Direction Dreams: I want to cast Dhanush in my debut film, a political thriller
...says KB Vengataraman, who has worked with directors Hari, L Venkatesh, Perarasu, in this weekly column, which brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations
Films worked on: Saamy Square, Ne Venunda Chellam, and Thiruthani
Main responsibilities: Scheduling and artiste co-ordination
When did you realise cinema was your calling?
When I was in college I used to think that cinema is only meant for people who look majestic, even if they are behind the camera. But, Murugadoss sir's Dheena broke all the assumptions I had. Seeing a director with a small build like Murugadoss sir inspired me a lot and that was the point I decided to step into cinema. I tried to become his assistant, but things didn't fall in place due to several reasons. I finally made my debut as an AD through director L Venkatesan's Nee Venunda Chellam.
What have you learned from your directors?
I admire Perarasu sir and Hari sir's detailed pre-planning and budgeting. They always try to reduce the budget as much as possible, by taking time to plan even the smallest details of a scene before heading for shoot.
What’s one area of filmmaking you had a tough time with, but are better at now?
When I began I found it a bit tricky to build a screenplay. But, having worked in multiple films, under multiple directors, I can confidently say I've mastered it.
What’s the oddest or most memorable thing you have seen or done as an AD?
I was supervising the costume department and was in charge of the continuity while shooting for Nee Venunda Chellam. Right before shooting an important scene we noticed that the clothes of Jithan Ramesh were different than the previous shot, and the costume he was supposed to be wearing was sent to another location. Everyone got tense and within an hour I made a couple of calls and ensured that the costume was delivered, and the shoot began on time. This sounds simple right now, but back then it felt like a great challenge.
What is your take on present-day cinema?
I am glad that Tamil cinema is making use of technology in the best possible way these days. For instance, we had only film roll cameras back then and every retake mattered a lot. But, with the advent of digital cameras, everything has become easy for filmmakers. On the flip side, I feel devastated seeing the growth of film piracy sites. Tamil cinema cannot flourish until they get abolished.
What's one thing that you think you can bring to Tamil cinema?
Films with social messages create a great awakening among people. I am very socially conscious, and I want my films to speak out loud on my behalf. Social dramas and social thrillers are my strong zones and I feel I cannot work in a light-hearted comedy.
Who would be the dream cast and/or crew for your debut project?
I have two bound scripts with me now. The first one can be made with even a new face, but, I would love to cast Dhanush as the lead in the second film. His looks, body language, and dialogue delivery will complement this role and it will be an out and out political thriller.