I never wanted to become a filmmaker: CV Kumar
The producer is making his debut as director with Maayavan
As a successful producer, CV Kumar has supported new-age talent in Tamil cinema by funding films like Attakathi, Pizza, and Soodhu Kavvum. He now debuts as director with Sundeep Kishan-starrer Maayavan that’s releasing today, and hopes to create the same magic he was able to in his productions. The film, an investigative thriller inspired by real-life incidents, involved a lot of pre-production work.
“Even as a producer, I always made sure we spent enough time on prep work. Only then can we translate our thoughts effectively onto the screen,” says Kumar, adding that he also met many police officers to learn how murder cases get solved. “Also, in 2012, I’d read a few articles on human evolution. Those were of great help in forming the story.”
Kumar calls himself an avid movie-goer, and says, “While I have always dreamt of associating myself with quality projects, I never wanted to become a filmmaker.” Director Nalan Kumarasamy, who is a good friend of Kumar’s, has written the screenplay, which unfolds from a cop’s point of view. “We often discuss films. We were bouncing off ideas once, and that’s how Maayavan happened. In fact, it was his suggestion that I direct the film,” he says.
Kumar was initially apprehensive of his directorial ability. “I know I am a good producer, but wasn’t sure about my abilities as a filmmaker. I felt the jitters for the first two days. I was also concerned about whether my technicians would accept me as a director. Fortunately, they did. It’s all about finding the right team of people who share the same vision,” he smiles.
He also had to prepare himself to direct actors in front of a crowd. “The artistes made my job easy,” he says, with relief. Kumar feels that Maayavan will be remembered for its cast. “I was particular that my actors became the characters I had written. That’s why I went with Sundeep for the role of an angry cop.”
For the antagonist, he has managed to rope in Jackie Shroff, and Kumar assures that the villain is not of the regular mould seen in Tamil cinema. “He will play an army officer, but not of the kind we have seen before. Jackie sir’s performance is vera level in the film!”
Maayavan was shot extensively in Chennai for 52 days. “But the CG work took a lot of time,” he says. The film has been ready for some time now, but its release has been postponed time and again. “Certain things are beyond my control. Somehow, the industry has been facing one issue or the other, like GST and the strike. But I’ve always been confident that this film will work whenever we get it released,” he says.
For the first time, CV Kumar is working with composer Ghibran. “The film needed a different kind of music, and I thought the incredibly talented Ghibran could do justice, and he has. The background score really drives the film.”
I point out that a director producing films happens often, but a producer turning director is a rare occurrence. He laughs, “When I landed in Chennai, I was a small-town boy. Ellame passion naala seiyyardhu dhaan! But I’ve always been clear about what drives me. It’s the business of cinema.”