Direction Dreams: 'I have already started with a compromise'
This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations and this week it is Shakthi, assistant to Magizh Thirumeni
Shakthi, is an associate director to Magizh Thirumeni and he has worked on Thadaiyara Thakka and Meaghamann
What have you learned about films from your director, Magizh?
I’ve learnt how to write stories that hold the audience’s interest. As a scriptwriter, Magizh Thirumeni is never satisfied with his script and keeps working on it continuously.
Which is the best film you’ve worked on so far, and what were your contributions?
Both films I’ve worked on have been great experiences in different ways; so I can’t really choose one. Thadaiyara Thaakka, being the first film I worked on, helped me learn about all aspects of filmmaking.
For Meaghamann, I had to learn about the culture of Goa, and ensure that the same flavour was brought into the film, especially when we had to scout for locales in Chennai that resembled Goa.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve done as an AD?
I started a group on an online portal called the director’s club, which consists of many aspiring directors who are not only passionate about filmmaking but also disciplined about it. We invite established directors to present virtual classes on filmmaking and many of them do it free of cost. I requested SS Rajamouli to present his insights and he did so. Others like AR Murugadoss, Santosh Sivan, and KL Praveen have also shared their insights, and it’s been a unique opportunity for us all to learn from their experience. Also, some directors have actually chosen their assistants from this group for their projects.
Who’s a director you wish you could work with?
I’d like to work with AR Murugadoss, Gautham Vasudev Menon and Lingusamy.
What would you like to change about Tamil cinema?
I’d like to change the idea that a director’s job ends with just filming. A director should also make note of what happens during the distribution, and notify the producer/distributor about the film’s needs. I also believe a filmmaker has the responsibility to think of ways to make the film within a certain budget.
What are your future and upcoming projects?
I’m presently working on the script for a commercial drama.
Who’s the dream cast of your debut film?
I don’t believe in writing scripts for heroes or stars. The story should decide the actor, not the other way around. So I don’t really have a dream cast in mind yet.
Debut films are often the result of compromises. What’s one area you don’t mind compromising on?
You know how aspiring directors initially write a story, but then can’t make their debut with it. They then put that aside and start working on another script to make their debut. That’s exactly what I have done. I initially wrote the script of a tragic love story, but I felt that it might not be a good thing for a debutant, so I’m working on a new script now. I’ve already started with a compromise.
If filmmaking doesn’t work out, what then?
I already work with the CSI Deaf and Dumb school where in I help with the administration. If filmmaking doesn’t work out, I will continue my work with the school full time.