Music director James Vasanthan turns director with Vaanavil Vaazhkai. City Express talks to him ahead of the movie’s release. Excerpts from the interview...
What’s Vaanavil Vaazhkai all about?
As the name suggests, the film is about the best phase of one’s life — the younger days. Like how a rainbow leaves a sense of freshness in your heart, these youthful days linger in our memories for the rest of our life. We (the crew) have just done a week’s schedule. We will be continuing it from this week. The project should be ready in three months.
Transition from music director to filmmaker
To be a filmmaker, especially making a musical in its true sense, was always on cards. This desire came from watching many Hollywood musicals. The USP of this musical is that all the primary characters in the film are doing their own part — singing and playing instruments. They are all real-life musicians. No playback. I haven’t found it tough or easy, but have completely enjoyed making my dream for years a reality. I am just making a movie that I would like to watch on screen.
Identifying the cast was the biggest challenge of the project because I needed real singers and musicians — all in early 20s. If they were musically talented, they lacked visual presence. If they had it, their musicality was average. After a year and a half, I have found the best bunch of young singers and musicians. I am the writer, composer and director of this film. I have also written nine of the 19 tracks. Not that I’m a great lyricist; I wanted some unusual candid lyrics. All the songs will be in pop and pop-rock styles. I did a lot of research on various factors while writing the script. I was redrafting until I was satisfied. Since it’s a feel-good film, every bit of our script-reading and rehearsal and recording session is fun. The kids are just having a holiday with a new-found family. I found quite a few talent and technicians through Facebook and Twitter. Everyone who heard about this venture has been very encouraging.
Since I am a musician first, I will always be doing music, even if I choose to direct another. For me, script is first and everything else comes next. Now, I am composing the music for director A Venkatesh’s film Sandamarutham, starring Sarath Kumar. I don’t want to accept anything else. until I finish this musical.