The Tamil OTT space might now be filled with some of the biggest names doing intriguing content across genres. But back in 2017, it was still a nascent space where trial and error was the name of the game. It is during this time that director Prabhuram Vyas came up with Livin, a funny and relatable take on Chennai, and a unique set of the city’s citizens. Six years later, Prabhuram is set to make his feature film debut with Manikandan’s next, which also stars Kanna Ravi. “The film is set in and around Chennai and will have a small travel portion too that will be shot in Gokarna. It is primarily a contemporary relationship drama,” says Prabhuram.
Backed by Good Night makers Million Dollar Studios and MRP Entertainment, Prabhuram reveals it was Manikandan who orchestrated the project together. “In fact, the only person I pitched the story to is Manikandan. Even while writing, I kept him in mind for this role, and it was he who asked me to narrate the script to the producers in 2021,” says Prabhuram, who shares that it was his comfort level and camaraderie with Kanna Ravi that made him cast the Rathasaatchi actor in his feature film debut too.
“Just like Manikandan, even Kanna was the only person I thought of while writing this character. He was kind enough to accept it too,” shares Prabhuram. Apart from Manikandan and Kanna Ravi, the film stars Modern Love Chennai-fame Sri Gouri Priya. “While I was impressed with her performance in Lalagunda Bommaigal, I wasn’t sure if she would fit the role till I had an in-person interaction. Then, I knew she would be perfect for the role I had in mind,” shares Prabhuram.
With Livin still receiving a lot of love on social media, Prabhuram expresses gratitude about all the love that not just came his way then, but continues to be so till date. “We were a bunch of newcomers who gave it our best shot. Most of the actors were new, the makers were new, and of course, I was new too. We really didn’t know where the series would go, and where it would take us either. We went to shoot with just the first draft of Livin, and I think the rawness of it all was what worked with the audience,” says Prabhuram, who feels the gap between his two directorial ventures felt organic.
“I was writing and discussing scripts, working on my day job, and continued to work the system between Livin and this project. I understand that the gap is pronounced, but it isn’t something that worried me,” shares the filmmaker, who has planned around 40 days for completing the shoot. The film, which is currently on floors, also stars seasoned actors like Paruthiveeran-fame Saravanan, and Geetha Kailasam. Prabhuram has also roped in social media sensation Arunachaleswaran, Harish, Harini, and Nikhila Shankar. With music by Sean Roldan, the film has cinematographer Shreyaas Krishna and editor Barath Vikraman as part of the crew.