Direction Dreams: 'Vijay Sethupathi exudes positivity'
This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations and this week it is Kalai Selvan
Kalai Selvan, assistant director to KS Ravikumar,Ajay Gnanamuthu has worked with him on Lingaa and Imaikka Nodigal and his roles and responsibilities include co-ordinating the visual effects, post-production work and briefing artistes about the dialogues.
What do you like about the directors with whom you have worked?
KS Ravikumar is a humanitarian. He has a big heart. Maybe that's why subconsciously many of his assistant directors carry that influence. Ajay Gnanamuthu is a perfectionist. He never settles for anything less.
What’s one area of filmmaking that you are having a tough time with?
I have had quite a tough time with VFX. The nuances of VFX and the minute details it involves are quite hard to master.
What would you like to change about Tamil cinema?
Aspiring directors are greeted with a lot of negativity in the industry. But this year has been proof that debutant directors can actually make a mark and I hope this will help change that mentality.
Which is the best film you’ve worked on so far?
Imaikkaa Nodigal. As I mentioned before, VFX is one of my challenging areas. I was assigned the task of handing visual effects for Imaikka Nodigal, and it gave me a chance to learn more about it and get better at working with it.
What’s the oddest thing you’ve done as an AD?
Filming with animals is always tricky. When we were shooting for Lingaa, we were informed that the horse got hungry. Artistes and technicians can bear hunger, but obviously we couldn't request the horse to wait until the shot gets over. Similarly there was once a requirement that an elephant in a shot had to be moved five inches to the left. The trouble I went through that day to just make sure that the elephant moves is something I can never forget! (laughs)
Have you ever been star-struck? By whom? How did you get over it?
Vijay Sethupathi. The man has got a hectic schedule and the mere exhaustion can drive one to vent out all that exasperation when we mess up something during the shoot. But he has always exuded positivity and has always been someone who brings in a lot of life on the sets of a film.
What are your future and upcoming projects?
I am writing two scripts. Both of them are dramas with simple simple stories that everyone can relate to.
Debut films are often the result of compromises. What’s one area you will never be willing to compromise on? And what’s one area you don’t mind compromising?
I don't mind compromising on which script marks my directorial debut, but I will not compromise on the quality of my technicians.