CHENNAI: “While it was challenging to shoot a short film during the lockdown, it was an experience I loved and would probably do it again,” said Gautham Menon, who was the guest on Wednesday’s webinar titled ‘Filmmaking in the time of lockdown’, which is part of the series Indulge Time Pass, organised by The New Indian Express group. The ace filmmaker said that the idea stemmed from his eagerness to film something. “More than just writing, I was eager to film something, and wrote a series of conversations b e t w e e n characters from my film. But I wasn’t sure if many will be ready. Then I thought Simbu will agree to it and called Trisha too. They loved it,” he says, talking about Karthik Dial Seidha Yenn, which opened to mixed response. And Gautham says that’s the case with all of his films.
“Mixed responses are always good, it means people are talking about the film. And it has always been the case with my films. You know what is the verdict only after a few days, where the film will be either celebrated or it just fades away.” The idea, he shares, was to be edgy, right from the word go. “Simbu said there’ll be a meme of him sitting on Trisha’s lap. I said let’s go ahead anyway and shoot it.” The free-wheeling conversation also touched upon content for digital platforms, something that Gautham wishes more filmmakers would dabble with. “Apart from the legal issues that we had to be careful about, Queen proved to a very liberating piece of work. We still write for the stars, when it comes to films. But here, there was just pure content that we directors could work with.
” Gautham has also directed a short for a Netflix anthology, which he predicts will be out in a month. Calling himself a theatre enthusiast, Gautham says that the magic of theatre will endure the coronavirus pandemic. But at the same time, one should also be open to digital releases. “I love theatre experience, but all big theatres are not easily going to release small films. So it is completely the producer’s decision. Let’s be open about it and not ban producers. The future will see both these mediums coexist.” Will the pandemic push to resort to geographically contained scripts? “What we are looking at is working with restricted crews. I believe there will be an explosion of medical thrillers and conspiracy theories,” he predicts.
The Yennai Arindhaal filmmaker also disclosed that he has a script for a sequel, that he penned during the lockdown. “It has come out well, and it will take the character forward. I will someday pitch it to Ajith sir,” he says adding that Vikram would be dubbing soon for his much-awaited Dhruva Natchathiram. “We will be looking at a theatre release, and I hope it draws the crowds back to theatres, along with other big films.” A theatre experience with the crowds without fear is something he is looking forward to doing, post the lockdown. “It will be the first thing, apart from a relaxing family road trip to Goa.”