'I am in love with Pushkar-Gayathri'
This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations and this week it is assistant director of Pushkar-Gayathri, Gowtham Selvaraj
Gowtham Selvaraj is an assistant director of Pushkar-Gayathri, who worked on Vikram Vedha, and took up the twin work of artiste management and location scouting.
Why filmmaking? How did your journey commence?
My grandfather had worked with MGR and he acted in one of his productions. I guess my passion for films was nurtured from young age. The movie that provided the push for me to pursue filmmaking seriously was Vinnaithandi Varuvaya.
What’s the oddest thing you have done as an assistant director?
When we were shooting for Vikram Vedha in Vyasarpadi, there were 3000 people surrounding the shooting spot to get a good glance at Vijay Sethupathi. We had to put in a lot of effort to ensure that none of them appeared in the frame. It was exhausting. I will never forget that experience.
If filmmaking doesn’t work out, what then?
During the making of Vikram Vedha, I used to do event management for a popular chain of jewellery stores. I guess that could be a fallback profession.
What do you like the most about Pushkar-Gayathri's school of filmmaking?
I love everything about them. I have fallen in love with Pushkar-Gayathri and often tell my wife that they inspire me to be like them, and that’s how we should be living our lives. I love how they treat everyone with admirable equality. They don't make any distinctions between technicians and their assistants. According to them, everyone who is a part of the film provides an equal contribution towards the final output.
What have you learnt from them?
I've learnt about placement of sequences, camera angles, how to tie all the knots in a screenplay and a lot more. They've also taught me that we should concentrate more on writing and pre-production, and lay out a precise plan for each day’s shoot.
What’s one area of filmmaking that you are having a tough time with?
Editing. It’s so hard to decide which scenes to keep and which to cut. Sometimes we have to cut sequences, even though they have turned out brilliant.
Who’s a director you wish you could work with, and why?
Mani Ratnam. I grew up loving his films, more than simply watching them.
Have you ever been star struck?
I have been star struck by cinematographer PS Vinod. On the set, if he glances at any spot we immediately check whether we have fulfilled all the neccesities required from our side, and even before he asks, we immediately ask what needs to be done. His speed is simply outstanding.
What do you want to change about Tamil cinema?
I wish there was a change in the taxation structure. There should be a system in place which can ease the hassles that producers face.
What are your future and upcoming projects?
I have finished scripting an action thriller. I am also scripting another project which will be a breezy and colourful entertainer.
Who’s the dream cast of your debut film?
Vijay Sethupathi. He can bring a uniqueness to any character.