'All my films will be family entertainers'
...says director Deepak Sundarrajan about the excitement of making his debut with the Disney Hotstar release, Annabelle Sethupathi
Deepak Sundarrajan, who made his debut with last week's fantasy comedy, Annabelle Sethupathi, hopes to make a name for himself as a filmmaker who makes ‘family-friendly entertainers’. "I want my films to connect with everyone in the family. All my future work will also be made keeping in mind both adults and children. This is probably the only thumb rule I want to follow in my career."
The young filmmaker has picked this quality from his father, director Sundarrajan. “It is not only appa, but other successful creators too, like Sundar C sir and KS Ravikumar sir, who have made films keeping in mind people across age groups." While his first film, Annabelle Sethupathi, has been spoken about as a horror-comedy, he wishes that other aspects of it got more attention too. “I view it to be a story that blends in all emotions. Comedy is just a platform with which to narrate this tale."
While the horror-comedy genre has been the mainstay of our cinema over the last decade, Deepak doesn’t believe he needs to worry about being stereotyped. “The industry has improved a lot. This is why a director like Vetri Maaran is able to make a film starring Soori." It wasn’t Deepak’s plan to make his debut with Annabelle Sethupathi. “I had as many as six bound scripts ready, but circumstances made me write and make this story as my first film. In fact, Passion Studios, the production house behind Annabelle Sethupathi, wanted me to remake the Telugu horror-comedy hit, Anando Brahma, but the legal rights didn’t get secured on time. So, I pitched him a similar story in which an entire family gets stuck inside a bungalow as ghosts. And it clicked!”
While shooting indoors became a necessity following the Covid-19 scare, Deepak clarifies that the script of Annabelle Sethupathi was completed before the pandemic. “We were just fortunate that our script enabled us to shoot indoors, in adherence to the safety protocols."
The director has already begun pre-production work on his second film, to be made again for the same production house. “This time, it will be a sci-fi film. We are currently in the process of finalising our leads. It’s an exciting time!”