Vijay Sethupathi exudes positivity: Assistant director Kalai Selvan

This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations

Published: 30th December 2017 11:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th December 2017 11:13 AM   |  A+A-

Kalai Selvan with Nayanthara on the sets of Imaikkaa Nodigal

Express News Service

What do you like about the directors with whom you have worked?
KS Ravikumar is a humanitarian. He has a big heart. Maybe that’s why subconsciously, many of his assistant directors carry that influence. Ajay Gnanamuthu is a perfectionist. He never settles for anything less.
What’s an area of filmmaking that you are having a tough time with?
VFX. The nuances of VFX and the minute details are quite hard to master.

What would you like to change about Tamil cinema?
Aspiring directors are greeted with a lot of negativity in the industry. But this year has been proof that they can make a mark and I hope this will change that mentality.

Which is the best film you’ve worked on so far?
Imaikkaa Nodigal. As I mentioned before, VFX is one of my challenging areas. I was assigned the task of handling visual effects for Imaikka Nodigal, and it gave me a chance to learn more about it and get better at it.

What’s the oddest thing you’ve done as an AD?
Filming with animals is always tricky. When we were shooting for Lingaa, we were informed that the horse was hungry. Artistes and technicians can bear hunger, but obviously, we couldn’t request the horse to wait until the shot got over. Similarly, there was once a requirement that an elephant in a shot had to be moved five inches to the left. The trouble I went through that day to just make sure that the elephant moves is something I can never forget! (laughs)

Have you ever been star-struck?
Vijay Sethupathi. The man has got a hectic schedule and the sheer stress can drive an actor to vent out all the exasperation when one of us messes up something during the shoot. But he always exudes positivity and has always been someone who brings in a lot of life on the sets of a film.

What are your future and upcoming projects?
I am writing two scripts. Both of them are simple stories that everyone can relate to.

Debut films are often the result of compromises. What’s one area you will never be willing to compromise on? And what’s one area you don’t mind compromising on?
I don’t mind compromising on the script that marks my directorial debut, but I will not compromise on the quality of my technicians.

Directors worked with: KS Ravikumar, Ajay Gnanamuthu
Key responsibilities: Handling visual effects, post-production work, briefing artistes about the dialogues
Films worked: Lingaa, Imaikkaa Nodigal

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