Direction Dreams: ‘I have a script ready for Ajith’
This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and his aspirations. This week we take a look at Vignesh Kumar, assistant director of Shankar for 2.0
I always wanted to spread quality ideals and messages, and I decided that film is the best medium for this. So, when I came across the opportunity to work as an assistant for Shankar; I decided to try my luck. I applied for it by submitting my short film, Facebook neenga nallavara illa kettavara, and was called in for an interview with 25 other applicants. We were all assigned a task: imagine a storyline for Enthiran 2 and frame it in such a way so as to not be associated with Enthiran in any way. Shankar sir liked my work and I was selected.
What have you learned from your director?
Never get tired. Never ever get exhausted. Apart from that, he is particular about making sure his frames buzz with activity. He does this by packing each frame with interesting details. He always stresses that no part of the frame should be left empty, and asks us to ensure that the frame looks busy, with props, activities, and so on. You can notice this especially in his song sequences.
What is the best feedback you have received from him?
He generally doesn’t give us explicit feedback. However, there was one instance. We have shot 2.0 in a lot of exclusive locations. One such was the Officers Training Academy in Chennai. Till now, no movie was given permission to shoot there. I met the army general, spoke to him and got the permission! Shakar sir was genuinely delighted about that, and said, “Good... good ra.”
What’s one area of filmmaking you’ve had a tough time with?
Graphics. I used to help with Animatronics, and coordinate with the team for legacy effects. I was apprehensive about whether the speciality costumes would work for the set erected and unsure about the use of prosthetic make-up, especially considering that the movie will be in 3D. But I got more comfortable working with all of these over the course of making 2.0.
What would be the dream cast of your debut film?
I’d love to direct Ajith. In fact, I already have a script based on racing for him. Also, I would love to not only direct him, but also work with him in the film. A big part of me has always wanted to act. (Smiles)
Debut films are often a 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 on?
I will not make any compromises that could affect the quality of my future projects. Apart from perseverance, patience and hard work, the one thing I’ve learned during my journey so far is to never compromise on quality. And I won’t do that for my first film.
What are your upcoming projects?
I have made a 40-minute short film titled Thirantha puthagam. Due to the length, many festivals have not accepted it. But now, my film was honoured at an award function, and it has reached 2.5 lakh views after getting released online.
Thanks to this, I’ve now got the opportunity to pitch the script to many top producers including Lyca Productions, AGS and Dream Warrior Pictures. I am confident that I will be making it into a feature film soon.