Direction Dreams: Vijay asks many questions about his character before facing the camera
This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations and this week it is RSR Bharathiselvn, associate director of Ezhil and Bharathan
Interview with RSR Bharathiselvn
Directors worked with: Ezhil and Bharathan
Films worked on: Bairavaa, Manam Kothi Paravai, Desingu Raja
Main responsibilities: Scripting, casting and ensuring continuity
When did you realise cinema was your calling?
I used to write a lot of poems and stage dramas during the early 2000s. A friend of mine, who was working as an assistant of director Dharani, spotted my talent and encouraged me to try my luck in cinema. So, in 2004, I reached Chennai and joined director RS Elavarasan of Ragasiya Police fame. I learnt the basics of filmmaking from him and worked on several TV serials. Then I worked as an associate of director Ezhil on 2012's Manam Kothi Paravai and a few of other films before moving on to director Bharathan's Bairavaa.
What have you learned from your directors?
Ezhil sir thinks about cinema always. He watches a lot of films regularly and makes observations from each of them. I've learned the importance of doing that from him, and also decision making and how to pack a film with interesting commercial elements.
Bharathan sir has a habit of writing down even simple ideas that can make the script better. He has very solid reasons for every dialogue and shot. Vijay sir asks many questions regarding his character before facing the camera, and Bharathan sir always manages to convince him. The confidence he has in his writing is truly amazing.
What’s the oddest or most memorable thing you have seen or done as an AD?
Shootings often get delayed for the weirdest of reasons. The heroine's handkerchief was an important set property for a scene in Manam Kothi Paravai. When we were about to go for the take, we realised that it was missing and the set assistant was also not there. We waited for a while, and eventually shot the scene with a men's kerchief. After the shot got over, the set assistant came over and said he'd been embroidering a heart in it. Ironically, the heroine's character is someone who hates the concept of love. Though we all initially got upset about his excuse, we later laughed over it numerous times.
What is your take on present-day cinema?
Even though many say that Tamil cinema has changed drastically, I feel it is pretty much the same. Just as always, creators who think out of the box and try to present something different to the audience through their making, screenplay, and story, continue to win the race.
What's one thing that you think you can bring to Tamil cinema?
I believe writing convincing sentimental scenes is my strong suit as I hail from a village background. Even if I make a comedy film, I'll make sure that it is interlaced with strong emotions.
Who would be the ideal cast for your dream project?
I have four bounds scripts ready. And since I'm just a debutant, I don't want to be extremely ambitious with my casting. I have a family-oriented comedy film which would match the persona of Udhayanidhi, Jai or Vishnu, an action thriller that would suit Arulnithi, Vijay Antony or Vikram Prabhu. I've also written a horror script with Nikki Galrani in mind.