Direction Dreams: Every common man is a reviewer and no filmmaker can get away with a bad film
This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations, and this week it is Srinivasan, co-director of Arivazhagan
Interview with Srinivasan
Directors worked with: Arivazhagan
Films worked on: Eeram, Vallinam
Main responsibilities: Scripting, Ensuring continuity
When did you realise cinema was your calling?
My native is Dharapuram and my father has a canteen in a theatre over there, where I spent most of my childhood watching films. That's how the love for cinema started to grow in me. Seeing the audience cheer and react to films made me want to become an entertainer. I began a band with my brother, sang in functions, performed mimicry and told stories. Slowly I began to realise that cinema is the best platform to entertain people and realised my calling was to become a filmmaker. I joined an ad filmmaker in Coimbatore, and he was the one who introduced me to Arivazhagan.
What have you learned from your directors?
I really like the making style of Arivazhagan sir. Anyone can write a scene easily, but it is difficult to pull it off without losing the essence. He does a lot of pre-production work and plans the lighting and camera movements well ahead to save time on the shooting spot.
The other thing I admire about him is his social consciousness. Each script of his has moral value at its core.
What’s one area of filmmaking you had a tough time with, but are better at now?
I used to feel that penning a scene was much easier than shooting, as there will be several unforeseen disturbances and practical difficulties on location. But I believe working in several ad films over the years has helped me master this skill.
What’s the oddest or most memorable thing you have seen or done as an AD?
While working on Vallinam, we shot a sequence on a live train and I was given the responsibility of handling it for the entire day. It felt so surreal as am a huge lover of trains. There are numerous memorable shooting spot experiences, but this one is completely unforgettable for me.
What is your take on present-day cinema?
I feel Tamil cinema is progressing in a very positive direction. Technological advancements have transformed every single common man into a reviewer. So, no filmmaker can get away with making a bad film now.
What's one thing that you think you can bring to Tamil cinema?
I want human emotions to be the core of my films, regardless of the genre, because humans are emotional beings. For example, Titanic became a classic mainly because of the love between the lead characters. If we filter that out of the film, it would look like a corporate showreel of the ship. So, irrespective of the canvas, cast and setting all my films will have strong emotions.
Who would be the dream cast and/or crew for your debut project?
I know that its a great challenge to rope in stars for a newcomer's film, so I wish to create stars through my films. But given an option, I would love to cast Vijay Sethupathi as my lead, as I strongly feel that he has own unique style of acting.