Direction Dreams: 'I played a corpse in Yuddham Sei'
This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations and this week it is the assistant director of Mysskin, Selvam
How did your filmmaking journey start?
The quality of filmmaking in Chithiram Pesuthadi and Anjathey stunned me, and I knew from then that I wanted to assist Mysskin. So I approached him. An interview followed, which was more like a conversation, after which he took me on as his assistant director.
What do you admire most about Mysskin?
I love how he is always thinking about filmmaking. I have never seen anyone with so much focus and commitment. His passion for the craft is inspiring.
What have you learned about films from him?
I've learnt how to compose shots, and also how to do it with a proper understanding of the audience's sensibilities.
Which is the best film you’ve worked on so far, and what were your contributions?
Definitely Onaayum Aattukkuttiyum. I think working on the film was like being in a film institute.
If you had the opportunity to go back in time and change something in any particular film that you had worked on, which film and what changes will you choose?
I guess Mugamoodi. The film was planned differently, but due to various reasons what Mysskin had planned didn’t materialise. Had we shot per his original plan, it would have turned out to be a completely different film.
What’s the best thing about being an AD?
It's a job that teaches you to work in a fast chaotic working environment where you have to execute all tasks, familiar or not within the set deadlines. You have to learn a lot quickly. Mysskin often used to say, “As an assistant director, all it takes is one film to learn about filmmaking”. I guess that’s how much one can and ought to learn.
What’s the oddest thing you’ve done as an AD?
It would have to be acting in Yuddham Sei. The scene required someone with a thin body frame to act as a corpse. It was December month and the sequence was shot late at night. And I had to act without my shirt and pant! The cold air was piercing and to make it worse, mosquitoes kept biting me making it almost impossible to lay still. I think the shoot lasted for two hours, but we somehow managed to get it done.
What’s one area of filmmaking that you are having a tough time with?
Editing. It is especially tough if the script is written without thinking about the editing process.
What would you like to change about Tamil cinema?
Hero worship. It is sad to see that our cinema has become dependant on heroes. Directors and producers are the ones who put in all the effort for fruition of a project, but still heroes are considered as the fulcrum. I wish the old school policy, where producers were considered the central figures, makes a comeback.
What are your future and upcoming projects?
I’m working on the script of a romance. The interesting thing about it is that there will be no obvious portrayal of affection or love in the film. I have also written two other scripts.