Direction Dreams: Ajith respects even a 10-year-old child
This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations, and this week it is Rajsekar, co-director of Siva
Interview with Rajsekar
Directors worked with: Siva, Seeman, PA Arun Prasad
Films worked on: Viswasam, Vivegam, Vedhalam, Panchalankurichi, Badri
Main responsibilities: Scheduling and artiste co-ordination
When did you realise cinema was your calling?
To be honest, cinema happened to me accidentally. Unlike most others, I didn't have a tough time to become an assistant director. I'm basically from an ad film background and most of my friends back then, were in the cinema industry. Once, I was a part of Seeman's story discussion session and he invited me to join him. Panchalankurichi was my first film as an AD, and from that point, I began working in multiple projects with multiple directors.
What have you learned from your directors?
I like the multi-faceted nature of Seeman. Hailing from a humble, rural background he equipped himself with a lot of skills. He can sing, compose music, and take care of a lot of other aspects of a film on his own. He's highly passionate about cinema and he would keep thinking about it round the clock.
The one thing I've learned from Siva is patience. Tension eh aaga maataru edhunalum. Even if someone in the unit makes a mistake, he talks to them calmly and helps them rectify it. He treats everyone with the same respect. I also love the preparation he does before going to the shoot.
What’s one area of filmmaking you had a tough time with, but are better at now?
I believe anybody can master anything with experience. If I had to mention one specific aspect, it is scheduling and planning. Siva now completely trusts me in this area as I make sure that things are planned well ahead.
Have you ever been starstruck?
I admire Ajith sir a lot. He always makes sure that everyone around him is comfortable and treated with respect. Even if it's a 10-year-old kid, he stands up before responding to them. I've seen Sathyaraj practising the same on the sets.
While shooting for Viswasam, we had 12-13 caravans on the spot. If it was someone else's film it would've been quite a hectic task for the ADs to assemble the entire cast for a scene. But Ajith sir works like a member of the production team and hardly goes to his caravan. He sits right next to the camera, and other actors too therefore sit outside. So we put up a shamiana and the entire crew had a gala time in between the shots.
What is your take on present-day cinema?
It's disheartening to see young filmmaking aspirants hardly get the necessary guidance to equip themselves with the necessary skills, even in this digital era. They either end up learning skills which are not essential or suffer from lack of exposure and linguistic skills. So, I'm planning to launch a course to train them in these areas.
What's one thing that you think you can bring to Tamil cinema?
I really love films which are raw and without any exaggerations. I want to make films like Theeran Adhigaram Ondru, which has a normal man reacting to extraordinary situations.
Who would be the dream cast and/or crew for your debut project?
I haven't got the breathing space to think about helming my own film, despite having thirteen full stories in hand. A bunch of debutants would be sufficient for the low budget scripts. But, if I get free rein, I would love to helm a full-fledged action thriller with Vijay in the lead. As for the crew, I've assembled my own technical team filled with associates of big names in Tamil cinema.