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‘What Suriya did stunned us’

What do you like about Pandiraj?

His focus and extreme dedication towards what he does, while simultaneously maintaining a remarkable cool. He never pressurises us unnecessarily.

What is the one thing that you’ve learnt from directors you have worked with?

How to make quality films that leave the audience satisfied but at the same time are not heavy on the producers’ wallet.

What’s one area of filmmaking that you had a tough time with but are better at now?

Making the right decisions when it comes to costume departments. Initially, I used to think a hundred times over and consult with everyone involved before making a costume choice. But nowadays, I’m much quicker.

What’s the oddest thing you have seen or done as an AD?

For Pasanga 2, we had to shoot a scene with Suriya where he’s lying down on the beach. While Suriya was being briefed about the scene was, I was asked to bring a cloth so that the heat would not have a direct effect on him. But before I could bring the cloth he lay down on the sand as soon as the brief was complete. We had heard about his commitment levels but this stunned us.

What are your future projects?

I have written three scripts — a suspense drama, a film for and about kids, and a commercial script with a very relevant message for society

Debut films are often the result of compromises. What’s one area you don’t mind compromising on?

I don’t mind compromising on the budget. In fact, completing a film within budget is a challenge that I’m familiar with and I’m sure I will not have any problems with it.

Who’s the dream cast of your debut film?

I don’t have a dream cast per se. But I think Sivakarthikeyan or GV Prakash would do justice to my script. A lot of assistant directors would actually like to cast actors whom they have previously worked with, thanks to the comfort levels that exists between them. I guess the same applies to me.

Have you ever been star-struck? How did you get over it, if you have?

No, I’ve never been star-struck. But I have learnt a few things from every star I’ve worked with. For example, Sivakarthikeyan brings in his own comic touch to every scene. He continuously reviews his own work and has the drive to perform better each day than the day before.

Senthamarai Kannan

Directors worked with Pandiraj, Vallikanth  Films worked on Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga, Idhu Namma Aalu, Pasanga 2, Kadai Kutty Singam, Semma Main responsibilities Co-direction

Source: The New Indian Express