Choreographers-turned-directors seem to have become the latest buzzword in the Kannada industry. While these erstwhile choreographers are naturally giving song-and-dance routines paramount importance, they are also looking at other elements that are part of the filmmaking process, thus thinking like consummate directors as well.
V Murali is the newest choreographer to join this bandwagon that includes A Harsha and Imran Sardariya. Murali, who has turned director for Namo Bhootatma, is now all ready for its release next week.
The film is a remake of Tamil hit Yaamirukka Bayamey. Murali says that after spending more than 15 years in the industry and having choreographed about 600 songs, he is quite the veteran and all of that experience is now coming handy. He also owes a debt of thanks to actor Komal Kumar who gave him the opportunity to turn director.
“For the last 6 to 7 years, I have assisted various directors in their films and as and when a person from the industry gave me a chance to choreograph a song, I took it and it gradually became my profession. When Komal gave me a platform to try my hand as director, I grabbed it immediately,” he reveals.
Murali says that his experience as a choreographer did help him a fair bit while helming this film. “After a few years of experience, directors give us a free hand while handling the song shoot, which in a way, helps us to learn the techniques of direction even if it is with respect to a small part of the film.
There is so much to learn in filmmaking and if you have the urge to do better, the sky is the limit. I learnt a few tips of direction through my choreography, but I have a long way to go,” he explains.
However, a dance choreographer and first-time director doing a horror film is quite interesting in itself. “Irrespective of the various genres of films popping up every other day, I have a great affinity for the horror film. Since I was a child, I used to enjoy watching horror films and thus when I decided to make my first film, horror seemed like a logical choice.”
“Since this film is in Tamil, I felt I could visualise it better and took it up. I completed the shoot in 31 days, working day and night. Though I started my debut direction with a remake, I have framed the film in our local context,” he says.
Murali is currently busy on the sets of Raja Rajendra shooting songs followed with a little work for Mr and Mrs Ramachari, which will get over by November 21.
“I will not be taking up any other project for some time as I want to get involved in the promotional activities of my film. Hopefully, it will release on November 28,” says Murali.
The film stars Komal Kumar, Aishwarya Menon, Ali, Harish Raj, with Nikita Thukral playing a cameo.
Murali says that this trend will also give opportunities to other dancers and choreographers.
“As we climb the ladder, we give way to other choreographers to enter the industry. It was in me to become a director, some day. Now that Komal has given me that platform, I would like to explore more opportunities with different projects while sticking to my first love, which is choreographing songs for films,” he signs off.