Direction Dreams: 'I learned more from Taramani than at the Taramani Film Institute'
This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations and this week it is assistant director of Ram, Suriya Pradhaman
Suriya Pradhaman is the assistant director of Ram and has worked with him in Thangameengal, Taramani and Peranbu. His main responsibilities are as a co-director and also working as a co-editor with Sreekar Prasad.
Why filmmaking? How did your journey commence?
I think it all started with Jurassic Park. I used to draw a lot and try to narrate a story through my sketches. Then I pursued a course in filmmaking at the Taramani Film Institute from 2005 to 2008. When Kattradhu Tamizh came out, I was bowled over and contacted director Ram. I told him about my directorial aspirations and subsequently joined him as an assistant director.
What’s the oddest thing that has happened to you as an assistant director?
When we were shooting for the song, Unn Badhil Vendi, owing to rough weather, we had to start from the shores by around 4 pm. The boat that me and the other assistants were on got caught in the middle of the sea, and the director had to come back with 4 or 5 fishermen to rescue us. By the time we finally reached the shore, it was around 11 pm.
What do you like the most about Ram's school of filmmaking?
I love how he manages to draw inspiration from a normal incident and constructs a story around it. What for us is an ordinary incident, is for him the origin of 50 stories.
What have you learnt from him?
I guess it is the ability to keep everything under control on the set. Also, I've learnt the art of staging.
If you could go back in time and change something in a movie you have worked on, what would it be?
I guess it has to be the opening scene of Taramani. It was planned to be shot in the twilight for the visual appeal. But then, it rained heavily all of a sudden and so we had to go ahead and shoot it in the rain instead.
Which is the best film you’ve worked on so far, and what were your contributions?
I learned more about filmmaking during the making of Taramani than I did at the Taramani Film Institute. That should tell you.
What are your future and upcoming projects?
I have finished scripting an action thriller set in a rural backdrop.
Debut films are often the result of compromises. What’s one area you will never be willing to compromise on?
I won't compromise on the technical requisites of my film, but I am not extremely specific about the cast.
Who’s the dream cast of your debut film?
Vijay and Mahesh Babu. I've always wanted to work with these two stars.