Direction Dreams: 'Have always dreamt of working with Vetrimaaran'
This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations and this week it is Ashwin Chandrasekhar
Ashwin Chandrasekhar is currently working with Pandiraj as an assistant director. He has worked in the films Pasanga 2, Idhu Namma Aalu and his main responsibilities are location scouting and costumes.
Why filmmaking? How did your journey commence?
My dad studied at the Pune Film Institute and became a cinematographer. He used to work with Doordarshan and I would accompany him to shoots. Thanks to this, I became interested in cinematography, and later, direction drew my interest.
What’s the oddest thing you have done as an assistant director?
When working on Pasanga 2, I accidentally assigned the wrong costumes which resulted in a whole day’s shoot having to be redone. I was aghast because my mistake led to everyone’s effort needing to be duplicated. Luckily, my director, Pandiraj, was nice about it and took it in his stride.
What do you like the most about working with Pandiraj?
The fact that he keeps on motivating us with words of positive encouragement. Whenever we achieve a given task, he makes it a point to pat us on our back and appreciate us.
What have you learnt from him?
I have learnt how to hold script discussions in such a way that assistant directors and everyone in the team gets the essence of the script, and understands how it has to be conveyed on screen.
Which is the best film you’ve worked on so far?
Pasanga 2. The mistake I committed on its sets taught me a lesson which will always stay with me during my filmmaking journey.
What’s one area of filmmaking that you are having a tough time with?
I would not call it challenging. But when I started, I could only read and write in Hindi, although I understood Tamil. So it took me a while to learn the local language.
Also, while shooting in the presence of a live crowd, the bystanders often form a part of the sequence, and it gets a little tough to extract the right emotions from them. Sometimes, we do get the reactions we want, but it might not be instantaneous and there arises a need to fine-tune it from time to time.
What’s the one thing that you would like to bring to Tamil cinema?
I would like to try and deploy new cameras and new technology.
Who’s a director you wish you could work with?
I have always dreamt of working with Vetrimaaran. Also, Shankar.
What are your future and upcoming projects?
I am working on a script for a thriller. The story revolves around the life of some students who get entangled in complications due to the presence of unscrupulous elements.
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 compromise on the structure of the screenplay. But I don’t mind compromising on the cast and the schedule dates.
Who’s the dream cast of your debut film?