have few scripts in hand. One is a script based on few real life incidents. I also have a cop story and a gangster story in hand.
Who’s the dream cast of your debut film?
I have a cop story with a social background that has echoes of Thuppaki. Being a Thuppaki-like script, I'd love to cast Vijay in it.