From the Diary of a Debut Director – Part 2

After Kanda Naal Mudhal released and became successful, I started writing my first feature film script. It took a few months, during which I directed several advertisement films and corporate films to gain some decent experience and some confidence. I also shot few trailers from the story ideas of mine. By the end of that year, I was able to convince big corporate clients to give me projects and I successfully delivered them much to their satisfaction. Then I went to Duet Movies to meet Prakash sir. Unfortunately my timing was wrong. He was already producing three or four films and his hands were full for the next two years. I was really disheartened for some time but… I recovered quickly. Even though he couldn’t produce my first film, I am still grateful to him for noticing a spark in me and giving the first push I needed.

‘Thiru Thiru Thuru Thuru’ is light-hearted, fun-filled, hilarious but sensible romantic comedy that has broken the myth that women directors cannot make comedy. But it is not the first script I wrote. As per the myth, I originally had few scripts which were serious, ambitious, dramatic and dark. When I approached different producers, they were apprehensive to take up my stories. Some told me that such scripts may work if they were directed by popular filmmakers and/or with superstars in pivotal roles. Some told me that such scripts were risky and there is no guarantee of success. Some were doubtful if I, a debut director can effectively execute complex stories of that magnitude.

A series of disappointments followed… days, weeks and months went by… The long hours of waiting outside production offices, exhausting narrations and waiting for replies led to nowhere. I started avoiding anyone who would ask “So, how’s it going…? When are you starting your film…? Who’s the hero?”… I was unable to concentrate on getting ad films either since I had to put ALL my efforts into getting a feature film project… … my bank balance was almost nil… Being a woman, my biological clock was also ticking like a time bomb… my husband and parents kept asking me when I would start trying for a baby. I was going nuts. I knew that there are so many people who have been working as assistant directors for many years and still don’t get a break in this field… I knew that it is tough to actually survive all the hardships, find the right opportunity and finally succeed…. I knew all this theoretically but… the real experiences were wearing me down. I was not born tough. I had to learn to be tough. I had to change my attitudes, adapt to new situations and smile through the disappointments, failures and sadness.

So after hearing many NO’s and sometimes hearing nothing at all, I decided to make some changes. I started writing something simpler… a comedy… with a hint of mystery, suspense, romance, fun, songs and dances… but still realistic and logical… with believable down-to-earth characters… and without compromising on my style of story-telling. It took three months to finish the full first draft of T4. It was ready by March 2007. Then I started approaching producers again. After few more unsuccessful meetings, I met with Real Image producers during August 2007.

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